No recent searches!

    Bird Watching in Nepal

    Nepal often hailed for its majestic mountains and treks, is a treasure trove of nature's many marvels. Beyond the towering peaks, it unravels a tapestry of birdwatching experiences that are both mesmerizing and enriching. Birds, with their captivating charm, have not only enamored many but have also turned birdwatching into one of the most rapidly evolving activities worldwide. Today, birdwatching stands as a premium ecotourism attraction, bringing nature enthusiasts closer to the subtle songs of the wild.

    For those who find solace in the gentle chirping of birds amidst expansive forests, Nepal stands tall as a premier wildlife destination. Hosting over 887 distinct bird species, the nation is dotted with 37 crucial Bird and Biodiversity Areas. As you journey through Nepal's varied landscapes, from its diverse climatic zones to the awe-inspiring terrains, you're bound to encounter numerous rare, pristine, and vibrant avian wonders.

    Bird Watching in Nepal

    The Himalayas, beyond being the guardians of Nepal, are also the stages for rare species like the Impeyan Pheasants and crimson-horned pheasants to showcase their melodious tunes. Dive deeper into Nepal's hilly regions, and you'll find an endemic marvel – the Spiny Babbler, a species exclusive to Nepal. Meanwhile, the terai woodlands reverberate with the haunting echoes of vultures, adding a unique dimension to Nepal's avian diversity.

    Nepal's topography, a seamless blend of soaring Himalayas and the warm Terai plains is a significant reason for its abundant birdlife. This varied geography has made Nepal a haven for avian enthusiasts, offering glimpses of iconic birds such as the national bird, the Impeyan Pheasant, and the elusive Spiny Babbler. In total, the recorded 848 bird species in Nepal represent a staggering 8% of the world's total bird species.

    What is Bird Watching?

    Bird watching, often referred to as "birding", is the observation and study of birds in their natural habitats. It is a recreational activity enjoyed by millions worldwide, spanning all age groups and backgrounds. Here's a deeper dive into what bird watching entails:

    • Observation in Natural Habitats: Birders typically observe birds in their natural environments, such as forests, wetlands, parks, or other wild areas. This not only allows enthusiasts to see birds but also to witness their behaviors, mating rituals, and migration patterns.
    • Equipment: Many birdwatchers use binoculars to get a closer look at distant birds. Advanced birders might also use spotting scopes for even better magnification. A field guidebook is another essential tool, helping identify and log the birds they observe.
    • Birding Techniques: Birding can be as simple as watching birds in your backyard or as involved as traveling to bird sanctuaries or other countries to spot rare species. Some birders even use audio equipment to listen for and identify bird calls and songs.
    Bird Watching
    • Listing: A popular activity among birders is "listing", where they keep a record of all the bird species they've seen over a particular time or in a particular location. Some take this hobby very seriously, setting personal goals or even competing with others to see who can spot the most species within a year or a lifetime.
    • Conservation Effort: Bird-watching also plays a role in bird conservation. Birders often contribute to citizen science projects by noting bird population trends, which can offer valuable data for ornithologists and conservationists.
    • Cultural and Social Aspect: Bird-watching also has a social aspect. Many birders join clubs, participate in group outings, or share their observations on online platforms.

    In essence, bird watching is not just a hobby but a way to connect with nature, contribute to science, and be a part of a global community that appreciates the beauty and importance of birds in our ecosystems.

    Bird Watching in Kathmandu Valley

    Often overshadowed by the towering peaks and rich cultural tapestry, the Kathmandu Valley is a silent haven for bird enthusiasts. Boasting a staggering 500 different bird species, this region offers an unrivaled birdwatching experience.

    Key locations such as Nagarjun, Godavari, Phulchowki, Tau Daha, Bagmati, and Manohara streams brim with avian life. From the quiet rustling of forested slopes to the gentle murmurs of wide fields and wetlands, every nook of the Kathmandu Valley is a testament to its diverse habitats. The valley's mild climate further augments this diversity, making it an inviting destination for a myriad of bird species, both migratory and resident.

    Engaging in bird watching in Kathmandu is more than just an observational activity; it's an immersive experience. The region doesn't just offer glimpses of vibrant and rare birds but also beckons adventurers with its undulating terrains and trails. While some birders might be content spotting the Rufous-gorged Flycatcher or the Crimson Sunbird, others could venture further, scaling heights and exploring the untouched pockets of the valley.

    Moreover, these bird-watching trips often transcend the realm of birds. They become an amalgamation of various experiences - from awe-inducing mountain views and rich wildlife exploration to deep interactions with local communities. Understanding the culture, rituals, and lifestyles of the valley's inhabitants adds layers to the birding journey, turning it into a holistic exploration.

    The Kathmandu Valley, with its symphony of bird calls and breathtaking landscapes, stands as a testament to nature's grandeur. It invites every visitor to lose themselves in its beauty, whether through the lens of a binocular focused on a bird or the broader lens of immersive cultural exploration.

    Here is the list of some of the popular places for bird watching around Kathmandu Valley

    Shivapuri National Park

    Merely 12 kilometers away from the bustling streets of Kathmandu lies the serene expanse of the Shivapuri Watershed and Wildlife Reserve. This verdant haven can be conveniently accessed from starting points like Sundarijal or Budhanilkantha.

    Shivapuri is more than just a lush forest reserve; it's a mosaic of avian wonders. From the melodic calls of magpies and ruby throats to the vibrant hues of sunbirds, many rare and exquisite bird species have chosen Shivapuri as their preferred habitat. For birdwatchers, the pinnacle of this experience is Jamacho Hill, popularly known as Nagarjuna Royal Forest. Located just a short 5-kilometer drive from Kathmandu, this hill resonates with the symphonies of blue jaybirds, Kali fowls, Bonelli's falcons, and the striking Himalayan barbets, drawing bird enthusiasts from far and wide.

    Shivapuri National Park

    While these are just a handful of the avian marvels, birders might also be treated to sightings of the elusive long-tailed broadbill, vibrant Blue Magpies, endemic spiny babblers, swift long-tailed minivet, secretive forktail, majestic Kali pheasants, melodious warblers, vibrant finches, soaring Bonelli's eagles, cheerful bulbul, melodious Thrushes, and many more.

    The Shivapuri Watershed and Wildlife Reserve is a veritable treasure trove for bird lovers, offering a symphony of sights and sounds that promises to captivate and enchant.

    Nagarjun National Park

    Nagarjun, situated to the northwest of Kathmandu, goes by many names – Jamacho, Rani Ban (Queen's Forest), and more. This verdant expanse was historically, and continues to be, a protected sanctuary primarily because of its status as a retreat for the royal family. Ascending to a height of 2128 meters and just about 9 kilometers away from the Kathmandu Valley, Nagarjun National Park is a hidden gem for nature enthusiasts.

    Nestled within the broader confines of Shivapuri National Park, Nagarjun Hill stands as a testament to Nepal's rich biodiversity. The journey up the hill is not just about birdwatching; it's also about immersing oneself in nature and being rewarded with panoramic mountain vistas upon reaching the summit.

    Nagarjun National Park

    The avifauna of Nagarjun is vast and varied. From the majestic Northern Eagle to the cryptic Owl; the vibrant Red-charged Blue Magpie to the melodious Long-tailed Mountain Thrush; and from the nimble Chestnut-headed Bee-Eater to the striking Maroon Oriole - every bird sighting here is a treat. A special mention goes to the elusive Brown Wood Owl, which, along with other owl species, can be observed in this sanctuary.

    While it takes nearly two hours to ascend to the peak, the climb is a delightful one for birdwatchers. The flitting piculets, drumming woodpeckers, singing thrushes, vibrant minivets, melodic warblers, majestic pheasants, and countless other species make every step worthwhile.

    Phulchoki and Godavari

    Phulchoki Hill stands out as a premier destination for bird enthusiasts, boasting an impressive tally of 265 bird species. Located a mere 20 kilometers southeast of Kathmandu Valley, Phulchoki is the valley's highest peak and offers birdwatchers a rich tapestry of avian diversity. From soaring hawks to patterned thrushes, the hill resonates with the songs and sights of birds like larks, minivets, woodpeckers, and many others.

    Adding to the allure of Phulchoki is the Godavari Botanical Garden situated at its base. A hotspot in its own right, the garden is a haven for over 100 different bird species. Whether you're a seasoned ornithologist or a budding birdwatcher, the combined beauty of Phulchoki and Godavari promises an unparalleled experience.

    Phulchoki and Godavari

    Among the many avian jewels, the primary migratory birds that grace this region are the vibrant Cutia, the shimmering Mrs. Gould's Sunbird, the distinct Black-headed shrike babbler, and a plethora of others including Babblers, Warblers, Tits, Woodpeckers, and majestic Eagles. Notable mentions go to the playful lesser racket-tailed drongo, the melodious Thrushes, the cheerful Bulbul, the elusive Tibetan siskin, the striking spotted forktail, and a host of other migratory wonders.

    Phulchoki and Godavari offer more than just birdwatching opportunities – they offer a melody of nature, a symphony of colors, and an experience that captivates the heart and soul.


    Tau Daha, nestled within the confines of Kathmandu, emerges as a pristine wetland sanctuary for birdwatchers. Home to over 40 diverse bird species, this serene lake is not just a local avian haven but also a pit stop for migrating birds seeking refuge and sustenance. Its tranquil waters mirror the sky, and the flitting birds paint a dynamic landscape that captivates the soul.

    Not far from Tau Daha lies the Chovar Gorge, a recommended detour for those seeking a peaceful birdwatching experience amidst nature's grandeur. The echoes of birdsong intertwine with the rustle of leaves, creating a harmonious backdrop for any bird lover.


    The banks of the Manohara and Bagmati rivers serve as vital wetland ecosystems for numerous birds. While the Manohara gracefully flows through Bhaktapur, the Bagmati meanders from Shivapur, making its way to Chovar, enriching the valley's landscape. Birds like the vibrant kingfishers, statuesque herons, unique ibis bill, and agile wood sandpipers frequent these riversides, adding life to the calm waters.

    Visitors to Taudaha are treated to an avian spectacle – from the elegant Lapwing and the fiery Ruddy shelduck to the dexterous mallard, swift sandpiper, secretive snipe, and nimble wagtail. Every glance over the water or towards the sky promises a new discovery, making Taudaha a must-visit destination for those who cherish the wonders of nature.

    Bird Watching in Chitwan National Park

    Chitwan National Park stands unparalleled as the prime destination in Nepal for bird enthusiasts. With a staggering count of 576 distinct bird species, this national treasure houses an impressive 65% of Nepal's entire bird species. To put this in perspective, Nepal, a relatively small country, boasts approximately 8.9% of the world's bird species.

    Birdwatchers are treated to a guided exploration by seasoned naturalists and avian experts, ensuring that they experience the best bird sightings that Chitwan has to offer. With its reputation, Chitwan magnetically draws bird lovers from the furthest corners of the globe. They come eager to bask in the beauty of avian creatures fluttering freely in their natural environs.

    Annually, Chitwan National Park welcomes a kaleidoscope of approximately 160 migratory bird species. These guests of the sky, predominantly winter visitors, bring with them unique songs and colors. Yet, a handful also grace Chitwan during the summer and spring seasons. Enhancing the park's diverse habitat are its wetlands. An impressive 83 wetland sites have been mapped out within the expansive park, each offering its unique ecosystem and resident bird species.

    Bird Watching in Chitwan National Park

    As visitors delve into the heart of Chitwan, they might be graced by the sight of the majestic Great Hornbill or the elusive Bengal Florican. The vibrant colors of the Blue Indian Roller and the Silver-eared Mesia could catch their eyes. The skies might bear the wings of the Grey Headed-fish eagle or the Pallas fish eagle. By the water's edge, the Stork-billed Kingfishers and Cormorants might be spotted diving and fishing. Furthermore, the park resonates with the calls of woodpeckers, bee-eaters, parakeets, the ethereal Asian paradise flycatchers, and the captivating tragopans.

    In essence, Chitwan National Park is not just a destination; it's an experience, a journey into the very heart of nature where every chirp tells a story and every feather unfolds a mystery.

    Bird Watching in Bardiya National Park

    Located in the far western Terai region of Nepal, Bardiya National Park is a paradise for bird watchers, providing a sanctuary for a plethora of endemic and migratory bird species. Covering 968 km^2, this less frequented park offers a serene environment for bird enthusiasts, juxtaposed with its rich biodiversity. Not just limited to the renowned Bengal tigers, one-horned rhinoceros, and wild elephants, Bardiya is a haven for over 250 species of birds. From the endangered Bengal florican to the Sarus crane, lesser adjutant storks, and the white-rumped vulture, the list is extensive and captivating. The park's diverse habitats, from grasslands and forests to riverine ecosystems, ensure a visual treat for visitors.

    The prime time to visit is between October and March, coinciding with the migration of many bird species to the park. With pleasant weather and peak visibility, it's an opportune time for spotting and photographing these avian wonders. Reaching Bardiya is convenient with Nepalgunj airport being the closest, followed by a short drive to the park's entrance. There's no dearth of comfortable accommodations, ranging from modest lodges to luxury resorts, catering to all types of travelers.

    Bird Watching in Bardiya National Park

    What sets Bardiya apart is not just its avifauna but also the tranquility it offers. Here, amidst the symphony of bird calls, the whispers of the wind, and the sporadic roars of wild creatures, one can truly connect with nature. The added thrill? The possibility of sighting a Bengal tiger or a rhino during your bird-watching expedition. In conclusion, with Bardiya National Park's unsung splendors waiting to be explored, partnering with Luxury Holiday Nepal ensures a seamless, unforgettable experience in this bird-watcher's dreamland.

    Bird Watching in Pokhara

    Nestled in the majestic shadow of the Himalayas, Pokhara emerges as a paradisiacal spot for birdwatchers. Not only does it offer the enchantment of the towering mountains, but this city also orchestrates a symphony of avian melodies, making it an irresistible destination for enthusiasts and novices alike.

    While the city thrills with its cultural and historical richness, showcased brilliantly through its UNESCO World Heritage sites, the true allure for ornithologists is its teeming birdlife. Pokhara takes pride in being the sanctuary for the Spiny Babbler (locally known as 'Kande Bhyakur'), an avian species that is solely endemic to Nepal. Furthermore, the wetlands of Pokhara, specifically Fewa Lake, Begnas Lake, and Rupa Lake, beckon with a promise of diverse waterfowl sightings. These habitats pulsate with life, hosting a plethora of both winter and summer-visiting birds.

    Bird Watching in Pokhara

    As one immerses in the serene backdrop of Pokhara, a cavalcade of bird species might grace their binoculars. The nocturnal calls of the Asian Barred Owls, the colorful flights of the Great Barbets, Niltavas Kalij, and the Crimson Sunbird create a mesmerizing tableau. With a touch of luck, one might also spot the vibrant Green Magpie and the striking Red-billed Blue Magpie. Of particular significance is the sighting of the Spiny Babbler, Nepal's unique feathered gem.

    For those with a penchant for raptors, Pokhara does not disappoint. The skies might be adorned by the Mountain Hawk Eagle, Bonelli’s Eagle, Lesser Spotted Eagle, and Steppe Eagle. Adding to the raptor spectacle are the Shaheen Falcon, Himalayan Griffon Vulture, Egyptian Vulture, Shikra, Eurasian Griffon, northern sparrow-hawk, and Common Kestrel. And let's not forget the various sunbirds, each adding a dash of color to the verdant landscape.

    Some of the nearby Places for Bird Watching around Pokhara 

    In the heart of Nepal, the city of Pokhara is a magnet for those intrigued by nature's splendors. While the city itself is an aviary wonderland, the surrounding areas only accentuate its charm, beckoning birdwatchers with their diverse ecosystems and avian inhabitants.

    Fewa Lake around Pame Wetland 

    Fewa Lake, augmented by the verdant Pame Wetland, serves as an idyllic backdrop for observing a myriad of bird species. This wetland ecosystem pulsates with life, echoing with the melodic notes of birds from dawn till dusk. While gliding over the tranquil waters, one might spot a playful Duck or a Gull skimming the water's surface. The agile Tern often sweeps the sky, and on a lucky day, you might catch a glimpse of the graceful Kestrel hovering above. The wetland grasses rustle with the movements of Buntings and Pipits. Wading Egrets skim the water for their next meal, while overhead, Vultures and other Raptors circle, casting their majestic shadows below.

    Begnas lake and the Pachabhaiya danda

    A short distance from Pokhara, Begnas Lake lies cradled amidst the mountains, its pristine waters reflecting the sky above. Pachabhaiya Danda, a vantage point nearby, provides panoramic views of the lake and its surrounding landscapes. But it's not just the scenery that captivates here. The avian life is just as compelling. The melodic calls of the Ashy Bulbul resonate through the woods, often accompanied by the vibrant Minivet flitting from branch to branch. The raucous calls of the Treepie might grab your attention next. As you cast your gaze towards the lake, various wetland birds can be seen, adding their unique beauty to the landscape. The skies aren't devoid of action either, with various Raptors riding the thermals, their keen eyes always on the lookout.

    In the environs of Pokhara, every nook and cranny holds the promise of a unique avian encounter, making it an unparalleled destination for those enthralled by the world of birds.

    Bird Watching in Mardi Himal (Trek)

    Nestled amidst the towering peaks of the Himalayas, the Mardi Himal Trek beckons not just trekkers and nature enthusiasts but also avid birdwatchers. This trek offers an unmatched blend of breathtaking mountain vistas and a myriad of avian wonders, making it a treasure trove for those seeking nature's pristine beauty.

    • An Avian Extravaganza

    Mardi Himal is nothing short of an ornithological paradise. As one ventures deeper into its trails, the soft trills and vibrant plumage of the Himalayan monal (proudly Nepal's national bird) can often be spotted. The elusive Satyr tragopan, with its brilliant hues, often plays hide and seek amidst the foliage. The rhythmic drumming of woodpeckers adds to the forest's natural symphony, and one can't help but be captivated by the melodic calls of laughing thrushes.

    Hovering majestically above are the Himalayan vultures, their keen eyes surveying the ground below. The playful antics of magpies, tits, and warblers entertain, while the melodious songs of bulbuls and finches echo through the valleys. Keeping them company are the vibrant minivets and the curious though, adding more colors and sounds to the trek's rich tapestry.

    • More Than Just Birds

    While the bird life is undoubtedly a major draw, the Mardi Himal Trek offers more than just avian encounters. The panoramic views of the Annapurna range, Fishtail, and Lamjung Himal are nothing short of awe-inspiring. The trek comes alive during dawn and dusk, as the first rays of the sun bathe the peaks in a golden hue, making for unforgettable moments.

    Furthermore, the trek provides a cultural immersion into the traditions of the Gurung and Magar communities. Their warmth, hospitality, and age-old customs add depth to the trekking experience, ensuring that the journey is as much about the soul as it is about nature.

    Here is the name of some other famous Bird watching locations in Nepal

    Nepal, with its unique topography and diverse ecosystems, offers some of the world's best bird-watching sites. From the terai grasslands to the alpine meadows and dense forests, Nepal is a haven for ornithologists and bird lovers alike. Let's delve into some of the country's most renowned bird-watching destinations:

    Annapurna Conservation Area

    Nestled in the heart of the Himalayas, the Annapurna Conservation Area (ACA) is more than just a trekking paradise. Its diverse habitats, ranging from subtropical forests to alpine meadows, are home to over 450 species of birds. From the vibrant Himalayan monal to the elusive snow partridge, ACA provides an unparalleled bird-watching experience amidst breathtaking landscapes.

    Koshi Tappu

    Situated in the eastern plains of Nepal, Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve is a birding hotspot, especially known for its waterfowl and waders. Hosting more than 280 bird species, it's a favorite spot for migratory birds like the critically endangered Bengal florican, spot-billed pelican, and the lesser adjutant. The barrage area is particularly vibrant, with large flocks converging during migration seasons.

    Manaslu Region

    The Manaslu Region, with its remote trails and pristine forests, offers a secluded bird-watching experience. The region boasts diverse habitats that are home to species like the Tibetan snowcock, blood pheasant, and various species of rosefinches. As one ascends higher, sightings of high-altitude specialists like the Grandala and Himalayan griffon become common.


    Located in the far western region of Nepal, Shuklaphanta National Park is a blend of grasslands, forests, and wetlands. It is an excellent place for spotting grassland birds like the Finn's weaver, rufous-rumped grassbird, and Jerdon's babbler. The park also hosts various raptors, owls, and other migratory birds, making it a diverse birding destination.

    The Mountain Area

    Generic though it may sound, the mountain areas of Nepal are nothing short of an avian paradise. From the green-cloaked valleys to the snow-covered peaks, these areas host species adapted to high-altitude living. Birds like the golden eagle, snow pigeon, and Lammergeier can often be spotted soaring against the backdrop of majestic Himalayan peaks.

    These locations in Nepal, each with its distinct charm and bird species, offer immersive experiences that not only satiate the quest for avian wonders but also rejuvenate the soul with their natural beauty. Birding in Nepal is truly an experience of a lifetime!

    Nepal, with its diverse landscapes and ecosystems, stands as a premier destination for bird-watching enthusiasts. From the majestic Himalayan ranges to the serene Terai grasslands, each region offers a unique assembly of avian wonders. Whether it's the migratory flocks at Koshi Tappu or the high-altitude specialists in the Annapurna Conservation Area, Nepal's bird-watching sites promise an unparalleled experience for every nature lover. Embarking on this enchanting journey through nature's vibrant tapestry becomes even more memorable with a trusted travel partner like Luxury Holiday Nepal, ensuring every moment is treasured.

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Bird Watching in Nepal:

    Q. What is the best time of year for bird watching in Nepal?

    A. While bird watching can be enjoyed year-round in Nepal, the best times are during the spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) when migratory birds are present.

    Q. Which region in Nepal boasts the highest bird diversity?

    A. Chitwan National Park is renowned for hosting over 576 bird species, making it one of the top spots for bird diversity in Nepal.

    Q. Are there any endemic bird species in Nepal?

    A. Yes, the Spiny Babbler is a bird species endemic to Nepal.

    Q. Do I need a permit for bird watching in Nepal's national parks?

    A. Yes, most national parks and conservation areas require an entry permit, which can be obtained at the park entrance or relevant tourism offices.

    Q. Can I combine bird watching with trekking in Nepal?

    A. Absolutely! Many trekking routes, such as Mardi Himal, offer both incredible bird-watching opportunities and breathtaking mountain views.

    Q. Is it necessary to have a guide for bird watching?

    A. While it's possible to go bird-watching independently, hiring a local guide can enhance the experience. They can help identify species and lead you to prime birding spots.

    Q. What equipment should I bring for bird watching in Nepal?

    A. Essential items include binoculars, a field guidebook on Himalayan birds, a notebook, and a camera with a good zoom lens.

    Q. Are there any bird-watching tours offered by Luxury Holiday Nepal?

    A. Yes, Luxury Holiday Nepal offers specialized bird-watching tours, ensuring a comprehensive and enriching experience for enthusiasts.

    Q. How accessible are bird-watching locations from major cities like Kathmandu and Pokhara?

    A. Many bird-watching spots, such as Shivapuri National Park and Phulchoki, are easily accessible from Kathmandu. Similarly, Fewa Lake and other birding areas are close to Pokhara.

    Q. Can I see the Himalayan Monal, Nepal's national bird, during my visit?

    A. The Himalayan Monal is often spotted in higher altitudes, like the Annapurna Conservation Area and Mardi Himal trek.

    If you are looking for some of the best tours and treks in Nepal then please, click here.
    If you need any further information, please contact us by email: [email protected], Phone: +977- 985 100 5129 (WhatsApp)

    Drop us a message

    Jyoti Karki is an expert travel blogger. She has been writing blogs for a long time. Along with writing about diverse locations. She personally travels to many different places, went hiking and trekking in Nepal, and has also visited several areas of India and enjoys writing on her blogs about them.

    Blog by Categories