The Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary (also commonly known as the Thattekad Sanctuary) is located in the Kothamangalam Taluk of Ernakulam district on the northern bank of the Periyar river. The sanctuary was notified in 1983 based on a recommendation made by Dr. Salim Ali many years previously. Ali described Thattekad in the 1930's as the richest bird habitat in peninsular India, comparable only with the eastern Himalayas. Since then much of the forest has been diverted to cultivation and teak and mahogany plantation but what survives gives a glimpse of the phenomenal bird diversity of the once widespread lowland forests of Kerala.
Thattekkad is made up of dense tropical evergreen and deciduous forest and grassland patches, housing a population of over 500 species of exotic birds. This globally acclaimed bird sanctuary owes much of its fame to Dr. Salim Ali, the internationally renowned ornithologist. It is the exotic microcosm of India's bird population that brought Dr. Salim Ali to this place. His efforts were instrumental in the formation of this sanctuary to a large extent.
Spread across 25 sq. km. the sanctuary lies between the tributaries of the river Periyar like a peninsula. Rare birds like the Crimson-throated Barbet, Bee eater, Sunbird, Shrike, Black Winged Kite, Night Heron, Falcon, Grey Jungle Fowl, White-Breasted Water Hen, Hornbill, Ceylon Frogmoth, Rose-billed Roller and Blue-winged Parakeet live here.
Thattekkad also has extensive plantations of teak, rosewood, mahagony, etc. The dense forest is also the home of nearly 28 varieties of animals and nine varieties of reptiles.
This bird sanctuary, a peninsular land of 25 sq. km is covered with deciduous forests and plantation of rosewood, teak etc. Rare birds like the Crimson-Throated Barbet, Bee-eater, Sunbird, Shrike, Blackwinged Kite and the Night Heron are also commonly sighted.
About 58 km from Kochi city and 13 km northeast of Kothamangalam in Ernakulam district; Thattekkad is in Devikulam taluk, Idukki district, central Kerala.