Best time to travel to Tibet

Tibetan Bunting

One of the rarest bird species in the world is observed and studied in Tibet since little is known about their lifestyle

Best time: November–May

Tibetan Bunting
Tibetan Bunting
Tibetan Bunting

Tibetian buntings are one of those birds no one can tell you much about. That's because it can be found only in most remote habitats. Its home is located in a tiny part on the eastern edge of the Tibetian plateau. You can spot buntings among the rugged peaks and isolated valleys. Nowadays a bit more information can be found about buntings thanks to the constant observations.

This bird has a black and white head and chestnut-colored back. From November till May they descend to lower elevations to stay in warmer places. During winter months they feed on oats and various other grains, while in summer they prefer butterflies, grasshoppers, and other insects. Bunting nesting areas are located on the ground. Their main predators are owls, foxes, and weasels.

Practical info

What is the Tibetan Bunting's habitat and location?

The Tibetan Bunting is a bird species that lives only in a small region in China's Xizang Autonomous Region, located in the Qomolangma National Nature Reserve at the eastern edge of the Tibetan plateau. Show more

When is the best time to see the Tibetan Bunting in Tibet?

The best time to observe the Tibetan Bunting in Tibet is between November and May when it is searching for warm shelter and descends from the high areas. However, visiting Tibet during the winter months can be challenging due to harsh weather. Show more

What distinctive features does the Tibetan Bunting have?

With its chestnut-colored back, black and white head, and light blue-gray bill, the Tibetan bunting, weighing around 18-22 g and measuring 14-15 cm in length, is a small bird. Male birds tend to have brighter colors compared to females, with both sexes being similar otherwise. Show more

What is the diet and nesting style of the Tibetan Bunting?

The Tibetan Bunting consumes a variety of grains, such as oats, as well as insects, including beetles, butterflies, and grasshoppers. During winter, the bird mostly eats seeds or grains. They build their nests on the ground, often in grassy areas, using dry grasses and finer elements like animal hair or feathers. Show more

What are the potential predators of the Tibetan Bunting in Tibet?

The Tibetan Bunting's predators include foxes, weasels, and owls in Tibet. While it is protected by its remote location, the species is still considered 'Near Threatened' by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) due to its limited population density and habitat range. Show more

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Last updated: by Eleonora Provozin