Best Places to Go Birdwatching
The following is an article “Places to Go Birdwatching” by Marc Pulisci.
There are over 10,000 species of birds all over the world and birdwatching remains to be one of the most interesting recreational wildlife activities among nature enthusiasts. Some may wait around for migratory birds to come and marvel at them with the naked eye, but true citizen scientists buy expensive DSLR cameras and telescopes to capture tight photos and glimpses of the rarest birds out there.
While birds exist in most countries, only a few are handpicked by professional birdwatchers for great vantage points, and the opportunity to catch unique species. The beauty of this hobby is that it not only teaches us the fantastic traits of various types of these winged creatures but also gets us closer to nature as well. If you’re an avid traveler and birdwatcher, then check out these fantastic destinations where you can enjoy both.
Manu National Park, Peru
Over a thousand species call this beautiful park’s forests home. The birds are so at home that most of them can even be seen landing on the road leading to the Amazon Rainforest. Manu National Park features a diverse range of natural habitation where birds thrive and birdwatchers will have a heyday taking pictures. However, a large area of the park is off-limits to enthusiasts for safety reasons. Despite this, going up higher terrain will give you good views of numerous species that frequent the place.
Kruger National Park, South Africa
While Manu National Park is home to thousands of bird species, birdwatchers who visit Kruger National Park in South Africa are only keen on capturing sightings of six rare bird species: Pel’s fishing owl, southern ground hornbill, the saddle-billed stork, martial eagle, lappet-faced vulture, and kori bustard. Otherwise known as the ‘Big Six’ of Kruger, these birds were selected by park officials based on their uniqueness which draws birdwatchers from all over every year. But there are more species in Kruger that you can spot at random especially at the Luvuvhu River. Tour groups are available if you want to see the park’s safari that lets you see elephants, lions, and rhinos among others.
Everglades National Park, Florida, USA
Despite threats of development and a looming environmental crisis that many conservationists are trying to avert, the Everglades in Florida remains as one of the prime hotspots for birdwatching in the United States. The national park was established particularly to protect the watershed area’s bird population. Hundreds of species remain in the Everglades including white-crowned pigeons, roseate spoonbills, wood storks, and snowy egrets. The best season to watch is from January to April, and the best time of the day is during sunrise.
Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park, Philippines
Palawan in the Philippines has plenty of good birdwatching sites, but this National Park is considered as one of the important bird areas by Birdlife International. Five threatened species and 15 endemic birds call the park home, together with over 195 other species. Among the threatened species that can be spotted at the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park are the Philippine cockatoo, Chinese egret, and the Palawan pheasant.
Khao Sok National Park, Thailand
Also in Asia, this park is located at the southern part of the country where hornbills frequently visit. Exotic tropical bird species of about 400 can be spotted in certain areas of the park, but if you want to get a better view, you may do so by taking a boat ride in the reservoir. Half-day tours are available so you can spot a colorful gamut of bird species like the chestnut-headed Bee-eater, Osprey Eagle, sunbirds, and Brahminy Kite among others.
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