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Salim Ali Birdman of India , his Age, Career and Death.
Celebrity Biography

Salim Ali Birdman of India , his Age, Career and Death.

Mar 4, 2024

Salim Ali is one of the widely known ornithologists and naturalists. He is also known as the “birdman of India”. He was one of the very first scientists who picked up systematic bird surveys in India and abroad. His research work is viewed as highly powerful in the development of ornithology.

In this article, you will learn about the life of Salim Ali. Including Dr Salim Ali age, biography, and death.

dr salim ali
dr salim ali

Salim Ali Early Life:

His full name is Salim Abdul Ali but he is widely recognized as Salim Alis. He was born in Mumbai on 12 November 1896 and he is the youngest of nine children. His father’s name is  Moizuddin. Salim’s father died when he was only 9 years old. His mother’s name is Zeenat-un-nissa. And when he was 3 years old his mother passed away. He was raised by his aunt and uncle Hamida Begum and  Amiruddin Tyabji respectively. 

Name Salim Ali
Age 90 years (died)
Date of birth 12 November 1896
Birth place Mumbai, India
Nationality Indian
Religion Islam
Zodiac sign Scorpio
Sexual Orientation Straight
Father Moizuddin
Mother Zeenat-un-nissa
Siblings 8

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Salim Ali “The birdman of India”:

He once noticed a flying bird and shot it down, when he was 10 years old. He quickly ran and picked it up. The bird looked like a house sparrow, but it had a weird yellowish shade on the throat. He showed the sparrow to his uncle. And questioned him about the bird’s kind. His uncle was Unable to answer and took Birs to W.S. Millard.

salim ali birdman of india
salim ali birdman of india

 W.S. Millard is the Honorary Secretary of the Bombay Natural History Society. Millard was surprised at the rare interest of the young boy. The Honorary Secretary took him to see many stuffed birds. When  Salim saw a bird similar to the child’s bird. He got very excited And started visiting the place frequently.

Salim Ali Education: 

He attended college but did not receive any degree. He went to Burma To assist his brother in tungsten mining and timber. He spent most of his time looking for birds. Later, Salim returned to Bombay.

Salim Ali Journey:

After returning to Mumbai, he studied and completed his degree in zoology from St Xavier’s College. Later, Salim conducted the visits and guided them about the preserved birds. He had a great interest in the living conditions of birds. So he visited Germany and visited Dr. Irvin Strassman. She is a world-famous ornithologist. In 1930, he returned to India.

salim ali photo
salim ali photo

He required money to make a living. So Salim joined the museum as a clerk. In the museum,  he worked on bird research. At that time he was living in his wife’s house at Kihim. Kihima is a small village near Mumbai. It was a tranquil place surrounded by trees. Salim would spend most of his time researching the activities of the weaver bird at this place.

In 1930, Salim published a research paper. In this, he discusses the nature and activities of the weaver bird. His article recognized fame and made him popular and established his name in the domain of ornithology. To conduct bird surveys and make detailed observations, he traveled from place to place.

Salim Ali Wife:

After returning from Barman, he tied the knot to his distant relative, Tehmina. The marriage was held in Bombay in December 1918. She joined him in all his journeys and surveys. In 1939, his life took a pause when he lost his beloved wife. His wife died following a minor surgery in 1939. After his wife’s death, he started living with his sister Kamoo and brother-in-law.

Wife Tehmina
Children Unknown

Salim Ali Contributions:

In 1941, he published “The Book of Indian Birds, From what he had collected. In this book, he discussed the kinds and habits of Indian birds. The book sold at a good quantity for several years. He also collaborated with world-famous ornithologist S. Dillon Ripley.  This collaboration resulted in the ‘Handbook of the Birds of India and Pakistan’ (10 Volume Set. It is a comprehensive book which covers ten years of work from 1964-1974.

 It describes the birds of the subcontinent, their appearance, habitat, breeding habits, migration, and many other things.  He also wrote many books. In 1967, “Common Birds”, regional field guides, and engaging autobiography “The Fall of Sparrow” in 1985.

Salim Ali achievements:

He not only researched birds. He also contributed to the arena of protection of nature. For his exceptional efforts, he was awarded with an international award of 5 lacs Indian rupees. He donated all the money to the Bombay Natural History Society. In 1958, the Government of India honored Salim with a Padma Bhushan and the Padma Vibushan in 1976.

salim ali bird sanctuary
salim ali bird sanctuary

 In India, a large habitat is declared as a bird sanctuary and named as Dr Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary . Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary is located on the western tip of the Island of Chorão along the Mandovi River, Goa, in India. 

Salim Ali death:

On 20th June 1987, his genius man Salim Ali died at the age of 90. He died after a prolonged battle with prostate cancer.

Died 20th June 1987
Reason Cancer


Salim Ali is a famous Indian personality and he is also known as the Birdman of India. He made great contributions to Ornithology. He received many notable awards for his exceptional work on birds. He died at the age of 90 due to cancer.

FAQs :

At what age did he die?

He died at the age of 90.

What is the reason for his death?

Salim Ali died due to cancer. 

Where is Salim Ali National Park located?

Salim Ali National Park is a national park located in Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir, India

Where is Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary located?

Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary Goa is located on the western tip of the Island of Chorão in India.


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