Birding Factoids

775 species in 
70 families

10 endemic species
48 endangered species
51 speciality species
4 week trip expectation -
about 350 species

Checklist of Vietnamese BirdsTours and GuidesEco-LodgesSpeciality BirdsMap and General Information
See more of Christian Artuso's images South-East Asian Birds
Vietnam Specialities
Baya Weaver - Photo copyright Christian Artuso
Photo copyright Christian Artuso
Blue-throated Bee-eater - Photo copyright Laurence Poh
Photo copyright Laurence Poh
Scaly-crowned Babbler - Photo copyright Christian Artuso
Photo copyright Christian Artuso
Long-tailed Shrike - Photo copyright Nick Lowton
Photo copyright Nick Lowton

Pink-necked Green-Pigeon - Photo copyright Laurence Poh

Photo copyright Laurence Poh
Vietnamese Pheasant - Photo copyright Tragopan Pheasantry, Belgium
Photo copyright Tragopan Pheasantry, Belgium
Yellow-vented Pigeon - Photo copyright Christian Artuso
Photo copyright Christian Artuso
Black-and-red Broadbill - Photo copyright Laurence Poh
Photo copyright Laurence Poh
Banded Kingfisher - Photo copyright Christian Artuso
Photo copyright Christian Artuso
Common Iora - Photo copyright Laurence Poh
Photo copyright Laurence Poh

White-shouldered Ibis - ENDANGERED - Photo copyright Michael Poulsen
Photo copyright Michael Poulsen

    ....Birdwatching in Vietnam - from Birdlife International's Vietnam
      program. For a comprehensive series of maps of all Vietnamese protected areas, check out the Sourcebook. The maps connect to site descriptions in PDF format. An excellent resource!
    ....Selected Protected Areas in Viet Nam - includes information on:
      • Ba Be National Park
      • Cat Ba National Park
      • Cuc Phuong National Park
      • Nam Bai Cat Tien National Park
      • Yok Don Reserve (Khu Bao Ton Thien Yok Don)
    ....Vietnam's Wetlands - Vietnam possesses a great diversity of 
      wetland habitats including large estuarine and delta systems with extensive mangrove swamps and tidal mudflats, vast areas of seasonally inundated plains with rice paddies and Melaleuca forest, numerous small offshore islands, large coastal brackish and saline lagoons, large areas of salt pans and aquaculture ponds, many freshwater lakes and water storage reservoirs, and numerous rivers and streams. Much the largest wetland area is the Mekong Delta in the south, with its elaborate network of river channels and vast areas of rice paddies, mangrove forests, Melaleuca forests, tidal mudflats, shrimp ponds and fish ponds. In the middle part of the country, most of the significant wetlands are coastal lagoons and water storage reservoirs, whilst in the north, there are numerous lakes and reservoirs in the basin of the Red River and extensive mudflats and mangrove swamps in its delta. Site contains descriptions of 32 Vietnamese wetlands.
    ....Cat Tien National Park - The rainforest of Cat Tien National Park is
      one of the last remaining lowland jungles in Vietnam. Many birds can be found, including such specialities as Germainís Peacock Pheasant, Bar-bellied Pitta and the rare endemic Orange-necked Partridge. Cat Tien is situated 150 km north of Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon). Site includes bird, buterfly and mammal lists. 
    ....Binh Chau - Phuoc Buu Nature Reserve - A Short Report on the
      Reserve. About a third of the Reserve is very fragile wetland, a home for a variety of wildlife from molluscs and crustaceans to mammals and to roosting sites for migratory and endemic birds. Vietnam's wetlands form the wintering or staging places for some 100 migratory birds - hence they are a resource of international importance.
    ....Birdwatching areas: Bach Ma National Park, Vietnam: by Richard 
      Craik, from OBC Bulletin 33, June 2001. Bach Ma National Park (BMNP) is situated in the narrow central region of Vietnam, just north of the Hai Van Pass where the Annamite Mountain Range meets the South China Sea. This location, sandwiched between the coast and the mountains gives Bach Ma and the immediate surrounding area a microclimate and the weather tends to be rather changeable, unpredictable and very wet!
    ....Ha Long Bay -  located in the Gulf of Tonkin,
      the bay includes some 1600 islands and islets forming a spectacular seascape of limestone pillars. Because of their precipitous nature, most of the islands are uninhabited and unaffected by man. The exceptional esthetic values of this site are complimented by its great biological interest.
    ....Vietnamese Wetlands - provides information on 32 wetlands 
      areas in Vietnam, including location, conservation and brief information about the birds of the area for each wetlands area. 
    ....Map of protected areas, Ramsar sites and Bird Colonies in Viet Nam
    ....Vietnam - Directory of Wetlands of International Importance
      includes information on all Viet Nam's Ramsar designated sites, including:
      • Red River Estuary
    ....Trip Report: Vietnam, December 19, 2003 to January 17, 2004 - by
      Greg Roberts. We had excellent weather throughout this trip, with no rain at all and just one day lost to fog at Sapa. There were a couple of glitches, but generally things went smoothly. I had a fractured shoulder, which posed some limitations but not as many as I feared. Glenn Scherf travelled with me. We saw a total of 295 species, with 64 lifers. 
    ....Vietnam Birding Diary - March 7 - 30, 2001. By Bill & Doreen Stair, 
      March 7 - 30, 2001. The continuing saga of our year-long, theoretically low budget, round the world birding trip... Independent travel in Vietnam can, apparently, be somewhat problematic. Our primary concern was to make sure we had drivers who knew where the parks actually were - many birders seem to have lost whole days trying to find Cat Tien. After choosing an excellent guide, our only problems were the weather and our continuing inability to pin down the various Phylloscopus warblers flitting about.
    ....Vietnam Trip Report - 24 March - 14 April 1998 - By Jon Hornbuckle
      Vietnam is an increasingly popular birding destination as it is safe, cheap (apart from transport) and holds some excellent birds.
    ....Trip Report: Vietnam, May 1-24, 1999 - by Susan Meyers. Vietnam
      seems to be the place to go birding in Southeast Asia over the last twelve months - with good reason. It's safe, cheap, easy to get around, the people are exceptionally personable, and best of all, the birding is great. 
    ....Trip Report: Vietnam, November 10 - December 4, 1998 - by Phil
      Benstead and Charlotte Petersson. Vietnam is an excellent, friendly South-east Asian country, with a great selection of endemic and must-see birds. If you have travelled a little in South-east Asia already, it will not be long before your attention turns to Vietnam. 
    ....Trip Report: Southern Vietnam, March 13-27, 1999 by David Fischer. 
      My 11-year old son and I went on a birding trip to southern Vietnam for a couple of weeks in March. This was our first journey to Vietnam. We spent most of our time in Nam Bai Cat Tien National Park (Cat Tien) and in the Dalat area. Cat Tien is located in the hot lowlands and supports mostly tropical deciduous forest with some tropical evergreen and bamboo forests. Dalat is situated in the cool central highlands and is surrounded by hills with scented pines and patches of tropical montane forest. 
    ....Trip Report: Vietnam, December 11, 1998 - January 1, 1999 by 
      Aidan G. Kelly. Only open to foreigners to travel in since the early 1990's, Vietnam is a fantastic country to go birding in with rich tropical forests, beautiful scenery, friendly people and some brilliant bird species too. It's also a safe country, and prices are reasonably cheap once you get there. Vietnam has a total of 103 globally threatened and near-threatened species. Under Birdlife International's global conservation priority, Vietnam lies in tenth position in the world in its importance for endangered species. It also has more endemic species than any other country in south-east Asia (10). However, many of these are now very rare and difficult to see. Birdlife International has declared 3 endemic bird areas (EBAs): The Da Lat plateau, the Annamese lowlands and the South Vietnamese lowlands.

    Factoids taken from Where to watch birds in Asia  - by Nigel Wheatley

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Tours and Guides

...>> A Birding Pal is not a paid guide, but someone who likes to help out of town visitors. You can become a Birding Pal today! Help someone to enjoy your local birding spots and find a pal to help you when you travel. Click here for Vietnamese Birding Pals, or join to be a Birding Pal!
Dusky Broadbill - Photo copyright Christian Artuso
Photo copyright Christian Artuso

Rufous-browed Flycatcher - Photo copyright Christian Artuso

Photo copyright Christian Artuso
    **..Vietnam - with Avestours. Vietnam is a country full of natural 
      diversity, due to its geographical shape as well as its different climate and elevational zones. There are mountainous regions with subtropical cloudforests, river deltas with vast mudflats, coastal mangroves, tropical rainforests and saltpans. More than 800 bird species have been reported from these highly diverse habitats, some of them endemic to small regions. Join Avestours for two weeks in this exotic country March 11 - 23, 2003 or Nov.16 - 29, 2003 on a search for Spot-bellied Eagle-Owl, Ruddy Kingfisher, Sarus Crane, Silver-breasted Broadbill and White-tailed Flycatcher, and endangered species such as Black-faced Spoonbill, Asian Dowitcher, Nordman's Greenshank, Spoon-billed Sandpiper and Chinese Merganser. The main focus will be on birds, but attention is also paid to flora and other fauna such as reptiles, amphibes, mammals and insects.


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Endemics and Specialities

in Vietnam

Germaine's Peacock-Pheasant - Photo copyright Tragopan Pheasantry, Belgium
Germaine's Peacock-Pheasant
Photo copyright Tragopan 
Pheasantry, Belgium
Information on endemics and specialities is derived from Sibley & Monroe checklists and bird distribution lists in Thayer's Birder's Diary - Version 2.05, supplemented by material found in Where to watch birds in Asia  - by Nigel Wheatley and with additional information from BirdArea from Santa Barbara Software. sian speciality birds, while not endemic, are those that can only be found in three or less countries of Asia. Information on endangered birds is derived from the IUCN Red List, Birdlife International.  The endemic, endangered and speciality birds may be uncommon, extremely rare vagrants, may be extirpated in the country now or may only be present in migration. However, documented sightings of each species noted below have been made in Vietnam. Edward's Pheasant - Photo copyright Tragopan Pheasantry, Belgium
Edward's Pheasant
Photo copyright Tragopan Pheasantry, Belgium

Endemics in Vietnam

___ Annam Partridge
___ Black-hooded Laughingthrush
___ Collared Laughingthrush
___ Edward's Pheasant
___ Germaine's Peacock-Pheasant
___ Grey-crowned Crocias
___ Imperial Pheasant
___ Orange-necked Partridge
___ Vietnamese Fireback
___ Vietnamese Greenfinch
Endangered Birds in Vietnam
(endemics are printed in bold italic)

Breeding Birds

Non-Breeding Birds

___ Annam Partridge
___ Beautiful Nuthatch
___ Bengal Florican
___ Black-bellied Tern
___ Black-hooded
___ Laughingthrush
___ Blyth's Kingfisher
___ Chestnut-necklaced Partridge
___ Collared Laughingthrush
___ Crested Argus
___ Edward's Pheasant
___ Germain's Peacock-Pheasant
___ Giant Ibis
___ Greater Adjutant
___ Green Peafowl
___ Grey-crowned Crocias
___ Imperial Pheasant
___ Lesser Adjutant
___ Masked Finfoot
___ Milky Stork
___ Orange-necked Partridge
___ Pale-capped Pigeon
___ Red-collared Woodpecker
___ Rufous-necked Hornbill
___ Short-tailed Parrot-bill
___ Short-tailed Scimitar-Babbler
___ Siamese Fireback
___ Sooty Babbler
___ Vietnamese Pheasant
___ Ward's Trogon
___ White-shouldered Ibis
___ White-winged Duck
___ Yellow-billed Nuthatch
___ Baer's Pochard
___ Black-faced Spoonbill
___ Black-necked Crane
___ Chinese Egret
___ Fairy Pitta
___ Ferruginous Pochard
___ Greater Spotted Eagle
___ Imperial Eagle
___ Indian Skimmer
___ Nordmann's Greenshank
___ Saunder's Gull
___ Scaly-sided Merganser
___ Spoonbill Sandpiper
___ Spot-billed Pelican
___ White-eared Night-Heron
___ Wood Snipe

Other Speciality and Near-endemic Birds in Vietnam
(adapted from Where to watch birds in Asia  - by Nigel Wheatley.)

___ Ashy-throated Parrotbill
___ Bar-backed Partridge
___ Bar-bellied Pitta
___ Black-headed Greenfinch
___ Blue Pitta
___ Blue-rumped Pitta
___ Blue-winged Pitta
___ Chestnut Bulbul
___ Chestnut-fronted
___ Shrike-Babbler
___ Chestnut-vented Nuthatch
___ Collared Crow
___ Collared Finchbill
___ Collared Treepie
___ Coral-Billed Ground-Cuckoo
___ Crested Myna
___ Cutia
___ Dark-sided Thrush
___ Eared Pitta
___ Fork-tailed Sunbird
___ Fujian Niltava
___ Golden Parrotbill
___ Gould's Sunbird
___ Grey Laughingthrush
___ Grey-faced Tit-Babbler
___ Heart-spotted Woodpecker
___ Hwamei
___ Indochinese Swiftlet
___ Light-vented Bulbul
___ Masked Laughingthrush
___ Ratchet-tailed Treepie
___ Red-billed Starling
___ Red-legged Crake
___ Red-vented Barbet
___ Red-winged Laughingthrush
___ Relict Gull
___ Ruddy Kingfisher
___ Rusty-naped Pitta
___ Saunder's Gull
___ Scaly-breasted Partridge
___ Scarlet Finch
___ Siberian Rubythroat
___ Silver Pheasant
___ Silver-eared Mesia
___ Spectacled Fulvetta
___ Streaked Bar-wing
___ Sultan Tit
___ Temminck's Trangopan
___ White-cheeked Laughingthrush
___ White-collared Yuhina
___ White-winged Magpie
___ Yellow-vented Pigeon

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