Chitwan is one of the richest areas of Nepal in terms of biodiversity. The area is home to the Chitwan National Park, Nepal’s oldest conservation area, and a designated UNESCO natural heritage site. While elephants, crocodiles, and rhinos receive a lot of attention from visitors, many people going there do not get to experience the bird life.
But the world of birds is equally fascinating. The birds come not only in different colours, but also in different shapes and sizes. Here’s a list of birds you can spot in Chitwan:
The little egret (Egretta garzetta) is a white bird with a slender black beak, long black legs. It mostly lives in water, and eats a variety of small creatures. The bird is commonly seen in wetlands of Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia. It prefers warm locations and that is why its cousins in Europe migrate to Africa and South Asia for winter.
The Honey buzzard has a long neck with a small head (resembling that of a pigeon) and flies on flat wings. It has a distinct long tail and a short head crest. The sexes of the bird can be easily distinguished. The male is observed to have a blue-grey head, while the female’s head is brown. It is believed to breed in Asia and many members of the species migrate to to Siberia during the summer and come back during the winter.
The darter is mainly a tropical waterbird. The ‘snakebird’ has a long thin neck that has been compared with a snake. the name ‘darter’ alludes to the way they get their food. It impales fish with its thin, pointed beak. It has a long black tail and in some parts of the world, they are hunted.
The Alexandrine parakeet is named after Alexander the Great, who is credited with exporting this bird from South Asia to European and the Mediterranean. Commonly known as ‘parrot’, the bird is one of the most easy spots in Chitwan.
The hoopoe a colourful bird found in Europe, Africa and Africa. Its distinctive ‘crown’ of feathers sets it apart from other birds in Chitwan. It also has a peculiar cry.