Bird watching tour in Nepal is always considered as a recreational activity that helps you to monitor different species of birds through our naked eyes or by using different equipment's like binoculars, telescope, etc. Nepal is one of the best places for bird watching as in Nepal the diverse range of ecosystem from lowland subtropical forests right through to the high altitude environment of Himalayas takes you to explore over 850 species of birds.
Nepal is not only known for marvelous scenery and cultural contrasts but also it is famous due to the paradise for a bird watcher. It is naturally blessed with a vast array of exceptionally rich bird life. Because of the extraordinary range of habitats discovered, over 850 species of birds had been recorded, more than in any other region of comparable size in Asia. Nepal is the house for about 10% of the world's population of birds. The sight of rare bird producing tremendous exhilaration, the beauty of nature and birds are the famous symbols of Nepal.
The bird watching tour in Nepal takes you through lowland jungle of Terai, Wildlife Reserves, and many other conservational areas and Parks. Birds of 500 species are found in the capital city Kathmandu alone. The popular places for bird watching in Kathmandu are Phulchowki, Godavari, Nagarjun, Bagmati River, and Taudaha and so on. Likewise, Chitwan and Bardia National Park , another sighting of an incredible variety of both resident and migratory birds that come from far away from Siberia.
The opportunity to see different kinds of birds will make your trip memorable. You will be mesmerized by the enjoyable view of many species of birds along with the panoramic mountainous view, glimpses of wild animals and exposure to the local people's culture and traditions. Nepal is famous for the home of some endangered birds like Impeyan Pheasant, Nepal's national bird Danfe and the Spiny Babbler. The birds watching program takes you to explore the birds as well as you will be exploring diverse wildlife in some famous wetlands and National Parks of Nepal.
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Nepal's Major bird watching Places:
The Kathmandu Valley:
Kathmandu Valley has more species of birds compared to other places in Nepal. Almost 500 species of birds are found here. The Wetlands and open field inside the valley make it possible for diverse habitat for many species of birds. There are four major bird watching areas in the Valley. One can launch the bird watching in the banks of Bagmati and Manohara rivers. The birds sighted along these rivers are the Egrets, Herons, Kingfishers, Ibis bill, Wood Sandpipers and Plover's. The Chovar Gorge is particularly recommended as an area for birds as its isolation from human habitation has encouraged their presence. Harboring 40 species of birds mostly dependent on wetlands, Taudaha, a lake on the way to Dakshinkali, attracts flocks of migrant birds.
Phulchowki at 2760 m is the highest of the mountains situated 20 km South East of Kathmandu encircling the valley and provides an ideal introduction to the birds of Nepal. Phulchowki has a great density of bird species - around 300 species. The hillside trails and roads are covered with forest featuring outstanding flora as well as diverse birds. Bird watchers in Phulchowki might encounter birds such as the endemic spring babbler, as well as the Curia, Mountain Hawk Eagle, Rufous Bellied Pied Woodpeckers and the Black-throated Parrot bill, to name a few. The Blue-Napped Pitta and a Redheaded Trojan are rare birds found in the area.
The Godavari, at the foot of Phulchowki 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 garden is a plantation containing exotic and local flora and is a "Garden of Dreams" for birds and bird watchers alike.
Shivapuri Watershed and Wildlife Reserve and Nagarjuna Dada:
Another place for Bird watching in Nepal is Shivapuri Watershed Reserve, 12 km north of the city and Nagarjuna in the North West.
Shivapuri National Park is one of the richest forested areas. This houses about 318 species of birds. The forest holds a significant population of three restricted-range bird species i.e. the spiny babbler which is also Nepal's endemic bird, the Hoary-throated Barwing, and the White-throated Tit. This diversity is reflected in the avifauna of the area, including the 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. Two globally threatened birds, the White-rumpled Vulture, and Hodgson's Bush chat can also be seen. Shivapuri is a delight to the bird watchers who have an eye for exploration.
The Nagarjuna Hill has a royal retreat for members of royal family and therefore was and will remain a protected area. This area hosts birds 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.
In Pokhara, the two well-known lakes Phewa Tal and Begnas Tal and the surrounding areas are highly recommended for birds watching. Among all, the forest around the south shore of Phewa lake with minimum disturbance, away from human inhabitation is the best for bird watching. The summit of Annapurna's and Machhapuchhare create an ambiance of peace and magic and the surrounding of the valley rewards an extraordinary habitat for varieties of birds. Watch out in the fields and pools especially in the winter for Egrets, Herons, Pipits, and Buntings etc. other birds are occurring are Gulls, Terns, Ducks, and Falcons etc.
Begnas Lake, 15km away from Pokhara, is another worthy place to visit for bird watching in Pokhara. Terraced hills and light forests surround the lake. One should spend time on the slopes and wet fields. Birds sighted here are Ducks, Pheasant-tailed Jacana; Hopei Grey-bellied Tessie's, common pintail snipe, bulbuls etc. Species regularly seen in this forest and along the shore of the lake include Besra, Red-thigh Falconet, Pallid and Pied Harriers, Eurasian Griffon, Red-headed and Eurasian Black Vultures, Kalij Pheasant etc. Pokhara lakeside is basically a tourist town, which caters to all the needs of visitors from cheap lodges to very expensive star hotels, that makes the city more famous for bird watching as well as experiencing the natural and artificial heritages.
Koshi Barrage and Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve:
Koshi Barrage and Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve are in the eastern Terai to the Far East of Nepal. The situation on the Koshi floodplain results on the dramatical reserve variation of the environment according to the seasons. Along with about 26 varieties of Duck alone, Koshi is great for waterfowl and Waders. The birds can be viewed by boat, gliding through waters in the stillness of early morning and evenings. Koshi Tappu wildlife reserve is a combination of scrub grassland and deciduous riverine forest, with over 450 species of birds recorded so far, including 20 species of duck, ibises, storks, swamp partridges (Francolins glairs), herons, egrets, Bengal Florian (Epidotic Bengalensis), Black Ibis, Honey Kites, Ospreys, Black Headed Orioles, Peregrine Falcon, Partridges and many other exotic and migratory waterfowl not found elsewhere in Nepal. The area reputed for bird haven is corroborated by the fact that it is the shelter of 13 Nepal's nearly threatened bird species out of 22.
The Royal Chitwan National park, established as the country's first national park in 1973, is the best-known site in Nepal for bird watching. Birds watching can be done safely in a chair, the back of an elephant or in a jeep (by far the last choice). Anyone that prefers to walk, we will be accompanied by a guide or a naturalist or by a preferable ornithologist. The area consists of Sal Forest, Riverine forest, and grasslands, with three rivers forming the boundaries of the park. Over half of Nepal's total bird species are found in Chitwan, numbering 540 species. This number includes about two-thirds of the country's globally threatened bird species. The Grey-crowned Prinia, Slender-billed Babbler and the Lesser Adjutant inhabit the Chitwan grasslands. The park also holds the highest number of Nepal's near-threatened bird species- 15 out of 22. These include Ferruginous Pochard, Great Hornbill, Black-bellied Tern, Grey-headed and Lesser Fish Eagles, White-tailed Eagle, Cinereous and Red-headed Vultures, Pallid Harrier, Lager Falcon, Darter, Painted and Black-necked Storks, Rufous-rumped Grassbird and Yellow-breasted Bunting. Other birds include Sarus Crane, Bengal and Lesser Florian, Indian Skimmer, Pallas's Fish Eagle, Jerdon’s Babbler and curlews. The Bar-headed Goose, a trans-Himalayan migrant, is seen near the Narayani River.
It is best to go around the foothills of the Kingdom as a leisurely Trek for watching birds. The Langtang region, Solukhumbu region, and Annapurna region are the three main Trekking areas in Nepal. These Trekking areas offer a wide variety of species of birds. Among these three regions Annapurna region will be the best choice as it, there are many species of Birds found compare to the other two. The Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP) supports a remarkable but delicate biodiversity, with 441 recorded species of birds. The Kali Gandaki valley is also a major migration pathway in the autumn with 40 species of birds.
Highlights of Bird Watching Tour in Nepal
Tour Duration: 11 days arrival to Departure
Climate during the tour:
September to Nov: Autumn very pleasant and clear weather, the mountain views are the best. (Maximum 30 Degree Minimum 2 Degree)
March to May (warmest months) the temperatures are mildly warm ((Maximum 33 Degree Minimum 10 Degree)
December to Mid February (Winter) the weather is cold and the sky is clear (Maximum 19 Degree Minimum -2 Degree)
June to August: Summer/ Rainy Season (July/August has more rain) (Maximum 34 Degree Minimum 19 Degree)
Tour Visiting Places: Godavari, Phulchowki, Shivapuri, Chitwan, Koshi Tappu
Transportation: Good Condition Private Car/Van depends on group size for a tour with good driver, for long drive Tourist Bus/Flights are available.
- Welcome in Airport by garland
- Airport Pick up & Drop Transportation by private vehicle
- Twin sharing accommodation at Kathmandu in 2 star to 5 star hotel with breakfast
- Sightseeing in Kathmandu Escorted with English Speaking Guide & Entrance fee
- Two-way ticket in domestic fixed wings Air craft, Kathmandu by local bus or private jeep which ever is required.
- Accommodation in tea house during trek, lodge and Home-stay
- All necessary paper work & Permits
- All cost for a staff (A First Aid and Eco trained & Government licensed holder English Speaking guide and one Porter between each two clients while on trek )
- Salary, equipment, transportation & Insurance of trekking staff
- National Park Fee
- First aids kit
- Travel & Rescue arrangement.
- All government taxes.
- Farewell dinner
Cost Does not Include:
- International Airfare
- Nepal Visa fee (US$ 40 per person for 30 days)
- Airport Departure taxes/Excess baggage charges.
- Lunch/Dinner in Kathmandu
- Travel Insurance
- Medical evacuation in case of emergency.
- Personal spending money.
- Personal gears & clothing (available on hire)
- Client's insurance, Items of personal nature i.e. Soft/hard drinks, Tips etc.
- Expenses incurred due to mishaps, landslide, strikes, political unrest etc. In such case extra will be charged as per actual