Little tern

The little tern (Sternula albifrons) is a seabird of the family Laridae. It was formerly placed into the genus Sterna, which now is restricted to the large white terns.[2] The genus name is a diminutive of Sterna, "tern". The specific albifrons is from Latin albus, "white", and "frons", forehead.[3] The former North American (S. a. antillarum) and Red Sea S. a. saundersi subspecies are now considered to be separate species, the least tern (Sternula antillarum) and Saunders's tern (Sternula saundersi).

This bird breeds on the coasts and inland waterways of temperate and tropical Europe and Asia. It is strongly migratory, wintering in the subtropical and tropical oceans as far south as South Africa and Australia.

There are three subspecies, the nominate albifrons occurring in Europe to North Africa and western Asia; guineae of western and central Africa; and sinensis of East Asia and the north and east coasts of Australia.[4]

The little tern breeds in colonies on gravel or shingle coasts and islands. It lays two to four eggs on the ground. Like all white terns, it is defensive of its nest and young and will attack intruders.

Like most other white terns, the little tern feeds by plunge-diving for fish, usually from saline environments. The offering of fish by the male to the female is part of the courtship display.

This is a small tern, 21–25 cm long with a 41–47 cm wingspan. It is not likely to be confused with other species, apart from fairy tern and Saunders's tern, because of its size and white forehead in breeding plumage. Its thin sharp bill is yellow with a black tip and its legs are also yellow. In winter, the forehead is more extensively white, the bill is black and the legs duller. The call is a loud and distinctive creaking noise.

The little tern was described by the German naturalist Peter Simon Pallas in 1764 and given the binomial name Sterna albifrons.[5][6][7]

Little tern (centre) in Olango Island Group, Philippines
Little Tern with Crested Terns
Non-breeding plumage of S. a. sinensis with crested terns behind
Little tern
Sternula albifrons 2 - Little Swanport
Adult S. a. sinensis in breeding plumage, Australia
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Charadriiformes
Family: Laridae
Genus: Sternula
S. albifrons
Binomial name
Sternula albifrons
(Pallas, 1764)
  • Sterna albifrons Pallas, 1764
  • Sterna minuta Linnaeus, 1766

Populations on European rivers

Sterna albifrons MWNH 0425
Egg, Collection Museum Wiesbaden

At the beginning of the 19th century the little tern was a common bird of European shores, rivers and wetlands, but in the 20th century populations of coastal areas decreased because of habitat loss, pollution and human disturbance.

The loss of inland populations has been even more severe, since due to dams, river regulation and sediment extraction it has lost most of its former habitats. The Little Tern population has declined or become extinct in many European countries, and former breeding places on large rivers like the Danube, Elbe and Rhine ceased. Nowadays, only few river systems in Europe possess suitable habitats; the Loire/Allier in France, the Vistula/Odra in Poland, the Po/Ticino in Italy, the Daugava in Latvia, the Nemunas in Lithuania, the Sava in Croatia and the Drava in Hungary and Croatia. The status of the little tern on the rivers Tagus and lower Danube is uncertain.

The Drava population is one of the most threatened. Old fashioned water management practices, including river regulation and sediment extraction, endanger the remaining pairs. Only 15 pairs still breed on extensive sand or gravel banks along the border between Hungary and Croatia. The WWF and its partners are involved in working for the protection of this bird and this unique European river ecosystem. The little tern is one of the species to which the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) applies.


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2016). "Sternula albifrons". The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN. 2016: e.T22694656A86737634. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-3.RLTS.T22694656A86737634.en. Retrieved 14 January 2018.
  2. ^ Bridge, E. S.; Jones, A. W. & Baker, A. J. (2005). A phylogenetic framework for the terns (Sternini) inferred from mtDNA sequences: implications for taxonomy and plumage evolution Archived 2006-07-20 at the Wayback Machine. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 35: 459–469.
  3. ^ Jobling, James A (2010). The Helm Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names. London: Christopher Helm. pp. 38, 365. ISBN 978-1-4081-2501-4.
  4. ^ Higgins, P.J. & S.J.J.F. Davies (eds) 1996. Handbook of Australian, New Zealand and Antarctic Birds. Volume 3: Snipe to Pigeons. Oxford University Press, Melbourne. ISBN 0-19-553070-5
  5. ^ Peters, James Lee (1934). Check-list of Birds of the World. Volume 2. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. p. 340.
  6. ^ Sherborn, C. Davies (1905). "The new species of birds in Vroeg's catalogue, 1764". Smithsonian Miscellaneous Collections. 47: 332–341 [339]. Includes a transcript of the 1764 text.
  7. ^ Rookmaaker, L.C.; Pieters, F.F.J.M. (2000). "Birds in the sales catalogue of Adriaan Vroeg (1764) described by Pallas and Vosmaer". Contributions to Zoology. 69 (4): 271–277.

Further reading


Balgö is an island and a nature reserve in Kattegat, off Tångaberg in Varberg Municipality, Sweden. Balgö is the largest island in Halland. The nature reserve was established in 1950. Some smaller islands around Balgö are also included in the nature reserve.

Balgö is an important breeding and resting place for different birds, for example little tern, pied avocet and common eider. In the winters, there are white-tailed eagles in the area.

135 species of lichens have been found on Balgö.

Balgö has the largest population of natterjack toads in Halland.


Beadnell is a village and civil parish in Northumberland, England. It is situated about 4 miles (6.4 km) south-east of Bamburgh, on the North Sea coast, and has a population of 528(2001), increasing to 545 at the 2011 Census.Containing the only west-facing harbour entrance on the east coast of England, Beadnell is a tourist base, the town consisting largely of holiday homes, with some small-scale fishing. Two large caravan sites neighbour the village, as well as a handful of campsites.

The parish church is the Anglican Church of St. Ebba (named after Saint Æbbe the Elder, founder of abbeys and daughter of King Æthelfrith), built in the eighteenth century as a chapel and rebuilt in 1860. A sixteenth-century pele tower remains as part of the public house, The Craster Arms.Near the harbour are historic limekilns dating from 1747, which were later used for curing herring. They are now owned by the National Trust. Beadnell is within the North Northumberland Heritage Coast and the Northumberland Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Beadnell Bay, a sandy beach stretching 2 miles (3.2 km) to the south, contains a nationally important colony of little tern and the largest mainland colony of Arctic tern in the United Kingdom. The beach was awarded the Blue Flag rural beach award in 2005.

In the summer months, the village generally attracts holiday makers and people from the caravan site which shuts down at the end of October.

There was a horse race meeting held at Beadnell in the 18th century but by 1840 it had moved to nearby Belford.

In 1902, a clock was installed at St Ebba's church to mark the coronation of Edward VII.

Benacre, Suffolk

Benacre is a village and civil parish in the Waveney district of the English county of Suffolk. The village is located about 5 3⁄4 miles (9 km) south of Lowestoft and 1 1⁄2 miles (2 km) north-east of Wrentham, between the main A12 road and the North Sea coast. Neighbouring villages include Kessingland and Covehithe with the town of Southwold 5 miles (8 km) to the south.

The village is dispersed around Benacre Hall, the estate of the Gooch family. It had a population of around 70 in mid-2008. The population declined dramatically during the 20th century from 216 at the 1901 census. The area of the parish extends from the Hundred River in the north to Benacre Broad in the south.

At the Domesday survey the village's name is given as Benagra within the Hundred of Blythling. It formed part of the holdings of the Abbey of Bury St Edmunds, as it had before the conquest, with one freeman recorded as living in the manor.The village has few basic services. The former parish church of St Michael is now privately owned by the Gooch family. It is medieval in origin and a Grade II* listed building, although extensively rebuilt following a fire in the 18th century. The church of St Andrew in Covehithe now acts as the parish church for Benacre.Benacre Broad forms part of the Benacre National Nature Reserve, an important reserve for over 100 bird species including the marsh harrier, little tern and bittern. The shingle beach also forms an important habitat and the coastal area of the parish is part of the Pakefield to Easton Barents Site of Special Scientific Interest.

Bird Island Nature Reserve

The Bird Island Nature Reserve is a protected nature reserve located near Lake Munmorah on the Central Coast region of New South Wales, Australia. The island is situated 1.4 kilometres (0.87 mi) off the east coast of New South Wales, within the Tasman Sea. The reserve may be seen from the lighthouse at Norah Head.

Blackwater Estuary

The Blackwater Estuary is the estuary of the River Blackwater between Maldon and West Mersea in Essex. It is a 5,538 hectare biological Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). An area of 4,395 hectares is also designated a Ramsar Wetland of International Importance, and a Special Protection Area 1,099 hectares is a National Nature Reserve. Tollesbury Wick and part of Abbotts Hall Farm, both nature reserve managed by the Essex Wildlife Trust, are in the SSSI.Oysters have been harvested from the estuary for more than a thousand years and there are remains of fish weirs from the Anglo-Saxon era. At the head of the estuary is the town of Maldon, which is a centre of salt production. The other major settlement is the town West Mersea, of Mersea Island, on the northern seaward side. Numerous other villages are on its banks.

Within the estuary is Northey Island which was the location for the first experiments in the UK in 'managed retreat', i.e. creating saltmarsh by setting sea walls back from what are perceived to be unsustainable positions. The area is notable as a breeding area for little tern (Sternula albifrons) and as a transit point for ringed plover (Charadrius hiaticula).

Over-wintering species

Pied avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta)

Black-tailed godwit (Limosa limosa islandica)

Dark-bellied brent goose (Branta bernicla bernicla)

Dunlin (Calidris alpina alpina)

Eurasian golden plover (Pluvialis apricaria)

Grey plover (Pluvialis squatarola)

Hen harrier (Circus cyaneus)

Common redshank (Tringa totanus)

Ringed plover (Charadrius hiaticula)

Ruff (Philomachus pugnax)

Common shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)The Estuary is also the current mooring location for the Ross Revenge, the home of former pirate station Radio Caroline

Durham Coast

The Durham Coast is a Site of Special Scientific Interest in County Durham, England. Starting just south of Crimdon Dene, north of Hartlepool, it extends, with a few interruptions, northward to the mouth of the River Tyne at South Shields.

The area included in the SSSI includes six Geological Conservation Review sites, including Marsden Bay, a classic study area for coastal geomorphology since the 1950s.The SSSI is important both for its flora and fauna. It includes most of the paramaritime Magnesian Limestone vegetation found in Britain, a vegetation type that is unique to the Durham coast and that differs markedly from the grassland developed on similar strata elsewhere in lowland Durham.The Durham coast also supports a variety of birds, including nationally important populations of sanderling, wintering purple sandpiper and breeding little tern. There is also a rich variety of invertebrates, including colonies of the Durham Argus butterfly, Aricia artaxerxes salmacis, and the least minor moth, Photedes captiuncula.

Getterön Nature Reserve

Getterön Nature Reserve (Swedish: Getteröns naturreservat) is a nature reserve at Getterön in Varberg Municipality, Sweden. It consists of parts of the peninsula Getterön and an area to the north. It has an area of 350 hectares, of which 235 are land. The reserve was established in 1970.

Getterön Nature Reserve is protected as a Natura 2000 site and included in the Ramsar list.

Getterön Nature Reserve is one of northern Europe's premier birdwatching sites. In the reserve's wetland nesting species like gadwall, garganey, black-tailed godwit, ruff, dunlin, little tern, and pied avocet. The pied avocet also serves as a symbol for the nature reserve. Also in the winters there are many different species at Getterön, for example little grebe, water rail, common kingfisher, Eurasian bittern, bearded reedling, whooper swan, and smew. Also birds of prey, like the peregrine falcon, are common.


Kilcoole (Irish: Cill Chomhghaill, meaning "Church of Comhghall") is a village in County Wicklow, Ireland. It is three kilometres south of Greystones, 14 kilometres north of Wicklow, and about 28 kilometres south of Dublin. It was used as the set for the Irish television series Glenroe, which ran through the 1980s and 1990s.

The village has a large industrial estate to the south. An area of marshland runs along the coast from Kilcoole south to Wicklow town, called the Murragh. This area is home to many endangered species of plant and animal. The beach in Kilcoole is the summertime home of the little tern, one of the few places in Ireland where these birds nest. Within the village, is an area of flora known as the Rock which is a huge rock/hill that predates the Cambrian Period.

Kilcoole is in the Roman Catholic parish of Kilquade, and the local church, St.Anthony's Church, cost £35,000 to build.

Lake Bardawil

Lake Bardawil (Arabic: بحيرة البردويل‎ Buḥayrat al-Bardawīl or سبخة البردويل Sabḵat al-Bardawīl) is a large, very saline lagoon nearby the protected area of Zaranik (also known for diversities of insects and waterbirds) in Egypt on the north coast of the Sinai Peninsula. Lake Bardawil is about 30 kilometers (19 mi) long, and 14 kilometers (8.7 mi) wide (at its widest). It's considered to be one of the three major lakes of the Sinai Peninsula, along with the Great Bitter Lake and the Little Bitter Lake. It continues to decrease in size as sands move and is becoming more of a Playa or Sabkha than a lake. Between Port Said and Rafah are three main sabkhat which extend from west to east: Sabkhat El Malaha (Lake Fouad), Sabkhat Bardawil (Lake Bardawil) and Sabkhat El Sheikh Zawayed.It is shallow, reaching a depth of about 3 meters, and is separated from the Mediterranean Sea by a narrow sandbar and often the waters of the sea find their way there, making it saline. It has International Ramsar Convention protected wetlands with a large population of Little Tern. 30% of the recorded species in the Mediterranean Coast of Sinai are in Lake Bardawil. Six threatened species of flora exist at Lake Bardawil, including Iris mariae.It has six habitats including "open water, wet salt marshes, saline sand flats and hummuck (nebkas), stabilized sand dunes, interdune depressions, and mobile sand dunes."Other than bird diversity, the area is known for sea turtles and bottlenose dolphins although high mortality rate of sea turtles have been concerned. Within IUCN Red Data Book of 2006 are 6 threatened plant species which are found near the Lake, these include Astragalus camelorum, Bellevalia salah-eidii, Biorum oliveri, Iris mariae, Lobularia arabica and Salsola tetragona. The first four are endemic species.It may be what Herodotus described as the Serbonian Bog, between Damietta and Mount Casius.Some students of the Hebrew Exodus out of Egypt think that this location is near the fourth station of the Exodus, called Pi-hahiroth, saying "it may have been just west of the Western tip of Lake Bardawil."During the Sinai and Palestine campaign of World War I, Allied soldiers of the Canterbury Mounted Rifles tried to cut a canal from the sea to the western end of Lake Bardawil in order to flood it and prevent forces of the Central Powers attacking Romani from the north, but they were unsuccessful.

Least tern

The least tern (Sternula antillarum) is a species of tern that breeds in North America and locally in northern South America. It is closely related to, and was formerly often considered conspecific with, the little tern of the Old World. Other close relatives include the yellow-billed tern and Peruvian tern, both from South America.

It is a small tern, 22–24 cm (8.7–9.4 in) long, with a wingspan of 50 cm (20 in), and weighing 39–52 g (1.4–1.8 oz). The upper parts are a fairly uniform pale gray, and the underparts white. The head is white, with a black cap and line through the eye to the base of the bill, and a small white forehead patch above the bill; in winter, the white forehead is more extensive, with a smaller and less sharply defined black cap. The bill is yellow with a small black tip in summer, all blackish in winter. The legs are yellowish. The wings are mostly pale gray, but with conspicuous black markings on their outermost primaries. It flies over water with fast, jerky wingbeats and a distinctive hunchback appearance, with the bill pointing slightly downward.

It is migratory, wintering in Central America, the Caribbean and northern South America. Many spend their whole first year in their wintering area. It has occurred as a vagrant to Europe, with one record in Great Britain.

It differs from the little tern mainly in that its rump and tail are gray, not white, and it has a different, more squeaking call; from the yellow-billed tern in being paler gray above and having a black tip to the bill; and from the Peruvian tern in being paler gray above and white (not pale gray) below and having a shorter black tip to the bill.

List of birds of the Isle of Man

Over 300 species of bird have been recorded in the wild on the Isle of Man, a self-governing island in the Irish Sea between Great Britain and Ireland. Over 100 species breed there, including significant populations of red-billed chough, peregrine falcon and hen harrier.A variety of seabirds breed on the coastal cliffs such as Atlantic puffin, black guillemot, black-legged kittiwake, European shag and northern fulmar. The island gives its name to the Manx shearwater which formerly nested in large numbers on the Calf of Man. The colony disappeared following the arrival of rats but the shearwaters began to return in the 1960s. The Ayres in the north of the island have colonies of little tern, Arctic tern and common tern.Moorland areas on the island are home to red grouse, Eurasian curlew and northern raven. Woodland birds include long-eared owl, common treecreeper, Eurasian blackcap and common chiffchaff. There is little native woodland on the island and several species found in Great Britain, such as tawny owl, Eurasian green woodpecker and Eurasian jay, do not breed on the isle of Man.

Many birds visit the island during the winter and migration seasons including waders such as purple sandpiper, turnstone and golden plover. Wintering wildfowl include small numbers of whooper swan. A bird observatory was established on the Calf of Man in 1959 to study the migrating and breeding birds. By the end of 2001, 99,042 birds of 134 species had been ringed there. Numerous rarities have been recorded there including American mourning dove and white-throated robin.

The list below includes 323 species of bird. The English names are those recommended by the International Ornithological Congress (IOC) with alternative names given in brackets. The scientific names and classification follow the British Ornithologists' Union (BOU). Species marked as rare are those for which the Manx Ornithological Society (MOS) requires a written description in order to accept a record.The Manx Ornithological Society uses the following codes:

A: a species which has occurred naturally on the island since 1 January 1950

B: a species which has occurred naturally but only before 31 December 1949

C: a species with an established breeding population as a result of introduction by man

C*: a species which has visited the island from an introduced population in Great BritainFailed introductions such as black grouse or species which are not yet established such as red-winged laughingthrush are not included on the list.


Piiukaarelaid (alternatively: Piiukaare laid and Piiulaid) is a small, uninhabited islet in the Baltic Sea belonging to the country of Estonia. Piiukaarelaid has an approximate area of 8.5 hectares and a circumference of 1.8 kilometers and is administered by the village of Mereäärse, Varbla Parish, Pärnu County. The islet is fully protected as part of the Varbla Islets Landscape reserve (Estonian: Varbla laidude maastikukaitseala), and is an important breeding site for 54 species of birds, including: the velvet scoter, the little tern, the red-backed shrike, the curlew, the common tern, the Arctic tern, the redshank, the northern shoveler, the gadwall, the black-tailed godwit, the Greylag goose the tufted duck, the mute swan, the common gull, the goosander, the common eider, the lapwing, and others.

River Ythan

The Ythan is a river in the north-east of Scotland rising at Wells of Ythan near the village of Ythanwells and flowing south-eastwards through the towns of Fyvie, Methlick and Ellon before flowing into the North Sea near Newburgh, in Formartine.

The lower reach of the river is known as the Ythan Estuary, a Special Protection Area for conservation, particularly the breeding ground of three tern species (common tern, little tern and Sandwich tern) (Lumina, 2004).

The River Ythan has a length of 60 km and a catchment area of 680 km2. As figures of the discharge, 6 m3/s or 7,2 m3/s are given.

South Binness Island

South Binness Island is an island in Langstone Harbour. It is 600 metres (660 yd) long and up to 240 metres (260 yd) wide but only rises to 2 metres (7 ft) above Ordnance Datum. Archaeological finds include Bronze Age pottery and an unfinished Plano-convex knife.In 1978 the island along with the other islands in Langstone harbour was acquired by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds who turned it into a bird sanctuary. Since that time unauthorised landings have been forbidden.The Island is a nesting site for black-headed gulls and the little tern. In 2008 the island had 4,886 nesting pairs of black-headed gulls and 11 nesting pairs of little terns. None of the little terns managed to raise any young that year something thought to be in part due to the number of black-headed gulls. In 2013 500 tonnes of aggregate was added to a beach on the island in order to raise its height. The hope was that the higher beach would offer little terns more nesting sites high enough to avoid the risk of them being washed away by the tide.


Sternula is a genus of small white terns. It is often subsumed into the larger genus Sterna, although the most recent changes to the AOU checklist considers it a separate genus. The genus name is a diminutive of Sterna, "tern".

Listed alphabetically.

Little tern Sternula albifrons

Least tern Sternula antillarum

Damara tern Sternula balaenarum

Peruvian tern Sternula lorata

Fairy tern Sternula nereis

Saunders's tern Sternula saundersi

Yellow-billed tern Sternula superciliarisSaunders’s and least terns were both formerly considered to be subspecies of little tern.


Terns are seabirds in the family Laridae that have a worldwide distribution and are normally found near the sea, rivers, or wetlands. Terns are treated as a subgroup of the family Laridae which includes gulls and skimmers and consist of eleven genera. They are slender, lightly built birds with long, forked tails, narrow wings, long bills, and relatively short legs. Most species are pale grey above and white below, with a contrasting black cap to the head, but the marsh terns, the Inca tern, and some noddies have dark plumage for at least part of the year. The sexes are identical in appearance, but young birds are readily distinguishable from adults. Terns have a non-breeding plumage, which usually involves a white forehead and much-reduced black cap.

The terns are birds of open habitats that typically breed in noisy colonies and lay their eggs on bare ground with little or no nest material. Marsh terns construct floating nests from the vegetation in their wetland habitats, and a few species build simple nests in trees, on cliffs or in crevices. The white tern, uniquely, lays its single egg on a bare tree branch. Depending on the species, one to three eggs make up the clutch. Most species feed on fish caught by diving from flight, but the marsh terns are insect-eaters, and some large terns will supplement their diet with small land vertebrates. Many terns are long-distance migrants, and the Arctic tern may see more daylight in a year than any other animal.

Terns are long-lived birds and are relatively free from natural predators and parasites; most species are declining in numbers due directly or indirectly to human activities, including habitat loss, pollution, disturbance, and predation by introduced mammals. The Chinese crested tern is in a critical situation and three other species are classed as endangered. International agreements provide a measure of protection, but adults and eggs of some species are still used for food in the tropics. The eggs of two species are eaten in the West Indies because they are believed to have aphrodisiac properties.

Thanedar Wala

Thanedar Wala is a game reserve and wetland Ramsar site, located 15 km (9.3 mi) east of Lakki, Lakki Marwat District (formerly in Bannu District), North-West Frontier Province, Pakistan. Most of the area consists of a complex of braided river channels and sandy or muddy islands up to 4 km (2.5 mi) wide. The site covers 4,047 ha (10,000 acres). It supports wintering great egret, ruddy shelduck, common teal, mallard, northern shoveller, common pochard and ferruginous duck. Collared pratincole and little tern breed on the reserve.Thanedar Wala was designated a Ramsar site on July 23, 1976. A monitoring mission in May 1990 recommended that it be retained on the Ramsar List.

Towra Point Nature Reserve

The Towra Point Nature Reserve is a protected nature reserve that is located in Sutherland Shire, southern Sydney, New South Wales, in eastern Australia. The 603-hectare (1,490-acre) reserve is situated on the southern shores of Botany Bay at Kurnell, within the Sutherland Shire. The reserve is protected under the Ramsar Convention as a wetland of international importance as an important breeding ground for many vulnerable, protected, or endangered species. The Towra Point Aquatic Nature Reserve is located in the surrounding waterways.

Vaduvoor Bird Sanctuary

Vaduvoor Bird Sanctuary is a bird sanctuary located in the town of Vaduvur in Tiruvarur District in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Vaduvur was located 22 KM away from Thanjavur on the Thanjavur-Mannargudi state highway. The irrigation tank receives water from November to April every year which attracts a numerous foreign birds from Europe and America. The main attraction is the fertile wetlands in the region. There are also numerous lakes which provides the most required variety of fishes for the birds. The sanctuary is free for Visitors and the government has provided basic facilities for an overnight stay. There are two towers located in the sanctuary for the ease of visitors. More than 38 species of water birds are found here.

Bird migration is a seasonal phenomenon and when the temperature escalates in Europe and in the North America, the birds starts seeing for a location that will be suitable for survival. The wetlands in this region is quite suitable for the migratory birds as it provides suitable environment for food, shelter and reproduction. The farmers of this region also love the arrival of migratory birds as the irrigation water becomes fertile once it was enriched with the excretory of the birds. The state government had appointed officers for prevention of both hunting and poaching. Poaching and hunting is illegal and a punishable offence. The villagers were aware of this and a friendly environment for the shelter of the birds prevails. The small town is a good agricultural land and rice is grown in plenty.

The state government has provided facilities for sight seeing and relaxation. Public transport is also available 24X7 from both Thanjavur and Mannargudi. The entire sanctuary was a protected area and the birds can be seen only from towers or from the nearby location. The pleasant sound that arises from the variety of birds is pleasant and warming.

There is also a famous Ramar Kovil (Ram Temple) in the small town. Kothandaramaswamy is the name of the god in the temple.

20,000 birds from 38 different species visit the sanctuary every year. They include Open bill stork, Cattle egret, Little egret, Pelicans, Grey Pelicans, Darter, Little Cormorants, Common coots, Little tern, Pond heron, Night heron, Painted stork, Common keat, Kingfisher among others. The ideal time to visit the sanctuary is in the early morning before 6.30 p.m or in the late evening after 05.30 p.m. However, a large group of bird can be seen throughout the day.


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