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Birds and Butterflies in
Birds and Butterflies in Sikkim
Khangchendzonga - the third highest peak dominates the horizon, within such
a small size and land area of 7096 sq. kms, bio-diversity in Sikkim can undoubtedly
be one of immense interest to ecologist and environmentalists, earth scientist
and nature lovers, botanist and biologists in equal measures. Sikkim epitomises
the pithy saying: Small is Beautiful.
There is a great variety and numerical abundance of the resident birdlife
with an overall 550 species which would account as much as 30% of the aggregate
bird species found in India, Nepal, Bhutan, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
From pheasants and tragopans, thrushes and magpies, to hawk-eagles and kingfishers,
the variety and richness is breathtaking.
of the 1400 species of butterfly fauna found in the Indian Subcontinent as
many as 700 species occur in Sikkim. of the diversified butterfly fauna, Sir
Joseph Dalton Hooker, thus said: " by far the most striking feature consisted
in the amazing quantity of superb butterflies, large tropical sallowtails,
black with scarlet or yellow eyes on their wings. They were seen everywhere
majestically through the still hot air, or fluttering from one scorching rock
to another and especially loving to settle on the damp sand of the river edge,
where they sat by thousands with erect wings, balancing themselves with a rocking
motion as their heavy sails inclined them to one side or the other, resembling
a crowded fleet of yachts on a calm day. Such an entomological display cannot
forest stands are very diverse, and non-forested areas-such as cliffs, high
alpine meadows, cascading streams and places all provide places birds to feed,
rest and raise their young. A wide variety of residential and non-residential
birds can be seen along the trail at different elevations and in different seasons.
About 180 big and small lakes spread over Sikkim's folds and faults are the
habitat of an umpteen number of resident and migratory waterfowl and for Brahminy
ducks principally, they are the permanent breeding habitats. Recent study
results of about 47
species of waterfowl ranging from Blacknecked Grebe and
Large Coromorant to Egret and Brownheaded Gull. Also found to occur are the
Herons, Lapwing, Crake, Moorhen and Snipes.
Planning your birding trip
Your Birding itinerary depends upon your interests, the duration of the planned
trip, and other matters such as your budget. We feel the best way to finalize
your itinerary is to first survey the birding sites described on this site,
and our standard itineraries, then decide what you want. Thereafter together,
via e-mail, we can formulate your trip plan.
The best time for birding in the Eastern Himalayas is Feb to mid May and
Oct - Nov, though any time of the year can be productive. The rainy season
is not a good time (June - September inclusive).
The duration of your tour can be as long as you like. You will find our suggestions
of days required for each birding site. We have four itineraries, for ready
reference. These can be tailored to your requirements.
For first timers it will help to do some home work and come prepared with the
under mentioned birding basics. Once you are at the site, our landscape and
avifauna is a natural classroom
||Names and classification - common names and scientific names
||Knowledge of how to use binoculars, and maintain records.