The Karnala Bird Sanctuary is located in Panvel Taluka of Raigad District, outside Mumbai, India near Matheran and Karjat. The sanctuary is quite small with an area of 12.11 square kilometres but along with the Sanjay Gandhi National Park and Tungareshwar sanctuary is one of the few sanctuaries to be within reach of the city of Mumbai.
Karnala Bird Sanctuary lies on the Mumbai-Pune highway. It is small in size and covers an area of 4.8 square km. The sanctuary houses as many as 150 species of resident birds and 37 types of avian migrants. There are small cages for the birds where the wounded ones can get healed and also for the people to be able to come for bird watching. It is a beautiful place with greenery all around and lies away from the noise and pollution of the city.
There are two ways for trekking- the easy one and the tough one. The people who are more familiar and comfortable with trekking can go for the latter one while beginners can choose the former. The path is such that one needs to move to the left of the entrance and then follow the road taking the pump house as the origin. Arrows displayed on the trees need to be followed further.
For the challenging route, one needs to move to the right from the entrance which will lead to the forest directly. There will be some streams and waterfalls on the way over. The elevation is of 375m which is not at all difficult to climb. Once the base area of the forest is reached, there are railings to climb.
Species of Birds found in Karnala
There is a total of 222 species of birds in Karnala Bird Sanctuary. The different kinds of species one can spot here include Nilgiri Woodpigeon, grey-fronted Green Pigeon, Malabar gray hornbill, Malabar Lark, white-cheeked barbet, vigor's sunbird, small sunbird, Malabar parakeet and much more.
Some rarely spotted birds including three-toed kingfisher, ashy minivet, and slaty legged crake also has been found in the sanctuary. Apart from these beautiful birds, the sanctuary is also home to over 114 different and colorful species of butterflies.