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Bird Watching in Nepal: Home to Spectacular Birds

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Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Nepal, with its unique blend of topographical features and climates, creates an ideal environment for a wide variety of birds, making it an exciting destination for birdwatchers. From the lowland jungles to the high-altitude Himalayan regions, each area offers distinct bird species and birdwatching experiences. In this blog, we’ll explore birding in Nepal, highlighting the best spots for birdwatching, the species you might encounter, and tips for making the most of your birding adventure.

Introduction to Bird Watching in Nepal

Nepal serves as an ideal destination for bird enthusiasts, offering a remarkable variety of birds due to its diverse ecosystems. Home to more than 900 species, the country accounts for approximately 10% of the global bird population. This incredible diversity arises from the park’s wide range of climates and habitats, which extend from the subtropical jungles of the Terai to the alpine settings of the Himalayas.

A Northern Shoveler duck seen in its natural habitat at Taudaha Lake, a renowned bird-watching spot in Kathmandu, Nepal.
Grace on Water: A Northern Shoveler Glides Peacefully on Taudaha Lake, Kathmandu’s Tranquil Bird Paradise

Top Bird-Watching Spots in Nepal

  • Chitwan National Park

Designated as a World Heritage site, this park serves as a haven for more than 450 bird species. Its lush forests and expansive grasslands create perfect environments for observing rare birds like the Bengal Florican and Giant Hornbill. Visitors interested in birdwatching can partake in guided walks and canoe excursions, offering distinctive viewpoints and chances to encounter waterfowl and waders.

  • Bardia National Park

Located in the western Terai, this less frequented park provides a serene birding experience. Home to the colourful Impeyan Pheasant, the national bird of Nepal, Bardia also supports species like the Lesser Florican and a variety of eagles and vultures, making it a critical area for bird conservation.

  • Kathmandu Valley

The valley is a surprising hotspot for birdwatching, with several accessible sites:

  1. Phulchoki Mountain: The highest hill surrounding the valley, covered with lush forest, is the best spot for bird diversity.
  2. Godavari Botanical Gardens: Located at the base of Phulchoki, these gardens attract numerous bird species with their rich flora.
  3. Taudaha Lake: A key site for migratory and resident water birds.
  4. Nagarjun Forest: Part of Shivapuri Nagarjun National Park, known for its raptors and forest birds.
A vibrant Orange-Headed Thrush, characterized by its bright orange head and contrasting greyish body, spotted amidst the lush greenery of Kathmandu, Nepal.
Kathmandu’s Vibrant Visitor: The Orange-Headed Thrush.
  • Langtang Valley

This area offers a mix of mountain scenery and birdwatching, particularly attractive for spotting high-altitude species. The forests and alpine meadows are home to birds such as the Snow Partridge and the Himalayan Monal.

  • Annapurna Conservation Area

Renowned for trekking and its varied ecosystems, this conservation area hosts more than 450 bird species, featuring several types of pheasants, the Himalayan Griffon, and numerous eagles.

  • Makalu Barun National Park

The park features challenging landscapes with steep valleys and tall peaks, which serve as homes for special creatures such as the Red-billed Chough and the elusive Spiny Babbler.

  • Rara National Park

Encircling Rara Lake, the largest lake in Nepal, the park provides an ideal habitat for observing waterfowl and alpine species. It offers a tranquil environment for birdwatching, away from the bustling tourist hubs.

  • Shey Phoksundo National Park

Situated in the Dolpo region, this park is home to Shey Phoksundo Lake, where sightings of the elusive Snow Leopard and a variety of bird species, such as the Tibetan Sandgrouse and Wood Snipe, are common.

  • Sagarmatha National Park

With Mount Everest as its centrepiece, this park showcases breathtaking high-altitude landscapes and supports a range of bird species adapted to life at extreme elevations, including the Snowcock and Blood Pheasant.

  • Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve

As previously mentioned, Koshi Tappu is essential for birdwatchers focusing on water birds and waders. The reserve’s extensive wetlands are a magnet for migratory birds from as far away as Siberia.

Tips for Successful Bird Watching in Nepal

Timing Your Visit: The best times for birding in Nepal are spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) when many migratory birds pass through the country. The weather during these months is generally more pleasant, providing optimal conditions for long birdwatching sessions.

Equipment and Preparation: A good pair of binoculars and a field guide to the birds of Nepal are essential. It’s also advisable to wear appropriate clothing and bring some basic hiking gear, as some birding spots might require a bit of trekking.

Hiring a Local Guide: Particularly in remote regions or for novice birdwatchers, enlisting local guides can significantly enrich the experience. They not only know the best spots and times to observe different species but also contribute to local conservation efforts.


Birding in Nepal offers a rich tapestry of opportunities to observe some of the most exotic and rare species in their natural settings. Whether you’re a seasoned birder or a curious novice, the country’s diverse ecosystems and spectacular landscapes provide a backdrop for an unforgettable avian adventure. With careful planning and respect for the natural environment, birdwatching can be a rewarding addition to any trip to Nepal.

This detailed look at birding in Nepal should serve both as an invitation and a guide for anyone interested in exploring the vibrant bird life of this beautiful country. Whether you’re drawn by the possibility of spotting rare species or simply looking to enjoy nature in a new way, Nepal’s birding scene will not disappoint.

A Greater Flameback woodpecker, distinguished by its vibrant plumage and prominent crest, spotted in the diverse ecosystem of Chitwan National Park, Nepal.

Nature’s Brilliance on Display: A Greater Flameback Graces the Verdant Expanse of Chitwan National Park.


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