Bird Watching

A birder’s paradise is what Sri Lanka is. Situated in the tropics just shy of 10 degrees north of the Equator, Sri Lanka is enriched with beneficial climatic conditions, extraordinary biodiversity of varied landscapes such as wetlands, scrubs, lush forests, thick jungles, paddy fields and endless shores of sea in which make an attraction for many a species of birds. The small tropical island is home to over 430 species which include around 230 species of resident birds, 33 endemic species and 200 migrant birds that flock to the island during the winter months of their countries. Therefore Sri Lanka is an amazing birding destination.

Endemics include : Fowls, Pigeons, Parrots, Parakeets, Malkoha, Coucal, Owls, Owlets, Hornbills, Barbets, Magpies, Bulbuls, Warblers, Babblers, Thrushes, White-eyes, Mynahs, Starlings, Flycatchers, Flowerpeckers, Pigeons, Barbets, Flamebacks, Woodshrikes, Drongoes and Swallows.

The best times for Bird watching are during the months of October and April which are the migrating months if you would like to see the migrant birds. The best weather is during January to March. You can witness birds such as the kingfishers, spoonbills, storks and cormorants that visit the dry zone areas and quench their thirsts off the reservoirs and lakes. Pink Flamingoes flock in thousands to the lagoons and waterways of Jaffna and Mannar. Migrant birds are of Openbills, Ibises, Herons, Egrets, Pelicans, Comorants, Water cocks, Water hens, Stilts, Ducks and Grebes.

There are migrants from the Himalayas that visit Victoria Park in Nuwara Eliya, flamingoes, storks and herons flock to Bundala National Park which is located at the southern tip of the migratory path and many mixed species of birds visit Sinharaja Rainforest. The main bird sanctuary in Sri Lanka refers to the Kumana National Park which has the most crucial breeding grounds.

Other popular places are the Bodinagala Forest Reserve, Kalametiya Bird Sanctuary, Sinharaja Rain Forest, , Kitulgala Forest Reserve, Yala, Wilpattu, Udawalawe, Wasgamuwa, Minneriya and Horton Plains National Parks in addition to numerous reservoirs, lagoons, marshes, lakes and rivers.