Bhutan ‘s extensive bird list reflects the kingdom’s wide range of agro-ecological environments, from subtropical to alpine. Currently 675 species have been recorded in Bhutan . Most widely known are the Black Neck Cranes, a rare and endangered crane. In Bhutan , the Black Neck Crane holds a special place in folklore and Bhutanese hearts. To injure a Black Neck Crane in Bhutan is go to prison for life.
Hundreds flock to the Phobjikha Valley , a glacial valley in a remote area with no electrical power. Here the Black Neck Cranes are conservatory protected and can be viewed. There are many legends and myths about this bird. The Bhutanese call it Thrung Thrung. Black Neck Crane Dancers honor the bird with a festival dance. Other migratory birds as the Pailas’ fish eagle, which is considered rare, migrates through Bhutan between Tibet and northern India . This bird is often seen near Wangdi near spring. Often it will be spotted with Ospreys and Pied Avocet. Wintertime brings numerous species down to lower altitudes, including accentors, rose finches, grosbeaks, snow pigeons and pheasants such as the satyrtragopan, the Himalayan monal and the blood pheasant.
Even the casual observer can be sure to see the blue whistling-thrush, yellow blue magpie, the wallcreeper, white capped water redstarts, spotted nutcracker in the pine forest and the red-billed choughs on the roofs on the dzongs. All animals in Bhutan are protected by the Buddhist ethic that prohibits killing. Further protection in the 1995 Forest and Nature Conservation Act defines several species as totally protected. Black Neck Cranes, Monal Pheasant, Peacock, Pheasant, Raven and the Rufous-Necked Hornbill.
The following itinerary is a suggestion and can be modified according to length of your stay.
Bird-Watching Itinerary (End of March and all of April)
Note: Tour and Tour Information are subject to change.
01Arrive Paro, drive to your Paro/ overnight
02Drive to Thimphu , capitol of Bhutan , birding, overnight hotel
03A drive into the country a full day birding, return to Thimphu , Overnight at hotel.
04Drive to Dochula Pass (10,500 ft.) Overnight at hotel.
05Today we drive to Punakha. Overnight camp
06Entire day bird watching in Tashithang Valley, overnight at camp
07Depart Tashithang for Wangdue Pelela Pass. Overnight in Trongsa Hotel
08Drive from Trongsa to Kuengarabten. Overnight in Bumthang
09Depart Bumthang, for Gayzamchu
10Leave Gayzamchu for Sengor crossing Thumshingla pass, overnight Halt in Sengor.
11Continuing on to Thrumshingla – overnight camp at Yongkola Lingmithang.
12Lingmithang Birdwatching Full Day. Overnight Halt.
13Begin drive back to west. Photos stops. Overnight Hotel
14Continue our drive back toward the west, arrive Paro
15Depart for airport and your return home.