The Thattekkad bird sanctuary, the first bird sanctuary in Kerala, covering an area of barely 25 sq.km, and located about 12 km from Kothamangalam in Ernakulam District of Kerala. Salim Ali (nicknamed as the birdman of India), one of the best known ornithologist described this sanctuary as the richest bird habitat on peninsular India. The sanctuary lies between the tributaries of the River Periyar like a peninsula. Thattekkad literally means flat forest, and the region is an evergreen low-land forest located between the branches of Periyar River, the longest river in Kerala. More than 300 species of birds are found here. The sanctuary was later officially named as Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary.