Thailand, "the land of smiles," is one of the oldest countries in Southeast Asia, with unique food, culture, language, and lifestyle. These are reasons enough to visit this friendly country, but add to them biogeography: Thailand's position at an ornithological crossroads accounts for a rich country list of over 1000 species. Our dry-season survey of Thailand's northwestern and central regions provides great birding variety, with a series of multi-night stays allowing two to three full days of birding at several excitingly different venues, ranging from sea level to above 8000 feet.
In the northwest lie a number of mountain massifs where the resident birds comprise a list with names like minivet, parrotbill, fulvetta, spiderhunter, mesia, minla, yuhina, cupwing, iora, sibia, tesia, barwing, niltava, and scimitar-babbler. Closer to Bangkok, Khao Yai and Kaeng Krachan national parks protect large expanses of towering humid evergreen and dipterocarp forests sheltering babblers, laughingthrushes, broadbills, malkohas, flowerpeckers, and tailorbirds. Even the "familiar" is different here: a magpie that is green, tiny woodpeckers with punk hairdos, and kingfishers with bright red bills.
We'll also visit a few coastal, wetland, and agricultural areas for birds including the critically endangered Spoon-billed Sandpiper.
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