Periyar Tiger Reserve, Kerala

Crimson-backed Sunbird

The region of Thekkady is a true paradise for wildlife and nature lovers and is one of the best tourist attractions to visit in Kerala. Periyar National Park and Tiger Reserve lies in the middle of a mountainous area of the Cardamom Hills. The park is a diverse ecosystem, with tropical evergreen and moist deciduous forests, grasslands, a picturesque lake, and several rivers. Apart from being both a Tiger and Elephant reserve, it is also home to a huge variety of other wildlife, including endemic mammals and birds such as Travancore Flying Squirrel, Nilgiri Marten, Nilgiri Wood Pigeon, Blue-winged Parakeet, Nilgiri Thrush, and many more.

Target Species

  • Red Spurfowl 
  • Grey Junglefowl 
  • Sri Lanka Frogmouth 
  • Crested Treeswift
  • Indian Swiftlet 
  • Brown-backed Needletail
  • Chestnut-winged Cuckoo
  • Fork-tailed Drongo-Cuckoo
  • Oriental Turtle Dove
  • Common Emerald Dove
  • Grey-fronted Green Pigeon 
  • Green Imperial Pigeon
  • Mountain Imperial Pigeon
  • Pin-tailed Snipe
  • Crested Honey Buzzard
  • Black Baza
  • Red-headed Vulture
  • Crested Serpent Eagle
  • Changeable Hawk-Eagle
  • Legge’s Hawk-Eagle 
  • Black Eagle
  • Crested Goshawk
  • Brown Fish Owl
  • Jungle Owlet 
  • Brown Hawk-Owl
  • Malabar Trogon 
  • Great Hornbill
  • Malabar Grey Hornbill 
  • Oriental Dollarbird
  • Blue-bearded Bee-eater
  • Chestnut-headed Bee-eater
  • Malabar Barbet 
  • Brown-capped Pygmy Woodpecker 
  • White-bellied Woodpecker
  • Lesser Yellownape
  • Common Flameback
  • Greater Flameback
  • Blue-winged Parakeet 
  • Indian Pitta 
  • Bar-winged Flycatcher-shrike
  • Malabar Woodshrike 
  • Black-headed Cuckooshrike 
  • Brown Shrike
  • White-bellied Drongo 
  • Bronzed Drongo
  • White-spotted Fantail 
  • White-bellied Treepie 
  • Indian Black-lored Tit 
  • Grey-headed Bulbul 
  • Flame-throated Bulbul 
  • Yellow-browed Bulbul 
  • Square-tailed Bulbul 
  • Green Warbler
  • Large-billed Leaf Warbler
  • Indian Scimitar Babbler 
  • Dark-fronted Babbler 
  • Brown-cheeked Fulvetta
  • Rufous Babbler 
  • Wayanad Laughingthrush 
  • Asian Fairy-bluebird
  • Malabar Starling 
  • Orange-headed Thrush
  • White-rumped Shama
  • Asian Brown Flycatcher
  • Brown-breasted Flycatcher
  • White-bellied Blue Flycatcher 
  • Malabar Whistling Thrush 
  • Rusty-tailed Flycatcher 
  • Blue-capped Rock Thrush 
  • Nilgiri Flowerpecker 
  • Crimson-backed Sunbird 
  • Little Spiderhunter
  • Forest Wagtail
  •   Endemic
  •   Near Endemic


Day 1: Arrive at Kochi and drive to Periyar

On arrival in Kochi, you will be driven the 4 hours to Periyar, and check in to the Hotel Elephant Court Periyar, or Periyar Resort. A nature walk inside the park is recommended for the afternoon.

Days 2-3: Periyar Tiger Reserve

Periyar has a wide variety of habitats including grassland, and dry deciduous and evergreen forest, and riverside scrub. Consequently, it has an excellent variety of species, including Brown-backed Needletail, Black Eagle, Besra, Mountain Imperial Pigeon, Yellow-browed Bulbul, Thick-billed Warbler, Asian Fairy Bluebird and Little Spiderhunter. Although fairly widespread in the Western Ghats one of the most difficult endemics to see is Wayanad (or Wynaad) Laughingthrush. Periyar is one of the most reliable places for it, but you will need to be very lucky to get good views of this fast-moving skulker.
The are various options to pass your time here over the two full days, such as a jeep safari in the Gavi Forest, which gives an excellent tour of the landscape of tropical forests, grasslands and sholas. As well as birds you may find some interesting mammals such as Lion-tailed Macaque, and there is a slight chance of coming across one of Periyar’s estimated 35 Tigers. An afternoon boat across the lake is also recommended, and may well treat you to a family of Asian Elephants coming for a drink.

Day 4: Depart Periyar for Kochi

After breakfast, check out and drive back to Kochi.


For all our bookings we provide the most accurate and useful printable checklists available, specific to the actual areas you are likely to visit. In the meantime, use our interactive state checklists, or view the species bar chart for this area on eBird:

eBird India logo

Important information

Asian Adventures logo

As with all Bubo Birding tours, your booking is handled by Asian Adventures.

  • We may change the itinerary described due to various reasons such as latest birding information, availability of accommodation, state of the roads, and other unexpected factors that, this being India, do pop up from time to time!
  • We would be happy to make any additional travel bookings, e.g. domestic flights, car and driver, that you require.
  • The final price and itinerary will be confirmed before booking and depending on your expected arrival and departure plans.

See Asian Adventures for full tour details, including accommodation, meal plans, what's included, other exclusions, prices for different group sizes, single room supplements, cancellation policy, and booking process.

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