Silent Valley Bird Survey.

5 January 2023.


A recent bird survey conducted at Silent Valley National Park in Kerala identified a total of 175 species, with 17 of those being newly recorded. The survey, which took place on December 27-29, marked the 30th anniversary of the first bird survey at Silent Valley. Despite the COVID-19 restrictions, a team of 30 birders and forest staff participated in the survey, which was held in association with the Kerala Natural History Society.

During the survey, a variety of species were spotted, including the Brown wood owl, Banded bay cuckoo, and Malabar woodshrike. The number of identified species has increased from 139 in 2006 and 142 in 2014. Endemic species, such as the Nilgiri laughingthrush and Nilgiri flowerpecker, were also identified in the high elevation areas of the park.

New Discoveries

The 17 new species identified during the survey include the brown wood owl, banded bay cuckoo, Malabar woodshrike, white-throated kingfisher, Indian nightjar, jungle nightjar, and large cuckooshrike. These additions bring the total number of identified species up to 175, with an impressive 139 species identified in the 2006 survey and 142 in the 2014 survey.

Abundant Species

  • Silent Valley is home to a number of abundant bird species, including the crimson-backed sunbird, yellow-browed bulbul, black bulbul, Indian white-eye, and Indian swiftlet.
  • Endemic species, found only in high elevation areas, were also identified during the survey, such as the Nilgiri laughingthrush, Nilgiri flowerpecker, brown-cheeked fulvetta, black-and-orange flycatcher, grey-headed canary-flycatcher, greenish warbler, common chiffchaff, Tytler’s leaf warbler, Shaheen falcon, Nilgiri wood pigeon, and Malabar whistling thrush.

Future Plans

Wildlife Warden S. Vinod stated that another bird survey will be conducted in the buffer zone of Silent Valley National Park in the near future. This will provide a more comprehensive understanding of the bird population in the national park and help in conservation efforts.

Silent Valley National Park

  • Located in the Nilgiri hills on the border of Kerala and Tamil Nadu, Silent Valley National Park is a protected area of 89.52 km2 (34.56 sq mi) that is home to a variety of rare and endangered species.
  • The park, which is surrounded by a buffer zone of 148 km2 (57 sq mi), is located within the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, a rich area of biodiversity that also includes the Karimpuzha Wildlife Sanctuary, New Amarambalam Reserved Forest, and Nedumkayam Rainforest in Nilambur Taluk of Malappuram district, Attappadi Reserved Forest in Mannarkkad Taluk of Palakkad district, and Mukurthi National Park of Nilgiris district.
  • Silent Valley National Park is home to a variety of rare flora and fauna, and was first explored by botanist Robert Wight in 1847.
  • The park is located in the vicinity of the Mukurthi peak, the fifth-highest peak in South India, and the Anginda peak.
  • The Bhavani River, a tributary of the Kaveri River, and the Kunthipuzha River, a tributary of the Bharathappuzha river, both have their origins in the area around Silent Valley. The Kadalundi River also has its origin in Silent Valley.

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