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“Danphe” The National Bird Of Nepal – Himalayan Monal, the Largest Bird

national bird of nepal

Nepal is a country of cultural and natural attributes. The rich cultural and beauty of Nepal are famous worldwide.  Mount Everest is the highest mountain in the world that lies in Nepal and it is the top destination for adventure geeks. In addition to this, people love to explore around Annapurna Base camp, Everest Base Camp, Pokhara tour, Chitwan Tour, and many more. Nepal is unique in culture and its tradition as it is the only country in the world with a non-rectangular flag. Nepali people believe in peace and unity, the national bird of Nepal is Daphne.

The national bird of Nepal Daphne is a Nepal word for Himalayan Monal. Danphe is found in the Himalayan region of Nepal and is taken as a sign of peace and beauty. This bird is an inhabitant at the elevation of 2100 to 4500 from sea level. Danphe is an attractive bird, which has a multicolor body. This bird adds beauty t the high snow-capped Himalayas.  Danphe is the native bird in the Himalayan and other colder regions.

The male and female species of Himalayan Monal is different in appearance and characteristic. Male Daphne is very attractive with the mixture of vibrant purple, blue, green, and red feathers. The underside of their body is brown and their trail has a patch of Beautiful feathers. On the other side of their head, they have a crown-like structure.  Both male and female Daphne have colorful eyes. The national bird of Nepal Danfe has overall brown-looking looks with shining Blue and Green colors. Their feather color depends on their species, however, most of them have white and black stripes.  Female Himalayan Monal has a whitish throat compared to the male Himalayan Monal.

The male and female Species

According to the studies male, the Himalayan Monal is a mixture of 12 different shining colors while the female Daphne is a bit duller has a more brown complexion. Danphe in Nepal is seen mostly searching for food or dancing during the spring seasons. Himalayan Monal is called excellent diggers as they can dig the ground up to 5 – 10 inches normally. If you see them in wildlife conservation or national park, you will mostly find them in small groups or in Paris.

Earlier people used to search and hunt these birds for their beautiful looks and even for food. However, hunting Danphe has been illegal for ages, concerned authorities have been awaking people about awareness and their protection.

The structure of the Himalayan Monal is unique with its large size. Generally, these birds are about 70cm in length. The national bird of Nepal male Danphe can be weighed up to 2,380 grams and the female can be weighed up to 2,150 grams in normal. The adult birds seem very attractive with vibrant and shining colors. The unique character of these birds is the spectacular metallic green crest and coppery long feathers. People of the Himalayan region in Nepal say that Himalayan monks dance with their features open when their feathers open. The main white rump is only seen when the feathers are wide open. Their feathers are director towards the end with the uniform rufous. The lower part of their tail is whitish of the female Monal and darker of the male Monal.

 

Distribution of Himalayan Monal in Nepal

Himalayan Monal is mostly inhabitant in the colder region. The mountains region of Nepal and India are the top spot where they can be found. Some of their species are also widely found in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Other than this, fewer species are found in other countries like Tibet, Bhutan, and other countries. These birds have different meanings in Nepal; they are beautiful and peaceful birds. These birds reflect the peaceful behavior of the Nepali people.

Danfe mostly lives in the temperate oak coniferous forest as they can find the proper food for themselves.  Danphe can be also live on the grassy slopes with the cliffs and meadows.  They need to have 2400 and 4500-meter altitudes to sustain their lives. Since the temperature decreases at the higher altitude places in the winter season, they descend to the lower altitude during the winter seasons.

Himalayan Monal

The scientific name of Himalayan Monal is Lophophrous Impejanus. Research shows that Danphe comes from the Galliformes family. They live in the alpine, subalpine, and coniferous forest, as they prefer steep grassy and open rocky slopes during the winter season. Whereas they transfer to the adjacent forest during the summer season for the rhododendron. In the Himalayan region, they end to be in warmer places during winter and snowfall seasons. These kinds of birds are Polugamous Inneature i.e. a male is seen with multiple females.  Danphe is very shy and quiet, so if you see them do not make noise.  The noise from the outside might scare them. In general, Himalayan Monal can remain in the same spot for more than an hour. They dig the hole in the ground and spend most of the time in that hole.

They start digging a hole in the early morning and enjoy laundering the same hole for the rest of the day. This bird feed on the trees trial insects like mosquito and grasshopper. Mainly male birds can be seen while digging the ground and females are seen mostly dancing. Monals are vegetarian so they eat grassroots and seeds, berries, mosses, insects, and grubs. The month of May and June are the important time of the year for these birds. During this month, Monal starts laying eggs under the boulders. In general, a female Daphne can lay up to 4 – 6 eggs at a time. It takes about a month to lay eggs in a nest made up of rocks, bush, and some simple scrape under making a hole in a large tree. Many species of Daphne also widely live in Myanmar

It is found throughout the country

In Nepal, Danfe is widespread throughout the country. During the summer season, they will move up to 4750 meters from the sea level, whereas during the winter season they move down to 2500 meters. Makalu Barun, Sagarmatha, Langtang, Shey Phoksundo, Khaptad, and Rara National Parks; Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve; Kanchenjungha, Gaurishankar, Manaslu, Annapurna, and Api Nampa Conservation Areas are some of the protected areas in Nepal that protect Daphne.

There have been various efforts by the people to protect this bird but nowadays the main threat to Daphne is hunting and trapping. Strict punishment is there for the people hunting or trying to trap Himalayan Monal.  Hunting and trapping are mostly prevailing during the winter season these birds are closer to human habitation.  The population of Himalayan Monal according to a recent survey is 3000 to 5000 but they are at the course of decreasing due to various reasons.

Why Daphne are decreasing?

According to the official of the reserve office, this National bird of Nepal has been moving from the Himalayas to Dhorpatan. Dhorpatan is a city in Nepal, which has the geography of all Himal, terai, and mountains.  They also claim that scarecrows and hawks are chasing Dafne away from a different place thus compelling the birds to move away from the forest areas.  Hunting and trapping have been one of the major reasons for the decline population of Daps in Nepal.  The Department of wildlife has been taking strict actions for this.

According to the specialists, when Danphe is scared and wants to hide they search for the darker plans and grey weeds to hide.  They are easily scared by every little thing. Danfe is peaceful so if they notice outside activities around them then they will hide instead of attacking. They also build their nest in a place where no one can reach. Generally, they are more Scarecrow and other animals.  Chicks of Danfe are hatched from the eggs on the soil.

During summer and spring, season male birds dance and enjoy attracting female birds. In Nepal, the month of Chait and Baishakh is the perfect time to see Dancing Danphe.  During this month, they make different sounds; dance, and the female bird starts reproducing.  In an earlier time, people in Nepal used to identify the arrival of the spring season when Daphne starts making sounds and dancing.

Why is should be taken as the national bird of Nepal?

Danphe is the national bird of Nepal is because many characters of Daphne are the same as the nature of the people in Nepal. The multi-color body of Danphe reflects the multi-ethnic, multi-lingual, and multi-culture of Nepal.  They are often found in-group, which should the unity among the people in Nepal. Danphe is very peaceful and calm as Nepal people. Danphe shows the harmonic and welcoming nature. This bird starts celebrating and dancing when they are happy likewise Nepali people celebrate signs and dance on happy and festive occasions.

Monal and Kajal are different species of Daphne found in Nepal. Normally the life span of this kind of bird is generally 6 to 8 years. According to specialists, the weight of Daphne is 2.5kgs. There are six species of Daphne in south Asia. Out of these three species, live in Sagarmatha National Park.  According to the officer of Sagarmatha national park, mostly Monal and Kajal are inhabitants in this region. Although the actual number of these birds is unknown they are in the verse of decreasing.

The feathers of Daphne has their importance, it is used for any purpose. Daphne runs away if it sees other animals and outside noise. They do not walk alone rather they walk and launder around in the pack. Expert says that often while running away from other animals this bids trips and die.

The feathers

Feathers of Danphe are very important. Since it is the national bird of Nepal, its feathers reflect the symbol of Nepal to the world. Feathers are the symbol of peace. Poachers and different things are obtained with their feathers. In the Hindu religion, Lord Krishna used to place the feathers of Danphe in his head. Due to this reason on Krishna Ashtami, children are dressed up using feathers.  At an early age, people use the feather to write books and letters with the printed edge of feathers.  They dip the feathers in the ink and write with it. In addition, many people use the feather for decoration.

 

Frequently asked Question

  • Is Danphe on the red list?

Although Danphe is the national animal, it is still on the verge of extinct. According to the officials, people hunt mostly male birds for the crest of head feathers. This is becoming a major problem nowadays.  Female Daphne involves in searching for food. These birds are very common in some places but now due to changing environment and global warming many of them are not been able to adapt to the environment. Their unique characteristic prevents them from finding new habitat for themselves. Wildlife reserve center has been pulling efforts to increase awareness to protect them.

  • How do they communicate?

Himalayan Monal is often seen in packs and pairs. They communicate with each other just like a human. They are extremely vocal and use various calls to communicate with other morals. Apart from this, they dance and perform other gestures to communicate. The male ones bob their chest and fan their feathers to impress their fellow female mates.

 

  • Are they dangerous?

No, Himalayan Monal is not at all dangerous. They possess a lot of character as a human. Himalayan Monal do not attack until you mess with them. They usually mind their own business and scare easily.

  • Which is the largest bird in Nepal?

Yes, the Himalayan Monal is the largest bird found in Nepal. Not only this, it is the national bird of Nepal. They weigh about 2,350 kg and normally have a length of 70cm.

  • Would they make a good pet?

Himalayan Monal lives in the higher altitude colder region. Although you cannot keep them inside your home as a pet bird-like parrot. However, they are extremely friendly birds. They require big space and they cannot sustain themselves in the summer season, as they cannot withstand heat. Himalayan Monal needs plenty of shelter due to its longer size and dimension.

 

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