NAL SAROVAR SANCTUARY is one of the largest bird sanctuaries in the country. The 315-sq km (44-sq mile) Nal Lake and the surrounding swamp forests are best visited between November and February, when they attract as many as 250 species of waterfowl, including flamingoes, geese, cranes, pelicans, storks, cormorants, ibis and spoonbills. Winter migrants from as far as Siberia, such as the elegant bluish-grey demoiselle crane, also congregate here in hundreds, and can he observed at fairly close quarters from the boats that take visitors on the lake. A perennial resident is the Sams crane, the largest species of crane in the world. Believed to pair for life, Carus cranes enact a spectacular courtship ritual, performing a synchronized dance that involves bowing with outstretched wings. Unfortunately, pressures on the habitat from the resident fishing communities, and from growing numbers of tourists, are slowly depleting the Nal Lake’s rich variety of birdllife .