• Dec 28, 2019
  • Rupak Parajuli
  • 160

Nepal is a bird-watching paradise. The tiny Himalayan nation boasts of more than 907 species of birds. Even though Nepal is a small country, it has around 8.9 % of the entire bird species in the world.

The rich biodiversity of the country attracts many rare and endangered species of birds. Some of the birds including the Impeyan Pheasant (Danphe) and the Spiny Babbler are only found in Nepal. The Impeyan Pheasant or the Himalayan Monal (Danphe) is also the national bird of Nepal.

The topography of Nepal ranges from the snow-capped High Himalayas to the lush green forests and flat lands of Terai. The topographical diversity is the main reason for Nepal to have such a wide variety of bird species. 

There are many incredible sites for bird watching in Nepal. The beautiful National Parks of Nepal offer great bird watching adventure to tourists. These National Parks work extensively in preserving and conserving the wildlife of the region. 

Out of the 907 species of birds found in Nepal, more than 500 are found in the outskirts of Kathmandu valley alone. The small islands of Koshi Tappu and the vast grasslands of Chitwan are famous sites for birdwatching in Nepal. Besides that Bardia national park, and the Everest and Annapurna regions are incredible sites for birdwatching as well. 

Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve is a fantastic place for bird watching in Nepal. The wildlife reserve is home to hundreds of species of birds. There are many wildlife animals in the reserve as well. Koshi Tappu provides us with large varieties of both migratory and resident birds. The migratory birds come as far away as from Siberia. 

Kathmandu valley also boasts of many bird watching sites including Phulchowki, Shivapuri, Nagarjun, and Taudaha near Dakshinkali. These places boast of migratory waterfowl during the winter months. The raptors and predatory birds are more common in the high Himalayan region.

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Table of Contents

We have listed the Top 5 Places to do Bird Watching in Nepal. Read on for the detailed description of these places in detail. These places offer a great experience of bird watching in Nepal. You can choose the place that suits your desire and requirement. Happy bird watching!

Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve

koshi tappu wildlife reserve bird watching nepal

Koshi Tappu lies in the Eastern part of Nepal. It takes around 10 hrs drive to reach there. You can also take a 45mins by flight to Biratnagar followed by a 2hrs drive via Mahendra Highway to arrive at the Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve.

The Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve is an incredible habitat of pristine wildlife and birds. Along with the great wildlife like the Wild Buffalo or Arna, there are more than 280 species of waterbirds in the reserve. 

The rare birds include Red-necked Falcon, Greater Adjutant Stork, Indian Courser, Bengal, and Lesser Floricans, Indian Skimmer, Spot-billed Pelican, Lesser Adjutant Stork, Hodgson’s Bushchat, Black-necked Stork, and others. 

There are also birds including Faceted Duck, White-tailed Eagle, Comb Duck, Baer’s Pochard, Imperial Eagle, Pied Harrier, Black-bellied Tern, Caspian Tern, Stork-billed Kingfisher, Swamp Francolin, Bristled, Striated Grassbird, etc.

Best Time for Koshi Tappu Bird watching

October to March is the best time for bird watching in Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve

How to Get There?

The Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve is about 512 km away from Kathmandu in the eastern region of Nepal. You can take a direct overland drive on a bus from Kathmandu to Biratnagar. After getting off at Laukahi, you can walk for about 20 minutes to arrive at the main entrance. 

Alternatively, you can take a domestic flight to Biratnagar from Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu. The reserve is just 48 km from the Biratnagar airport and you can take a ride to the Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve.

Where to Stay?

The Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve has many lodges and hotels around for accommodation.

Chitwan National Park 

chiwan national park bird watching nepal

Chitwan National Park is an ideal spot for avid bird watchers. You can observe various species of resident and migrant birds. Sauraha, a village on the edge of the National Park is famous for bird watching in Nepal. Many tourists flock around Sauraha and Chitwan National Park region for bird watching.

The Chitwan National Park area is home to hundreds of rare bird species. Many birds migrate to Sauraha in the winter from countries as far as Siberia. You can take a bird expert along with you to spot different species of birds as experienced guides or naturalists can help you spot these birds immensely. 

There are separate zones for bird watching in the National park. These zones for bird watching is just 4-5 km away from the national park. You can carry your binoculars and camera for the purpose of bird watching. These instruments are essential for a bird watching in Nepal.

You can start your bird watching adventure with an early morning walk alongside the pristine Rapti river. Then, you can gradually pass through the bushy area to observe the exotic birds. The exotic species of birds include Paradise Flycatcher, Giant Hornbill, Lesser Florican, and others. The migratory birds around the area come from the Bish Hajar Taal. 

A veteran naturalist will help you spot the birds. Visitors have to pay certain charges to enter Chitwan National Park along with the service charges of the naturalist.

Best Time for Chitwan National Park Bird Watching

Birdwatching in Chitwan National Park is favorable during any season except the monsoons. Winters are a favorable time to observe migratory birds.

How to Get There?

You can get a direct bus to Sauraha, which is about 152 km away from Kathmandu.  Alternatively, you can also take a flight to Bharatpur and drive to Chitwan National Park.

Where to Stay?

There are many lodges, hotels, and resorts around Chitwan National Park.

Bardia National Park

bardia national park bird watching nepal

Bardia National Park is a popular destination for Bird Watching in Nepal. The National park covered by sal forests and vast grasslands is a great place for bird watching in Nepal. You can also visit the Tharu village for the culture tour. An experienced naturalist will help you in the bird watching adventure.

You can take a boat ride over the pristine Karnali river to see the many varieties of rare birds of the region. The birds spotted in Bardia National park are Ruddy Shelduck, Darters, Brown-headed Gulls, Brahmini Kites, Oriental Pied Hornbills, Cormorants, & Purple Herons, Cinnamon Bitterns, Peacocks, Night Heron, Little Pratincole, Orioles, and others. 

Besides bird watching, you can also observe the Gangetic Dolphins, the Tiger territory, and others. Elephant or jeep safari is also on the cards. Bird watching in Nepal is generally held early in the morning as the birds are more active at this time. The ideal time for the bird watching in Bardia National park is from December to March.

Best Time for Bardia National Park Bird Watching

The best time for Bird watching in Bardia National Park is from December to March. 

How to Get There?

You can take a local bus towards Mahendranagar or Dhangadhi from Kathmandu or Pokhara. The 13 hours drive passes through the scenic hills with beautiful forests before arriving at the flatlands of Terai. Alternatively, you can also take the domestic flight from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj and drive to the National park.

Where to Stay?

There are many lodges, hotels, and resorts around Bardia National Park.

Around Kathmandu Valley

bird watching in kathmandu nepal

There are many bird watching sights in and around the Kathmandu valley. Phulchowki, Shivapuri Wildlife Reserve, Taudaha lake, are the most popular bird watching sites around Kathmandu.

Phulchowki

Phulchowki is the highest hill in Kathmandu valley. Phulchowki (2760 meters) is 18kms southeast of the Kathmandu valley and located next to the beautiful.

Godawari Botanical Gardens

There are many rare birds in the Phulchowki area. The spectacular Redheaded Trogan was last spotted in April 2002 in Phulchowki after a gap of 44 years. You can start walking from the Godawari gardens, passing through various rugged trails. The forested hills feature a diverse range of birds and wildlife. 

There are more than 90 species of birds recorded in the area. The Mountain Hawk Eagle, Rufous Bellied Pied Woodpeckers, spring babbler, Curia, and the Black-throated Parrotbill, are some of the rare birds spotted around the area.

Shivapuri Watershed and Wildlife Reserve, and Nagarjun

Shivapuri Watershed and Wildlife Reserve is just 12kms north of Kathmandu. Nagarjun lies in the North West of the capital next to Shivapuri. You can reach Shivapuri either from Budhanilkantha or from Sundarijal. Nepalese Army protects the reserve hence you will require a permit to enter the area. 

The rare species of birds along with the magpies, ruby-throats, sunbirds make the Shivapuri watershed and Wildlife reserve their home. You can arrive at Nagarjun passing through a forested trail. You will find Warblers, The Blue Whistling Thrush, White-Crested Laughing Thrush and other wide variety of birds around Nagarjun.

Taudaha Lake

Tau Daha is a vast lake in the south of Kathmandu. The peaceful lake is perfect for bird watching in Kathmandu. It is home to more than 40 species of birds. The migratory birds come to the lake from far away places. Next to Taudaha we have the stunning Chovar gorge from where you can observe many birds too.

Best Time for Kathmandu Valley Bird Watching

Birdwatching favorable during any season except the monsoons. 

How to Get There?

Phulchowki, Shivapuri, and Taudaha are in close proximity to Kathmandu valley. You can easily arrive at these places by a short drive to Kathmandu.

Where to Stay?

There are some lodges, and hotels around the area or you could come back to Kathmandu after the bird watching trip.

Around Pokhara Valley

bird watching in pokhara nepal

Pokhara is a tourist town, full of adventures. Bird watching adventure is a unique aspect of Pokhara that needs more exploration. Some of the best places for bird watching in Pokhara are:

Phewa Lake

The majestic Phewa lake is the ideal site for bird watching in Pokhara. You can move around the forests of Phewa lake as there are minimum disturbances, and you can get great views of the birds. 

You can find pools of Egrets, Pipits, Herons, Buntings, and others in winters. Besides that, the hoards of Gulls, Ducks, Terns, and Falcons also make the area their home in winters.

Begnas Lake

Begnas lake is just 15 Km away from the city of Pokhara and you can arrive here either by taxi or bicycle. You can find vast Terraced hills and forests around the lake. 

Many rare species of birds spotted here are Hoppie Grey-bellied Tesias, common pintail snipe, pheasant-tailed jacana, bulbuls, and others. Besides that hoopes, snow pigeons, large-billed crows, bulbul, Chukar, vulture, etc and other diverse range of birds are also spotted.

Best Time for Around Pokhara Bird watching?

October to March is the best season for bird watching in Pokhara

How to Arrive?

You can take a local bus or coach from Kathmandu to Pokhara. The 6-7 hours drive passes through the scenic landscapes drive scenic hills with beautiful forests before arriving at the flatlands of Terai. Alternatively, you can also take the domestic flight from Kathmandu to Pokhara.

Where to Stay?

There are many lodges, hotels, and resorts around Pokhara

The Final Say

Even though Nepal is a small country in the world, it hosts around 8.9 % of bird species in the entire world. The rich biodiversity, remote landscapes, and the pristine habitat make bird watching in Nepal an excellent adventure. 

The wildlife reserves like Koshi Tappu, National parks like Chitwan and Bardia and the valleys of Kathmandu and Pokhara are the top 5 places to do bird watching in Nepal. The capital city of Kathmandu alone is home to more than 500 species of birds.

These places provide a lovely bird watching experience for bird watching enthusiasts. Bird watchers from all over the world flock in Nepal for a satisfying experience in nature.  Overall, Nepal is one of the most popular bird-watching destinations in the world.

Rupak Parajuli

Rupak Parajuli

He is a Travel Enthusiast and Writer, who mostly covers the guide to outdoor adventure in the Himalayas of Nepal. He can be your friendly trip planner. Feel free to reach out to him.

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