Bird Watching Tours

Popularly known for its pristine environment, Bhutan is a haven for numerous bird species, including those not found elsewhere, and those that are endangered. Home to over 700 species of birds, Bhutan can well be called the bird watcher’s paradise.

The presence of rare and endangered bird species in the country has led to an increase in the number of tourists who visit especially to view them in their natural habitats. Bird watching tours have become popular in Bhutan.

Bhutan today has over 70% forest cover. Bhutan’s constitution requires that Bhutan maintain at least 60% forest cover for all times to come. For the biological diversity, it is known as the East Himalayan ‘hotspot.’  Fifty-seven percent of Bhutan’s globally threatened birds and 90% of the kingdom’s rare birds depend on forests. The lush forest and the geographical variation provide wide range of climatic conditions for resident and migratory birds. Some of these birds migrate up and down the mountains depending on the seasons.

The best known of these migrants is the black-necked crane that breeds in Tibet and migrates over the Himalayas to spend the winter in several beautiful valleys of Bhutan. Phobjikha valley in Wangdiphodrang and Bomdeling in Trashiyangtse are two especially important locations of the endangered black-necked cranes. Because of its proximity to the capital, Thimphu, Phobjikha has become a favourite hub for black-necked crane watchers. Other birds that migrate during winter are buntings, waders, ducks, thrushes and the birds of prey. Some 40 species are partial migrants, and they include species such as swifts, cuckoos, bee-eaters, fly catchers and warblers. Bhutan is also home to the white-bellied heron, which is one of the rarest birds in the world.

More than 50 percent of the total forest falls under parks, protected areas, and reserved forests. Bhutan’s state policy and people’ sensitivities and religious beliefs have helped Bhutan conserve its environment and create home to some of the most exotic and rarest birds in the world.