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Thattekkad bird sanctuary in Kerala is known for its rare and exotic birds.

Thattekkad Bird Sanctuary

Thattekkad Bird Sanctuary is situated about 58 km from Kochi and 13 km northeast of Kothamangalam in Ernakulam District, in Central Kerala. Spread over an extent of 25 sq km between the tributaries of Periyar River, the sanctuary was declared a bird sanctuary in 1983 based on the recommendations made in early 1930s by Dr Salim Ali, an internationally renowned ornithologist. He stated that the area was the richest habitat in Peninsular India and hence, should be declared a bird sanctuary. It is due to the exotic microcosm of India's bird population that this bird sanctuary is a delight for bird lovers and nature admirers.

Thattekkad is home to dense tropical evergreen, riparian, deciduous forests, and grassland patches, along with plantations of teak, rosewood, mahogany, and fruit orchards. Around 280 species of birds are known to inhabit the sanctuary, as stated by the ornithologists conducting frequent camps. Some of the rare bird species that are spotted here include bee eater, crimson-throated barbet, sunbird, shrike, grey jungle fowl, falcon, white-breasted water hen, ceylon frog moth, fairy bluebirds, rose-billed roller, and blue-winged parakeet. Other rare birds like Malabar trogons, gray drogos, jungle nightjars, gray hornbills, Malabar hornbills, black-winged kite, and night heron make the sanctuary a paradise for bird watchers. The dense forest in and around the bird sanctuary is home to a rich diversity of animals including elephants, leopard, sloth bear, porcupine, and many more.

The sanctuary experiences a tropical climate with average annual rainfall of around 3000 mm with most of it being received in the months from May to July. The temperature varies from 20 0C to 32 0C with the hottest months being April and May and coldest December and January. The nearest railway station is Aluva 48 km from the sanctuary, while the closest airport is Cochin International Airport, at 71 km. Accommodation facilities are made available at the three-storied watch tower inside the sanctuary and at the forest department inspection bungalow called Hornbill. You can also book your private lodges at Kothamangalam and book private cabs to the sanctuary. The best season to visit Thattekkad Bird Sanctuary is between the months October and April.

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