Hill Myna

Take A Flight With Birds

KV Eldhose
KV Eldhose

Have you ever been fascinated by the colorful birds flying high in the sky, like an epitome of freedom and beauty at the same time? Don’t you sometimes wish that you were one of them? While it’s hard to fly like a bird, it’s possible to see them closely to understand more about them and know them with a deeper understanding. KV Eldhose organizes mesmerizing bird tours in Southern India and those who have been on his tours have seen 300 different species of birds during the expedition. Here, in conversation with Ek Titli, he tells us more on his passion for birds and the bird tours.

1. Tell us about Eldhose Bird Tours.

It is a 10 day long birding tour. In these 10 days, we take the visitors to three South Indian States – Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. In Kerala, we visit the Thattekad Bird Sanctuary and Munnar and in Tamil Nadu we visit Topslip, Ooty and Mudumalai while in Karnataka we visit Bandhipur and Mysore. Over the tour, 300 species of birds can be spotted in various habitats.

2. When did it start? Do you conduct them yourself?

Malabar TrogonIt was conceptualized over 25 years ago and since the last 10 years I have been involved in leading these nature tours. I have led the most prominent bird watchers of the world.

3. What inspired you to start it?

As a child, I was very interested in the nature and used to keenly hear nature oriented stories from my grandmother, which inspired me. I was intrigued by stories like how frog laid eggs and a tadpole appeared from those eggs and this very tadpole changed into a frog after a month which turned into Indian Pitta after 6 months. When I was in 7th Standard, I read a book called ‘Birds of Kerala’ by Salim Ali. This book further enhanced my knowledge and made me realize that Indian Pitta is actually a migratory bird, as opposed to what my grandmother had told me. But it made a deep impact on me and my quest to learn more about the birds went on.

4. Which are the birds that are most unique in the bird tours?

Sri Lankan Frogmouth, Ceylon Bay Owl, Slaty-legged Crake, Red Spurfowl, Spot-bellied Eagle Owl are some of the most unique birds that we get to spot during the bird tours.

5. Which is the best season for the visitors to take a bird tour?

Hill MynaThe best season for anyone to go for these bird tours is anytime between September to April

6. Tell us more about Thattekad Sanctuary.

Thattakad Bird Sanctuary is a low land forest area which is a very unique geographical feature for Southern India. South India’s highest peaks like Aanamudi are joined with this region and hence it provides a very distinctive habitat for certain birds. Owing to this, Thattekad has a very rich bird life.

7. How many people sign up for the bird tours? Do you get foreign visitors too?

More than 100 people come for this bird tour every year. Many of these visitors are often foreigners.

8. How do you advertise the bird tour?

We promote these tours mainly through our website, www.birdinginsouthindia.com and also through Oriental Bird Club Bulletin. However, most of our visitors come to us by way of Word Of Mouth from their friends and acquaintances.

9. Tell us about yourself.

Great Hornbill
Great Hornbill

I am a native of Thattakad and I am 48 years old. I have developed various bird habitats around my region, mostly by planting trees, which are a favorite among the birds. My main objective is to give safe habitat to these beautiful creatures. I stay with my mother, wife and two daughters.

To know more about them, visit their website birdinginsouthindia.com.

Author: Swati Maheshwari
Swati is a Communications Consultant and is actively associated with Ek Titli. She loves to write and tries to sing at times. She feels strongly for sustainable living. You can reach her at swati.maheshwari@ektitli.org

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