Bird Watching in Nepal Around Kathmandu Valley

Updated on April 23, 2024

Discover the immense world of bird watching in Nepal, a country that slopes from the high Himalayas to the hot and humid plains in the Terai. The topographical diversity has led Nepal to be a habitat for a wide range of bird species, making the country a sought-after destination for birding. Nepal has recorded 848 species of birds (8 percent of the total birds in the world). It is also home to rare and endangered species like the Impeyan Pheasant, the country's national bird, and the Spiny Babbler, the occasional bird only found in Nepal.

Within the Kathmandu valley alone, 500 species of birds have been recorded, primarily in destinations such as the Nagarjun, Godavari, Phulchowki, Tau Daha, Bagmati, and Manohara rivers. Kathmandu's moderate climatic conditions, with its forested hills surrounding open fields and wetlands, make it a suitable habitat for diverse species of birds.

Birding in Kathmandu is a beautiful experience, and hiking and adventure seekers are also suitably entertained. Trips for bird watching also offer incredible scenery, including mountain views, wildlife exploration, interaction with local communities, and observation of their culture and tradition.

Some Places for Bird Watching around Kathmandu Valley.

The Phulchoki Hill and Godavari Botanical Garden:

Among the popular destinations for birding, Phulchoki Hill, with its recorded 265 species of birds, is the most preferred. The highest hill surrounding the valley, Pulchoki, is 20 km towards the southeast of Kathmandu. Babblers, warblers, minivets, thrushes, eagles, woodpeckers, and many migratory birds can be observed here. In addition, the Godavari Botanical Garden at the foot of the hill records more than 100 species of birds, thus making this spot a popular place for beginners and experts.

The Shivapuri Watershed and Wildlife Reserve

The conservation area of Shivapuri extends north of Kathmandu. The Jamacho Hill (also known as Nagarjuna Royal Forest), about 5 km outside of core Kathmandu, is best suited for birding. This hill is a renowned site for bird enthusiasts, with blue magpies, Kali pheasants, Bonelli's eagles, great Himalayan barbets, and many others.

The Valley Wetlands

Tau Daha is among the most exciting wetlands for bird-watching in Kathmandu. The lake is a peaceful residence to over 40 species of birds and also sees the frequent visit of migratory birds. On the way back, you can also visit the Chovar Gorge, another interesting site for peaceful birding.

The banks of Manohara (the way to Bhaktapur) and Bagmati (the main River flowing from Shivapur to Chovar in the valley) serve as wetlands for many birds, including kingfishers, herons, ibis bill, and wood sandpipers.

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