Bird Sanctuaries of Kerala

What are bird sanctuaries built for??

Bird Sanctuaries are built with the aim of promoting the rehabilitation and survival of birds and their natural living conditions. Bird sanctuaries are mainly found in dense forests and mangrove forests. What are the major bird sanctuaries in Kerala? 

Thattekad Bird Sanctuary 

Thattekad is a village in the kuttampuzha Grama panchayat, Eranakulam district in Kerala. This sanctuary established in Kerala on August 27,1983.  This bird sanctuary is also known as Dr Salim Ali Bird sanctuary. Thattekad bird sanctuary is located at a distance of about 17 km from the town of Kothamangalam. Covering an area of 25.16 Square kilometres. This area is home to a wide variety of native birds and is a popular and large bird sanctuary in Kerala. Apart from there are a variety of migratory birds also visit here from time to time. It is estimated that there are 330 species of migratory birds here. Thattekad bird sanctuary is located between Ernakulam and Idukki district. Migratory birds visit this place mostly from  November to June. The forest department has given permission to those interested in bird watching to study here from 6 am to 4 pm.

Many rare birds such as silver owl, rooster and fire crow are found in the area. Bird species such as the Ceylon frogmouth, one of the rarest in the world have also been found here. Birds weighing 7 g to 3.5 kg are found in this area. 

In addition to birds, the forest are home to butterflies, elephants, tiger, wild boar, wildcats, wild dog, wild monkeys, leopards, deer, cubs, buffaloes, porcupines, woodpeckers, bears and more animal. The sanctuary is also home to reptiles ranging from kuzhimanali to pythons and king cobras. 

It is located at a distance of 60 km from kochi, thattekad can be reached from kochi via Kothamangalam. Buses are available from Aluva to kothamangalam. Buses are also available from Kothamangalam to Thattekad. 

Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary

Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary is located in Kumarakom, Kottayam district in the state of Kerala, India. The bird sanctuary covers an area of ​​5.7 sq km and is located on the banks of the Vembanad Lake. Also known as Vembanad Bird Sanctuary. The bird sanctuary was established in 1847 by Alfred George Baker in a rubber plantation. These were known as the Baker Estate at the time. This is an ideal place for bird watchers and nature lovers. This is an area where rare migratory birds and wetlands can be seen here. Visitors flock here to see the waterfowl, including thousands of migratory birds. Migratory birds from the Himalayas to Siberia can be seen here. The best time to visit this place is from June to August. Darter, Great Egret, Indian pond Heron, Indian corm , Various types of common kingfisher, monkeys, waterfowl, quills, ducks, parrots, monkeys and skylarks are also found here.  Houseboats and motorboats are available for rent for bird watching. 

Kumarakom Bird sanctuary

Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary is one of the most important bird sanctuaries in India. Mangroves and swamps attract birds here. It is home to waterfowl and migratory birds and is home to four endangered species. They are pelicans, colored beaks, bald beaks and Darter. 

Birds of kumarakom bird sanctuary

Water cock, purple moorhen, paradise flycatcher, Blacknaped oriole, Greenish warbler, Humming bird, Hornbill, Sparrow, Mynah, weaver bird, Heron, Jungle owlet, Black winged stilt, little cormorant, Kestrel, Oriental Magpie - Robin, White breasted water hen, Bluetailed bee - eater, white - cheeked Barbet, Black rumped flame back, parrot and indian golden oriole. 


Pathiramanal is located in the 10th ward of Muhamma panchayath in Alappuzha district. This beautiful Island is rich in coconut palms and vegetation. It is a small island located in the Vembanad Lake. It is home to hundreds of migratory birds. The island is located on the Muhamma - Kumarakom waterway. Pathiramanal is an uninhabited island. The land covers an area of about 50 acres and is home to mangroves, other aquatic plants and shrubs. Formerly known as Ananthapadmanabhan Thoppu,the island was formerly private land. 

This is the breeding ground of the Black crowned or Night Heron. The island is home to a wide variety of bird species. Birdwatchers have recorded about 150 bird species in and around the island, including migratory birds. Vembanad Lake is a vast lake that surrounds the bird sanctuary. It is an hour and a half boat ride from Muhammed Jetty. It can be reached from the Baker Bungalow Jetty, located east of Kumarakom. Pathiramanal is located east of Kayippuram Jetty and west of Kumarakom. This island is a favorite destination of nature lovers and bird watchers. It is also a home to around 91 local species of birds and 50 migratory birds. One can see pintail ducks, common teal, night heron, cormorant, darter, Indian Shag, purple heron ,gulls,terns, large egrets, intermediate egret, cattle egrets, little egret, indian pond heron, water cock , parrots and whistling duck. Some people said have even reported seeing the monarch flycatcher.

How to reach 

After traveling 15 km on the Thannirmukkam Road from Alappuzha, you can reach the Kayippuram Jetty. Kayippuram can be reached by traveling 13 km via Cherthala to Thannirmukkam. 

It takes about half an hour by boat from Kayippuram to reach Pathiramanal. Motor boats and speed boats are available at Kumarakom and Kayippuram jetties.

Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary

Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary is located on an island in the heart of Kochi city. Established in 2004, Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary is the smallest protected area under the State Forest Department. Many migratory birds visit this place which is full of mangroves and trees. Spiders and bats are the main attraction of the place. Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary is one of the bird sanctuaries located in the urban areas of Kerala. This is a 6.77 acre forest land under the Peechi Forest Range on the north side of Kochi Marine Drive behind the High Court. 

History has it that the island of Mangalavanam was formed from a timber depot. Until 1981, it was the timber depot of the forest department. The place where the timber arriving by ferries was kept. A tributary of the Vembanad Lake also passes through this area. So the goods coming by train were transported to various places by waterways from here. Over time, the natural forest of shrubs and trees grew and flourished. The tree - growing land is about two acres. The remaining 4.77 acres are mangrove swamps and tributaries of the lake. The water body that flows through the forest is about 200 meters long. When you reach the forest, your mind and body will cool down from the heat of the city. Mangalam is the only bird sanctuary in the state to be located in the mangrove forests. 

Mangalavanam bird sanctuary

You can enter the Mangala forest only after entering your name and details in the register in front of the Forest Range Officer. The first thing you see while climbing in the forest is a statue of Buddha sitting in meditation. Next is a hut made of bamboo. This spacious place made of bamboo is a great place to see birds and trees. Scenic views of swamps, swarms of bats hanging from huge trees, and towering towers all provide a great relief from city life. There is also a tall watch tower here for bird watching. One cannot spend more than 10 minutes in the 30-foot-tall Watch Tower. The tree house and the rest by the lake are a great opportunity to explore nature amidst the hustle and bustle of life. Visiting hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. This city forest under the Forest Department has no leave. Admission is free. The Forest Department also organizes free environmental study camps for students here. 

According to a May 2006 survey, it is estimated that there are more than 194 birds of 32 species. There are 72 species of birds recorded here so far. In addition, there are 17 species of butterflies. There are also some 51 species of spiders. 

A study conducted by the Salim Ali Center for Ornithology and Natural History in 2017 found only 97 species of birds, compared to 108 in 2009, including 16 species of migratory birds. 

Arippa Bird Sanctuary

Arippa Bird Sanctuary is a popular bird sanctuary located in the Thiruvananthapuram - Kollam districts. This beautiful place is located on the Shenkottai Road in Thiruvananthapuram. Most of the sanctuary is located in the Thiruvananthapuram district. Arippa is a protected forest area. Many migratory birds from all over the world visit this place. This patch of green paradise should cover an area of ​​1000 hectares. This bird sanctuary is also home to over 270 species of birds, including sparrow, hornbill, parrots, Bluetailed bee - eater, kingfisher, weaver bird, Kestrel, blacknaped oriole etc...It is a major attraction for nature lovers and bird watchers. Arippa is located near Thenmala in Thiruvananthapuram - Shenkottai State Highway. 

Choolannur Peafowl Sanctuary

The peafowl Sanctuary is located in Tharoor Panchayat, Alathur Block, Palakkad District. The sanctuary is located at a distance of about 30 km from the city of Palakkad. Choolannur peafowl sanctuary under the administrative control of the peechi wildlife division. Spread over two district Palakkad and Thrissur. Many peacocks can be seen here in the 500 hectare dense forest. 342 hectares of land along the banks of the Gayatri River, a tributary of the Bharathappuzha, is set aside for this purpose. The sanctuary is home to a wide variety of birds. The forests in this sanctuary should be a favorite for bird watchers and nature lovers. Hundreds of different species of birds have been found here. The sanctuary established in 1996, It was dedicated to the memory of the legendary indian ornithologist and writer kk Neelakantan ( Indhuchoodan ) in 2008. If you visit Choolanur immediately after the monsoon, you can see many species of butterflies. 

The place is rich in forests and paddy fields. The Peafowl Sanctuary was established by the Central and Kerala Governments in 2007 for the safe protection of peacocks and their reproduction. A 2002 survey by the Nemmara Forest Division found 131 peacocks here. A variety of herbs have also been found. The 200 hectare area of this forest is named as Kunchan Shantivanam or Kunchan Smritivanam. His birthplace, Killikurissimangalam, is a few kilometers away. The best time to visit the bird sanctuary is in the afternoon. Peacocks are more likely to be seen during this time. The nearest town is Thiruvilwamala at a distance of 8 km. 

Munderi kadavu Bird Sanctuary

This bird sanctuary is located in the Munderi Grama Panchayat in Kannur district. Munderi Kadavu Bird Sanctuary is the fourth established bird sanctuary in Kerala. The bird sanctuary covers an area of 7.5 sq km of wetlands. It was declared a bird Sanctuary in 2012. Munderi Kadavu Bird Sanctuary is the largest bird sanctuary in Kannur district. This bird sanctuary includes the wetlands of Varamkadavu, Kattampally, Pulluppi, Chirakkal, Elayavur, Kuttattoor and Valiyanur. The sanctuary is home to a variety of migratory birds. Migratory birds come here from Siberia, Eurasia and the Himalayas. During the months of October to March, more than one lakh Black - bellied whistling duck visit this place. Blue winged teal, lesser whistling duck, cotton pygmy goose, Eurasian green - winged teal, pallid Harries, Richard's pipit, paddy field pipit (oriental pipit), black winged Stilton, purple heron,  purple moorhen and other species of birds come here. Twelve rare species of birds have been found. Four species of falcons have been identified that belong to the endangered and red Data Book and Aquila family. Bird watchers estimate that millions of birds of more than 200 species visit here every year. The main attraction of the place is the biodiversity and climatic conditions of the place. In addition to birds, about 50 rare species of fish have been found in the area. In addition, more than fifty medicinal plants and herbs have been found. Brahmini shelduck, Painted stork, Black Stork and White stork are a daily sight here. Endangered greater spotted eagle and Indian spotted eagles are found only in Munderikadavu in South India. The best time to visit the spot is early morning from 6 - 8 am and at the evening 4 - 6 pm.

Munderi kadavu bird sanctuary

Kadalundi Bird Sanctuary

Kadalundi Bird Sanctuary is located in Kadalundi Panchayath in Kozhikode district of Kerala. This bird sanctuary is spread over small islets at the confluence of the Kadalundippuzha and the Arabian Sea. Surrounded by hills, this place is located at a distance of 7 km from the port of Beypore. More than 100 species of native birds and more than 60 species of migratory birds can be seen here. Apart from this, you can also see a variety of mangrove forests here. The bird sanctuary is the first community reserve in Kerala and covers an area of ​​11.83 sq. Km. This bird sanctuary is 19 km away from Kozhikode. 

What is community Reserve?

Community reserves are designated areas or protected forest areas that do not interfere with the livelihood of the locals. This is the only place in Kerala which has 45 community reserves declared in India. 

Kadalundi Bird Sanctuary

There is a ferry ride on the Kadalundippuzha to search for migratory birds. As it is an environmental protection zone, non-mechanical boats are used for this purpose. The journey through the lush green mangroves is a must experience. A variety of small fish swimming in the river are also a sight to behold. In the evening, when you reach Kadalundi Kadavu, you can see the beautiful sunset view of the blazing sun. The ferry journey starts from under the Kadalundi railway bridge and ends at the small islets between Kadalundi and Vallikunnu panchayats. There are about a dozen small islands of Kerala trees here. The view of the mangroves and the bird sanctuary from the nearby railway bridge is breathtaking. Kadalundi is home to a large number of migratory birds during the months of October to March. More than 60 species of migratory birds come from Central Asia and Europe. Most of the migratory birds are Siberian beaks. 

How to reach 

Get off at Kadalundi Railway Station, which is within walking distance. If by bus, There is a bus service from the new bus stand in Kozhikode.  Karipur International Airport is the nearest air base located at a distance of 25 km. Kadalundi Bird Sanctuary is located at a distance of 19 km from Kozhikode and 7 km from Beypore Port. 


Pakshipathalam bird sanctuary located wayanad district of Kerala. This bird watching center in the middle of the virgin forests. This place is close to the Karnataka border, at the northern end of the Brahmagiri, large caves at the top of the hill are home to many birds and animals. Pakshipathalam can be reached by trekking 7 km thorough the forest. Permission from the forest department is required to go to the pakshipathalam. This is a beautiful bird watching center. Situated on steep hills, virgin forests and jungles. This birds sanctuary is located at an elevation of 1740 m above sea level. This place is home to a wide variety of birds. The forests in this sanctuary should be a favorite for bird watchers and nature lovers. It can only be reached by trekking through the jungle for three hours. The place is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna. It is also an area that has been under Maoist threat for some time. Therefore, trekking is prohibited due to security concerns. 

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