Bird Watching

Bhutan, a rampart stretch of the Himalayas nestled between Tibet and India, holds some of the most extensive remaining tracts of Himalayan forest. Bhutan has opened its doors to visitors, allowing us to explore its wonderland of birds from Ibisbill to parrotbills. It even has its own field guide from which to sort out all the niltavas, tesias, yuhinas, minlas, fulvettas, laughingthrushes, scimitar-babblers, and barwings! A surprisingly good road permits us to encounter many species reduced through habitat loss elsewhere and to view the cultural setting of remote regions far beyond the capital.

By far greatest diversity of Himalayan bird species is to be found in the Eastern Himalayas and a journey through Bhutan provides the opportunity to see such delights as White-bellied Heron, Satyr Tragopan, Himalayan Monal, Blood Pheasant, Dark-rumped Swift, Ward’s Trogon, Rufous-necked Hornbill, Yellow-rumpedHoneyguide, Coral-billed and Slender-billed Scimitar-Babblers, Long-billed, Rufous-throated, Bar-winged and Spotted Wren-Babblers, the strange Sikkim Wedge-billed Babbler, the near-endemic Bhutan Laughingthrush, Yellow-throated Fulvetta, White-napedYuhina, Fulvous, Great, Brown and Greater Rufous-headed Parrotbills, Blue-fronted Robin, Broad-billed Warbler, Beautiful Nuthatch and a cacophony of laughingthrushes, just to mention some of the endless highlights this fantastic journey has to offer.

This also enables us to be on the spot at some truly superb birding locations to walk through oak and rhododendron forests in search of several superb pheasants, Cutia, Scarlet Finch, Fire-tailed Myzornis, and the enormous Rufous-necked Hornbill.

Bhutan's resident birds will be in full song and many migrants will be heading north. Species that move to higher altitudes to breed should still be present at lower elevations where they have wintered, while rock-thrushes and others will be arriving from southern India to breed. As a bonus, many species of intensely colored rhododendrons and magnolias should be in flower.

The following is a comprehensive list of the endangered birds of Bhutan:

  • Baer’s Pochard
  • Beautiful Nuthatch
  • Black-necked Stork
  • Blackish-breasted Babbler
  • Blyth’s Kingfisher
  • Chestnut-breasted Partridge
  • Dark-rumped Swift
  • Eurasian Curlew
  • Eurasian Peregrine Falcon
  • Ferruginous Duck
  • Gray-crowned Prinia
  • Great Hornbill
  • Lesser Fish-eagle
  • Palla’s Fish-eagle
  • Pallid Harrier
  • Rufous-necked Hornbill
  • Rufous-throated Wren-babbler
  • Satyr Tragopan
  • Ward’s Trogon
  • White-rumped Vulture
  • White-throated Bushcat
  • Woodsnipe
  • Yellow-rumpedHoneyguide
  • Black-necked Crane
  • Imperial Heron
  • White-bellied Heron
Go to Top