People’s Republic of Bangladesh

Oriental Magpie-Robin Copsychus saularis ©Sumita Roy Dutta - Creative Commons
Birding Bangladesh

Bangladesh is a country in South Asia. It is bordered by India on all sides except for a small border with Burma (Myanmar) to the far southeast and by the Bay of Bengal to the south. Together with the Indian state of West Bengal, it makes up the ethno-linguistic region of Bengal. The name Bangladesh means ‘Country of Bengal’ in the official Bengali language.The borders of present-day Bangladesh were established with the partition of Bengal and India in 1947, when the region became the eastern wing of the newly-formed Pakistan. However, it was separated from the western wing by 1,600 kilometres (1,000 mi) across India. Political and linguistic discrimination as well as economic neglect led to popular agitations against West Pakistan, which led to the war for independence in 1971 and the establishment of Bangladesh, with the help of India. However, the new state had to endure famines, natural disasters and widespread poverty, as well as political turmoil and military coups. The restoration of democracy in 1991 has been followed by relative stability and economic progress.Bangladesh is among the most densely populated countries in the world and has a high poverty rate. However, per-capita (inflation-adjusted) GDP has more than doubled since 1975, and the poverty rate has fallen by 20% since the early 1990s. Dhaka and other urban centers have been the driving force behind this growth. Geographically, the country straddles the fertile Ganges-Brahmaputra Delta and is subject to annual monsoon floods and cyclones.

Bangladesh is located in the low-lying Ganges-Brahmaputra River Delta or Ganges Delta. This delta is formed by the confluence of the Ganges (local name Padma or Pôdda), Brahmaputra (Jamuna or Jomuna), and Meghna rivers and their respective tributaries. The Ganges unites with the Jamuna (main channel of the Brahmaputra) and later joins the Meghna to eventually empty into the Bay of Bengal. The alluvial soil deposited by these rivers has created some of the most fertile plains in the world. Bangladesh has 58 trans-boundary rivers, making water issues politically complicated to resolve – in most cases as the lower riparian state to India.Most parts of Bangladesh are less than 12 metres (39 ft) above the sea level, and it is believed that about 50% of the land would be flooded if the sea level were to rise by a metre (3 ft).

The highest point in Bangladesh is in Mowdok range at 1,052 metres (3,451 ft) in the Chittagong Hill Tracts to the southeast of the country. A major part of the coastline comprises a marshy jungle, the Sundarbans, the largest mangrove forest in the world and home to diverse flora and fauna, including the Royal Bengal Tiger. In 1997, this region was declared endangered.Straddling the Tropic of Cancer, Bangladeshi climate is tropical with a mild winter from October to March, a hot, humid summer from March to June. A warm and humid monsoon season lasts from June to October and supplies most of the country’s rainfall. Natural calamities, such as floods, tropical cyclones, tornadoes, and tidal bores occur almost every year, combined with the effects of deforestation, soil degradation and erosion. Cox’s Bazar, south of the city of Chittagong, has a beach that stretches uninterrupted over 120 kilometres (75 mi).In September 1998, Bangladesh saw the most severe flooding in modern world history. As the Brahmaputra, Ganges and Meghna spilt over and swallowed 300,000 houses, 6,000 miles (9,700 km) of road and 1,600 miles (2,600 km) of embankment 1,000 people were killed and 30 million more were made homeless with 135,000 cattle killed, 50 square kilometres of land destroyed and 11,000 kilometres of roads damaged or destroyed. Two-thirds of the country was underwater. There were several reasons for the severity of the flooding. Firstly, there were unusually high monsoon rains. Secondly, the Himalayas shed off an equally unusually high amount of melt water that year. Trees that usually intercept rain water were cut down for firewood or to make space for animals!

Number of Species
  • Number of bird species: 628

    (As at january 2019)

    National Bird: Oriental Magpie Robin (aka Doyel) Dopsychus saularis

  • iGoTerra Checklist

    iGoTerra Checklist
    Fatbirder Associate iGoTerra offers the most comprehensive and up to date birds lists on the web
Useful Reading

  • A Photographic Field Guide to the Birds of India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh

    By Bikram Grewal, Sumit Sen, Sarwandeep Singh, Nikhil Devasar & Garima Bhatia | Princeton University Press | 2017 | Paperback | 792 pages, 4000+ colour photos, 1300+ colour distribution maps | ISBN: 9780691176499 Buy this book from
  • A Photographic Guide to Birds of Bangladesh

    By Ronald R Halder | Halder | 2010 | Paperback | 257 pages, 735 colour photos, colour distribution maps | ISBN: 9789843319258 Buy this book from
  • Birds of the Indian Subcontinent

    By Richard Grimmett, Carol Inskipp & Tim Inskipp | Christopher Helm | Softcover | 2012 | Edition: 2 | 528 Pages | 226 Colour Plates | Colour Distribution Maps | Black & White Illustrations ISBN: 9781408127636 Buy this book from
  • Feathered Splendours - Birds of Bangladesh

    By Enam Ul Haque | Bangladesh University Press | 2014 | Hardback | 228 pages, 228 colour photos | ISBN: 9789845061384 Buy this book from
  • Bangladesh Bird Club

    Facebook Page
    Bangladesh bird club is an organization of people interested in the bird and its conservation in Bangladesh. It promotes the hobby of bird-watching, study of bird and conservation of wildlife and its habitats in Bangladesh. Through publications and promotional activities it seeks to raise public awareness on conservation issues in general, and bird conservation in particular…

Abbreviations Key

  • NP Bhawal

    InformationSatellite View
    It is located in Gazipur, Dhaka Division of Bangladesh, approximately 40 km north of Dhaka city, only 20 km drive from Gazipur and 20 km from Kapasia. The core area of the park covers 940 hectares but extends to 5,022 ha of surrounding forest.
  • NP Kaptai

    InformationSatellite View
    It is about 57 kilometre from Chittagong city. It comprises with two Ranges namely Kaptai Range and Karnaphuli Range. t is a harbour of many wild birds. Notable birds are red junglefowl (Gallus gallus), kalij pheasant (Lophura leucomelanos), lineated barbet (Magalaima lineata), oriental pied hornbill (Anthracoceros albirostris), Indian roller (Coracias benghalensis), cattle egret (Bubulcus ibis), great egret (Casmerodius albus), greater racket-tailed drongo (Dicrurus paradiseus), jungle myna (Acridotheres fuscus), large blue flycatcher (Cyornis magnirostris) etc.
  • NP Lawachara

    InformationSatellite View
    The park is located at Kamalganj Upazila, Maulvi Bazar District in the northeastern region of the country. It is located within the 2,740 ha (27.4 km2) West Bhanugach Reserved Forest.
  • NP Ramsagar

    InformationSatellite View
    It is built around a large water reservoir known as "Ramsagar tank" built in the 18th century.
  • NP Satchari

    InformationSatellite View
    Literally 'Satchari' in Bengali means 'Seven Streams'. There are seven streams flowing in this jungle, and the name 'Satchari' came from there. Wildlife in this park is rich. Red junglefowl, red-headed trogon, Oriental pied hornbill and pygmy woodpecker are some of them. The critically endangered hoolock gibbon also resides here. Also Phayre's leaf monkey, a species of langur also resides here. Asian black bear also resides here in small numbers.
  • WS Chimbuk

    InformationSatellite View
    Chimbuk Wildlife Sanctuary is located in Bandarban.
  • WS Chunati

    InformationSatellite View
    Chunati Wildlife Sanctuary is a major corridor for the movement of Asian Elephant between Bangladesh and Myanmar. Mammal species in the Sanctuary include muntjac deer, fishing cat, wild boar and Indian crested porcupine. Birds include the black-rumped flameback, coppersmith barbet, chestnut-headed bee-eater, green bee-eater, greater coucal, house swift, spotted dove, black drongo, jungle myna and Asian pied starling.
  • WS Rema-Kalenga

    InformationSatellite View
    This is a dry and evergreen forest . It is located in the Chunarughat of Habiganj district. The forest currently has 37 species of mammals, 167 species of birds, seven species of amphibian, 18 species of reptiles and 638 species of plants. Specially, the forest is well known for a variety of rare bird species.
  • WS Sangu Matamuhari

    InformationSatellite View
    It is part of the Sangu reserve forest. It houses Bangladesh's richest wildlife resource after Sunderbans. It is famous for its remoteness and for its rich array of wildlife, including great hornbills, crab-eating macaques, Asian elephants, sambar deer, Asian black bears, spotted owlets, leopards, clouded leopards, barking deer, Bengal monitors, dholes, and capped leaf monkeys/capped langurs. There have also been uncertain reports of vagrant tigers in the forest reserve by local indigenous people.
  • WS Teknaf

    InformationSatellite View
    It is in the Cox's Bazar District of southern Bangladesh comprising a hill forest area of 11,615 ha (44.85 sq mi). In the east it is bordered by the Naf River, and in the west by the Bay of Bengal.This is one of the few places in Bangladesh where Asian elephants can be seen in the wild.
  • WS WII IBA Sundarban Forest & Reserves

    InformationSatellite View
    Sundarbans East Wildlife Sanctuary, a protected forest in Bangladesh, extends over an area of 31,227 ha. of mangrove forest, Sundarbans West Wildlife Sanctuary is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and animal sanctuary is part of the larger Sundarbans region, one of the largest mangroveforests in the world and Sundarbans South Wildlife Sanctuary is a reserve forest in Bangladesh that extends over an area of 36,970 hectares of mangrove forest. It is situated next to the Sundarbans National Park in West Bengal, India. Birds are plentiful with over 270 having been recorded in the area including 38 species of raptor, 95 species of waterfowl and 9 of kingfishers. Some of the birds recorded such as the masked finfoot (Heliopais personatus) and the white-rumped vulture (Gyps bengalensis) are threatened globally. The greater spotted eagle (Clanga clanga) overwinters here but the lesser adjutant (Leptoptilos javanicus) is a resident but uncommon species as is the mangrove pitta (Pitta megarhyncha) and the black-headed ibis (Threskiornis melanocephalus).
  • Wetlands

    WebpageSatellite View
    Bangladesh currently has 2 sites designated as Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar Sites), with a surface area of 611,200 hectares.
Guides & Tour Operators
  • Dhaka Holidays

    Tour Operator
    Through this jungle safari tour the tourist can get a wonderful opportunity to explore the virgin rain forest and the tribal excellence in the north-eastern part of Bangladesh.
Trip Reports
  • 2012 [12 December] - Simon Carter

    …Between the 13th Nov and 19th Dec 2012, I travelled independently throughout Bangladesh, taking in many of the major birdwatching areas. These areas were the wetlands and forests in the north-east, Hatiya Island, Sonardia Island, Teknaf and the Sunderbans in the south. Spoon-billed Sandpiper was an obvious target bird….
  • 2016 [03 March] - Mike Moore

    PDF Report
    I hope that by preparing this small report, I can encourage birders to head to the forests of north-east Bangladesh as there are several worthwhile destinations to explore. Although serious foreign listers are unlikely to add Bangladesh to their list of countries to find new bird species, perhaps local Bangladeshis and ex-pats in Dhaka may wish to escape the city for a little while and seek some solace in the parks and reserves near the border with India to search out some interesting wildlife.
Other Links
  • Birds of Bangladesh

    The Doel or the magpie robin is the national bird of Bangladesh. The Shalik is a very common bird in Bangladesh. The Machhhranga or the kingfisher is very common in riverine Bangladesh. As many as ten species can be found. The Kaththokra or the woodpecker can be found in twenty two species in the country, especially in the Sundarbans.
  • Nature of Bangladesh

  • The Birds of Bangladesh

    All information about Bangladeshi Birds.

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