Bird Sanctuary travel information Kerala
Thattekkad bird sanctuary was set up in the year 1983 by the renowned
ornithologist of India, Dr. Salim Ali. It is located in the Kothamangalam
district of Idukki. One of the most famous landmarks in Kerala, Thattekkad
bird sanctuary is home to almost 500 species of exotic birds. The thick
tropical deciduous and evergreen cover is a safe haven for the winged
The sanctuary is spread over an area
of 25 square kilometers and is located between the tributaries of the
Periyar River. The fascinating birds that are found here are bee-eater,
falcon grey, jungle fowl, black-winged kite, shrike, crimson-throated
barbet, Ceylon frogmoth, sunbird, night heron, blue-winged parakeet, white-breasted
water hen, rose-billed roller, hornbill, etc. The sanctuary is a paradise
for bird watchers and nature lovers.
Only species observed
by us have been listed. We have no information if an exhaustive checklist
is available for the Sanctuary. Nomenclature used follows Birds of the
Indian Subcontinent (1998). The pocket edition of this book was used for
field identification. Subspecies have not been mentioned unless unambiguous
identification was made (eg. ruby-throated subspecies of the Black-crested
Bulbul). Some interesting observations and a nesting record are at the
end of this checklist.
Collocalia unicolor Indian Swiftlet
Ocyceros griseus Malabar Grey-Hornbill
Spizaetus cirrhatus Changeable Hawk-Eagle
Anhinga melanogaster Oriental Darter
Ardea cinerea Grey Heron
Snipe: the bird could not be
identified because of poor light conditions. The overall appearance, habitat
and behavior were of a typical snipe.
longirostra Little Spiderhunter: a nest of this bird was seen beautifully
stitched to the undersiode of a leaf about 1 m above the ground. A photograph
of the nest is available with the author.
Celeus brachyurus Rufous Woodpecker:
we saw a nest with young. The beak of the nestling was sticking out of
the nest. This particular species was videographed by a BBC team at Thattekad
with help from Elthose. The footage is featured in Episodes 3 and 8 of
The Life of Birds by David Attenborough.
Batrachostomus moniliger Ceylon Frogmouth
is being studied at Thattekad by Elthose with funding from the Kerala
Forest Department. This forest is one of the last stronglholds of this
rare endemic bird. Elthose took us to one of the roosting sites and we
were able to see a male frogmouth at close quarters. No photography was
attempted as the flash was likely to disturb the bird.
Eurostopodus macrotis Great Eared-Nightjar:
Two birds were seen at dusk calling and circling in the air, possibly
Bubo bubo Eurasian
Eagle-Owl: The loud resonant tu-whoogh call was heard several times
at dusk. We did not get a sighting of this bird.
How to Reach
Air : The nearest airport, is 71 kms
Rail : The nearest railway station
is Aluva, at a distance of 48 km. Kochi.
Road: The sanctuary is 13 kms North-East
of Kothamangalam along the Pooyamkutti road.
Wildlife in Kerala
Kerala in Details