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Apart from mountains, hills, valleys, and lakes, Nepal is a heaven for people who have a passion for bird watching. The country offers a list of conservation areas and national parks which have been considered paradise by ornithologists and professional bird watchers.
Besides the national bird, Danfe (Himalayan monal), Nepal is a sanctuary for 9% of the worlds' birds population, especially the migrating ones. Today in this topic, we enlist the places in Nepal that have been regarded by the Nepal Tourism Board as the best places to observe different species of birds.
Birding or bird watching is a kind of a wildlife observation which involves observing birds for scientific researches or recreation. It can be done with one's naked eye or with visual enhancing gears like telescopes and binoculars.
Birdwatchers usually listen to the sound of birds or the activities of birds with the aid of public webcams. People are involved in such activities for social and recreational purposes while ornithologists pursue this field for the sole purpose of learning the lifestyle of birds using scientific methods.
Nepal is regarded as a paradise for bird watchers by ornithologists. The presence of several national parks and wildlife sanctuaries has made Nepal a haven for birds.
There more than 850 different species of birds flying in Nepal and a maximum number of them can be spotted in Kathmandu Valley alone.
Besides Kathmandu, several other areas in the country are well known for providing bird watchers with the pleasure of witnessing the rarest species of bird; residential and migratory. They are:
Some species of bird have been spotted to have migrated from colder places on the planet like Serbia.
Inside the capital, you can witness the birds from places like:
The country boasts of being a residence for 850 species of birds amongst which 42 species are globally endangered, and 35 are on the verge of extinction. Further 157 of other species are nationally threatened.
Some rarest species of raptors like Cheer Pheasant, Himalayan Monal, Lesser Florican, Black Stork, White Stork, Sarus Crane, Satyr Tragopan, Great Hornbill, and Bengal Florican can be witnessed wandering in the skies of Nepal.
Other species that are available in the countries' several national parks and sanctuaries are:
After landing at the Tribhuwan International Airport or for residents of Nepal, you needn't go anywhere from the capital city to witness birdies.
Phulchowki is estimated to have over 300 species of birds while Shivapuri National Park is said to be a habitat for 318 species.
Bird watchers can visit Phulchowki, Nagarjun Dada, Shivapuri watershed, and the Godavari to watch raptors like Spring babbler, Curis, Rufous Bellied Pied Woodpeckers, Black-throated parrotbill, Eurasian Jay, etc..
Kathmandu Valley is also known to be home to Hoary-throated Barwing, Great Barbet, Hill Partridge, and mountain Scops, to name some.
Koshi Tappu lies on the eastern part of Nepal and covers an area of 175 km sq extending into Udaypur, Saptari, and Sunsari districts.
The place is notable for housing 485 bird species especially Indian nightjar, Pallas's fish eagle, dusky eagle owl, watercock, large adjutant stork, and many others.
Bengal floricans, rufous-vented grass babbler, and Swamp francolin are frequently seen near the banks of the Koshi River.
Beside warblers and birds of prey, Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve is best known for 31 different species of mammals namely Asian elephant, hog deer, wild boar, golden jackal, spotted deer, to name a few.
Established in 1973, Chitwan National Park stretches over the districts of Chitwan, Parsa, Makwanpur, and Nawalpur. Recognised by World Heritage Site, the park is the first of its kind in Nepal.
The National Park recorded over 543 species of birds in 2006 and is annually visited by several bird watchers and ornithologists.
The place is famous for White-throated kingfisher, Grey-crowned Prinia, slender-billed babblers, storks, and bitterns.
Royal Bardia National Park is the largest and peaceful sanctuaries in Nepal, spreading over 968 km sq. It lies in the Bardiya district, Terai region of Nepal.
70% of the National Park is covered with lush green forests which are now home to 407 bird species. The most frequently seen birds in the area are Bar-headed goose, White-rumped Vulture, Jungle Prinia, Striated Grassbird, and many others.
Besides raptors, bird watchers have also witnessed 53 specials of mammals like the white elephant, one-horned rhinoceros, Bengal tigers, and Gangetic dolphins.
Located at an altitude of 6,450 m, Langtang National Park is the first Himalayan national park of Nepal. The wildlife reservation area covers 1,710 km sq of land and lies in the Nuwakot, Sindhupalchowk, and Rasuwa districts.
Langtang is home to several residential and migratory birds like the Danfe (Himalayan monal), Satyr Tragopan, Wood Snipe, Himalayan snowcock, Tibetan Patridge, Himalayan Griffin, and several other species of birds.
Langtang National Park also houses 12 endangered species namely Cinereous vulture, Nepal wren babbler, Ibisbil, Greater spotted eagle, Red-Headed Vulture, and Yellow-breasted bunting, to name a few.
Home of the world's highest mountain peak Mt. Everest (8,848 m), Sagarmatha National Park lies in the eastern side of Nepal. Covering 1,148 km sq of land the wildlife conservation area lies in the Soluknhumbu district.
The BirdLife International identifies Sagarmatha National Park as an Important Bird Area. About 219 species of birdies belonging to 32 different families have been recorded in the area till date.
The usually spotted birds in the reservation are Alpine Accentor, Altai Accentor, Bar-throated Siva, Black Kite, Golden Eagle, and Great Crested Grebe.
Bird watchers can also see other vulnerable raptors in the national park like Steppe Eagle, Imperial Eagle, Wood Snipe, and Common Pochard.
This national park lies in the far-eastern part of the Terai region of Nepal. Spread over 305 km sq of land the Royal Shuklaphanta National Park is full of open grasslands, tropical wetlands, jungles and riverbanks.
The conservation area is best known for housing the highest number of Bengal floricans. The wildlife reserve area is also known for birds like Yellow-eyed babbler, Grey-headed fish eagle, Swamp francolin, Jerdon's babbler, and Jerdon's bushchat.
The forest also has visitors like the Painted stork and Sarus crane during the summers, and Rusty-tailed flycatcher and Greater racquet-tailed drongo in the winters.
Named after the holy sage Khaptad Baba, the national park was started in 1984. The national park covers 225 km sq in Nepal's four districts; Bajhang, Bajura, Doti, and Achham.
The forest ladened with chir pine-rhododendron is home to 270 species of birds, where bird-watching tourists can have the trip of a lifetime.
The most famous birds in the area are partridges, bulbuls, eagles, cuckoos, and Impheyan pheasants. The national conservation area is also known for animals like ghoral, barking deer, Himalayan black bear, rhesus monkey, and wild boars.
For more information regarding Nepal, bird watching packages, and other places, please visit hopnepal.com.