Cambodia is a paradise for birdwatchers, boasting an incredible variety of avian species.
From the majestic Giant Ibis to the mysterious Masked Finfoot, this country offers a wealth of breathtaking birds for visitors to observe and enjoy.
Get ready to explore 10 awesome species of birds found in Cambodia that will make your jaw drop!
1. White-Shouldered Ibis
The White-shouldered Ibis is one of the most endangered species of birds in Cambodia.
It is a large bird with distinctive white shoulder feathers, a black head and neck, and a long curved bill.
These birds are only found in Cambodia and can be seen in various provinces.
It’s best to visit the area during the dry season from November to May when they start to breed for a higher chance of spotting them.
However, with the help of local guides keen bird lovers can visit at any time.
This critically endangered species faces rapid population decline due to habitat loss, hunting and human disturbance so it’s important that we do our best to protect them.
If you’re lucky enough to catch a glimpse of these beautiful creatures while visiting Cambodia take the opportunity to appreciate their unique beauty!
2. Slender-Billed Vulture
The Slender-billed Vulture is one of the most endangered species of birds in Cambodia and can be seen at the Boeng Toal Vulture Restaurant Wildlife Sanctuary.
This critically endangered species has suffered from rapid population decline largely as a result of feeding on carcasses of animals treated with the veterinary drug diclofenac.
The estimated population in Cambodia ranges from 35 to 45 individuals, which makes it all the more important that we do our best to protect them.
If you’re lucky enough to spot this rare bird while visiting Cambodia, you’ll be treated to an awe-inspiring sight: its black plumage contrasted against its pale yellow body and long, slender bill make for quite a sight!
So if you find yourself exploring Chheb Wildlife Sanctuary, keep your eyes peeled for these majestic creatures and take some time to appreciate their unique beauty.
3. Red-Headed Vulture
The Red-headed Vulture is a critically endangered species of bird that was once found throughout Southeast Asia.
Now, it’s primarily restricted to the northern and eastern plains of Cambodia and considered nearly extinct in Thailand.
It’s an impressive species with its stunning redhead, white wings, and black body.
Unfortunately, as with the slender-billed vulture, its population has reduced rapidly due to residues of the anti-inflammatory drug diclofenac used to treat domestic livestock.
Fortunately, there is now a Supplemental Feeding Program at Boeng Toal Vulture Restaurant which provides a safe place for these birds to feed and breed in relative safety.
If you’re lucky enough to spot this rare bird while visiting Cambodia, you’ll be treated to an awe-inspiring sight!
4. Bengal Florican
The Bengal Florican is a grassland bird and also considered endangered. They are typically found in Cambodia, India and Vietnam.
With its striking black and white plumage, and distinctive long pointed wings, the Bengal Florican is an impressive sight to behold.
Sadly, their population has declined drastically due to habitat loss from agricultural intensification.
Fortunately, the government in Cambodia has created 6 areas of protection (known as the Bengal Florican Conservation Areas) where conservation NGOs and government agencies are working hard to protect their habitat.
If you’re lucky enough to spot one of these majestic birds while visiting Cambodia, you’ll be treated to a rare sight indeed!
5. White-Rumped Vulture
The White-rumped Vulture is an endangered species of vulture found in India, Nepal and parts of Southeast Asia, including Cambodia.
This large bird is easily identified by its white rump and pale head, and can be seen soaring high above the countryside in search of food.
Sadly, their numbers are declining rapidly.
Fortunately there are efforts underway to protect this species; Boeng Toal Vulture Restaurant in Chheb Wildlife Sanctuary provides a safe haven for these majestic birds to feed and breed.
6. Masked Finfoot
The Masked Finfoot is an incredibly rare and unique species of bird found in Cambodia.
It is classified as critically endangered due to its declining numbers and the fact that it can only be found in a few specific regions within South East Asia.
Unfortunately, there are no reliable population estimates for this species in Cambodia, but optimistically it is believed that there are around 10-15 pairs.
These birds inhabit wetland habitats such as mangroves, coastal lagoons, flooded forests and rivers – so if you’re lucky enough to find yourself exploring these areas during your visit to Cambodia you could come across the Masked Finfoot!
This bird has a beautiful black and white plumage with a broad yellow bill and bright red legs.
If you do manage to spot one of these rare birds, take care not to disturb them – just take some time to admire their beauty from afar!
7. Giant Ibis
The Giant Ibis is an impressive and awe-inspiring species that can be found in Cambodia.
This majestic bird stands up to 1 meter tall, with a striking white body, long neck and legs, and a black head and bill.
This critically endangered species is Cambodia’s national bird, but sadly only around 300 of them are left in the wild today!
The Giant Ibis is an incredibly shy bird so if you get the chance to spot one during your visit to Cambodia make sure you keep your distance.
They inhabit wetlands such as floodplains, swamps, mangroves and rivers – so keep your eyes peeled while exploring these areas!
It’s not every day that you get to see such a magnificent species in its natural habitat – so make sure you take a few moments to appreciate this incredible bird if you’re lucky enough to come across it!
Cuckoos are one of the most fascinating birds in Cambodia, and with their distinctive calls they make themselves known to any passerby!
These medium-sized birds are part of the Cuculidae family and can be found in a variety of habitats throughout the country.
With their long tails, slender bodies, strong legs and bright colors, cuckoos are a sight to behold.
They typically feed on insects, worms and small amphibians, but some species may even prey on other birds’ eggs or chicks!
Cuckoos are also famous for being brood parasites—some species lay their eggs in other bird’s nests so that they don’t have to take care of them themselves.
Cranes are an awe-inspiring sight to behold in Cambodia and can be found in both wetland and grassland habitats.
These large birds belong to the Gruidae family, have long legs and necks, and typically fly with their necks outstretched rather than pulled back.
Depending on the species, cranes may be white or gray, with some having bright red or orange accents on their heads.
Two of the most common species of crane in Cambodia are the Demoiselle Crane (Anthropoides virgo) and the Sarus Crane (Antigone antigone).
Both species are known for their elaborate courtship displays which involve a combination of bowing, dancing and trumpeting calls!
10. Ducks, Geese, And Waterfowl
Ducks, geese, and waterfowl are some of the most common birds you’ll find in Cambodia.
These feathered friends belong to the Anatidae family and are often found near wetlands or bodies of water.
Ducks have adapted to an aquatic life with webbed feet, flattened bills, and feathers that repel water due to an oily coating.
The Lesser Whistling-duck (Dendrocygna javanica) is one of the most fascinating species of duck present in Cambodia.
This bird has a unique shape with a long neck and pointed tail, making it quite a sight to behold!
Other notable species include the Knob-billed Duck (Sarkidiornis melanotos) and Cotton Pygmy-Goose (Nettapus coromandelianus).
Whether they’re taking flight or bobbing on the surface of a lake, ducks, geese, and other waterfowl are sure to bring a bit of joy into your day when spotted in Cambodia.
With such an array of bird life, it’s no wonder that Cambodia has become a popular destination for birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts alike!
So if you’re looking for a unique and exciting experience, why not visit Cambodia and see these incredible birds for yourself?
You never know what feathered friends you may come across on your journey!
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