Bird Watching around Dharamshala
Hotel Eagles Nest, a secluded, sophisticated & Eco-friendly resort
- 556 species of birds at our doorstep, guides arranged for professionals and amateurs
- Abundant wildlife: leopards, black bears, pinemartens, porcupines, mongoose, barking deer, langur monkeys, wildcats, flying squirrels
- Luxury accommodations with marble bathrooms & veranda
- Gourmet cuisine. Own natural springwater
- Outdoor adventure activities arranged
- Special group rates
For exciting Bird Watching Holiday Packages, contact us!
Eagles Nest is listed as “Favorite Himachal Hideaway” in the 2010 Frommers Travel Guide :
- Himalayan mountain slopes descend to meet the plains – perfect to observe hundreds of species of birds.
- Well-known, respected enthusiast Jan Willem den Besten from Holland, lived on this hill and wrote a superb book: Birds of Kangra, pub. 2004, Moonpeak, Dharamsala).
- Also, the work of Salim Ali, the Godfather of Indian birding is a wonderful inspiration. See his charmingly illustrated book, Hill Birds of India ( pub.1962).
- Referred to as Kangra Valley and the Dhauladhar Hills (a range of Himalayan foothills in Himachal Pradesh state). Few towns, many small villages, a few roads, jeep tracks and hiking trails. Land is fertile and green with forests and rivers, mainly used for farming, tourism and trekking.
- There are five zones for the 556 bird species recorded here: one of the richest Birding areas in South Asia.
The five zones are:
1.Eagles Nest hill: Dhauladhar Hills (Altitude 2827 Mts. Areas are Galu Temple, Dharamkot, Guna Temple Satowari, Letta, Indru Nag Tea Garden, Triund, Rehri, Kareri Village):
Summer: (15th of March to 15th July): The grand backdrop of the mighty Himalayas provides spectacular views for walkers trekking along the many well defined paths through the forests of Deodar Cedar and Rhododendron – natives of the area.
- Himalayan Monal (National bird of Nepal), can be seen in all its fabulous colours at this time of year, the breeding season, and makes sighting easy.
- The Western Tragopan, now State Bird of Himachal Pradesh, is currently of interest to bird watchers and conservationists worldwide. The Tragopan is on the Red list of endangered species – usually requiring a camp set up for watching. The Cheer Pheasant is another bird from the region which is also on the Red list of IUCN.
- A major attraction of this mountainous area is the number of large birds of prey, including the huge Himalayan Griffon Vulture, the Golden Eagle, and the Lammergeier or Bearded Vulture – known for its enormous wingspan (up to 3m) and habit of dropping bones onto rocks from a height to split them for the marrow inside.
Other birds include: Kalij Pheasant, Himalayan Blue Magpie, Oriental Turtle Dove, Snow Pigeon, Barn Owl, Collared Owlet, Great Barbet, Coppersmith Barbet, Himalayan Woodpecker, Rufous-bellied Woodpecker, Asian House Martin, White-cheeked Nuthatch, Chestnut-bellied Rock Thrush, Tawny Owl, Dark-sided Flycatcher, Slaty-headed Parakeet, Eurasian & Hawk Cuckoos, Alpine Swift, Yellow Grosbeak, Brambling, Booted Eagle, Steppe Eagle, Black Eagle, Hume’s Warbler, Chestnut-tailed Minla, Himalayan Swiftlet, Grey Nightjar, Eurasian Hobby, Mountain Finch, Rosefinch, Green Shrike Babbler, Scimitar Babbler, Rufous-vented Tit and others.
2. ong Wetland (Altitude 324 Mts): One of the largest (403 Sq.km) internationally recognized (RMASAR) lakes in Northern India.
- Protected wetland areas, open water and forested shores.
- A winter home for large numbers (1,000,000 to 1,400,000) of migratory water birds coming from Trans Himalayan Zones.
- The total number of migratory bird species has been recorded as 240 species and resident birds as 210 species.
Wintering Migratory Birds of Pong wetland (Areas are Sansarpur-Terrese, Haripur, Katiyar, Jawali, Ransar, Shahner-Barrage, Dehra, Nagrota Surian, Guler, Bangoli) : Painted Stork, Black-necked Stork, Eurasion Spoonbill, Black-headed Ibis, Asian Openbill, Lesser Adjutant, Woolly-necked Stork, Great Crested Grebe, Little Grebe, Great Cormorant, Greyleg Goose, Bar-headed Goose, Ruddy Shelduck, Northern Pintail, Common Teal, Mallard, Gadwall, Eurasian Wigeon, Northern Shoveller, Red-crested Pochard, Common Pochard, Ferruginous Pochard, Tufted Duck, Common Merganser, Duck Spec, Ruddy-breasted Crake, White-breasted Crake, Eurasian Curlew, Common Greenshank, Green Sandpiper, Wood Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, Common Snipe, Jack Snipe, Temminck’s Stilt, Dunlin, Black-winged Stilt, Pied Avocet, Eurasian Thick-Knee. Great thick-Knee, Small Pratincole, Yellow-legged Gull, Pallas’s Gull, Brown-headed Gull, Black-headed Gull, and Whiskered Tern are some of the main attractions among 240 species of migratory birds.
3. Shivalik Hills (Areas are Lunj, Sakoh, Sarah Tea Garden): The beautiful region of Sarah village is surrounded by the famous Organic Tea Gardens of Kangra Valley.
- Home to summer visitor birds from the plains of India who breed here.
Spring-Summer visitor and resident birds of Shivalik Hills: the beautiful blue and white Himalayan Magpie, wild peacocks and hens, Emerald Dove, Paradise Flycatcher, Red Jungle Fowl, Spangled Drongo, Asian Koel, Common Hoopoe, Common Iora, Eurasian Golden Oriole, Northen House Martin, Barn Swallow, Common Woodshrike, Long-tailed Shrike, Brown Shrike, Rufous-tailed Shrike, Brown Dipper.
4. High Altitude Dhauladhar around Ilaqua and beyond Indrahar Pass (Altitude 4300 Mts): Trekking up to the high passes could attract the adventurous birdwatcher.
- Good local guides and organizers are available to make these trips both comfortable and fun.
Summer (15th May to 30th of September): Snow Partridge, Hill Partridge, Altai Accentor, Alpine Accentor, Himalayan Snow Cock, Koklass Pheasant, Grey-crested Tit, amongst others are the main features.
5. Kangra Valley’s Paddy Fields (Altitude 300 Mts):
Monsoon (15 June to 30 August): Displays of Sarus Crane with its juveniles and nests of Cattle Egret in colonies can be seen in the paddy fields and forests of this lush rural area.
- Indian Peafowl – Peacock, the National Bird of India, can be seen in forests where it breeds.
- White–rumped Vulture (Red list Bird), Green Bee-eater, Spotted Forktail, Rock Bunting, Purple Sunbird, Rufous Treepie, Black Francolin, Shikra, as well as many flycatchers, redstarts and others.
All in all, this region holds a wealth of sightings for any bird enthusiast – in an area of extraordinary natural variety and beauty.