The Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary, also known as the Thattekad Bird Sanctuary, is a popular bird-watching destination located in Kerala, India. It is named after Dr. Salim Ali, one of India’s most renowned ornithologists and naturalists. The sanctuary is situated in the Kothamangalam Taluk of Ernakulam district in Kerala and covers an area of approximately 25 square kilometers.
Established in 1983, the Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary is a protected area and an essential part of the Western Ghats, a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its rich biodiversity. The sanctuary is home to a wide variety of bird species, making it a paradise for birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts.
The dense evergreen and deciduous forests within the sanctuary provide a perfect habitat for resident and migratory birds. Some of the notable bird species that can be spotted here include the Malabar Grey Hornbill, Indian Pitta, Indian Cuckoo, Oriental Darter, Indian Roller, and various species of kingfishers, woodpeckers, and sunbirds.
Visitors can explore the sanctuary through well-maintained walking trails and watchtowers that offer excellent vantage points for birdwatching. The best time to visit is during the winter months (November to February) when a significant number of migratory birds arrive, adding to the diversity of the avian population.
Besides birdwatching, the sanctuary also offers opportunities for wildlife photography, nature walks, and observing other flora and fauna. It’s important to note that the sanctuary promotes ecotourism and responsible wildlife viewing practices. As such, visitors are encouraged to follow the rules and regulations set by the authorities to preserve the sanctuary’s delicate ecosystem.
Before planning a visit to the Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary, it’s advisable to check for the latest information on entry fees, timings, and any specific guidelines or restrictions that may be in place at the time. This can be done through official websites or by contacting the sanctuary authorities directly.