Named after renowned ornithologist Dr. Salim Ali, this bird sanctuary is the abode of a myriad of bird species, both local and migratory. Encompassing an area of 1.8 sq. km, Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary is the smallest among the wildlife sanctuaries in Goa. The small area notwithstanding, the sanctuary teems with the winged visitors who come here searching for the ideal habitat.
The Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary, Goa is at walking distance from the ferry ghat. Mandovi River is the nearest river to the island. Along this river, the western tip of the island is the best place to spot birds and to enjoy the wonderful aspects of the nature and the colorful birds. The bird sanctuary is named after India's famous ornithologist, Sir Salim Ali. The sanctuary remains open throughout the year and prior permission is needed from the Chief Wild Life Warden of the Forest Department, Panaji.
Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary consists of mangrove forest plantations and mangrove scrubs along the small stretch of land of Mandovi and Mapusa River, and also along the Cumbarjua Canal. These water bodies are the homeland for various amphibians and crocodiles. Starting from water fowls to migratory birds, all kinds of birds can be found here. The cheerful chirpings of the birds and their colors, make the air vibrant and lively. During the winter season, migratory birds flock to the Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary in large numbers. Apart from birds, flying foxes, jackals and crocodiles are found in the sanctuary.
The watch tower is the best place from where tourists can have a good view of the birds. There are some resident birds and these birds are looked after by the sanctuary, so that they can grow and regenerate in their natural habitat. The Wildlife Department arranges tours to the sanctuary whereby the tourists can have an experience of the vibrant birdlife and their peculiarities. Dusk and dawn are the best times for bird watching, apart from that nature walks are the best way to spot birds on the tree branches and tree-tops.
Air: Dabolim is the nearest airport, 29 km from Panaji.
Boat: Panaji, the capital city of Goa, is the best place from where tourists can hire buses or cabs that will take them to the Rabandar Ferry wharf. From the ferry wharf, ferry services are available that will take you to the island named Chorao.