Despite the rapid spread of concrete structures and shrinking greenery, Kochi continues to be a birdwatchers' favourite destination.
Birdwatching enthusiasts are frequenting at least five spots in the city where one would encounter a good number of birds belonging to a wide range of species on a given day. All that you require is patience, a keen eye to watch the winged beauties and a stroke of luck.
Interestingly, the large holdings owned by public sector companies such as the Hindustan Machine Tools, the FACT Township, Kadamakkudy and Nedumbassery are some of the favourite spots for watching the avian fauna in Kochi.
A boat ride along the Vembanad Lake would offer a chance to watch the wetland birds in action.
Some of the wetlands in the Goshree Islands and nearby areas are considered ideal places to look for wetland-dependent avian species, say birding experts.
Areas off Thevara bypass, Varapuzha, Bhoothathankettu-Edamalayar areas, and Malayattoor in the outskirts of the city are also frequented by birdwatchers.
The Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary, which is located within the city, is another ideal spot to watch the birds from close quarters.
The Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary at Thattekad has also earned a place in the birding map of the district as a large number of birds can be spotted here.
In Kochi, one can spot up to 80 species in favourable weather conditions, including Rose ringed parakeets, crow pheasant, and magpie robin.
Wetland birds like herons and egrets are also seen in good numbers in Kochi, said some of the birders. They suggest early morning hours and late afternoons as ideal time for bird watching.
Keywords: Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary