If you are a bird lover then Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary is a must visit place for you in Goa. It is not far away from the capital city Panaji. That is why it is very easy to access as you need to travel just five kilometres from Panaji to reach Chorao Island in Tiswadi Taluka where the Bird Century is situated. It is spread on a small area of 1.8 square kilometres. There a variety of avian population live here including local species as well as some foreign species too. It is actually a wonderful encounter with such beautiful range of flying species that includes Storks, Mallards, Purple Moorhen, Pintail ducks, etc. You may be wondering why this Bird Sanctuary is called Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary. He is the well known Ornithologist of India and to pay respect to him the sanctuary got its name The Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary. There is no other bird sanctuary in entire Goa except this one.
When you enter the sanctuary you feel enthralled to see these vibrant colourful birds all around and the chirping of birds in different tones and rhythm makes you more involving and pleasant. Apart from avian varieties you may sight Flying fox, Indian Rock Python, Smooth Indian Otter, etc. if you are fortunate enough. Don’t be surprised to face a strange bird just close to you. The Chorao Island is a beautiful place to visit and the western side of the island there are mangrove swamps that are the best place for shrimps, Planktons, crabs, estuarine fishes to breed. This place also gives the birds enough food to survive. You can find fourteen different species of Mangroves here. There is a river called Mandovi flows near the mangrove swamps. If you want to list down the bird species found here then here is the help.
8.Weave Birds (Baya)
12.Grey headed Myna
13.Purple Sun Bird
17.Pheasant tailed Jacana
18.Green Bee Eater
19.White bellied sea eagle
Among all above the first five are migratory birds and the rest are the domestic bird species. If you are a keen bird watcher then this place is not less than a paradise for you. There is a high watch tower being created to facilitate the visitors in order to give a clear and better view and to sight more bird species in the sanctuary. There is another way to indulge in this beautiful bird home and that is via canal cruise. While enjoying the cruise you can enjoy the nature at its best along with sighting birds and listening the melodious chirping of birds. You may shoot birds like white eagle catching fish in the water if you get the chance.
You may visit any time of year but November to February is the most suitable time to visit the Bird Sanctuary. To visit the bird sanctuary any time except november to february the permission from forest department is required. A very nominal fee of Rs. 50 per head is charged to visit the sanctuary. To reach the Chorao Island following is the route:
Panaji > Ribander Ferry Jetty by bus or hire taxi > ferry across Mandovi River > Chorao Island