India has a variety of grasslands, from dry savannas, green sholas, to the flooded Terai. I work in one of these grasslands, one of the largest in the country – the Banni grasslands in Kachchh. These grasslands located very near to the border with Pakistan are home to numerous species of resident and migratory birds. The ecology of this low-lying and arid region is very sensitive to rainfall, transforming every year and every season,and hence providing a heterogeneous habitat. The landscape has a rich history of land use by humans too, many of whom are pastoralists. While trying to understand the history and politics of grassland development efforts in this region, I traveled through the grasslands, coming across a few birds new to me and a few unexpected to the birders. The connection of these birds to people and how we use the landscape also became unraveled slowly as I spent time in the area.These connections become important to understand as the landscapes around us are transforming rapidly. Often these dry grasslands get termed and treated as wastelands that are open for various development activities that are meant to make them more ‘productive’. Through this presentation I intend to challenge this colonial concept and present some of the treasures hidden in one of the most spectacular landscapes in India.