The Largest Reserve for Water Birds Breeding in South India- Koothankulam Bird Sanctuary

Koothankulam Bird Sanctuary is the largest reserve for breeding water birds in South India.  This bird sanctuary cum protected area is situated at a distance of around 30 kilometers from Tirunelveli town, at Koothankulam village in Tamil Nadu state, India.
A pair of Black-winged Stilts (Himantopus himantopus) in the foreground with Bar-headed Geese in the background, at Koothankulam Bird Sanctuary

Around 43 species of resident as well as migratory water birds visit this bird sanctuary. Around 100,000 migratory birds comes here by December and leave by June or July next year, after laying eggs and and the young ones are mature enough to fly with them.

Koonthankulam village community is actively involved in the protection of the Birds Sanctuary. They take care of the fallen chicks by handing over them to the rescue center.

Koothankulam Bird Sanctuary has a  tower, an interpretation center and a  children’s park. There is also a dormitory open for the public,  throughout the year.

Bar-headed goose from Siberia is  one of the major migratory birds here at this bird sanctuary. Common sandpiper, Common teal, Coot, Green sandpiper, Pintail, etc, are some of the other Siberian Migratory birds which comes to this sanctuary. Apart from Siberian migratory birds, birds from Central Asia and parts of North India also makes this Bird Sanctuary as their breeding grounds.

There is an children’s park and interpretation center, inside the bird sanctuary at Koothankulam.

How Do I Go to Koothankulam Bird Sanctuary?

Koothankulam Bird Sanctuary is at a distance of 67 kilometers from Nagercoil town and 70 kilometers from Kanyakumari, the southernmost tip of India. Vallioor town, a fast growing town on the National Highway in-between Thirunelvi and Nagarcoil towns,  is at around 27 kilometers from the bird sanctuary at Koothankulam.

Suchindram Theroor Birds Sanctuary, the southernmost bird sanctuary in India, is at a distance of around 72 kilometers from Koothankulam Bird Sanctuary.

18 Responses

  1. I am not a big bird watcher but love listening to them and learning about them. The migration always fascinates me and the fact they stick together it quite nice. I am guessing due to the birds there is a lot of other wildlife around?

  2. Milijana says:

    Glad to hear that the local village community is actively involved in the protection of Koothankulam Bird Sanctuary. Connection between local community and nature is fundamental in every sustainable economy. Thumb up for Koonthankulam village!

  3. Wow, this is truly amazing and interesting. I love birds and definitely this is haven for me. The birds sanctuary that serves as a water Birds Breeding is something I should consider to see if I get the chance to visit in Koothankulam. I love how you were able to capture the water birds in their innate environment. Thank you so much for sharing this with us.

  4. anshul says:

    Wow, didn’t hear about this bird sactuary till now. Tell me if I visit this place in April, will I be able to see anything or should I wait till winters?

  5. I’ve never heard about Koonthankulam but reading yout post here, it sounds an awesome place to visit especially for those who enjoy aviary.

  6. I am imagining myself with my Canon with the long lens and shooting these beautiful creatures! Kudos to the organization and people behind protection of these birds.

  7. Blair villanueva says:

    Omg i can spend hours with my lens to captire a perfect shot. And maybe have a small picnic while waiting the perfect timing.

  8. Bird photography is a big thing. I was recently listening to a master class and now I would love to try it. The Koothankulam would be a good spot for me to try out and develop new skills.

  9. Yukti says:

    I never knew of Koothankulam Bird sanctuary, but thanks to you for introducing this to me. I love birds and photographing them, and whenever I plan to visit Tamil Nadu, this place is on my list.

  10. Liz Gen says:

    It’s good to know that these migratory birds has a place to stay when the weather in the North starts to freeze.

  11. I would love to see the Green sandpiper when I visit this park and may be try my hand at Bird photography. Bird watching is such a serene and soothing experience.

  12. FS Page says:

    I am a wildlife photo enthusiast, so a trip to bird sanctuary is always in my favorite list. I have heard and read a lot about Koothankulam Bird Sanctuary and would like to visit it soon. What season would be best for visiting? You have captured some beautiful photographs. This seems to be a perfect family picnic spot.

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