Ali Bird Sanctaury
|¤ About Salim Ali Bird
is Goa's only bird sanctuary, 1.8 Sq Km in area. A variety of local and
migratory birds can be found on this island. From Panaji , one needs to take
a bus or a cab to the Ribandar ferry wharf and then take a ferry across the
Mandovi river to the island of Chorao. The sanctuary is within walking
distance from the ferry wharf at Chorao. On the western tip of the island of
Chorao along River Mandovi, mangrove swamps cover this bird-watchers'
paradise aptly named after India's best-known ornithologist. Open throughout
the year, the sanctuary can be visited with the permission of the Chief Wild
Life Warden, Forest Department, Junta House, Panaji. Apart from a rich
variety of coastal birds, one may spot flying foxes, jackals and crocodiles.
The area consists of mangrove vegetation. Mangrove ecosystems are
among the most productive ones known to us. They provide refuge and breeding
grounds for several varieties of fish and insects which fall at the base of
the food-chain. The "Mangrove Scrub" type of vegetation that is
found here occurs in small isolated areas along the banks of Mandovi and
Mapusa rivers and also along the Cumbarjua canal. This Sanctuary is
criss-crossed with a network of water channels. So movement is restricted to
the duration of high tide if one wants to go by boats. However for canoes,
the creeks are accessible even during low tides. A watch-tower has been
erected in the Sanctuary for better viewing of birds. Apart from the several
resident birds, the Sanctuary also has some winter visitors like coots and
¤ Major Tourist Attractions
of Salim Ali Bird Sanctaury
species observed by us have been listed. Nomenclature used follows Birds of
the Indian Subcontinent (1998). The pocket edition of this book was used for
field identification. Subspecies have not been mentioned unless unambiguous
identification was made (eg. ruby-throated subspecies of the Black-crested
Some interesting observations and a nesting record are at
the end of this checklist.
Collocalia unicolor Indian Swiftlet
griseus Malabar Grey-Hornbill
Spizaetus cirrhatus Changeable Hawk-Eagle
Anhinga melanogaster Oriental Darter
Ardea cinerea Grey Heron
Snipe - the bird could not be identified because of poor light
conditions. The overall appearance, habitat and behavior were of a typical
Arachnothera longirostra Little Spiderhunter: a nest of this
bird was seen beautifully stitched to the undersiode of a leaf about 1 m
above the ground. A photograph of the nest is available with the author.
¤ Season to visit Salim Ali Bird Sanctaury
the winter season, migratory birds flock to the Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary in
large numbers. Apart from birds, flying foxes, jackals etc. can be seen over
¤ How To Reach Salim Ali
The sanctuary is 13 km north-east of Kothamangalam
along the Pooyamkutti road. The nearest railway station is Aluva at a
distance of 48 km. Kochi, the nearest airport is 71 km away. The new airport
at Nedumbassery is probably closer.
Kothamangalam is well
connected by privately operated buses to Ernakulam via Muvattupuzha or
Perumbavoor. There are frequent buses from Kothamangalam to Thattekad.
Construction of bridge across the Periayar river has recently completedd.