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kerala birds

In Kerala, there are about 476 different species of birds. These include resident birds as well as migratory birds.

Vezhambal (Great Hornbill)

The Great Hornbill is the state bird of Kerala. It is the largest member of the hornbill family and is found in the evergreen forest. They are found on sea level up to 5000 ft height. The body is covered with black feathers and the neck is surrounded with fur. The bill is yellow in colour and is curved downward. There is a yellow and black coloured casque on top of its bill which makes it distinct. The females are smaller than males and have blue eyes.

Marapravu (Nilgiri wood pigeon)

A rare evergreen forest bird seen in foothills and up to the highest sholas of Western Ghats. They inhabits in tall forests with fruiting trees. They are arboreal and frugivorous but occasionally descends to ground and feed on snails. This large pigeon with grey head and upper plumage brick red brown and green on upper back is seen in pairs or small parties.

Kaatungali (White bellied treepie)

A bird of evergreen rain forests and sholas seen in the foot hills to 3500 ft and higher. The birds are seen in pairs or families and are constant members of a mixed hunting parties of birds in forest.

Sandhyakkili (White bellied shortwing)

It is a robin like slaty bird seen singly in undergrowth in sholas. They are restricted in evergreen forests above 3000 ft. The male has a lively and beautiful song during the breeding season.

Kaatuneeli (White bellied blue flycatcher)

An indigo blue fly catcher like Nilgiri Flycatcher. But it can be identified by its white belly. Females are pale brown above with chestnut tail. They are seen in undergrowths of evergreen forests and sholas.

Karimchemban paatapidiyan (Black and rufous Flycatcher)

It is a shola bird about the size of sparrow. They are well distinct due to the black and orange colour combination. They are inhabited in dense evergreen sholas with ample undergrowth.

Neelathatha/ Mulanthatha (Malabar Parakeet)

Malabar Parakeet is seen in small flocks in the evergreen forests. It is a slender greenish or bluish-green parakeet with a long pointed tail, pinky grey head and blue wings.

Charathalayan bulbul (Grey headed bulbul)

The bird is of the size of Redvented bulbul. With grey head, olive green and oil yellow body it is confined to the evergreen forests. They are also seen in secondary vegetation and lantana thickets on hill sides.

Chenchilappan (Rufous Babbler)

It is smaller than Myna with olive brown and rufous brown bird with deep grey forehead. Flocks of 6 to 8 or sisterhood are seen in scrub undergrowth and bamboo forests.

Pothakkili (Broad tailed grass bird)

It is a rare hill bird between the size of sparrow and bulbul. The colour of this bird is rich brown above tinged with rufous chin, throat and centre of breast and abdomen white sides of neck and rest of under parts ochraceous. Seen singly or in twos and tall grass covered hill sides, often steep and precipitous.

Chilu chilappan (Grey breasted laughing thrush)

Similar to rufous breasted laughing thrush but throat and breast grey in this species. They are seen in evergreen forests, thickets, scrub, secondary forests, edges of sholas etc.

Nilagiri chilappan (Rufous breasted laughing thrush)

It is a olive brown and rufous coloured bird of the size of Myna. Slaty crown and nape with prominent white supercilium. They inhabits in dense undergrowth in sholas and evergreen forests seen in flocks.

Pathungan chilappan (Wayanad laughing thrush)

It is a rare and beautiful bird about the size of Myna. They are chestnut brown above, ashy grey and chestnut below, pure white throat and black eye mask. The top of head sides of neck and upper back deep are slaty greyTheir tail is black and the sexes are alike.

Neelakkili Paatapidiyan (Nilgiri flycatcher)

It is a beautiful bluish green flycatcher. The females are duller and greyer. It is seen singly in the sholas and inhibits in evergreen forests between 3000 and 5000 ft.

Malavarampan (Nilgiri pipit)

It is a bird of grassy hill tops, about the size of sparrow. Olive fulvous above with broad black streaks, rich fulvous below with the breast and flank narrowly streaked with black. Their sexes are alike and inhibits in open grassy, rocky hill tops interspersed with sholas.

Cheruthenkili (Crimson backed sunbird)

It is a little sunbird with deep crimson brown or maroon above with no shoulder patch. This is the smallest of sun birds, seen in sholas, gardens, flowering trees and bushes in hilly evergreen forests.