A paradise for bird-lovers, the Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary gives one the opportunity to observe nature at close quarters. From both exotic and endemic birds to crocodiles, the sanctuary is a treat for wildlife enthusiasts. If fortune favours, one can also sight birds that come from as far as Siberia to make their home here. Some of the birds you can spot here are the darter, peafowl, pond heron, wild duck, large cormorant, heron, great stone plover, kingfisher, cattle egret, the lesser whistling teal, Indian cliff swallow, great stone plover, river tern, streak-throated swallow, among others. Reptiles and mammals found here are the common mongoose, flying fox, palm civet, common otter, bonnet macaque, and the marsh crocodile. The best way to explore the sanctuary is through boat rides towards the early hours of the morning. The sanctuary, lying on the outskirts of the city, is spread over an area of 40 acre and comprises six small islands. Set amidst a picturesque setting with bamboo trees lining the area, the sanctuary is a paradise for bird-lovers. It is the result of the efforts of renowned ornithologist Dr Salim Ali, who persuaded the then king of Mysore to form a bird sanctuary.