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Thattekad Bird Sanctuary
Thattekad Bird Sanctuary (also known as Thattakad or Salim Ali BS) is situated in the Indian state of Kerala, near the foot of the Western Ghats. The sanctuary itself expands over 25 square kilometers north of the Peryiar River. The neighbouring Idamalayar Project Area is another big area of protected forest, however it can only be visited with a guide. Thattekad can be combined with one of the Hill Stations like Munnar or Ooty to cover nearly all Western Ghat endemics. Best time to visit is in winter, from November to February. The temperatures are bearable, there isn't too much rain and many overwintering birds from the Himalayas are present.
 Notable Species
Over 270 species have been recorded in this relatively small area. Most notably are the Western Ghat endemics. Easy to see are Malabar Parakeet, Malabar Starling and Malabar Grey Hornbill. The other species like Wynaad Laughingthrush, Rufous Babbler, White-bellied Blue Flycatcher, White-bellied Treepie, Grey-headed Bulbul, Nilgiri Flowerpecker or Crimson-backed Sunbird need some luck and some time but are all possible. Thattekad is also a very good spot for the enigmatic Sri Lanka Frogmouth and for different owls.
Some species are very hard to find, eg Nilgiri Wood Pigeon. Sometimes species from higher altitudes can be seen at Thattekad.
Birds you can see here include:
Red Spurfowl, Grey Junglefowl, Indian Spot-billed Duck, Garganey, Northern Pintail, Lesser Whistling Duck, Eurasian Wryneck, Speckled Piculet, Rufous Woodpecker, White-bellied Woodpecker, Heart-spotted Woodpecker, Brown-capped Woodpecker, Lesser Yellownape, Streak-throated Woodpecker, Black-rumped Flameback, Greater Flameback, Common Flameback, White-cheeked Barbet, Crimson-fronted Barbet, Coppersmith Barbet, Malabar Grey Hornbill, Great Hornbill, Malabar Pied Hornbill, Common Hoopoe, Malabar Trogon, Indian Roller, Dollarbird, Common Kingfisher, Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher, Stork-billed Kingfisher, White-throated Kingfisher, Pied Kingfisher, Blue-bearded Bee-eater, Green Bee-eater, Blue-tailed Bee-eater, Chestnut-headed Bee-eater, Large Hawk Cuckoo, Common Hawk Cuckoo, Indian Cuckoo, Common Cuckoo, Banded Bay Cuckoo, Grey-bellied Cuckoo, Plaintive Cuckoo, Asian Drongo Cuckoo, Asian Koel, Blue-faced Malkoha, Greater Coucal, Vernal Hanging-Parrot, Rose-ringed Parakeet, Plum-headed Parakeet, Malabar Parakeet, Indian Swiftlet, White-rumped Spinetail, Alpine Swift, Little Swift, Asian Palm Swift, Crested Treeswift, Barn Owl, Sri Lanka Bay Owl, Eurasian Eagle Owl, Spot-bellied Eagle Owl, Oriental Scops Owl, Collared Scops Owl, Mottled Wood Owl, Brown Fish Owl, Jungle Owlet, Spotted Owlet, Brown Hawk Owl, Sri Lanka Frogmouth, Great Eared Nightjar, Grey Nightjar, Jerdon's Nightjar, Savanna Nightjar, Rock Pigeon, Nilgiri Wood Pigeon, Emerald Dove, Green Imperial Pigeon, Mountain Imperial Pigeon, Spotted Dove, Grey-fronted Green Pigeon, Orange-breasted Green Pigeon, White-breasted Waterhen, Slaty-legged Crake, Baillon's Crake, Spotted Crake, Ruddy-breasted Crake, Watercock, Common Sandpiper, Red-wattled Lapwing, Common Snipe, Whiskered Tern, Gull-billed Tern, River Tern, Osprey, Black Baza, Black-shouldered Kite, Brahminy Kite, Black Kite, Grey-headed Fishing Eagle, Crested Serpent Eagle, Western Marsh Harrier, Pallid Harrier, Pied Harrier, Montagu's Harrier, Crested Goshawk, Shikra, Besra, Oriental Honey Buzzard, Changeable Hawk Eagle, Booted Eagle, Bonelli's Eagle, Common Kestrel, Red-necked Falcon, Peregrine Falcon, Little Cormorant, Little Grebe, Little Egret, Great Egret, Intermediate Egret, Cattle Egret, Indian Pond Heron, Little Heron, Black-crowned Night Heron, Malayan Night Heron, Yellow Bittern, Cinnamon Bittern, Black Bittern, Grey Heron, Purple Heron, Asian Openbill, Woolly-necked Stork, Indian Pitta, Asian Fairy Bluebird, Blue-winged Leafbird, Golden-fronted Leafbird, Brown Shrike, Bay-backed Shrike, Southern Grey Shrike, Rufous Treepie, White-bellied Treepie, House Crow, Large-billed Crow, Ashy Woodswallow, Eurasian Golden Oriole, Black-naped Oriole, Black-hooded Oriole, Large Cuckooshrike, Black-headed Cuckooshrike, Small Minivet, Scarlet Minivet, Ashy Drongo, Bronzed Drongo, Spangled Drongo, Greater Racket-tailed Drongo, Black-naped Monarch, Asian Paradise-Flycatcher, Common Iora, Malabar Woodshrike, Common Woodshrike, Malabar Whistling Thrush, Orange-headed Thrush, Pied Thrush, Asian Brown Flycatcher, Rusty-tailed Flycatcher, Brown-breasted Flycatcher, Verditer Flycatcher, White-bellied Blue Flycatcher, Tickell's Blue Flycatcher, Blue-throated Flycatcher, Oriental Magpie Robin, Indian Robin, Malabar Starling, Rosy Starling, Jungle Myna, Common Myna, Southern Hill Myna, Velvet-fronted Nuthatch, Great Tit, Dusky Crag Martin, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, Pacific Swallow, Wire-tailed Swallow, Streak-throated Swallow, Northern House Martin, Grey-headed Bulbul, Flame-throated Bulbul, Red-vented Bulbul, White-browed Bulbul, Yellow-browed Bulbul, Zitting Cisticola, Jungle Prinia, Grey-breasted Prinia, Common Grasshopper Warbler, Paddyfield Warbler, Blyth's Reed Warbler, Clamorous Reed Warbler, Thick-billed Warbler, Booted Warbler, Common Tailorbird, Large-billed Leaf Warbler, Western Crowned-Warbler, Greenish Warbler, Wynaad Laughingthrush, Puff-throated Babbler, Indian Scimitar Babbler, Dark-fronted Babbler, Jungle Babbler, Yellow-billed Babbler, Brown-cheeked Fulvetta, Lesser Whitethroat, Indian Bushlark, Rufous-tailed Lark, Oriental Skylark, Nilgiri Flowerpecker, Crimson-backed Sunbird, Purple Sunbird, Loten's Sunbird, Crimson Sunbird, Little Spiderhunter, House Sparrow, Forest Wagtail, White Wagtail, Citrine Wagtail, Yellow Wagtail, White-browed Wagtail, Grey Wagtail, Paddyfield Pipit, Blyth's Pipit, Streaked Weaver, Baya Weaver, Indian Silverbill, White-rumped Munia, Black-throated Munia, Scaly-breasted Munia, Tricolored Munia
 Other Wildlife
Although the mammal list of the sanctuary is very long it's very hard to spot them. Bonnet Macaque are quite common and so are Giant Squirrels. Barking Deers sometimes cross the roads, but Sloth Bears and Leopards are hardly ever seen. Asian Elephants roam in the forest and are most likely just beeing heard. If you see them you may be to close.
 Site Information
 History and Use
The legendary Indian ornithologist Salim Ali visited Thattekad in the 1930's and described it as one of the richest avian habitats in India, only comparable to the Himalayas. He proposed a sanctuary. More than 50 years later, in 1983 the sanctuary was officially declared. However, much of the forest Salim Ali had visited was already converted into farmland, mainly rubber tree plantations. Since then the sanctuary is managed by the Kerala Forest Departement and eco-tourism grows.
 Areas of Interest
 Access and Facilities
Thattekad is about 13kms from Kothamangalam and about 71kms from Kochi Airport. Without guide or special permissions it's a dead end. The old road to Munnar is closed. You may drive along the Periyar, but you have to pass 2 Checkposts of the Forest departement. Busses run regulary from Kothamangalam to Thattekad and all other villages. However it's much more convenient to have your own car.
There are several places to stay, from simple homestays to quite luxurious tented camps. In the sanctuary itself some private houses offer homestay possibilities. The camps are outside the sanctuary on the southern side of the river.
 Contact Details
Thattekkad bird Sanctuary
 External Links
Several lodges and homestays are available and can be found on the internet.