Though recently established Thattekkad is one of the most important bird sanctuaries in South India. A boat cruise from Bhoothathankettu to Thattekkad is an unforgettable experience through the evergreen forests nesting migratory and indigenous birds. Thattekad Bird Sanctuary, also known as the Dr Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary in honor of the pre-eminent birder of all times in India, is located two hours drive from the port city of Kochi, near Kothamanagalam in Ernakulam district, on the northern bank of the Periyar river. The sanctuary was notified in 1983 based on a recommendation made by Dr. Salim Ali many years previously. He described Thattekad in the 1930's as the richest bird habitat in peninsular India, comparable only with the Eastern Himalayas.
Much of the forest has now been converted to agricultural and
plantation areas, but the surviving areas certainly give glimpses of the
rich bird diversity of the once widespread lowland forests of Kerala. A
trip through this sanctuary would certainly be a bonanza for any birder
with its over 270 species in a relatively small area of 25 sq km area.
One should se the rare Mottled Wood Owl, Spot-bellied Eagle Owl, Malayan
Night Heron, Sri Lanka Frogmouth, Rusty-tailed Flycatcher, Grey-headed
Bulbul and the Nilgiri Wood Pigeon.