Mangalavanam bird sanctuary is a favourite with bird lovers, tourists and ornithologists. The bird sanctuary is situated in Ernakulum, right behind the high court building. This bird sanctuary boasts of rare varieties of migratory as well as resident birds. Mangalavanam bird sanctuary earned its fame not only for the large variety of birds, but also for the mangrove vegetation. The bird sanctuary is situated in a mangrove vegetation that houses a variety of specialized plants and animals. The area is linked to the backwaters of Kochi by a feeder canal.
Mangalavanam was classified as a protected area in 2004 as it houses breeding birds and rare mangrove vegetation. Being a plush green wet land that inhabits a number of rare species, the area is rightly called the green lung of Ernakulum. January to early march is the best time to visit the sanctuary as a number of migratory birds can be spotted during this period.