About Bird Watching
Being a small country, Nepal is wildly diverse for bird population. A total of about 850 bird species are found in this Himalayan nation. This figure is equal to around 8% of the total bird species found on the planet. Such a huge number in such a tiny country is mainly because of the diverse climate and geography of Nepal. The lowland Tarai is full of jungles and the hilly regions are home to dense oak forests and rhododendron bushes. The mountain, with their high-altitude climate, is home to a few species of birds not found elsewhere.
While the capital Kathmandu Valley alone has over 500 species of birds, the surrounding hills with their varied ecology his home too much more. The hills of Fulchoki & Godavari, Kakani, Nagarjun and Shivapuri, all at an hour’s driving distance from Kathmandu present you with an incredible opportunity to witness the avian friends. Babblers, drongo, eagles, siskin tits, woodpeckers and spotted forktail are some popular bird species found in Kathmandu Valley.
There have been regular sightings of magpies, Bonelli’s eagles, Himalayan barbets and some migratory birds. Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve in eastern Tarai is a haven for migratory birds. In fact, it is one of the places with the highest density of birds in Nepal and bird-watchers mandatorily go to Koshi Tappu for the excitement. The place is also popular in the whole of South Asia among bird lovers. In space of around 175 square kilometers of the sub-tropical climate, one can find a record 280 species of birds. Common ones in Koshi Tappu are herons, egrets, Bengal floricans, partridges, storks, ducks, ibises and other migratory birds.
By some accounts, the whole of Nepal is an observatory but the more popular spots for birdwatching are Annapurna Conservation Area, Bardia National Park, Chitwan National Park, Kathmandu Valley and Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve.