Best time to travel to Bhutan

Birdwatching

Rare and endangered, bright and colourful, and amazing at dancing and singing—birds in Bhutan posses all imaginable characteristics and varieties

Birdwatching in Bhutan 2019 - Best Time
Photo by

© Ken Behrens

Bhutanese people believe in deities, symbols, and the magic power of nature, so birds play a crucial role in their everyday life. The arrival of Black-Necked Cranes, for example, marks the end of harvest and time for families to migrate to lower altitudes.

There are about 670 bird species in Bhutan, with around 50 of them being winter migrators. Both professional bird watchers and amateurs will definitely enjoy visiting Bhutan, as all forests and even mountain slopes are truly a bird paradise. At an altitude above 4,000 meters, you can find Tibetan Snowcocks, Snow Partridges, and Blue-fronted Redstarts. Though hard to find on the ground, Golden Eagles are truly the king of mountains peaks. If you descend down to the subtropical forests, Rufous-necked Hornbills and Beautiful Nuthatch will meet you among the fruit trees where they feed and breed. Across the valleys, Bhutan also hosts such graceful and endangered species as Imperial Herons and Black-Necked Cranes.

Blue-fronted Redstart 2020
Blue-fronted Redstart
Satyr Tragopan 2020
Satyr Tragopan
Himalayan Monal 2020
Himalayan Monal
White-tailed Nuthatch 2020
White-tailed Nuthatch

Depending on your aim, you can choose to visit various bird watching spots across the country, but the most populated with birds are Phobjikha Valley, which welcomes cranes from November till mid-February, and lowland forests around Gelephu, where spring season brings birds mating dances and, of course, the beauty of blooming trees and flowers.

Read more on black-necked cranes in Bhutan here.