Lonely Planet Writer

Counting of the black-necked cranes begins in Bhutan

Bhutan  is conducting its annual study of black-necked cranes, which congregate in the land-locked Himalayan country every winter, after spending the summer on the Tibetan plateau.

A black-necked crane.
A black-necked crane. Image by Eric Kilby / CC BY-SA 2.0

So far, 422 of the rare birds have been spotted at their winter grounds near Phobjikha in central Bhutan. Black-necked cranes are highly revered in Bhutanese Buddhism, and according to local legend, the birds perform a ritual kora (ceremonial circuit) around Gangteng Monastery before landing to join the colony. The annual migration has become a popular tourist attraction for foreign birders, and the migration is expected to continue through December. Read more: kuenselonline.com