Kerala Endemic Birding Tour

Basic Information

The Tropic Trails Kerala Endemic Birding Tour will take you through the Western Ghats Mountain ranges, with an exceptionally high level of biological diversity and endemism this region boasts over 5000 species of flowering plants, around 140 mammals, over 500 birds, and nearly 180 amphibians, many of which are threatened. Notably, the Western Ghats is home to 30 species of birds that are endemic or near endemic to this region, such as the Nilgiri Pippit, Malabar Parakeet, Nilgiri Thrush, White-bellied Sholakili, Black and Orange Flycatcher, and Nilgiri Laughingthrush.

Additionally, the region is home to many endemic mammals, including the Lion-tailed Macaque, Nilgiri Tahr, Nilgiri Langur, Malabar Giant Squirrel, and Nilgiri Marten, all of which this tour aims to showcase. The tour begins at Thattekad and circumvents the Western Ghats through Munnar and Periyar. Travel will be in SUVs or mini buses, and you can expect comfortable specialist accommodation and the opportunity to savor local delicacies, adding to the overall experience.

Tour Itinerary

Arrive at the Kochin International Airport, you will be picked up and transferred to Thattekkad (45 km, 01 hrs). We will be birding for the next two days in the Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary, Thattekkad. The avifauna of the sanctuary includes residents and migratory birds. The lush tropical rainforest bears many endangered and endemic species, the wetland formed along the River Periyar and the foothills covered with rainforest and teak trees forms unique habitats and hosts species restricted to such ecotones. The area has the most endemic birds of the Western Ghats, Malabar Parakeet, White-bellied Treepie, Crimson-backed Sunbird, Malabar Grey Hornbill, White-bellied Blue Flycatcher, etc. A good number of nocturnal species is also expected from here, both during the day and at night such as Mottled Wood
Owl, Oriental Scops Owl, Brown Fish Owl, Brown Hawk Owl, and Spot-bellied Eagle Owl. We will also be spending a considerable amount of time in search of the Sri Lanka Bay Owl as well. Night at Thattekkad.

We leave Thattekkad for Periyar Tiger Reserve (120 km 4 hrs). On the way, we will stop by the roadside for one of the rarest and difficult target, Grey-headed Bulbul.
Periyar Tiger reserve covers an area of 777 sq km and is home to a wide range of flora and fauna. The lush green forest gets its name from River Periyar which origin deep inside the reserve. We will be birding in the moist deciduous and evergreen forest for the prime target Wynaad Laughingthrush one species that every birder seeks, other birds to look out for include Great Indian Hornbill, Malabar Trogon, Whitebellied Woodpecker, Rufus Babbler, Grey-fronted Green Pigeon, and Common Flameback. There’s also a fair amount of chance of seeing, Black Baza, Woolly-necked Stork, White-rumped Shama, and Jungle Owlet. The trails in the reserve offer a good chance of seeing a few mammals as well, Indian Elephant, Sambar Deer, Indian Gaur, and Nilgiri Langur are a few to name. Night at Thekkady.

We leave early for Munnar and stop en-route for birding at Bodi Ghats. Yellow-troated Bulbul, Blue-faced Malkoha, Jungle Prinia, Blue- bearded Bee-eater and Painted Spurfoul will be the top targets here. The chances of seeing raptors are high on this journey.
With a picturesque landscape and cool climate, Munnar is another hotspot with few spectacular bird populations, the habitat varies from High Altitude Montane Forests (Shola) to Grassland and tea plantations. Birding along roadsides and Sholas in search for Nilgiri Wood Pigeon, Black and Orange Flycatcher, Nilgiri Flycatcher, Nilgiri Pipit, Nilgiri Thrush, White-bellied Blue Robin and Painted Bush
Quail, the hills have a good number to add on. Night at Munnar.

Airport transfer ( 108 km, 04 hrs), enroute to birding depending on flight time.

Tour Details

  • More than 5 Wildlife National Parks & 1 Bird sanctuary.
  • Possibilities of sighting Big cats like Royal Bengal Tigers & Black panthers
  • Chances of sighting Asiatic Elephant, Gaur, Dhole, Sloth Bear.