Kathmandu, June 11
As summer engulfs the country, migratory birds from the south have come to Nepal as is their custom for breeding, and other species of birds that migrate from north have returned to their summer habitats.
Many of these migratory birds come from Sub-Saharan Africa, a journey of more than 5,000 km to Nepal. Others come from South-east Asia, North-east India, and South India.
Ornithologist and Nepal’s Country Director of Zoological Society of London Dr Hem Sagar Baral informed that all species of winter migratory birds, about 40 to 50 of them, have reached the forests of Nepal.
“All migratory birds that come to Nepal every year have reached various forests in the Tarai, the hills, and the foothills of mountain areas,” he said, adding, “Most of them stay until October, and then return to their winter habitats.”
Baral said these birds migrate to Nepal in search of food and to escape competitions for survival. These birds need easily accessible food, good weather, and less competition during breeding season.
Unlike other sub-tropical countries, Nepal has longer days in summer, giving the birds up to 14 hours a day to forage for food, a luxury they don’t have in their native countries.
Of the birds that migrate to Nepal, the bulk are various species of cuckoos, such as pied cuckoos, Eurasian cuckoos, and oriental cuckoos. Other species include chestnut-headed bee-eater and Asian paradise flycatchers.
The birds begin to enter the country from the last week of March, and almost all birds reach Nepal by May. The pied cuckoo is perhaps the species that travels the longest distance among the migratory birds, whose journey starts from Sub-Saharan Africa.
Baral said this is the best season for birdwatchers and nature lovers to visit forests in Nepal.
Meanwhile, most winter migratory birds have returned their summer residence in China, Mongolia, Korea, Siberian region of Russia, and Central Asia. Every year, these birds come to Nepal to beat the cold. Most of these species are water birds who stay in the wetlands of the Tarai in winter.