Bird Watching Sri Lanka
Famed for its fauna, Sri Lanka has a huge number of bird species that is a big draw for many nature lovers
Sri Lanka is home to large number of native as well as migrant bird species
The fauna of Sri Lanka has always been a huge draw for visitors from all around the world and the birds of the country are certainly a huge draw. The richness and variety of Sri Lankan avifauna is known to birders the world over. Every birder who comes to our country hopes to spot all thirty-three endemic species in addition to the 381 other residential and migrant species. Thanks to the extensive field experience and knowledge of our guides, birding in Sri Lanka has become a unique experience-they know the terrain, the calls, and the silhouettes- and that’s why we can help serious birders fulfill their dreams.
The dream of any birder to Sri Lanka is to spot all the thirty three endemic birds, whilst notching up a score of over 240 species of the other residential and migrant species in 2 weeks. Our top birding clients know that we live up to that dream all the time.
Colombo has a rich history that spans over 2000 years. Because of its strategic location as a seaport, it attracted traders from Rome, Persia, China, and Arabia and it was used as a main city of administration by the Portuguese, Dutch and British during the colonial period. After Sri Lanka gained independence in 1948 Colombo automatically turned into the capital city. Because of this, there are a lot of old and new attractions on offer.
What sort of Birds Can You Expect to See in Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka is home to 439 species of birds of which 236 are breeding residents, 203 migrants and the rest vagrants. For a country as small as Sri Lanka having 33 endemic species and 68 endemic subspecies of birds with a species endemism of 11% goes to demonstrate why Sri Lanka is one of the finest birding destinations in the world. This includes endemics such as Fowls, Pigeons, Parrots, Parakeets, Malkoha, Coucal, Owl, Owlet, Hornbill, Barbet, Magpie, Bulbul, Warbler, Babbler, Thrush, White-eye, Mynah, Starling, Flycatcher, Flowerpecker, Pigeon, Barbet, Flameback, Woodshrike, Drongo and Swallow.
In addition there are close to 200 seasonal migratory birds both terrestrial and aquatic, moving away from the Northern winter travelling from as far as Siberia, Scandinavia and Western Europe, arriving around August /September and leaving around April/May. Since Sri Lanka is situated at the farthest southern point away from the south of India with no other landmass until the South Pole, the migrating birds end their long journey in Sri Lanka, making it a regular wintering ground. Some of the migrants include the Openbill, Ibis, Heron, Egrets, Pelicans, Comorant, Water-cock, Swamphen, Waterhen, Stilts, Duck and Grebe.
What Are the Best Places & Best Times of the Year for Bird Watching
The main bird sanctuary in Sri Lanka is the Kumana National Park which is considered one of the most important nesting and breeding grounds in Sri Lanka. The Bundala national Park situated in the southernmost tip of the bird migratory route is a favourite birding ground where flocks of flamingos, herons and storks are a regular sight. The other places are the Kalametiya Bird Sanctuary, Sinharaja Rain Forest, Bodinagala Forest Reserve, Peak Wilderness Sanctuary, Kitulgala Forest Reserve, Yala, Wilpattu, Udawalawe, Wagamuwa, Minneriya and Horton Plains National Parks in addition to numerous tanks, reservoirs, lagoons, marshes, lakes and rivers.Kitulgala Forest Reserve, Yala, Wilpattu, Udawalawe, Wagamuwa, Minneriya and Horton Plains National Parks in addition to numerous tanks, reservoirs, lagoons, marshes, lakes and rivers.
The best time of year to view birds is of course when the location you are going to is not affected by the monsoon. If you are going for a Western Coast location, the time from December to February is the best because you can see a lot of migratory birds during those months. Bird Watching Sri Lanka can be quite an addiction if you are not careful.