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Bird Watching in Nepal: The Best Places for Birding in Nepal

Birding in Nepal

Nepal is blessed with a vast array of exceptionally rich bird life with total of over 850 species recorded. A diverse topography and climate has resulted in a variety of habitats within the country, which are home to over 10% of the Worlds total bird population.
Nepal is a paradise for the birdwatcher. From the lowland jungle of the Terai and the Koshi Tappu barrage through dense rhododendron and Oak forest of the middle hills to the windswept plateaus of the high Himalaya there is always something to keep one twitching.

Bird Watchers’ Chitwan 6 days

We organize special custom made bird watching tour in Chitwan National Park. The package is based in safari lodge at the undisturbed location, right next to Chitwan National Park. You can observe hundreds of bird species in the resort’s garden itself. Our local bird watching guides have the latest information about the birds habitat and behaviour. Bird watching tour of Chitwan could be customized from 3 days to 6 days or longer..

Day 1: Drive or fly to eastern part of Chitwan National park. Check in safari lodge and lunch. In the late afternoon, birding in the community forest and visit the local of Tharu ethnic group. Enjoy the sunset from the bank of Rapti river and look for animals across. Participate in the Tharu cultural dance in the evening. Dinner

Day 2 – 3: Birding and wildlife tour by jeep and walking. We will visit the eastern part of Chitwan National park where three different types of hornbills resides. This part of the Chitwan national park is pristine and has more chance of seeing Tiger and other wildlife.
Canoe ride along the Rapti river is the best way to watch aquatic birds and migratory birds. Two different species of crocodiles; Marsh Mugger and Gharial are found in Chitwan. Walk back through the Jungle and enjoy the elephant bathing. After lunch drive to Gharial breeding center and museum at the National park headquarter and some more birding in the jungle.

Day 4: On the day, we will drive to western part of the Chitwan national park. Western part of Chitwan is bit touristic but the bird sighting is great. We will visit Vulture breeding center on the way. In the late afternoon take a jeep safari in Kumroj forest. Overnight in Safari lodge.

Day 5: On the day we will go with pack lunch to the ‘Lake twenty thousand and Kumal Lake’ area for more birding and come back in the evening.

Day 6: Birding in the morning and later drive or fly back to next destination.

Birding in Kathmandu Valley

Within the Kathmandu valley alone, over 500 species of birds have been recorded. The surrounding hills offer a varied ecology ranging from primary and secondary forests to rhododendron, oak and pine forests. In addition, the wetlands and open fields in the outskirt make up a diverse habitat for many species of birds.

The most popular bird watching spot is the Phulchoki hill, the highest peak on the Valley rim situated 20 km South East of Kathmandu, with some 265 species recorded to date. The birds seen here included babblers, warblers, tits, thrushes, minivets, woodpeckers, eagles and many migrant birds. Godavari, at the foot of Phulchoki hill where the Royal Botanical Garden is situated, records over 100 species of birds including the lesser racket-tailed drongo, Tibetan siskin and the spotted forktail.

The Shivapuri National park

Situated 11km north of Kathmandu, Shivapuri national park is another best birding site around Kathmandu. Nagerjun Forest on Jamacho hill is situated 5 km from Kathmandu on the way to Kakani from Balaju. It is a renowned sight for bird enthusiasts with blue magpies, kalij pheasants, Bonelli’s eagles, great Himalayan barbets and many species found here.

The Valley Wetlands

The wetlands in the valley, the banks of the Manohara river on the way to Bhaktapur, and the Bagmati river, which flows into the Valley from Shivapuri hill and out through Chobhar Gorge, are good places for watching waders and waterfowls. Harboring 40 species of birds mostly dependent on wetlands, Taudaha, a lake on the way to Dakshinkali, attracts flocks of migrant birds.

Birds of Kathmandu Valley 7 Nights / 8 Days

This tour is designed for those with limited time who want to explore the birdlife of Kathmandu Valley. There are resorts located in the outskirts of Shivapuri National Park and Godavari Botanical Garden / Phulchowki, offering a natural ambiance for birding as well as stunning Himalayan scenery. Contact us to customize your birding trip around Kathmandu.

Nepal Birding Tour

Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu, pick up and transfer to the hotel.
Day 02: Birding in Godavari Botanical Garden and Phulchoki Jungle. Overnight in Kathmandu.
Day 03: Drive for 8 hours to Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve. Overnight in a tented camp.
Day 04-05: Guided bird watching walks and boating in Koshi River to observe aquatic birds and freshwater dolphins. Guided walk along the forested Koshi River bank.
Day 06: Drive to Chitwan National Park. Check-in at the safari lodge and have dinner.
Day 07-08: Bird watching-focused safari activities in different parts of Chitwan National Park, including jeep safari, walking, and driving to marshes, grasslands, Sal forests, and riverine forests.
Day 09: Drive to the UNESCO World Heritage site, Lumbini, the birthplace of Lord Buddha. Visit the Vulture breeding center.
Day 10: Explore the bird sanctuary within the 2 X 6 km area of Lumbini Development Zone, including the Crane sanctuary to observe Sarus cranes and other birds. The Sarus crane is the largest flying bird on Earth.
Day 11: Drive to Pokhara. Explore the Phewa Lakeside in the evening.
Day 12: Drive to Kande and hike for 1 and a half hours to Australian camp (2,060m). Look for raptors and enjoy the Himalayan scenery while birdwatching and day hiking. Overnight in Pokhara.
Day 13: Another day of birding around Phewa Lake and nearby Raniban forest.
Day 14: Drive back to Kathmandu.
Day 15: Drive to the airport for final departure.

Bird watching in Kathmandu provides a relatively affordable way to escape city life, especially if you have your own birding equipment. The easy access to birding areas in and around the valley is an added incentive. Each bird watching site in the valley offers a unique experience. Some are close to human settlements, while others are nestled in protected forests or within community forests. The diversity of bird watching areas allows birders to observe a variety of bird species within a small area.

ShivapuriShivapuri National Park is known for its rich forested areas in the Kathmandu valley. The park can be accessed through several entry points, the closest being the army check point at Gairigaon, north of the Budhanilkantha Temple. With around 318 bird species, bird watching in Shivapuri is a charming experience. The forests, especially the northern side, remain unexplored, creating great potential for the discovery of new species. It was in Shivapuri that Jochen Martin first discovered the Nepal Wren Babbler, previously believed to be endemic to Nepal until it was also found in India’s Corbett National Park.

The park has a significant population of three restricted-range bird species: the Spiny Babbler, Nepal’s only endemic bird, the Hoary-throated Barwing, and the White-throated Tit. The vegetation in the park is diverse, with scrub on the lower slopes and temperate forests on the upper slopes. This diversity is reflected in the avifauna, which includes various species such as the Hill Partridge, Great Barbet, Wedge-tailed Green Pigeon, Eurasian Jay, Kalij Pheasant, Nepal Fulvetta, Asian Paradise-Flycatcher, Rufous-bellied Woodpecker, Mountain Scops Owl, Grey-winged Blackbird, as well as birds of prey like eagles. There are also various robins, warblers, and laughing thrushes. The park is home to two globally threatened birds: the White-rumped Vulture and Hodgson’s Bushchat.

Shivapuri is a must-visit destination for bird watchers who enjoy exploring. It was in Shivapuri that H.S. Nepali, also known as ‘Kazi,’ began his journey to become a bird watcher.

Phulchowki, located southeast of Kathmandu, is perhaps the most well-known and recommended bird watching area in the region. It covers the forests on the upper slopes of Phulchowki hill as well as those on the lower slopes, extending into Godavari. Despite facing human activities such as hunting and extraction of marble from its lower slopes, the Phulchowki forests remain vibrant with the songs of numerous bird species. There are approximately 300 species of birds in Phulchowki.Phulchowki, a forest in the valley, is known as the prime spot for birdwatching. Local experts claim that it offers the best birdwatching experience compared to other forests in the area. According to H.S. Nepali, Phulchowki offers the highest number of bird sightings in a day. Despite this, he does not have a clear explanation. On the other hand, Suresh Shakya believes that Phulchowki’s strategic location, as it lies along a natural migratory pathway running from north to south, attracts birds from various regions.

Bird watchers in Phulchowki have the chance to spot a variety of bird species, including the Rufous-gorgeted Flycatcher, Rufous-bellied Niltava, Yellow-browed Tit, Chestnut-headed Tesia, Red-billed Leiothrix, Whiskered Yuhina, Besra, Bronzed and Racket-tailed Drongos, Greater Yellownape, Grey-headed Woodpecker, Nepal Cutia, Ultramarine Flycatcher, and Black-winged Cuckooshrike. There are also different types of warblers, babblers, and thrushes. The area is home to various eagle species, vultures, such as the White-rumped Vulture, Slender-billed Vulture, and Cinereous Vulture, as well as rare birds like the Blue-naped Pitta and the Spectacled Finch, a passage migrant.

During winter, snowfall on Phulchowki hill prompts the altitudinal migration of many birds, which descend to the lower slopes. This is an interesting phenomenon for bird watchers and can make spotting birds easier.

To the west of Phulchowki is Bajrabarahi, a 20-hectare forest of broad-leaf trees. Although it is primarily a religious site, it also offers opportunities for bird watching. Approximately 40 bird species can be found in the area, including the Asian Barred Owlet, Spot-bellied Eagle Owl, Chestnut-tailed Starling, Blossom-headed Parakeet, and Steppe and Bonelli’s Eagles. The Lesser Kestrel is a rare species in this area. Bhattedanda, located about eight kilometers south of Bajrabarahi, can be included in a day of bird watching.

At the foot of Phulchowki is the Godavari Botanical Gardens, which provides a more accessible option for bird watchers who prefer not to climb hills. The garden is full of exotic and local flora and serves as a haven for both birds and bird watchers. It is best to visit the Godavari area for bird watching on working days, as on public holidays the location is popular for picnics and the crowds make it more difficult to spot timid birds.

In and around the Godavari Botanical Gardens, bird watchers can expect to find similar bird species as on the lower slopes of Phulchowki hill. Flocks of Tibetan Serins are commonly seen during winter.

Another bird watching spot is Nagarjun.The Nagarjun hill is located on the northwestern boundary of Kathmandu valley and is home to forests that have served as a royal retreat for members of the royal family. As a result, the area has always been protected. While the slopes facing the city have sparse forests, the northwestern slopes are still densely forested and offer great birding opportunities. Although the number of bird species in this area is not as high as other hilly areas in the Kathmandu valley, its unexplored regions may hold surprises. The slopes facing the city are perfect for a couple of hours of bird watching, but if you want to explore the area more thoroughly, plan for an entire day. Don’t forget to carry your lunch and bottled water. You can cover the area on foot, although there are also motorways available for transportation.

In addition to the birds found in the other hill forests of Kathmandu, the Nagarjun area is home to magnificent species such as the Northern Eagle Owl, Red-billed Blue Magpie, Long-tailed Mountain Thrush, Chestnut-headed Bee-Eater, Maroon Oriole, Large Hawk Cuckoo, and Eurasian Woodcock. The Brown Wood Owl has also been spotted here.

There are other notable bird watching sites around Kathmandu as well. Rani Bari, a small forest patch located between Samakhushi and Lazimpat, is one of the last remaining forests within the city. The Nepal Bird Watching Club used to bring people on bird watching trips here. The area still retains a considerable number of bird species, including warblers and eagles. Occasionally, thrushes can be seen during their migration.

Religious sites are often refuge areas for birds. The forests in the Pashupatinath area, though not as sprawling as they used to be, are still worth a visit. The Swyambhunath area also attracts a good number of birds, with a total of 68 species recorded by Suresh Shakya. The large pigeon population in the area attracts birds of prey such as the Peregrine Falcon.

One of the great things about bird watching is that it can be combined with other activities, such as wildlife safaris, pilgrimages, and trekking. The Gokarna forests also offer a more leisurely option – golf. If you’re not able to score a ‘birdie’ in golf, you can find solace in the birds of the surrounding forest. By swapping your golf club for a pair of binoculars, you may catch a glimpse of the Lesser Yellownape, Grey-headed Woodpecker, Orange-bellied Leafbird, Long-tailed Minivet, Yellow-bellied Fantail, Ashy Wood Pigeon, and the Brown Fish and Brown Wood Owls.

The Setidevi Community Forest, located in the Suryavinayak area of Bhaktapur, is a good example of the benefits of participatory conservation. This forest is protected by the local community and is home to species such as the Kalij Pheasant, Great Barbet, Large-tailed and Grey Nightjars, Grey-bellied, Eurasian and Oriental Cuckoos, Common Buzzard, and both the Eurasian and Himalayan Griffons.Bird watching in the Kathmandu valley offers the added benefit of being close to historically and culturally significant areas. One such area is Tokha, a venerable settlement near the Budhanilkantha Temple, which is renowned for its traditional wood carving art. The Tokha forests are home to an array of bird species including the Oriental Turtle Dove, Fulvous-breasted and Crimson-breasted Woodpeckers, White-capped Water Redstart, Spiny Babbler, and Green-billed Malkoha.

The forests of Chandragiri Hill played a pivotal role in the history of bird watching in Nepal. It was here that Brian Hodgson first arrived on foot in Kathmandu, marking a significant chapter in the country’s bird watching legacy. While the number of bird species may have decreased since Hodgson’s time, the forests, located 13 kilometers west of the city, still host a decent population of Oriental Turtle Dove, Hodgson’s Redstart, Scaly Thrush, Red-billed Leiothrix, as well as a few owl and cuckoo species.

In a place where bird habitats are diminishing, people are coming to the rescue of the birds. The Bagmati River Nature Park is a strip of land along the Bagmati river, about 500 meters from the Thapathali bridge towards Sankhamool. It spans 2.5 kilometers in length and is 200 meters wide. Bird Conservation Nepal created this park as an effort to restore a local bird habitat. Various species of plants and trees have been planted in order to attract birds. The park’s success can be measured by the sightings of birds such as the Common Hoopoe, Common Kingfisher, Eurasian Collared Dove, Aberrant Bush Warbler, Common Chiffchaff, Siberian Rubythroat, Eurasian Wryneck, and Rose-ringed Parakeet.

Taudaha lake is one of the few wetland areas in the Kathmandu valley and is the last remaining natural body of water in the area. Due to the high pollution levels of the Bagmati river, Taudaha serves as the last refuge for migratory water birds. It is the only spot in Kathmandu that allows for a passive form of bird watching, with spectators able to sit on the high mud banks just meters away from the birds. Birds such as the Lesser Whistling Duck, Common Coot, Falcated Duck (a rare sight), Mallard, Spot-billed Duck, Common Teal, Northern Pintail, Ruddy Shelduck, Red-crested, Ferruginous, and Common Pochards, Steppe Eagle, and Great Cormorant can be seen at the lake.

The section of the Bagmati river from the Tribhuvan University gate to Chobar is frequented by migrating wildfowl and waders. Among the visitors to this area are the Black-crowned Night Heron, Little, Intermediate, and Great Egrets, White-breasted Waterhen, Common Moorhen, Northern Shoveler, and Grey-headed Lapwing.

Kathmandu is renowned for its bird watching areas of national importance. However, nowhere else in Nepal is the conflict between humans and birds escalating at such an alarming rate. As forests continue to shrink, the concrete jungle expands. The plight of the birds of Kathmandu is exemplified by H.S. Nepali’s confident offer of a reward of Rs 500 to anyone who can show him a (live) vulture in the valley.

Koshi Tappu
Bird watching in the Kathmandu valley provides a glimpse of Nepal’s remarkable avifauna. While the history of bird watching began in Kathmandu, its true presence in Nepal can be found in the Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve.

The Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve offers an array of habitats within its 17,500 hectares, including grasslands, riparian vegetation, ox-bow lakes, marshes, and sparse forests. To the south of the reserve is the Koshi Barrage area, a strip of land that spans seven kilometers by five kilometers, more than half of which is covered in water. This habitat is particularly suited for migrating birds in Nepal. In 1987, the Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve became the first protected wetland in Nepal under the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands signed in Ramsar, Iran in 1971.The Koshi Tappu and Koshi Barrage areas hold great significance for both birds and birders on an international level. In just a single day, visitors can spot over 170 different species of birds. In fact, the largest heronry in Nepal, with nearly 26,000 nests belonging to 12 species of waders, has been documented in this area. Furthermore, there are records of 20 globally threatened species being spotted here. The Swamp Francolin, which is globally endangered, can also be found in its highest numbers in this region. The area is renowned for being a haven for birds, as evidenced by the fact that it provides shelter for 13 out of Nepal’s 22 near-threatened bird species. Recent ornithological journals and survey reports reveal that most of the newly discovered bird species in Nepal over the past decade have been found in Koshi Tappu.

During a bird count conducted in February 2003, an astounding 9,800 birds were tallied in just one day. Overall, the area boasts a total of 485 bird species. Among the notable birds found here are Baer’s and Ferruginous Pochards, Bengal and Lesser Floricans, Black-bellied Tern, Indian Skimmer, Pallas’s and Grey-headed Fish Eagles, White-tailed, Indian Spotted, Greater Spotted and Imperial Eagles, four species of vultures, Pallid Harrier, Lesser Kestrel, Laggar Falcon, Darter, Black-headed Ibis, Black-necked Stork, Greater and Lesser Adjutants, Spot-bellied Pelican, Hodgson’s Bushchat, Bristled Grassbird, and Yellow-vented Warbler. Every year, locals organize a week-long Bird Festival, beginning on February 2nd which is also International Wetlands Day. This festival includes cultural programs and free bird watching trips for everyone, including tourists.

Unfortunately, the area has experienced a decline in bird numbers. This decline is evident when comparing the single day count of nearly 10,000 birds in 2003 to the 50,000 birds recorded in a day two decades ago.

A significant proportion of Nepal’s birds, particularly those on the threatened species list, are found in the lowlands. Around 55 percent of the country’s threatened species inhabit the lowland areas, specifically within the altitudinal range of 75 to 1000 meters. Therefore, the lowlands are home to some of Nepal’s rarest birds.

Chitwan National Park, established in 1973 as Nepal’s first national park, is located in the central lowland Terai valley and covers an area of 972 square kilometers. The park mainly consists of Sal (Shorea robusta) trees, a type of hardwood. Additionally, there are small patches of grasslands and tropical and pine forests scattered throughout the park. The Lami, Tamar, and Devi Tals are the most prominent lakes and ponds within the park’s floodplains, which are fed by three rivers.Chitwan is a haven for birds, particularly for the threatened species found in Nepal. Around 59 percent of these species rely on forests for their survival, and Chitwan happens to be the largest lowland forest in the country. In fact, over half of Nepal’s total bird species, which amounts to 540 species, can be found in Chitwan. This includes approximately two-thirds of the globally threatened bird species in the country. Additionally, some of the birds in Chitwan are exclusive to this area and cannot be found elsewhere in Nepal.

One notable bird species that resides in Chitwan is the Bengal Florican, which is endangered and specific to grasslands. Other grassland species such as the Grey-crowned Prinia, Slender-billed Babbler, and Lesser Adjutant also inhabit the Chitwan grasslands. It is worth noting that Chitwan is the only known location in Nepal where the Slender-Billed Babbler can be found, and it is believed to house the largest population of this species in the Indian sub-continent. It’s no surprise that in 1983, UNESCO declared Chitwan National Park a World Heritage Site.

The Indian Spotted Eagle, an endangered species, breeds in Chitwan, which also houses the highest number of Nepal’s near-threatened bird species – 15 out of 22. These species include the Ferruginous Pochard, Great Hornbill, Black-bellied Tern, Grey-headed and Lesser Fish Eagles, White-tailed Eagle, Cinereous and Red-headed Vultures, Pallid Harrier, Laggar Falcon, Darter, Painted and Black-necked Storks, Rufous-rumped Grassbird, and Yellow-breasted Bunting. Other notable bird species found here are the Sarus Crane, Bengal and Lesser Floricans, Indian Skimmer, Pallas’s Fish Eagle, Jerdon’s Babbler, and curlews. Additionally, the Bar-headed Goose, a trans-Himalayan migrant, can be observed near the Narayani river.

Pokhara Valley, located a half-day’s drive west of Kathmandu, is a popular destination for bird watching. The valley’s abundance of lakes and forests provides an opportunity to witness a diverse range of bird species. Its proximity to the highlands in the north, position within a valley lower than Kathmandu, and the presence of large lakes attract both lowland and highland bird species, as well as migratory birds seeking water bodies.

The forests at the western and southern ends of Phewa Lake are teeming with birdlife. Some regularly seen species in these forests include the Besra, Kalij Pheasant, Ashy Bulbul, Black-backed Forktail, Puff-throated Babbler, Red-billed Leiothrix, Crimson Sunbird, Maroon Oriole, Red-thighed Falconet, Spiny and White-browed Scimitar-Babblers, and Red-billed and Green Magpies. In the winter, the area is visited by species such as Long-tailed Mountain Thrush, Chestnut-headed and Grey-bellied Tesias, Chestnut-crowned Warbler, and Snowy-browed Flycatcher. The lake also serves as a temporary home for wintering and passage migrant ducks like the Falcated Duck and Goldeneye. For excellent vulture sightings, a trip to the nearby Naudanda area, which includes Himalayan Griffons, Red-headed, and Eurasian Black Vultures, is highly recommended. Visitors to Pokhara may also want to explore Begnas Tal, located 15 kilometers southeast of the city.

Surrounded by the stunning Annapurna region, Pokhara serves as the gateway for trekkers. The Annapurna region, protected since 1986 as the Annapurna Conservation Area (ACAP), is a popular destination. Heading north from Pokhara, trekkers can reach the Annapurna Sanctuary, a basin of the Modi river. The sub-tropical and temperate forests in this area are home to bird species that are rare elsewhere, such as the Slender-billed Scimitar-Babbler, Golden Babbler, Golden-breasted Fulvetta, and Fulvous Parrotbill. The Lammergeier and Himalayan Griffon Vultures can also be observed soaring in the mountain thermals. The best time to visit the Annapurna region is from October to December.The ACAP is widely recognized as one of the world’s most biologically diverse reserves. It encompasses the Kali Gandaki Valley, which serves as a boundary between two Himalayan regions, the east and the west. Within the area, there are a total of 486 bird species, including the Cheer Pheasant, one of the eight globally threatened species found here. The Satyr Tragopan and Yellow-rumped Honeyguide are also residents, both classified as near threatened. Other near threatened species include the Ferruginous Pochard, Pallid Harrier, and Red-headed and Cinereous Vultures. Additionally, there are six restricted-range species from the Western and Central Himalayan Endemic Bird Area, such as the Spiny Babbler, Nepal Wren Babbler, and Hoary-throated Barwing. This region is also the sole location to spot the Spectacled Finch during the winter.

ACAP is the only protected area in Nepal where all six of Nepal’s Himalayan pheasant species are found. The Pipar Pheasant Reserve, situated on the forested south slopes of Machhapuchare peak (visible from Pokhara), is well-known as prime Himalayan pheasant habitat due to the efforts of the late Col Jimmy Roberts and the World Pheasant Association.

In the northwestern part of ACAP, the Kali Gandaki Valley attracts 40 migrant species as they journey to their winter destination in India. The Demoiselle Crane has been observed in this area, and a significant number of birds of prey, totaling over 8,000 individuals from 20 species, have been recorded during a single season. Two locations within ACAP, Khare on the southern edge and Upper Kali Gandaki to the east, are identified as internationally important raptor migration sites in Nepal.

Langtang and Gosainkund
Langtang National Park is another important area for Himalayan temperate forest bird species. It is home to globally threatened species such as the Wood Snipe, along with Satyr Tragopan, Yellow-rumped Honeyguide, Nepal Wren Babbler, Hoary-throated Barwing, Pallid Harrier, and Red-headed and Cinereous Vultures, Great Spotted and Imperial Eagles.

Gosainkund, located within Langtang National Park, serves both as a trekking destination and a site for bird watching. It is a few days’ walk northeast of Kathmandu. The bird species found in Gosainkund include the Lammergeier, Snow Partridge, Himalayan Monal, Smoky Warbler, choughs, finches, and in the summer, Rosy Pipit, Altai and Alpine Accentors, and Golden Bush-Robin.

Bardia and SuklaphantaThe Bardia National Park and Suklaphanta Wildlife Reserve in the western Terai are important for their populations of grassland and forest bird species. Bardia National Park houses 426 bird species, while Suklaphanta Wildlife Reserve is home to 373 species. Both of these protected areas have large sections of grasslands. The survival of grassland birds like the Bengal Florican is closely tied to the preservation of the grasslands in these two regions. Suklaphanta boasts the world’s largest population of Bengal Florican and is the only known wintering site for Hodgson’s Bushchat. Additionally, these areas are vital for Swamp Francolin, Ferruginous Pochard, Great Hornbill, Sarus Crane, Lesser Florican, Black-bellied Tern, Pallas’s Fish Eagle, Grey-headed and Lesser Fish Eagles, White-tailed, Indian Spotted, Great Spotted and Imperial Eagles, Darter, Painted and Black-necked Storks, Rufous-rumped Grassbird, Jerdon’s Babbler and Finn’s Weaver.

In Nepal, bird watching provides ample opportunities to observe some of the world’s rarest birds. While some areas offer easier bird watching experiences, others may be more challenging to access. This range of options accommodates both birders who prefer a quick experience and those who are more patient.

There are numerous bird watching areas in Nepal, ranging from protected to unprotected, explored to unexplored, and convenient to challenging. This variety is what attracts birders from around the world to Nepal – the chance to explore remote areas in search of birds. Every forest, grassland, and mountainous terrain holds a potential discovery. In fact, in the past decade alone, 11 new bird species and two new sub-species have been identified in Nepal, showcasing the opportunities for bird watchers to make unique discoveries. Bird Life International, in collaboration with Bird Conservation Nepal, has identified 27 Important Bird Areas in Nepal, some of which are easily accessible and highly significant.

Bird watching is a significant component of eco-tourism in Nepal. In the year 2007-2008, Chitwan National Park alone received 100,000 visitors, with approximately 20% of them coming specifically for bird watching. Describing the experience of bird watching can be challenging – perhaps deliberately so. However, an Australian birder’s comment after witnessing the birds of Nepal at the Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve captures the sentiment: “…fantastic…needs a bigger hole in your tip box.”

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