Bird Sanctuary at Koonthankulam


Koonthankulam Bird Sanctuary or Kunthankulam is a 1.2933 km2 protected area declared a sanctuary in 1994. It adjoins the tiny village of Koonthankulam in Nanguneri Taluk of Tirunelveli District, Tamil Nadu. Located just 38 km from Tirunelveli (a bustling town on the banks of the Tamirabarani River) ,this is the largest reserve for breeding waterbirds in South India. Internationally better known as Kunthangulam Bird Sanctuary, it may soon be catapulted into the list of popular water bird sanctuaries in our country. This village is sparsely populated; migratory birds fly here around December and reside till June or July. About 35 species of birds visit this calm and welcoming village for breeding. These birds flying to the backyards of local homes for five generations are protected vehemently by villagers and regarded as harbingers of luck. Excreta of these birds –‘guano’ are collected by villagers in summers along with silt to use as fertilizer in their fields. Every member of the village protects them, their nests and fledglings. Baby birds that are injured or fall off from nests are taken care of in the rescue centre until their full recovery.