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.