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Birding in Bhutan

Bhutan is blessed with one of the richest ecosystems on the face of the earth. Bhutan is a paradise for bird lovers and ornithologists. Birding in Bhutan is rewarding. Over 774 species of birds have been recorded and many more are yet to be discovered. Around 50 species of the known birds are winter migrants. These include ducks, waders, birds of prey, thrushes, finches and buntings.

Bhutan's moist climate & wide altitudinal range-from subtropical lowlands to arctic like mountain peaks-provide an array of climatic conditions and habitats, from tropical jungles to temperate forests and Tundra that support over 800 species of birds. They include some of the most exotic and rare species in the eastern Himalayas. Ten species of birds that are in danger of extinction are found in Bhutan including the Black- Necked Crane, which traditionally winters in the valley of Phobjikha and Bomdeling.

The diversity of bird life in Bhutan is accentuated by the migration of hundred of species between breeding grounds across a vast expanse of central Asia and wintering areas of subcontinent India.


Best Time For Birding in Bhutan

Over the years the kingdom has been attracting more and more birders, with most of the trip arriving in the spring from March through May when bird migration is at its peak. Although the number of species one may encounter is the greatest in the spring , birding in early winter months-when there are fewer birders can still be rewarding. For example , the black necked cranes would have migrated to its summer habitat in Tibet by Mid-March, while it is a guranteed sightseeing from late October to Mid March. The White bellied Heron, one of the 50 rarest birds in the world , is more likely to be seen in winter months than in spring when it is nestling and rearing its young. Other much sought after birds like the Ward's Tragon, Rufus Necked Hornbill and Beautiful Nuthatch are residents and can be seen throughout the year.

Whatever the season, birding in Bhutan offers not only an incredible array of species but also a rare opportunity to see unusual numbers of individual birds all at once. For example, golden -breasted fulvettas-birds that are considered rare elsewhere-have been seen in Bhutan flying around in the flock of 25;scores or even hundreds of laughing thrushes might be seen flocking together.

Birding Places in Bhutan

The vertical pitch to the landscape also makes the wide variety of habitats relatively accessible, with excellent birding  done frequently from road side stops. Picture a single pullover where one can scan on the one side of the road upslope into the shrubs and up to the treetops, and then pivot to peer into the canopy of the opposite of the road. Short walk along old footpaths offers extraordinary opportunities for birding in quite corners of landscape with minimal effort. Of course, more intensive multi day treks into the high country or lower elevations offer yet another level of unmatched birding experience.

You can check our Birding Tour and Packages here

  1. All Bhutan Birding Tour
  2. Western Bhutan Bird Watching Tour

Below are the list of Popular Birding Places in Bhutan which can be integrated in your Bhutan Tour as per your likeness.