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Bird Watching in Nepal

Nepal is a paradise for bird lovers; it is home to 10% of the world’s total bird population, more than 850 species of birds live here, and almost 500 species can be found in the Kathmandu valley alone. Nagarjun, Phulchowki, Godavari, Bagmati River, and Taudaha are the favorable spot for bird watching near Kathmandu.

During your stay in the country in the dense Nepalese forests and along the banks of full-flowing rivers, you will definitely meet the most beautiful birds in the world, among which there are redstarts and dippers, as well as the Danfe pheasant, which is considered a symbol of Nepal and is protected by law.

Chitwan national park is also an abode for a wide variety of birds in the lowlands. An unbelievable diversion of migratory birds are found in the Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve in the extreme east of Nepal.

Some well known birdwatching spots in Nepal are:

I. Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve

Situated in the extreme east of Nepal near the southern border with India, the reserve is one of the most alluring wetlands in Asia, a combination of scrub meadows, riverine forests, and 31 mammal and 485 bird species. The birds glide through the waters in the stillness of early morning and evening and can be seen from the boat. It is home to 20 species of ducks, ibis, stork, crake, heron, and many other exotic and migratory waterfowl found nowhere else in Nepal. The area also provides protection for 13 of Nepal’s 22 near-threatened bird species.

II. Mount Phulchowki

At 2,782 m, Mount Phulchowki is the highest point in the mountain range surrounding the valley 20 km southeast of Kathmandu. Mt. Phulchowki is the lodging of around 300 species of birds.

III. Lumbini

The birthplace of Gautam Buddha Lumbini, with its peripheral wetlands, grasslands, and forest, is like a paradise for birds of various species. Especially during the winter season, migratory birds from nations like Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Turkestan, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, China, Mongolia, as well as Europe, Korea, and Tibetan regions, migrate to Lumbini. Not only the migrating birds but also the local birds of different species are found in abundance in Lumbini. The stork (the largest flying bird) is abundant in the Lumbini region.

A few years ago, 910 types of 41 species of waterfowl were found in the wetlands of the Lumbini region. Diverged species of birds can be seen in the nearby Gaidahwa Lake area and other areas as well. According to the Nepal Bird Conservation Association, 12 species of birds were found during the census around Gaidhawa Lake. More than 289 species of birds are found in and around Lumbini.

IV. Pokhara

Nature’s gifted geography Pokhara is not only the capital for natural, cultural, and adventure activities but also a bird paradise. 470 species of birds are found in this heritage city. Pokhara is also home to the bird found only in Nepal Spiny babbler, locally known as Kyande Bhyakur. It is also home to 9 species of vultures along with 54 species of predatory birds.

The nine heavenly lakes of Pokhara: Phewa, Begnas, Rupa, Dipang, Maidi, Khaste, Gunde, Newreni, and Kamal, are the residence of waterfowl of various species. The ‘Tiger Mountain Pokhara Lodge in Pokhara’s Kandani Hill has been promoting bird tourism since its establishment in 1998.

V. Ghodaghodi lake

The natural heritage of western Nepal, Ghodaghodi lake, located at a distance of about 15 km from Dhangadhi, is an attractive destination for bird watching in Nepal that provides a natural accommodation to around 319 species of birds. The endangered bird species, including Lesser Whistling-duck (Silsile in Nepali), Cotton Pygmy-goose (Harihans), Nadun duck, Kurma, common coot (Marul), Himalayan vulture, Lophpphorous, etc. are the common inhabitants around this lake.

VI. Taudaha Lake

Taudhaha is the birdwatching hub for ornithologists and bird lovers. The lake on the periphery of Kathmandu valley is popular mainly for migratory waterfowl. 40 species of migratory birds have made this lake their home where you can pamper your vision with the exceptional views of lesser whistling duck, mallard, common teal, the common brown falcon duck, billed duck, tailed duck of the north, the red duck, the red crest, and the ferruginous.

VII. Chitwan National Park

The park is a great place to watch colorful birds such as hornbill, bearded bustard, peacock, Asian red-headed trogon, as well as woodpeckers, Siberian ducks, and many other birds. In winter, you can see waterfowl, including Siberian ducks, pintails, and wild geese that come here to spend the winter. In the summer, with the return of traveling birds, the jungle is filled with stunning paradise flycatchers, Indian pittas, and parrots.

Information on birdwatching in Nepal

Destination Number of bird species Speciality
Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve 485 Stork, Crake
Phulchowki 300 Migratory Birds
Lumbini 289 Stork
Pokhara 470 Spiny Babbler
Ghodaghodi 319 Lesser Whistling Duck
Taudaha 40 Mallard, Common Teal
Chitwan National Park 540 Hornbill, Bearded Buster

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