Kumarakom is one of the prominent bird sanctuaries in India, located on the banks of the Kanavara River and Vemabanad lake is also known as Vembanad Bird Sanctuary. The 14-acres of bird sanctuary is an ornithologist’s paradise and a favourite haunt of migratory birds like Siberian stork, Egret, darter, Heron and Teal. There are also different varieties of local birds like waterfowl, wild duck, cuckoo, owl, cormorant, moorhen, Brahminy kite, Bitterns, Parrot, lark, flycatcher, Marsh Harries, water ducketc and other birds are
seen here during their respective migratory seasons. Some of the migratory birds from the Himalayas, some even from as far as Siberia. In addition, you can get thrilled of the native kingfishers ablaze in psychedelic colours, experience a walk under rookeries of egrets and night herons or lone golden-backed woodpeckers and even delight in the acrobatics of the paradise fly-catchers. The sanctuary has a favorable climate for bird habitation that is moderate temperate throughout the year. In summer the temperature can go to around 35°C and in winters 22°C.
Kumarakom bird sanctuary was developed in rubber plantations by Mr. Baker, an English Man in the last century. The sanctuary was formerly known as “Bakers Estate”.
The sanctuary is open from 10.00 am to 6.00 pm and the best months to bird watch are between June and August. To watch Migratory birds, November to February is the best time. Dawn is the ideal time for bird watching when the birds prepare to leave their forest homes and fly over the lake. An early morning trek, well before sunrise, is recommended for avid bird watchers.
The best way to watch the birds of the Kumarakom sanctuary is a boat trip round the islands. Houseboats and motorboats are easily available on hire for bird watching cruises on the lake. Neighbouring areas such as Kaipuzha Muttu, Pathirmanal(sands of midnight), Narakathara, Thollairam Kayal, and Poothanpandi Kayal are also good spots for spotting birds.
Pathiramanal Island is an enchanting pristine ten acre island on the backwaters is home to many rare varieties of migratory birds from different parts of the world. This island in the Vembanad lake is accessible only by boat from Kumarakom and Muhamma. Pathirammanal raised as a bio-park by the Tourism department of Kerala.