Thattekkad Bird sanctuary is the first bird sanctuary of Kerala. Salim Ali, a prominent ornithologist, had described it as the richest bird habitat in peninsular India. The sanctuary owes its establishment to the efforts of Salim Ali who recommended that the area should be made a bird sanctuary.
The word Thattekad means flat forest. The region is made up of tropical evergreen and deciduous forest and patches of grasslands. The sanctuary lies between the tributaries of Periyar River. Plantations of mahogany, rosewood and teak dot the entire landscape.
The area is a home to over 300 species of birds like mountain hawk eagles, dark-fronted babbler, brown-cheeked fulvetta, brown-backed and white-rumped needletails, Malabar grey hornbill, rufous babbler, Malabar parakeet, Sri Lankan frogmouth, bronzed drongo, racket tailed drongo and emerald green pigeons. The area is regarded as a ‘cuckoo papradise’ to varieties of cuckoos found here like drongo cuckoo, Indian hawk cuckoo and large hawk cuckoo.
When to go
The best time to visit the sanctuary is from October to March.