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The Spirit of Living Things
 
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BirdsBirds

The Himalayas in general are an ornithological paradise: Nepal has more than 800 species, Sikkim and Bhutan more. Depending upon whose tally one adheres to, this compares favorably with the 1,200 to 1,800 species found in the entire Indian subcontinent. The abundance of birdlife reflects the extent of the diversity of life zones and habitats, as well as the central position of the Himalaya between two major biogeographical zones. The Kali Gandaki River of Nepal is usually considered the dividing line between the eastern and western avifauna. Himalayan birdlife was very much terra incognita until recently. Considering that the now well-catalogued Kingdom of Nepal has thrown up several species of birds new to science since the 1960s, one can only imagine what unexplored Bhutan has to offer. Birds can be seen in the highest altitudes, and many migrate over the Himalaya. Mountaineers have encountered choughs at 27,000 feet, heard snipes flying over the highest peaks at night, marveled at geese returning from their Tibetan breeding grounds, and found dead birds on windy cols.

BirdsThe best time to see birds in the Himalaya of Bhutan is in the spring and summer, because birds are in their breeding plumage's and are generally more approachable. At this time also the alpine valleys are ablaze with wildflowers.


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