Lying on the outskirts of the city, Thattekkad Bird Sanctuary, located on the northern bank of River Periyar, was the first bird sanctuary in Kerala. A tropical evergreen forest at the foothills of the Western Ghats, the bird sanctuary is home to over 300 species of birds including bronzed drongo, Sri Lankan frogmouth, bronzed drongo, racket-tailed drongo, shama, Malabar parakeet, Malabar grey hornbill, white-bellied blue flycatcher etc. The forest also has around nine species of reptiles and 28 types of mammals, living amidst beautiful plantations of mahogany, teak and rosewood. It was made popular by renowned ornithologist Dr Salim Ali, who called it the richest bird habitat in peninsular India.

The sanctuary is sprawled over an area of 25 sq km and comprises evergreen and tropical deciduous vegetation.

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