30 Seconds: The Birds (and the Bugs)…

This evening, after some unseasonably heavy rain, I returned home from work to a cloud of dragonfly-like bugs swarming across the garden. I followed their source, across the flower bed, to a patch of dirt where the bugs were hatching. They seemed to be materializing from thin air, struggling for just a few seconds to find their wings, then moments later they fluttered up and flew away. The crows had spotted them long before me, and were watching greedily from the surrounding rooftops. They watched, they waited, and then swooped down for bug snacks. The life span of some must have been less than one minute: a murder of crows, indeed!

Its not uncommon to see crows at dusk in Kathmandu, but you usually hear their raucous cries first. As the sun goes down, they circle the tree tops to nest for the night and it feels (and sounds) just like a Hitchcock movie. So, with apologies to Hitchcock, here are some shots of this evening’s bug and bird spectacular that happened right in my yard!

Birds of Nepal


Birds are everywhere. Waking up in Kathmandu during our first few weeks, it was a surprise hearing birds in the morning. On the 21st floor of a high rise tower in Manila we never heard them at all. In fact, we rarely saw birds at all in Manila. Kathmandu is packed with crows (that probably deserve a post all of their own)…but they are loud, obnoxious, and omnipresent. Many of Kathmandu’s religious sites are packed with swarms of pooping pigeons so, between Kathmandu’s two biggest bird populations, there aren’t the best examples of bird life. But fortunately they aren’t alone. I’ve seen green parrots in the mango tree, elegant yellow birds digging for worms on our lawn and little black tits flying around our yard.

But the best birds – and there are some amazing ones – are outside of the city. Chitwan was teeming with beautiful peacocks and tropical varieties, and birds of prey are everywhere here.  Here are some pictures from our travels:


The omnipresent crow…there always one looking down on you from somewhere…

black crows

…always. They are just waiting from a moment to fly down and swoop the food from your plate



….and they sneak up on you when you’re not looking. The farmers here had left their lunch unattended. Spot the crow!


In Shivapuri, we marveled at the incredible number of birds of prey in flight all at the same time: hawks, kytes and vultures circled overhead. Just look at them all….




white egret

My favorites though are the egrets, who just arrive and hang out for a while. They aren’t skiddish unlike most birds and loved to pose for pictures


Missing here are some photos of the beautiful, colourful Chitwan birds…so part two needs to follow later…