Thinking that Nepal is only for trekkers, history fanatics and pilgrims can be a bit too naive. You can also find lots of travelers booking a flight to Kathmandu just for bird watching and nature tour. If you share a similar passion Nepal would overwhelm you with the sheer number of bird species it has to offer.
Due to its altitude variations from low lands rising gradually to the tallest peaks confined within a narrow 200km, Nepal has become home to around 10 percent of the world’s bird species crossing the 900 mark. So, let’s look into the places most frequented and famous for Bird Watching Tour in Nepal.
The valley alone hosts over 500 bird species and has a diverse ecology with a forest of oak, rhododendron and pines, open fields and wetlands. There are several destinations for bird watching tour around Kathmandu valley. Some of the popular destinations are;
- Home for around 300 species of birds.
- A destination where the highest number of different species of birds can be witnessed within a single day.
- Shelter for different species of birds like; Rufous-gorget 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.
- A variety of warblers, babblers, thrushes, eagles, vultures can be seen.
- Blue-naped Pitta is rare one found here where Spectacled Finch is seen occasionally.
Shivapuri National Park
- Home of 318 species of birds.
- Shelter for some of the rarely found birds species like; Spiny Babbler, Hoary-throated Barwing and the White-throated Tit.
- Other bird species found in are; Hill Partridge, Great Barbet, Wedge-tailed Green Pigeon, Eurasian Jay, Kalij Pheasant, Nepal Fulvetta, Asian Paradise-Flycatcher, Rufous-bellied Woodpecker, Mountain Scops Owl, and Grey-winged Blackbird.
- Variety of Eagles, variety of Robins, warblers, laughing thrushes, white-rumped vulture, Hodgson’s Bushchants are also seen.
- Home for about 35 species of birds.
- Some commonly seen in this area are; Northern Eagle Owl, Red-billed Blue Magpie, Long-tailed Mountain Thrush, Chestnut-headed Bee-Eater, Maroon Oriole, Large Hawk-Cuckoo, and Eurasian Woodcock.
- A brown wood owl is seen occasionally.
- As it is not explored nicely yet, other bird species can be seen too.
- Home for about 40 species of birds.
- Some majorly found birds are; Asian Barred Owlet, Spot-bellied Eagle Owl, Chestnut-tailed Starling, Blossom-headed Parakeet, and the Steppe and Bonelli’s Eagles.
- Lesser Kestrel is rare species found here.
- With the Bajrabaharahi area, do visit Bhattedanda for other species of birds.
Godavari Forest & Botanical Garden
- Being a foot of Phulchowki hill and as it has a good garden, various species of birds visit this place.
- Almost 200 species of birds come for food and shelter.
- Some common birds seen here are; Rufous-gorget 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.
Note: If you want to see birds then please do visit in working days rather than public holidays; as lots of internal travelers and children visit this place for a picnic and educational tour where the chance of witnessing birds is very poor in holidays.
With these destinations, travelers can also visit other destinations for bird watching activity;
- Taudaha lake.
- Pashupatinath temple area.
- Swayambhunath area.
- Bosan-champadevi-chandragiri hill.
- Tokha area.
- Chobar surrounding.
Chitwan National Park
It is the ideal destination for birdwatching tours. As it is the oldest national park in Nepal, it has been a good shelter for lots of interesting & rare birds and animals. To date, 544 different species of birds are registered in this area.
With many common birds like kingfisher, peacock, Myna, Bulbul, and many others; you can witness Bar-headed goose, Shikra bird, Velvet-fronted Nuthatch, White-tailed Stonechat bird, Ruddy Shel-duck, Common Iora, Black Drongo, etc. which are migratory birds seen in this area.
Not only birds but you will also get to see lots of wild creatures like a one-horned rhino, Bengal tiger, spotted deer, wild boar, wild elephant and other which will definitely make your trip memorable one.
Boating on a river, jungle tour on jeep/ elephant back, village tour with a cultural program, elephant shower are the things you shouldn’t miss after being at Chitwan with this bird watching activity. Once you are here in Chitwan National park area, please do visit the Elephant breeding center and Tharu village for lovely and interesting stories.
Bardiya National Park
This national park is home to more than 250 species of birds which include some endangered ones such as Bengal florican, Sarus crane and different species of geese, duck & parakeets. With a birding tour, one can witness different wild creatures like Bengal tiger, one-horned rhino, swamp deer, leopard, blue bull, barking deer, wild boar, and many others.
The village tour, delicious local cuisine with jungle tour will be more bags of memories along with lovely pictures and video clips of birds and animals.
Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve
Although it is not much popular destination among travelers, it is one of the popular destinations for bird watchers who love to capture the pictures and video clips of different species of birds. Almost 485 species of birds are noted to date in this destination.
Some of the popular are watercock, Indian nightjar, dusky eagle-owl, black-headed cuckoo shrike, white-tailed stonechat, striated grassbird, large adjutant stork, Pallas’s fish eagle, common golden-eye, and gull-billed tern.
Some birds like Swamp francolin, rufous-vented grass babbler, and Bengal floricans are a witness for some period of time as they are migratory birds. It is a heaven paradise for birds’ lovers to be in such a place. Please visit such wonderful and also explore small settlements for interesting stories.
As Pokhara is regarded as a city of lake paradise, an amazing destination for adventure and tour, starting point of major treks; it does have a different identity for nature and bird lovers.
It is also a popular destination for bird watching tours. The two amazing lake-side, Phewa and Begnas are popular destinations for bird watching. The migratory birds are found in these destinations.
Some of the commonly seen birds are; Besra, Red-thighed Falconet, Pallid and Pied Harriers, Eurasian Griffon, Red-headed and Eurasian Black Vultures, Kalij Pheasant, Ducks, Gulls, Terns, Waders, Bulbul, Black-backed Forktail, Puff-throated Babbler, White-crested, Lesser Necklaced, and Rufous-chinned Laughing Thrushes, Red-billed Leiothrix, Minivetts, Crimson Sunbird, Maroon Oriole, Lesser Racket-tailed Drongo, Red-billed and Green Magpies, Long-tailed Mountain Thrush, Chestnut-headed and Grey-bellied Tesias, Chestnut-crowned Warbler, Small and Rufous-bellied Niltavas and Snowy-brown Flycatcher, Long-tailed Broadbill, Pale Blue Flycatcher, White-tailed Robin, Spiny Babbler, White-browed Scimitar-Babbler, Striated Munia, Lesser Whitethroat and Thick-billed Warbler.
As Pokhara is a tourist hub and chilled destination loved by every kind of travelers, lots of adventurous activities like Paragliding, Bungy, zip-lining, rafting, ultra-flight, boating, and many others can be done.
The sightseeing of this beautiful destination is foremost for every traveler as you will get mountains, lakes, hills, and valleys with settlements in the same frame.
Along with bird watching tours, these places have some of the most entertaining activities that include wildlife visits, amazing treks, sightseeing, village tour, and elephant shower. So, don’t miss out on that either as who knows how life-changing this experience can prove to you. Make each moment worth living when you are in a visit of naturally great Nepal.