Bird: Members of a local birding group, Birds of Bhutan, recorded 351 birds since it was formed in October 1, last year.

Birds of Bhutan, which can be accessed on Facebook, was established to exchange information related to bird species found in the country. As of last night, it had 3,171 members, comprising of mostly keen birders, both from inside and outside the country.

Foreign birders who have visited Bhutan have also submitted their sightings of birds during their visit to the country.

“The group aims to contribute in building up the knowledge related to birds, their migration patterns, breeding habitats and population trends in Bhutan,” the report states.

The report released in early October this year states that more than 350 species of birds was recorded in one year.

Birders submitted photographs of their sightings. The list includes land and water birds, either vagrant or breeding in the country.

According to the report, its members observed the critically endangered White-bellied Heron (ardea insignis), four vulnerable birds, and nine near-threatened specimens under the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

Sightings also include the Beautiful Nuthatch (Sitta formosa), Rufous-necked Hornbill (Aceros nipalensis), Great Hornbill (Buceros bicornis), Black-necked Crane (Grus nigricollis) and Pallas’s-fish Eagle (Haliaeetus leucoryphus).

Other species observed include the Satyr Tragopan (Tragopan satyra), Yellow-rumped Honeyguide (Indicator xanthonotus), Ward’s Trogon (Harpactes wardi) and Alexandrine Parakeet (Psittacula eupatria).

Though 351 comprises only 45 percent of the 715 bird species in the country, the record has contributed to understanding bird diversity and their conservation.

“Some of the posts made in the group were significant to validate the presence of threatened bird species in Bhutan,” the report states.

While listed as vulnerable, the Beautiful Nuthatch was spotted from Morong in Samdrupjongkhar in April this year. The critically endangered White-bellied Heron was recorded in the Phochhu in Punakha in November last year and on the banks of Drangmechhu in Trashiyangtse in April this year.

A number of its members also spotted the Palla’s-fish Eagle from Sengor in Mongar, Bumthang and Dochula in Thimphu. The report also recorded several observations of another threatened bird species, the Black-necked Crane and a rare sighting of one in Paro in February.

A Yellow-rumped Honeyguide (Indicator xanthonotus) was also spotted in Namling, which is considered one of the birding hotspots in the country.

Besides the above specimens, the members also recorded other birds like Snow Patrige (Lerwa lerwa), Tibetan Snowcock (Tetraogallus tibetanus), Indian Peafowl (Pavo cristatus), Shikra (Accipiter badius), Greater Coucal (Centropus sinensis), and the Pied Kingfisher(Ceryle rudis), among others.

Tempa Wangdi