A response to Abhishek's question:
Personally, I use A Field Guide to the Birds of India by Krys Kazmierczak. I like this book because of:
- the front papers, which show the different jizzes of various bird groups so you can then jump directly to the relevant page
- the distribution maps, which aid identification
- the fact that the Ali-Ripley reference number of the bird is provided (so you can access the bird easily in the 10-volume Ali-Ripley)
- the index which also gives older names of each species
- the build quality and size of the book, mine is ten years old and still near perfect
I think this book costs about Rs 800/- now.
Use this link to look inside this book:
You can recheck your identification using:
I also use the 10-Volume Handbook of the Birds of India and Pakistan by Salim Ali and Dillon Ripley. This should cost about Rs 6000/- and I bought my copy from Manohar Books in Delhi.
I also use A Birdwatchers' Guide to India (OUP) by Krys Kazmierczak and Raj Singh. This provides a detailed list of birding locations across the country, what birds may be seen, including local rarities, and birding strategies for each location.
Other popular guides are:
Photographic Guide To The Birds Of India; Including Nepal, Sri Lanka, The Maldives, Pakistan, Bangladesh And Bhutan
Bikram Grewal, Bill Harvey, Otto Pfister
Birds of India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Sri Lanka and the Maldives (Paperback)
by Richard Grimmett, Carol Inskipp, and Tim Inskipp
Richard Grimmett (Author)
A review of other bird books here:
For birds of prey, the magnum opus is Rishad Naoroji's Birds of Prey of the Indian Subcontinent.
I have a review on my blog here:
Lastly, books to download:
AO Hume, The Nests and Eggs of Indian Birds Vol 1
Douglas Dewar A Bird Calendar for Northern India
Douglas Dewar Birds of the Indian Hills
Hope this helps,