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 a recorded 848 species of birds (8 percent of the total birds in the world) and is also home to rare and endangered species like the Impeyan Pheasant, the national bird of the country and Spiny Babbler, the rare bird only found in Nepal.
Within the Kathmandu valley alone, a recorded 500 species of birds can be observed, primarily in destinations such as Nagarjun, Godavari, Phulchowki, Tau Daha and Bagmati and Manohara river. Kathmandu’s moderate climatic conditions with its forested hills surrounding open fields and wetlands makes this place a suitable habitat for diverse species of birds.
Birding in Kathmandu is in itself a wonderful experience, as hiking and adventure seekers are also suitably entertained. Trips for bird watching are also an outreach for great 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, the Phulchoki hill with its recorded 265 species of birds is most preferred. The highest hill surrounding the valley, Pulchoki is 20 km towards the south-east of Kathmandu. Babbler, cutia, warblers, minivets, thrushes, eagles, woodpeckers and a number of migratory birds can be observed here. The Godavari Botanical Garden at the foot of the hill by itself records more than 100 species of birds thus making this spot a popular place for beginners as well as experts.
The Shivapuri Watershed and Wildlife Reserve
The conservation area of Shivapuri spreads along the north of Kathmandu. The Jamacho Hill (also known as Nagarjun Royal Forest), which is about 5 km outside of core Kathmandu is best suited for birding. This hill is a renowned site for bird enthusiasts with blue magpies, kalij pheasants, Bonelli’s eagles, great Himalayan barbets and many others.
The Valley Wetlands
Tau Daha is among the most interesting 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 which is another interesting site for peaceful birding.
The banks of Manohara (way to Bhaktapur) and Bagmati (the main river flowing from Shivapur to Chovar in the valley) River serve as wetlands to many birds including kingfishers, herons, ibis bill, wood sand pipers etc.