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bird watching
Adventures in Thailand > Bird Watching

Bird Watching


About Bird Watching in Thailand

Bird watching can be an interesting part of your trip if you intend to do some jungle trekking and camping. With 96 National Parks, 48 Wildlife Sanctuaries and a numbers of Non-Hunting areas, Watershed Reserves, Forest Parks and Biosphere Reserves that have been protected by law, Thailand is one of THE foremost destinations for bird watching where different variety of birds can be seen all year round at different points in time.

More than 900 species of birds or 10% of the world's bird species have been recorded in Thailand. Most of the birds found here are shared species and subspecies residing in Thailand and in the plains of Myanmar to the west, Indochina to the east and Malaysia in the southern peninsula. Thailand is also An important area for a wide variety of migrant birds from Northern Eurasia. The majority of birds are found in forested national parks or sanctuaries where they are still fertile enough to support a number of umbrella bird species such as woodpeckers and hornbills. Small birds like jungle babblers, sunbirds, fly catchers and flower-peckers also abound posing sighting challenges for birders. Forest of secondary growth, grassland, lowland water swamp, wetland and coastal areas also support a great variety of interesting open-country and water birds.


bird watching

bird watching destinations      

How to get started?

For novice bird watchers, start your research at the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT)s website at There are a number of really great websites regarding bird watching in Thailand, the most notable being, and Also visit the Bird Conservation Society of Thailand (BCST) and Siam Society websites for bird watching expeditions.

Bird Watching Destinations

Central Thailand

Khao Yai National Park is the closest national park to Bangkok and probably the most popular bird watching site in the country. One of the country's larger parks spanning 3 provinces, it is home to rare species of birds, most notably, all four species of hornbill: the great, wreathed, oriental pied and brown. Another prominent location for bird watching is Kaeng Krachan National Park, home to 250 species of birds which include the hornbill and the grey peacock.


Northern Thailand

The North of Thailand is home to 364 species of birds, many of them not seen elsewhere in the country. The best time for bird watching here is from November to February. The best known sites for sightings are Doi Inthanon National Park and Doi Ang Khang.


Northeast Thailand

Khao Yai National Park extends into northeast Thailand and a popular destination for bird watching as well as all kind, of nature related activities such as camping, trekking, etc. Other notable sites in the northeast are Nam Nao National Park and Phu Khiao Wildlife Sanctuary.

bird watching

Southern Thailand

Prominent sites include Sam Roi Yod National Park, Khao Sok National Park, Hala-Bala Wildlife Sanctuary and Khao Pra Bang Khram Wildlife Sanctuary.


Best time for Bird Watching

December February is the best time for bird watching, promising sightings of not only resident species, but also migrating birds from northern Palearctic where the weather is reliably cool, with no rain.

March May is the second best period for bird watching as it is the breeding season for resident species. During this period, birds start calling making them easier to spot. Winter visitors are still also present in Thailand at this time.

April May is Thailand's hottest period and a good time to sight birds on their spring (return) passage.

June August is Thailand's wettest season and a time when the forest is most lush. During this time most resident birds are breeding and migration is largely over however, it is still possible to sight rare species.

September November is still relatively wet where one can expect some rain. This is a good time to view the autumn migration of waders, raptors and some passerine.

best time for bird watching

References / Service Provider

For a listing of bird species found in Thailand, visit the Thailand Ecotourism & Adventure Travel Association (TEATA) at, Nature Trails and Friends of Nature These 3 sites are a great reference point for learning the variety of birds in Thailand and bird watching periods for the different species. They also contain highly detailed information on the different types of forest and vegetation in Thailand's varied regions that makes for an interesting read, especially for avid bird watchers.

The Thailand Ecotourism & Adventure Travel Association (TEATA) at is especially useful if you're planning a trip as it contains trip ideas that include bird watching.




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