Som GC was born near Chitwan National Park, one of Asia’s finest national parks. Som grew up watching hornbills, peafowl, junglefowl, storks, woodpeckers and kingfishers along with many mammals such as rhinoceros, wild elephants, tigers, leopard and bears. This early exposure to animals encouraged an interest in birds and wildlife. Som started birding at the age of 12 with a small pairs of binoculars that were given to him by an American who encouraged his interest in wildlife. He has since been inspired by Sir David Attenborough, and he joined Bird Conservation Nepal as a general member in 1996 in order to attend their regular birding trips.
Som started his official birding career at Shuklaphanta National Park as a full time Naturalist in 1997 where he was carrying out surveys on grassland birds on behalf of Bird Conservation Nepal. He spent 11 months studying birds within the jungle and this time spent had improved his birding skill so much that he was drawn completely to the birding world and decided to work as a full time birding and wildlife tour leader. Som began working for a few British and European birding companies leading tours through India and Nepal, which he continues to enjoy today.
While going through bird banding/ringing, habitat management and census techniques in the UK he served as a volunteer warden for RSPB in a few different locations. He met many famous ornithologists, bird experts and tour leaders there in the UK and thoroughly enjoyed sharing his knowledge on birds, wildlife and conservation by giving talks to Rotary Clubs and the local birding clubs.
Upon returning to Nepal, Som not only continued leading tours in Nepal and India but also started conducting conservation awareness programs among the school children in the remote villages of Nepal, and loves this work immensely.
Som is also involved in rescuing and releasing wild birds and other animals back into the wild, and was awarded a “Nature Conservation Award” in 2014 by the renowned and leading organization known as Friends of Nature. Som works as a bird conservation officer and as a volunteer for this organization and has been involved in biodiversity surveys on several occasions to a various areas of Nepal.
He has documented two new birds on his own: Greater White-fronted Goose and Japanese Sparrowhawk, of which he has photographed the Japanese Sparrowhawk in Nepal and is waiting for verification. He also helped to document with others the Moustached Warbler, Rufous-vented Prinia, and a Grey-sided Thrush.
Som speaks, English, Hindi and Nepali.
- Nepal (March 2021)
Updated: July 2018