Bird Watching Nepal is indeed a paradise for birds with over 800 species recorded representing 10% of the world’s population in just a tiny fraction of the earth’s land mass. Just to list a few: eight species of stork, six species of pheasant, 17 species of cuckoo, 3 species of crow, cormorant, egret, black ibis, eagle, falcon, duck, chukar, partridge, sarus crane, lapwing pigeon, bengal green pigeon, dove, parakeet, koel cuckoo, owl, vulture, peafowl, red jungle fowl, swallow, black drong, blue jay, wood pecker, black-headed shrike, common myna, red-vented bulbul, paradise flycatcher, brahminy duck, house sparrow, red mania, and hawk.
The opportunity to see these and other birds will make your trip a memorable and enjoyable one. These trips also provide panoramic mountain views, glimpses of wild animals and exposure to the local people’s culture and traditions.
Nepal Major Bird Watching Places
The Kathmandu Valley :
Kathmandu has four major bird watching areas, and one can start on the banks of the Bagmati and Manohara rivers. Birds sighted along there rivers are the Egrets, herons, Kingfishers, Ibis bill, Wood Sandpipers and Plovers. The Chovar Gorge is particularly recommended as an area for birds as its isolation from human habitation has encouraged their presence.
Phulchowki is another ideal site, with a Redheaded Trogan, a very rate bird sighted there in April 2002 (it was last seen n Nepal 44 years ago). Phulchowki is 2760 meters and 18kms southeast of Kathmandu and is reached via Godawari and the Botanical Gardens. Walking can start from behind the gardens, with a combination of trails and roads. The hillside is covered with forest featuring outstanding flora as well as diverse birds. About 90 species have been recorded in this area including 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.
Shivapuri Watershed and Wildlife Reserve, & Nagarjun:
Two other areas of the valley are the Shivapuri Watershed Reserve, 12kms north of the city, and Nagarjun in the North West . Shivapuri can be reached two ways either from Sundarijal or from Budhanilkantha. The reserve is managed by Nepalese Army and it costs Rs 250 for foreigners to enter. (Rs 1000/- is charged for a movie or video camera). Some of the birds in the area are the Laughing Thrush, Crested Serpent Eagle, little Pied Fly Catchers, Rupy-throats, and Babblers. At Nagarjun at 2105 meters pheasants, magpies, sunbirds, and ruby throats are found.
In Pokhara, the two well known lakes Phewa Tal and Begnas Tal and the surrounding areas are highly recommended. Of particular interest are the areas with minimum disturbances, away from human inhabitation the forests around the south shore of Phewa lake. Look 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 Tal is 15Km away from Pokhara and it easily reached by taxi or bicycle. Accommodations are available here too. 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; Hoppie Grey bellied Tesias, common pintail snipe, bulbuls etc. Pokhara lakeside is basically a tourist town, which caters to all the needs f visitors. From cheap lodges to very expensive star hotels are available in and around Pokhara. Lakeside is full of restaurants of all kinds. Pokhara can be reached by air or by road. Bird watching is best in October and Apri.
Koshi Barage and Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve:
Koshi Barage and Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve: are in the eastern Terai to the Far East of Nepal. The Koshi is great for waterfowl and waders, with about 26 varieties of ducks alone. Here the method of viewing is by boat, gliding through the waters in the stillness of the early morning and evenings. Over 450 species have been sighted hare, including Black Ibis, Honey Kites, Ospreys, Black Headed Orioles, Peregrine Falcon, Partridges, and Storks.
Chitwan National Park :
Chitwan is in the lowlands of Nepal, known as the Terai. The Royal Chitwan National park is the best-known site in Nepal for bird watching. Bird watching need to be done from the safely of a chair, the back of an elephant or in a jeep (by far the last choice). And if you wish to walk, accompanied by a guide or a naturalist, or preferably an ornithologist. The area consists of Sal Forest, Riverine forest, and grasslands, with three rivers forming the boundaries of the park. Some 500 species have been recorded in Chitwan and some of them are Blue Indian Roller, Stork-billed Kingfishers, Bengal Florican, Asian Paradise Flycatcher, Bee-eaters, and Cormorants.
One of the best ways of viewing birds in Nepal is a leisurely trek through the foothills of the Kingdom. There are three main trekking areas in Nepal: the Langtang region six hours by road North of Kathmandu, the Solu Khumbu region eight hours by road East of Kathmandu and the Annapurna region, six hours by road or a 30 minute flight West of Kathmandu. Of the three trekking regions, the Annapurna region offers the widest variety of species. The region is also easily accessible.
Osho World Adventure offers 15 days tour package for all Nepal bird watching tour covering all favorite birds watching spot in Nepal. This package takes you to the Pulchowk, Koshi Tappu, Chitwan national park and Bardia wildlife reserve.
Aqua Birds Watching Unlimited Camp is the first eco-lodge bird watching campaign in Nepal which was approved by Green Globe Organization. The camping site spreed across the 10 acres of private pristine wetlands situated on the border of Koshi Tappu Wildlife reserve.