Bird Sanctuaries of Kerala

Kerala with its dense forests, lively lakes and rivers, form an ideal place for birds to roost. With moderate temperature through out the year and ample rainfall, many places in Kerala are seasonal haunts of migratory birds. Here are some of the famous bird sanctuaries of Kerala.

Kumarakom bird sanctuary

Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary is also known as Vembanad Bird Sanctuary is situated on the banks of Vembanad Lake. Spread over 14 acre this bird sanctuary is a favourite haunt for migratory birds. Formerly known as Bakers Estate, one can find here birds from the Himalayas, and a few from Siberia. The main attractions are birds like waterfowl, cuckoo, owl, egret, heron, cormorant, moorhen, darter, and brahminy kite, the migratory Siberian crane, Parrot, teal, lark, and flycatcher etc. It is about 14 kms from Kottayam.

Sightseeing in Kottayam
Thattekkad Bird Sanctuary

Thattekad bird sanctuary

Thattekad Bird Sanctuary is about 44 kms from the Kochi Airport and described as one of the richest bird habitats in peninsular India by none other than Dr. Salim Ali, the famous Ornithologist. Also called as the Salim Ali Bird sanctuary, it lies between branches of Periyar River and has tropical ever green forests, tropical semi-evergreen forests and tropical deciduous forests. Phenomenally this makes Thattekad a biggest bio diverse habitat in Kerala. Wide variety of trees ranging from Anjili, Kunthirikam, Kambacom to trees of commercial value like Teak, Rosewood, Venteak etc are found here. Meant as a primary conservatory for avifauna here one can see a over 500 species of exotic birds including common and rare.

Mangalavanam bird sanctuary

In the busy city besides the buzzing traffic of Kochi is the ecologically sensitive Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary. A nesting ground for a large variety of migratory birds and supporting many types of mangroves, Mangalavanam is regarded as the “green lung of Kochi”. The area is a roosting place for many kinds of resident and migratory birds. Around 32 species of birds 17 species of butterflies and six species of mammals are found in this sanctuary. Mangalavanam also has a shallow tidal lake among the thick mangrove which is connected to Cochin backwaters by a canal. In this lake one can find seven species of fishes too.

Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary
Pakshipathalam Wayanad

Pakshipathalam bird sanctuary

23 kms from Kozhikkode at an altitude of 1740 m above sea level is the Pakshipathalam Bird Sanctuary, Pakshipathalam is famous for the abundance of wildlife found in here. It is on the Brahmagiri hills and can be reached by trekking 6 km. There are deep rock caves which house wide varieties of birds, animals and different species of plants. Legend has that these caves were used for meditation by Rishis (saints) and the subjects in Pakshipathalam are protected by Garuda – the divine carrier of Lord Vishnu and the King of birds. Close by is Kuruvadweep, an island well known for its rare ecology. Bats seem to be the main inhabitants of this cave along with various other species of birds like babbler, cuckoo, owl, woodpecker, peacock and jungle fowl. ‘Edible Nest Swift’ which built their nest with their saliva are also found in this cave. Endangered animals like elephant, tiger, leopards, jungle cat, civet and bison are also found to be inhabitants of this sanctuary.

Pathiramanal bird sanctuary

Pathiramanal which means ‘sands of night’ can be reached from Kumarakom by boat. It is a beautiful island and home to many varieties of migratory birds. The 10 acre island is surrounded by the Vembanad lake .Around 91 species of local birds and 50 varieties of migratory birds can be found here. Pintail Ducks, Common Teal, Night Heron, Cormorant, Darter, Indian Shag, Purple Heron, gulls, terns, various varieties of egrets, Pheasant-tailed and Bronze-winged Jacanas, Stork-billed Kingfisher, Watercock, Little Cormorant, Whiskered Tern etc and rarely Monarch flycatcher too can be spotted here.

Pathiramanal Bird Sanctuary
Kadalundi Bird Sanctuary

Kadalundi bird sanctuary

The Kadalundi Bird Sanctuary is about 109 kms from Kozhikode and has over 100 species of native birds and 60 species of migratory birds. It is a group of islands surrounded by hillocks which are about 200 m above sea level. The sanctuary is also known as the Kadalundi – Vallikkunnu community reserve and is the first community reserve in Kerala. The forest department operates boat service which the tourists can take to tour through the area and enjoy the scenic beauty.