Bird watching in Nepal
Trips to Nepal are blessed with natural, cultural, architectural and many other beauties and treasures. For those that are more inclined towards the natural diversity and richness, there are various trips and treks designed so that one can witness the diverse flora and fauna of the country. One of such trips is specially designed for avid bird watchers. With records of over 850 species of birds in the country, Nepal is undoubtedly a haven for those searching for serene environments with different variations of birds of all kinds of terrain- plains, hills and mountains.
The species of birds found vary according to the topography of the country with those found in Terai vary from the ones found in hills and high mountains. So, different trek options are available for people who want to watch and study birds of specific terrains. Here are a few treks that best suit bird watchers:
Known as the jungle of Nepal for its wide variety of flora and fauna and its location on the plains of Terai, Chitwan is one of the famous bird watching destinations. Chitwan boasts an array of 250 species of birds in its National Park. The most famous species include Parakeets, Giant Hornbill, Lesser Florican, ducks, ibises, storks, Red-billed blue magpie, peafowl, blue flycatcher, and many more. The bird watching experience can be combined with other activities like safari, visits to the elephant breeding centre, crocodile centre etc. Chitwan is easily accessible by 5 hrs drive or a 35 min long flight from Kathmandu.
Annapurna Conservation Area
This trek allows for a trekking experience combined with the leisure of bird watching. It is one of the largest and most protected regions in the world. The area boasts the deepest gorge of Kali Gandaki and seven peaks over 7000m. It allows the trekkers to explore the great Himalayas while witnessing the snow capped mountains and green landscapes with traditional villages and people.
The trek also allows one to take routes with leisurely strolls and clear views of the different species of birds in the region. The Annapurna Conservation Area alone boasts about 474 species of birds like The Monal Lophophorus, crimson horned Pheasant, Blood pheasant, spiny babbler and many others. The Kali Gandaki valley is a migration pathway for birds during spring and autumn with birds like demoiselle cranes. Other commonly sighted birds are eagles, bearded vulture, golden eagle etc.
Shivapuri National park
It is a short (one day) hike to the northern part of Kathmandu. It is one of the closest and easiest spots for bird watching with birds like blue magpies, pheasants, Bonelli’s eagles, Himalayan Barbets and many more. In addition to that, Shivapuri provides a one day experience to witness the beautiful scenery and Tamang villages.
Apart from these famous treks in the three different terrains of the country, other places and trails also allow bird enthusiasts to fulfill their hobbies. The treks to Langtang region and the Solu Khumbu region are also attractive for people trying to see birds in alpine climates. Bardia National Park with birds like Ruddy Shelduck, darters, kites, gulls and Hornbill and Koshi-Tappu wildlife reserve with birds like ducks, ibises, storks, herons, florican and many other migratory waterfowls are places frequented by tourists. These treks mixing nature, culture and serenity along with bird watching activities are one of the best ways to relax in the adventurous treks.