Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka Frogmouth Batrachostomus moniliger ©Amila Salgado Website
Birding Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is a continental island of the Indian subcontinent, shaped like a teardrop falling from the southern end of India, situated between longitudes 79º 39E and 81º 53E and latitudes 5º 54N and 9º 52N. It’s 437km long from north to south and only 225km at its widest. Its area of 66,000sq km is about the same size as Ireland. The south-central region is mountainous and has an elevation ranging from 900m to 2440m. This is surrounded by an upland belt of 300-900m elevation. The coastal plains hardly exceed 100m in elevation. This plain is most extensive in the north and east, and the continental shelf ends fairly close to the shoreline except in the northwest where it is continuous with that of India. Today Sri Lanka is considered one of the most bio-diverse areas in South Asia. Recent scientific evidence indicates that many of the plants species in the southwest of the country have a Deccan-Gondwana ancestry.

The drainage pattern of the country is almost entirely governed by the central highlands, with all the perennial water courses originating in the mountains and winding their way down to the plains below.

ClimateSri Lanka’s equatorial position gives its lowlands a tropical climate, with year round temperatures of 27-28ºC and a relatively constant day length. It is always the right season somewhere on the island Rainfall is largely governed by monsoonal winds, which occur during two seasons of the year. From mid-May to September, the monsoon blows from the southwest direction and brings in a greater amount of moisture than during December to February when the wind blows from the northeast. The distinct inter-monsoonal periods receive convectional rains at times cyclones. During the southwest monsoon, the position and dramatic relief of the southwestern side of the central highlands forces the moisture-laden air upwards. The rapidly cooled air condenses, causing precipitation mostly on the windward slopes of the island’s southwest. During this time the northeastern and southeastern parts of the island hardly get any rain. On the other hand, the northeast monsoon winds rise over the central highlands more gradually, and the rain shadow effect is not nearly so distinct, allowing precipitation to fall on the entire island. This has resulted in the division of the country in to two major climatic zones; the wet zone, which receives rain from both monsoons, and the dry zone, which receives rain from only one. The gradual change from the wet zone to dry zone allows an intermediate zone to exist. In addition, two small areas at the extreme northwest and southeast of the country have a very dry climate and known as arid zones.

Vegetation typesVegetation reflects the combined effect of topography, climate and soils. In Sri Lanka the natural vegetation is predominated by a diversity of forest types. Only a small fraction of land is under non-tree-dominated vegetation. This is mainly grassland, and coastal and fresh water wetlands.

The most extensive type of forest in the island is the dry mixed evergreen forest found in the dry zone (also called semi-evergreen forests). In the intermediate zone, the vegetation gradually changes to moist semi-evergreen forests. Although these forests have a fair proportion of deciduous species, they are essentially evergreen. In the wet zone vegetation has been largely categorised by elevation with wet-evergreen forests or rain forests in the lowlands and hills, lower montane forests on the lower slopes of mountains between 1,000m and 1,500m, and montane forests above 1500m. Also in the coastal areas mangroves and salt marshes colonise inundated bays while areas inundated by fresh water have swamp and floodplain forests.

Within each climatic zone, the presence and extent of specific habitat types determine the occurrence and prevalence of particular species of birds. Within dry zone, for example, habitats such as forests, marshes, grassland, man-made lakes, coastal mudflats etc. harbour certain species of birds, which are restricted to that specific habitat or are most often associated with it. While some species of birds occur in both zones at all elevations (e.g. Junglefowl) the distribution of many others is more limited. Many species and subspecies of birds are endemic to Sri Lanka and a significant number of these are more or less restricted to and characteristic of the rain forests of the wet zone. Some of this wet zone endemics are further restricted to the higher hills.

Avifauna of Sri LankaSri Lanka has a total list of over 430 species of birds. Of these, 233 are resident and these include the most important 26 species that are recognised as endemic to the country. Most of the resident species are shared with the Asian mainland. A further 198 species have been recorded as migrants to the country. The majority of these migrate to Sri Lanka during the northern winter and are present from about August/September to April/May. In contrast, pelagic species of seabirds like Shearwaters, Petrels, Storm-Petrels etc migrate to Sri Lankan waters from southern oceanic islands during the southern hemisphere`s winter. Of the migrants, about 100 species regularly visit the country. The rest are occasional visitors and vagrants.

When to goAny period between October to late April or early May is best for visiting birders. This period is best because all the winter visitors to the country are present and there is a very good chance of seeing a load of wintering waders and some spectacular migrants such as Indian Pitta, Pied Thrush, Kashmir Flycatcher, Orange-headed Thrush etc. If the visitor is not so much interested in the migrants, May, June and July are also good time to arrive in the island.

Birding sitesThere are many good birding sites but Sinharaja World Heritage Wilderness area, Bundala Ramsar site, Yala and Uda Walawe National Parks; Horton Plains are imperative for any birder. These will give all the endemics plus some other spectacular species. A 12 to 14 day tour of the island will give about 225 species, if the visitor is with the right person who knows his birdcalls and the places.

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Top Sites
  • Bundala National Park

    Trip AdvisorSatellite View
    This NP is a Ramsar Site and is situated in the dry zone and borders the Indian Ocean. This comprises of dry semi-evergreen forest, scrub jungle and shallow water holes. The beaches in this are important sites for nesting Turtles. Birds likely to be seen: Little Grebe, Little Cormorant, Indian Shag, Great Cormorant, Indian Darter, Spot-billed Pelican, Night Heron, Little Green Heron, Indian Pond Heron, Cattle Egret, Little Egret, Median Egret, Large Egret, Grey Heron, Purple Heron, Painted Stork, Openbill, White-necked Stork, White Ibis, Spoonbill, Greater Flamingo, Brahminy Kite, White-bellied Sea Eagle, Crested Serpent Eagle, Crested Hawk-Eagle, Little Pratincole, Little Ringed Plover, Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, Lesser Sand Plover, Large Sand Plover, Golden Plover, Grey Plover, Yellow-wattled Lapwing, Red-wattled Lapwing, Little Stint, Curlew Sandpiper, Ruff, Pintail Snipe, Black-tailed Godwit, Common Redshank, Marsh Sandpiper, Common Greenshank, Green Sandpiper, Wood Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, Turnstone, Brown-headed Gull, Gull-billed Tern, Caspian Tern , Large-Crested Tern, Lesser-Crested Tern, Little Tern, Saunders's Tern, Whiskered Tern, White-winged Black Tern
  • Horton Plains National Park

    InformationSatellite View
    A highland plateau comprising of montane forest and grassland. Famous among the birders for the highland endemics like the Dull-blue Flycatcher, SL Wood Pigeon, Bush Warbler, Yellow-eared Bulbul and the most elusive crepuscular Whistling Thrush also called Arrenga.. Other birds of interest are the Pied Bush Chat, Grey Tit, Grey-headed Canary Flycatcher, Spot-winged Thrush.
  • Sinharaja Forest Reserve

    InformationSatellite View
    According to International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Sinharaja is the country's last viable area of primary tropical rainforest. More than 60% of the trees are endemic and many of them are considered rare.
  • Uda Walawe National Park

    InformationSatellite View
    This is another dry zone area which is the catchment of a very large man made reservoir. A mixture of abandoned Teak plantation, grassland, scrub jungle and some riverine frests. This is also a very famous site for Elephants. Birds likely to be seen: Apart from seeing most of the waterbirds in the Bundala NP it is very likely that the following also be seen. Spot-billed Pelican, Lesser Adjutant, Black-winged Kite, Brahminy Kite, White-bellied Sea Eagle, Grey-headed Fishing Eagle, Crested Serpent Eagle, Crested Hawk-Eagle,Orange-breasted Green Pigeon, Pompadour Green Pigeon, Green Imperial Pigeon, Orange-breasted Green Pigeon, Pompadour Green Pigeon, Green Imperial Pigeon, Blue-faced Malkoha, Red-faced Malkoha, Sirkeer, Little Green Bee-eater, Blue-tailed Bee-eater, Indian Roller, Malabar Pied Hornbill, Crimson-breasted Barbet, Brown-capped Pygmy Woodpecker, Yellow-fronted Pied Woodpecker
  • Upali Ekanayake

    84, Amunugama South, Gunnepana, Sri Lanka |

Number of Species
  • Number of bird species: 441

    (As at January 2019)

    National Bird: Sri Lanka Jungle Fowl Gallus lafayetti

  • Number of endemics: 33

    Sri Lanka Spurfowl Galloperdix bicalcarata, Sri Lanka Junglefowl Gallus lafayettii, Sri Lanka Woodpigeon Columba torringtonii, Pompadour Green Pigeon Treron pompadora, Sri Lanka Hanging Parrot Loriculus beryllinus, Layard’s Parakeet Psittacula calthropae, Red-faced Malkoha Phaenicophaeus pyrrhocephalus, Green-billed Coucal Centropus chlororhynchos, Serendib Scops-Owl Otus thilohoffmanni, Chestnut-backed Owlet Glaucidium castanonotum, Sri Lanka Grey Hornbill Ocyceros gingalensis, Yellow-fronted Barbet Megalaima flavifrons, Sri Lanka Small Barbet Megalaima rubricapillus, Crimson-backed Flameback Chrysocolaptes stricklandi, Sri Lanka Swallow Hirundo hyperythra, Sri Lanka Woodshrike Tephrodornis affinis, Black-capped Bulbul Pycnonotus melanicterus, Yellow-eared Bulbul Pycnonotus penicillatus, Sri Lanka Whistling-Thrush Myophonus blighi, Spot-winged Ground-Thrush Zoothera spiloptera, Sri Lanka Scaly Thrush Zoothera imbricate, Sri Lanka Bush-Warbler Bradypterus palliseri, Dusky-blue Flycatcher Eumyias sordidus, Brown-capped Babbler Pellorneum fuscocapillus, Sri Lanka Scimitar-Babbler Pomatorhinus (schisticeps) melanurus, Sri Lanka Rufous Babbler Turdoides rufescens, Ashy-headed Laughingthrush Garrulax cinereifrons, Legge’s Flowerpecker Dicaeum vincens, Sri Lanka White-eye Zosterops Sri Lankaensis, Sri Lanka Crested Drongo Dicrurus lophorinus, Sri Lanka Blue Magpie Urocissa ornata, White-faced Starling Sturnia albofrontata, Sri Lanka Hill-Myna Gracula ptilogenys

    Some authorities consider the Sri Lanka Stilt Himantopus ceylonensis to be an endemic too - but most do not. As for the Black-throated Munia Lonchura kelaarti the jury is still out until vocalisation can be fully studied.

  • iGoTerra Checklist

    iGoTerra Checklist
    Fatbirder Associate iGoTerra offers the most comprehensive and up to date birds lists on the web
Useful Reading

  • A Field Guide to the Birds of Sri Lanka

    | By John Harrison a& Tim Worfolk | Oxford University Press | 2011 | Edition 2 | Paperback | 208 pages, 49 plates with colour illustrations | ISBN: 9780199585670 Buy this book from
  • A Naturalist's Guide to the Birds of Sri Lanka

    | By Gehan de Silva Wijeyeratne | John Beaufoy Publishing | 2020 | 2nd Edition | Paperback | 176 Pages, 300 colour photos, Maps | ISBN: 9781913679002 Buy this book from
  • A Photographic Field Guide to the Birds of India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh

    | By Bikram Grewal, Sumit Sen, Sarwandeep Singh, Nikhil Devasar & Garima Bhatia | Princeton University Press | 2017 | Paperback | 792 pages, 4000+ colour photos, 1300+ colour distribution maps | ISBN: 9780691176499 Buy this book from
  • A Photographic Guide to the Birds of Sri Lanka

    | By Gehan de Silva Wijeyeratne | John Beaufoy Books | 2019 | Edition 2 | Paperback | 296 pages, 650 colour photos, colour distribution maps, 2 colour maps | ISBN: 9781912081011 Buy this book from
  • An Illustrated Guide to the Birds of Sri Lanka

    | By Sarath Kotagama & Gamini Ratnavira | Field Ornithology Group Sri Lanka | 2010 | Hardback | 356 pages, 52 plates with colour illustrations; colour & b/w illustrations, colour distribution maps | ISBN: 9789558576267 Buy this book from
  • Birds of Sri Lanka

    | By Deepal Warakagoda, Carol Inskipp, Tim Inskipp & Richard Grimmett |Christopher Helm | 2012 | Paperback | 224 pages | 104 colour plates | colour photos | 350 colour distribution maps | ISBN: 9780713688535 Buy this book from
  • Birds of Sri Lanka

    | By Gehan de Silva Wijeyeratne | National Trust Sri Lanka | 2009 | Hardback | 208 pages, colour photos, b/w illustrations | ISBN: 9789550093007 Buy this book from
  • Birds of Sri Lanka - An Illustrated Guide

    | By Sarath Kotagama & Gamini Ratnavira | Field Ornithology Group Sri Lanka | 2017 | Paperback | 540 pages, plates with colour illustrations; b/w illustrations, colour maps | ISBN: 9789558576434 Buy this book from
  • Birds of the Indian Subcontinent

    | By Richard Grimmett, Carol Inskipp & Tim Inskipp | Christopher Helm | 2012 | Softcover | Edition: 2 | 528 Pages | 226 Colour Plates | Colour Distribution Maps | Black & White Illustrations | ISBN: 9781408127636 Buy this book from
  • Common Garden Birds of Sri Lanka

    | By Pathmanath Samaraweera | Pathmanath Samaraweera | 2017 | Paperback | 60 pages, colour & b/w illustrations | ISBN: 9789553832405 Buy this book from
  • Endemic Birds of Sri Lanka

    | (Complete and Unabridged Accounts From a History of the Birds of Ceylon) | By W Vincent Legge | Tisara Prakasakayo | 2011 | Hardback | 183 pages, colour plates, colour illustrations, colour maps | ISBN: 9789555641272 Buy this book from
  • Ceylon Bird Club

    The objective of the club widened over the years to promoting the protection of bird species and subspecies, and the conservation of their habitats, in Sri Lanka. Towards this, the club strives to find out which bird taxa are threatened, monitors their sur­vival and habitats, and conducts surveys. The Bundala National Park, the Annaiwilun­dawa Sanctuary and the Vankalai Sanctuary were designated as such and/or Ramsar Sites mainly owing to the club’s pro­posal, information and per­suasion. Other sites are presently receiving similar attention by the CBC.
  • Field Ornithology Group of Sri Lanka

    Facebook Page
    The Field Ornithology Group of Sri Lanka, established in 1976 is a non-profit, non-governmental organization attached to the Department of Zoology, University of Colombo. An organization dedicated towards birding, ornithology, and conservation of nature, FOGSL provides a platform on which people from all wakes of life interact. FOGSL also aims to establish and strengthen links with similar organizations in foreign countries.
  • Sri Lanka Wildlife Conservation Society

    Twenty-five centuries ago Mahinda, a Buddhist monk and son of Emperor Asoka of India told the King of Ceylon: O Great King, the birds of the air and the beasts have an equal right to live and move about in any part of the island as thou. The land belongs to the people and all other beings; thou art only the guardian of it. Acting on these words, King Devanampiyatissa established the world's first wildlife sanctuary.
  • Wildlife Heritage Trust

    Sri Lanka's leading biodiversity exploration and research institution and natural history publisher

Abbreviations Key

  • BR Kanneliya-Dediyagala-Nakiyadeniya

    InformationSatellite View
    Out of 26 endemic birds of Sri Lanka, 20 of them can be seen in KDN forest complex. Sri Lanka spurfowl, Sri Lanka junglefowl, Sri Lanka grey hornbill, red-faced malkoha, orange-billed babbler, Sri Lanka blue magpie are some of them.
  • BS Kalametiya

    WebsiteSatellite View
    Kalametiya is a coastal wetland area that has an especially rich bio-diversity, and is situated on the picturesque southeastern coast of Sri Lanka, in the district of Hambantota. It, along with Rekawa and Ussangoda, forms an area known as “Ruk,” a coastal belt of land of outstanding beauty littered with numerous bays, coves, lagoons, rocky outcrops and sandy beaches, stretching from approximately Tangalle to Hambantota.
  • BS Kokkilai Lagoon

    InformationSatellite View
    It currently has an area of 1,995 ha (4,930 acres). Numerous varieties of water and wader birds are found in the sanctuary including cormorants, ducks, egrets, flamingoes, herons, ibis, pelicans and storks. The sanctuary is a haven for birds migrating along Sri Lanka's east coast.[9] Elephants are also found in the sanctuary.
  • NP Angammedilla

    InformationSatellite View
    Sri Lankan elephant, Sri Lankan sambar deer, Indian muntjac, Sri Lankan axis deer, water buffalo, wild boar, and peafowl are common within the park. However Sri Lanka leopard, sloth bear, grizzled giant squirrel and Sri Lanka junglefowl are sometimes seen.
  • NP Bundala (IBA)

    InformationSatellite View
    Bundala National Park is an internationally important wintering ground for migratory water birds in Sri Lanka. Bundala harbors 197 species of birds, the highlight being the greater flamingo, which migrate in large flocks. 197 species of birds. The wetland habitats in Bundala harbours about 100 species of water birds, half of them being migrant birds.
  • NP Chundikkulam (BS)

    InformationSatellite View
    Chundikkulam Lagoon and its surrounding area was designated as a bird sanctuary. Numerous varieties of water and wader birds are found in the park.
  • NP Flood Plains

    InformationSatellite View
    Flood Plains National Park is one of the four national parks set aside under the Mahaweli River development project.[2] The park was created on 7 August 1984.[3] The national park is situated along the Mahaweli flood plain and is considered a rich feeding ground for elephants. The flood plains are especially important for the diversity and richness of their avifauna, particularly migrant birds. The rare species lesser adjutant Leptoptilos javanicus and variety of other species inhabit the park.
  • NP Gal Oya

    InformationSatellite View
    More than 150 species of birds have been recorded in Gal Oya. The lesser adjutant, spot-billed pelican and red-faced malkoha are some of the park's resident birds.
  • NP Galway's Land (IBA)

    InformationSatellite View
    Field Ornithology Group of Sri Lanka considers that the Victoria park of Nuwara Eliya and the Galway's Land as two of the most significant birding sites in Sri Lanka. Galway's Land harbours about 20 rare migrant bird species and 30 native species.
  • NP Horton Plains (IBA)

    InformationSatellite View
    Horton Plains National Park is a protected area in the central highlands of Sri Lanka and is covered by montane grassland and cloud forest. This plateau at an altitude of 2,100–2,300 metres (6,900–7,500 ft) is rich in biodiversity and many species found here are endemic to the region. Horton Plains contains 21 bird species which occur only on Sri Lanka. Four, Sri Lanka blue magpie, dull-blue flycatcher, Sri Lanka white-eye, and Sri Lanka wood pigeon, occur only in Horton plains, while other endemic species include Sri Lanka spurfowl, Sri Lanka junglefowl, yellow-fronted barbet, orange-billed babbler, Sri Lanka bush warbler, and Sri Lanka whistling-thrush.
  • NP Kaudulla

    InformationSatellite View
    Large water birds such as spot-billed pelican and lesser adjutant visit the Kaudulla tank.
  • NP Kumana (BS)

    InformationSatellite View
    Kumana National Park in Sri Lanka is renowned for its avifauna, particularly its large flocks of migratory waterfowl and wading birds. Kumana is one of the most important bird nesting and breeding grounds in Sri Lanka. 255 species of birds have been recorded in the national park. From April to July tens of thousands of birds migrate to the Kumana swamp area. Rare species such as black-necked stork, lesser adjutant, Eurasian spoonbill, and great thick-knee are breeding inhabitants.
  • NP Lahugala Kitulana

    InformationSatellite View
    Many wetland birds found in Lahugala Kitulana include great white pelican, purple heron, painted stork, lesser adjutant, Anas spp., white-bellied sea eagle, grey-headed fish eagle, common kingfisher, stork-billed kingfisher, white-throated kingfisher. Spot-billed pelican, Asian openbill and woolly-necked stork are also recorded visiting the wetland.
  • NP Madhu Road

    InformationSatellite View
    Numerous varieties of birds are found in Madhu Road including Alexandrine parakeet, ashy-crowned sparrow-lark, ashy prinia, ashy woodswallow, Asian koel, Asian palm swift.....
  • NP Maduru Oya

    InformationSatellite View
    The importance of the park's fauna is its richness, which includes a number of endemic species. The park's diverse aquatic avifauna includes painted stork Mycteria leucocephala, white-bellied sea eagle Haliaeetus leucogaster, grey pelican Pelecanus philippensis, great cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo , and little cormorant P. niger. Notable forest species are endemic Sri Lanka junglefowl Gallus lafayetii, the rare broad-billed roller Eurystomus glaucurus (possibly the only dry zone haunt), common tailorbird Orthotomus sutorius, shama Copsychus malabaricus, black-hooded oriole Oriolus xanthornus, and woodpecker Dendrocopos nanus. Endemic red-faced malkoha (Phaenicophaeus pyrrhocephalus) also occurs. The reservoirs harbor several species of bird including Oriental darter Anhinga melanogaster, spot-billed pelican Pelecanus philippensis, Asian openbill Anastomus oscitans, black-headed ibis Threskiornis melanocephalus, and Eurasian spoonbill Platalea leucorodia
  • NP Minneriya (IBA WS)

    InformationSatellite View
    The reason for declaring the area as protected is to protect the catchment of Minneriya tank and the wildlife of the surrounding area. The national park's faunal species include 24 species of mammals, 160 species of birds, 9 species of amphibians, 25 species of reptiles, 26 species of fish, and 75 species of butterflies. The Minneriya reservoir is an important habitat for large water birds such as lesser adjutant, painted stork, and spot-billed pelican. Minneriya is a dormitory for many resident as well as migrant bird species. Flocks of 2000 little cormorants have been reported. Great white pelican, ruddy turnstone, and grey heron are the other water birds here. Among the endemic birds are Sri Lanka junglefowl, Sri Lanka hanging parrot, brown-capped babbler, Sri Lanka grey hornbill, black-crested bulbul and crimson-fronted barbet. The number of threatened birds recorded from this national park is 11.
  • NP Sinharaja Forest Reserve (BR)

    InformationSatellite View
    Sinharaja Forest Reserve is a national park and a biodiversity hotspot in Sri Lanka. It is of international significance and has been designated a Biosphere Reserve and World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The reserve is only 21 km (13 mi) from east to west, and a maximum of 7 km (4.3 mi) from north to south, but it is a treasure trove of endemic species, including trees, insects, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals. Birds tend to move in mixed feeding flocks, invariably led by the fearless Sri Lanka Crested Drongo and the noisy orange-billed babbler. Of Sri Lanka's 26 endemic birds, the 20 rainforest species all occur here, including the elusive red-faced malkoha, green-billed coucal and Sri Lanka blue magpie.
  • NP Somawathiya (NR)

    InformationSatellite View
    Including Trikonamadu Nature Reserve. The importance of ecology of the park is due mainly to the wide occurrence of elephants Elephas maximus estimated at about 400 within the protected area and adjacent surroundings and the rich avifauna. Around 75 migrant species winter in the marshes. Usual migrants include garganey Anas querquedula, marsh sandpiper Tringa stagnatilis, wood sandpiper T. glareola, pintail snipe Gallinago stenura, whiskered tern Chlidonias hybridus, and black-tailed godwit Limosa limosa. Resident birds are painted stork Ibis leucocephala, openbill stork Anastomus oscitans, little egret Egretta garzetta, cattle egret Bubulens ibis, pond heron Ardeola grayii, pheasant-tailed jacana Hydrophasianus chirurgus, purple gallinule Porphyrio porphyrio, white ibis Threskiornis melanocephalus, and black-winged stilt Himantopus himantopus. Within the forest area the following birds are seen, crimson-fronted barbet Megalaima haemacephala, common peafowl Pavo cristatus, Malabar pied hornbill Anthracoceros coronatus, thick-billed flowerpecker Dicaeum agile, common iora Aegithina tiphia, junglefowl Gallus lafayetii, and golden-fronted leafbird Chloropsis aurifrons. While barred buttonquail Turnix suscitator frequents the open areas, marshy northern area is visited by woolly-necked stork Ciconia episcopus, crested hawk eagle Spizaetus cirrhatus, grey-headed fish eagle Ichthyophaga ichthyaetus, pied kingfisher Ceryle rudis, crested serpent-eagle Spilornis cheela, and painted stork Ibis leucocephala.
  • NP Udawalawe

    InformationSatellite View
    The national park was created to provide a sanctuary for wild animals displaced by the construction of the Udawalawe Reservoir on the Walawe River, as well as to protect the catchment of the reservoir. The reserve covers 30,821 hectares (119.00 sq mi) of land area. Endemics such as Sri Lanka spurfowl, red-faced malkoha, Sri Lanka grey hornbill, brown-capped babbler, and Sri Lanka junglefowl are among of the breeding resident birds. White wagtail and black-capped kingfisher are rare migrants. A variety of water birds visit the reservoir, including cormorants, the spot-billed pelican, Asian Openbill, painted stork, black-headed ibis and Eurasian spoonbill. The open parkland attracts birds of prey such as white-bellied sea eagle, crested serpent-eagle, grey-headed fish eagle, booted eagle, and changeable hawk-eagle. Landbirds are in abundance, and include Indian roller, Indian peafowl, Malabar pied hornbill and pied cuckoo.
  • NP Ussangoda

    InformationSatellite View
    The park borders the Kalametiya Wildlife Sanctuary in the east.
  • NP Wasgamuwa

    InformationSatellite View
    The number of bird species recorded from the park is 143. This includes 8 endemic species. Endemic red-faced malkoha is a resident bird in this national park. Sri Lanka junglefowl is another endemic bird inhabits the park. Lesser adjutant, yellow-fronted barbet, and Sri Lanka spurfowl are the species that visit the reservoirs and streams of the national park. Peafowl, painted stork, black-headed ibis and Eurasian spoonbill are the park's other aquatic birds. Rare Sri Lanka frogmouth can be found here. Another rare species, chestnut-winged cuckoo, is seen near the Mahaweli river.
  • NP Wilpattu

    InformationSatellite View
    The unique feature of this park is the existence of "Willus" (Natural lakes) - Natural, sand-rimmed water basins or depressions that fill with rainwater. Located in the Northwest coast lowland dry zone of Sri Lanka. The park is located 30 km west Anuradhapura and located 26 km north of Puttalam (approximately 180 km north of Colombo). The park is 1,317 square kilometers (131, 693 hectares) and ranges from 0 to 152 meters above sea level. Nearly sixty lakes (Willu) and tanks are found spread throughout Wilpattu. Wilpattu is the largest and one of the oldest National Parks in Sri Lanka. The painted stork, the open bill, little cormorant, Sri Lankan junglefowl (Gallus lafayetii) along with many species of owls, terns, gulls, eagles, kites buzzards are to be found at Wilpattu National Park.
  • NP Yala (IBA WS)

    InformationSatellite View
    Yala National Park is the most visited and second largest national park in Sri Lanka, bordering the Indian Ocean. The park consists of five blocks, two of which are now open to the public, and also adjoining parks. The blocks have individual names such as, Ruhuna National Park (Block 1), and Kumana National Park or 'Yala East' for the adjoining area. Yala is one of the 70 Important Bird Areas (IBAs) in Sri Lanka. Of 215 bird species of the park, seven are endemic to Sri Lanka. They are Sri Lanka grey hornbill, Sri Lanka junglefowl, Sri Lanka wood pigeon, crimson-fronted barbet, black-capped bulbul, blue-tailed bee-eater and brown-capped babbler.
  • NR Hurulu Forest Reserve

    InformationSatellite View
    The forest reserve is an important habitat of the Sri Lankan elephant. The Indian star tortoise, Sri Lanka junglefowl, Sri Lankan elephant, Sri Lanka leopard and rusty-spotted cat are among the endangered species of the forest reserve.
  • WS Giant's Tank Sanctuary

    InformationSatellite View
    Giant's Tank is surrounded by rice paddies and dry scrub forest. Numerous varieties of water and wader birds are found in the sanctuary including the Eurasian wigeon, garganey, knob-billed duck and pygmy goose.
  • WS Udawattakele

    InformationSatellite View
    Udawattakele is a famous birdwatching site. About 80 bird species have been recorded in the sanctuary. The endemic bird species are Layard's parakeet, yellow-fronted barbet, brown-capped babbler and [Sri Lanka hanging parrot]] . The rare three-toed kingfisher Ceyx erythacus has been observed occasionally at the pond. Common hill myna, golden-fronted leafbird, blue-winged leafbird, spotted dove, emerald dove, Tickell's blue flycatcher, white-rumped shama, crimson-fronted barbet, brown-headed barbet crested serpent eagle, and brown fish owl are regularly seen and heard in the forest.
  • Wetlands

    WebpageSatellite View
    Sri Lanka currently has 6 sites designated as Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar Sites), with a surface area of 198,172 hectares.
Guides & Tour Operators
  • Bird & Wildlife Team

    Tour Operator
    Our team members have run very successful tours for over 25 years and thereby have first-hand experience on where, when and how to find birds, mammals and other wildlife in the country, and also in India and the Andaman Islands. This long-term experience has provided the team with unmatched know-how on carefully tailoring any type of nature observation tour to meet your needs. We provide very personalised services to achieve the goal of every tour and to make it a highly successful one for you. This is proven in testimonials and tour reports of our tours.
  • Birding Ecotours

    Tour Operator
    Sri Lanka is a picturesque island and has 33 endemic bird species. It is the western-most representative of Indo-Malayan Flora and its abundant birdlife shows many such affinities. We cover a variety of habitat types, including lowland, monsoon and cloud forests, grasslands, coastal mudflats, imposing riverine woodland and forest.
  • Birding Sri Lanka

    Chaminda Jayaweera has had extensive experience of more than twenty years as a tour guide. His specialty is birdwatching tours. He is also well versed in mammals, dragonflies and butterflies and an enthusiastic wildlife photographer too.
  • Birdwing Nature Holidays

    Tour Operator
    Best value Birding and Natural History Holidays in Sri Lanka with Amila Salgado
  • Bluetail Birding

    Tour Operator
    Bluetail Birding is a dedicated bird tour operator offering both scheduled departure (small group) and custom travel worldwide. We specialise in bird tours across South Asia, to destinations throughout India, Bhutan, Nepal and Sri Lanka where we have been operating since 2009 as India Nature Tourism, which now acts as our ground agent in this region.
  • High Elms Travel

    Tour Operator
    Birdwatching or Ornithological Tours - 425 species of birds found in Sri Lanka of which 26 are endemics. You can record at least 18 endemic on our 15 day programme. Also visit The Sinharaja Forest Reserve, a World Heritage Site, Bundala National Park, a Ramsar Wetland and many more important bird sites
  • Jetwing Eco Holidays

    Tour Operator
    Jetwing Eco Holidays tours combine a heady mix of fun filled and exciting experiences of nature, people and culture. The itineraries are selected to offer the most attractive and fascinating attractions of the country. The tours cover a broad spectrum of special interest requirements ranging from Bird watching…
  • Real Lanka Holidays

    Tour Operator
    Sri Lanka has one of the highest rates of biological endemism in the World. Sri Lanka is a tropical island situated close to the southern tip of India. The bird life of Sri Lanka is very rich for its size and 523 species have been recorded. In addition to the many resident birds, a considerable number of migratory species winter in the country to escape their northern breeding grounds. we designed this 07 days Birding journey with covering country’s hotspots for birding. you can customized the tour with your suggestions as we are fully bespoke.
  • Rockjumper Birding Tours

    Tour Operator
    This small, friendly island nation provides one of the most enjoyable and rewarding birding tours imaginable. With plenty of endemics, most of which are extremely easy to locate, comfortable lodges and abundant wildlife, it makes perfect sense that Sri Lanka has become such a popular destination. Our tour also targets the countries’ big game, including Leopard and Sloth Bear.
  • Starron Bird & Wildlife Tours

    Tour Operator
    Upali Ekanayake is the senior most Ornithological Tour Leader in Sri Lanka and is the Director Operations of Starron Bird & Wildlife Tours Ltd.
  • Walk with Jith

    Tour Operator
    Walk With Jith specializes in Bird watching and nature tours in Sri Lanka.You will have the rare opportunity to share birding experiences with local village people, visit their homes,and immerse yourself in their lives and culture…
  • Walkers Tours

    Tour Operator
    Wildlife Safari Tours - You will come back to them, searching, again & again - and in time will grow within you an intimacy, a love for the jungle which offers sanctuary to fast dwindling and very precious wildlife…
Trip Reports
  • 2001 [02 February] -

    PDF Report
    A trip with Andrew & Isabel Senior – My wife Isabel, and myself, decided in May 2000 to arrange a tour of Sri Lanka. We’ve some experience of bird tours elsewhere, and were attracted to Sri Lanka for a number of reasons. Not least among these, was the list of Sri Lankan endemic birds.
  • 2007 [10 October] - Bo & Maggie Crombet-Beolens

    This was the first trip that Maggie and I had taken by ourselves for some years, ever since I began to organise trips for the disabled birders association. We were looking forward to being able to please ourselves, go at our own pace and not make any of the numerous small compromises we all make when we travel as a group…
  • 2014 [02 February] - Bruce Wedderburn

    …As regards birding, the first priority was to see as many of the 33 endemics as possible, then to whittle away at my potential lifer list of 137 for the regular bird species occurring in Sri Lanka. During the trip Amila and Athula managed to show us all 33 endemics, with all birds being seen well and which was quite remarkable. Overall we saw a total of 264 birds with 112 lifers for the trip. So a very high success rate considering that some of the potential lifers were sea birds which we didn’t target seeing…
  • 2014 [02 February] - David Karr

    PDF Report
    The trip was a great success and I could only add to the many accolades that Sri Lanka receives as a friendly, comfortable and relatively easy birding destination. In two day’s birdwatching, I managed to see 23 out of 28 confirmed endemics and a total of 53 lifers (indicated in bold below). Recent taxonomical research may raise the number of recognised endemics to 32.
  • 2014 [03 March] - Christopher Hall

    …We start before dawn with a nice cup of tea and then stroll a short way from the lodge as birds like Oriental Magpie Robin begin to stir and start the new day with a sweet clear song, right in front of us. As the light improves more birds come into view including White-bellied Drongo and Shikra, a relative of our Sparrowhawk. We watch a bright yellow Black-hooded Oriole feed a youngster, while the same tree also produces Black Bulbul, Asian Paradise Flycatcher and Tickell’s Blue Flycatcher, shortly followed by Green Imperial Pigeon, Yellow-browed Bulbul, Oriental White-eye, Forest Wagtail, Spotted Dove, Brown-headed Barbet, and the endemic Yellow-fronted Barbet….
  • 2014 [03 March] - Inezia Tours

    PDF Report
    Visited sites (in chronological order): Kitulgala, Makandawa Rainforest Reserve, Sinharaja Rainforest Reserve, Wathurawa, Udawalawa National Park, Embilipitiya, Mirissa (whalewatch), Debarawewa Tank (roadside waterlily ponds), Weerawila Tank, Yala National Park, Surrey Estate (Bird Sanctuary), Nuwara Eliya, Horton Plains National Park, Victoria Park (in Nuwara Eliya), Kandy Lake, Temple of the Tooth (Kandy), Udawattakele Forest Reserve, Peradeniya Botanical Garden, river at Seeduwa, Anawilundaya Tank (RAMSAR site 1.5 hr north of Colombo)…
  • 2014 [11 November] - Megan Edwards Crewe

    ...A pair of notoriously shy Sri Lanka Spurfowl with a chick scratched along a hillside, periodically serenading us with their loud duets. A trio of Black Bitterns posed in tall grasses alongside a tank full of lily pads. Three Crested Serpent-Eagles shared a thermal with a Black Eagle. A family of Sri Lanka Blue-Magpies dared each other to snatch bits of cheese sandwiches from our picnic shelter. Serendib Scops-Owls peered from leafy roosting spots. Gray-rumped Treeswifts perched like ornaments on a roadside tree, preening vigorously....
  • 2014 [12 December] - Hans Matheve

    ...Sri Lanka Bush-Warbler (only 1 bird seen near the Arranga Pool and 1 heard along the World's End Trail - we didn't search for more), Sri Lanka Wood-Pigeon (at least 3 seen and some more heard along the World's End Trail - difficult to see with poor visibility), Sri Lanka White-eye (easily seen good numbers), Yellow-eared Bulbul (good numbers), Dull-blue Flycatcher (1 bird near the Arranga Pool), Hill Swallow (several birds seen foraging above the grasslands). A Leopard was seen crossing the road calmly only some 15m away - while on foot! - just next to the Arranga Pool....
  • 2014 [12 December] - Mike Nelson

    Sri Lanka is recognized as an easy birding destination as the island is quite small and easy to navigate. Roads are fairly good and the birding sites are quite accessible. There are still quite large areas of forest and the current 33 endemics and many regional (southern India and Sri Lanka) make a trip here quite appealing. Sri Lanka also has quite a rich cultural history and many historical sites are well worth visiting. With that in mind my wife and I spent twelve days touring the country. We hired a local guide who made arrangements for us and we had a local guide/driver with us the whole time...
  • 2015 [02 February] - Christian Dortu

    PDF Report
    ...The next day morning, our last birding session at Tissa with some stops going back to Colombo. Watercock,Black Bittern, Jungle Owlet and Brown Boobook are among the last birds of this trip.
  • 2015 [02 February] - Richard Sutton

    ...We then drove back towards our hotel near Dambulla. This was surrounded by paddyfields and scrub. A late afternoon walk along a quiet side-road produced Asian Openbill, Black-headed Ibis, 3 Brown-headed Barbet, 2 Crimson-fronted Barbet (E), 6 Small Minivet, 1 Jerdon’s Leafbird, 1 Grey-breasted Prinia, 1 Ashy Prinia and 1 White-browed Fantail. This was getting a bit better.
  • 2015 [04 April] - Geoff Upton

    PDF Report
    ...We were met by a driver when we arrived at Colombo in the early afternoon after an overnight flight. Therefollowed a five-hour car journey to Kohadamodara, a tiny hamlet on the coast south of Ranna, which itself is afew miles east of Tangalle. En route we picked up the first birds – Indian pond herons, cattle egrets, housecrows, Brahminy kites, white-throated kingfishers and peacocks – and my first ‘lifer’: black-headed ibis.
  • 2015 [04 April] - Peter Ericsson

    Annotated list
  • 2015 [12 December] - Gergo Nagy

    PDF Report
    This journey was a two weeks independent birds and plants tour in Sri Lanka with a private car. Three of the team (Gergő, Ferenc and Sándor) are birdwatchers and one of the team (Kinga) is interested in plants. Beside these groups we tried to concentrate butterflies, amphibians, reptiles and mammals, too.
  • 2015 [12 December] - Mike Hunter

    PDF Report
    What a difference 20 years makes, as there are now 33 officially recognised endemics, all but one from splits. Black-rumped Flameback is additionally expected to be split from its Southern Indian relative, which would take the total to 34.
  • 2016 [01 January] - John Barkla

    PDF Report
    ...We flew Thai Air through Bangkok to Colombo and spent the first day adjusting to the time difference and visiting the Museum. With my camera and binoculars safely locked in the hotel, we still managed to see some common birds, including Indian Cormorant, Indian Pond Heron, White-breasted Waterhen, Red-wattled Lapwing, Rose-ringed Parakeet, Brown-headed Barbet, Barn Swallow and both corvids, House Crow and Large-billed Crow...
  • 2016 [01 January] - Wingspan Bird Tours

    PDF Report
    Our first stop was to look at a small wetland with rice fields where we found Brahminy Kite, Common Kingfisher,Spotted Dove, Hooded Oriole and some lovely Ashy-headed Woodswallows. Not long afterwards we made a stopfor lunch when we noted White-bellied Drongo, Red-vented Bulbuls, Shikra and a couple of unidentified distantraptors....
  • 2016 [03 March] - Erik Vikkelso Rasmussen

    PDF Report
    This report deals with a journey through Sri Lanka for two weeks in March 2016 by a group of four Danish birdwatchers. We have all travelled in the different parts of India a lot of times before from 2001 – 2011 and seen the most birds and some mammals there so this time we decided to visit Sri Lanka to pick up the many endemics.
  • 2016 [03 March] - Tony Crocker

    This trip was tacked to the end of an extended period of working in the Indian Ocean. I searched the net in order to locate operators based in part on those I had seen on previous short visits to Sri Lanka. I wanted to go in-country, as Sri Lanka is extremely good value but offshore operators tend to mark up outrageously. In the end, for several reasons, I chose Walk With Jith (
  • 2016 [11 November] - Dave Farrow - Southern India & Sri Lanka

    PDF Report
    This years’ tour to Southern India and Sri Lanka was once again a very successful and enjoyable affair
  • 2016 [12 December] - Wayne Jones

    PDF Report
    Painted Stork, Black-headed Ibis, the ubiquitous IndianPond Heron, various egrets, Little Cormorant, Red-wattled Lapwing, Black-winged Stilt, Whiskered Tern, White-throated Kingfisher, Spotted Dove, Common Myna and House Crow were among the typical south Asian species recorded.
  • 2017 [01 January] - Andy Walker

    PDF Report
    A total of 243 bird species was recorded during this tour, among them 33 of the 34 currently recognised (IOC 6.4) endemics with excellent views and photographs of Serendib Scops Owl, Sri Lanka Whistling Thrush, and Sri Lanka Thrush, as well as a range of exciting migrants such as Pied Thrush, Kashmir Flycatcher, and Indian Pitta.
  • 2017 [01 January] - Dick Meijer & Peter van Scheepen

    PDF Report
    ...We had extremely good and often multiple views of all our main targets. Moreover we found three unexpected species: Rain Quail, Malayan Night–Heron and Pallas's Grasshopper–Warbler. We consider the latter as the bird of the trip with Pied Thrush as a very close second best...
  • 2017 [02 February] - Hans Christophersen

    PDF Report
    Lying about three hours from Colombo Kitulgala is an area of rainforest and villages around the river Kelani and the spot where the film “River Kwai” was filmed in 1957. The area has quite a high density of birds, and many endemics can be seen here. Among others the Serendip Scops Owl, which is probably easier to find here than in Sinharaja.
  • 2017 [02 February] - Max Breckenridge

    PDF Report
    ...Malabar Trogon, Indian Scimitar Babbler, nesting Sri Lanka Drongo, Dark-fronted Babbler and Indian Blue Robin were all seen along the first 150 m of track in forest south of the paddyfield....
  • 2017 [03 March] - Phil Gregory

    PDF Report
    We then headed off on a 2 hr. 30 min drive to Singharagama,arriving around 0230 and emerging again around 0600, not ideal but needs must. However Wilpattu NP was great, lovely to see Indian Peafowl in the wild at long last, Sri Lanka Junglefowl were common and we managed a splendid sighting of a Leopard, and nice to see lots of Axis Deer, a Sambar, Water Buffalo and Wild Boar. Yellow-billed Babbler was the first endemic seen, though we heard Brown-headed Barbet right at first light, and the very distinctive Indian Robin met us right at the park entrance, with Pale-billed Flowerpecker as well and Indian Jungle Crow early on. Brown Fish Owl was a nice find, as was a day roosting Brown Wood Owl. Jun got his lifer Great Thick-knee, Jerdon’s Bushlark was another good tick, and I was very taken with how big and how long crested the Indian Paradise Flycatchers are, very unlike the others formerly lumped in Asian Paradise-Flycatcher.
  • 2017 [07 July] - Steve Anyon-Smith

    PDF Report
    The 21-day tour we signed up for did not have the words “birds” or “wildlife” in the title. We had a blend of culture, history, scenery and fair enough, national parks, beaches and forests here and there. We fiddled with the time and motion stuff as we went along.
  • 2017 [12 December] - Rich Lindie

    PDF Report
    Once there, we had lunch, and then crossed the river (by pontoon) for our first visit to the park, where we quickly got onto our first Red-backed Flamebacks, and a Serendib Scops Owl not long after, not to mention a few goodies like Sri Lanka Swallow, Layard’s Parakeet and Sri Lanka Hanging Parrot on the way! Returning to the river, we also saw our first Brown-breasted Flycatcher and a male Sri Lanka Junglefowl. After dinner, and back in the national park, a few of us tried for Sri Lanka Bay Owl but had to settle for a Dark-fronted Babbler and Brown Fish Owl instead.
  • 2018 [01 January] - Craig Robson - Southern India & Sri Lanka

    PDF Report
    This remarkable South Asian tour certainly came up with the goods this year, with ALL of the endemic targets located. Amongst a ridiculous 26 species of nightbird (including 19 owls), was a new species for Birdquest, in the form of the fantastic Sri Lanka Bay Owl.
  • 2018 [02 February] - Mark Smiles

    PDF Report
    This was a short return trip to Sri Lanka with my wife, Louise, aimed at targeting the two wintering specials, Pied Thrush & Kashmir Flycatcher, that had already departed prior to our previous visit in April 2011. The trip directly followed on from a 5 day trip to Gujarat, India, flying via Mumbai.
  • 2018 [02 February] - Stephan Lorenz

    PDF Report
    What do you do when the group has seen all Sri Lankan endemics well and there are still one and a half days left on the tour? Well, you go birding, of course, and that’s exactly what we did. This year’s January tour proved highly successful and we enjoyed quality views of all endemics well before the tour was over, allowing us to finish with some leisurely birding and exploration of the Sinharaja Rain Forest. Of course, we even added a few more birds to the list, finishing at a respectable 248 species.
  • 2018 [02 February] - Wilton Farrelly

    PDF Report
    This is a birding and wildlife trip report for an 11 day holiday to Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka had been on my wish list for many years and I regarded it as one of those locations where I could take along my wife, Louise. I had previously birded Nepal and Rajastan, India so had a decent understanding of birds on the Indian sub-continent. Whilst it was my intention (or rather hope) to see as many of the 34 endemic bird species on the island (and other birds) as possible, as this was a trip with Louise, I had to accommodate her needs which primarily focussed on eg the beach, sightseeing and shops. Seeing any endemic birds would therefore be a bonus!
  • 2018 [11 November] - Chinthaka De Silva

    PDF Report
    On our way, we saw some of the widespread herons, egrets, storks and ibises, including four Ashy Woodswallows, that we would become very familiar with during the oncoming days of our tour.
  • 2018 [12 December] - Dave Farrow - Southern India & Sri Lanka

    PDF Report
    This years’ tour to Southern India and Sri Lanka was once again a very successful and enjoyable affair. A heady brew of wonderful birdlife was seen, rich in endemics...
  • 2019 [01 January] - Andy Walker

    PDF Report
    A total of 243 bird species was recorded during this tour, among them 33 of the 34 currently recognized (IOC 6.4) endemics with excellent views and photographs of Serendib Scops Owl, Sri Lanka Whistling Thrush, and Sri Lanka Thrush, as well as a range of exciting migrants such as Pied Thrush, Kashmir Flycatcher, and Indian Pitta.
  • 2019 [01 January] - Chris Lotz

    PDF Report
    Sri Lanka is always incredible, but we enjoy doing our annual trip in January, as Blue Whale is tough to miss during that month and wintering birds such as Indian Pitta, Pied Thrush, and Kashmir Flycatcher can be seen along with the island’s 34 endemics (that are present year-round). The 2019 trip did not disappoint, and we did well with the endemics, wintering birds, mammals (which also included Leopard), and a lot of reptiles and other taxa.
  • 2019 [02 February] - Ken Behrens

    PDF Report
    Sri Lanka: Ceylon Sojourn January 20-February 2, 2019 TOUR SUMMARY The Indian Subcontinent is rich, both in human culture and history and in biological treasures. Sri Lanka is a large island at the southern tip of this region, lying a short distance from the Indian mainland. It contains a rich selection of the birds, mammals, and other wildlife of the subcontinent, which thrive in a selection of delightful protected areas; enough to thoroughly recommend it as a destination for a travelling birder.
  • 2019 [02 February] - Stephan Lorenz

    PDF Report
    The first Rockjumper tour to Sri Lanka in 2019 proved to be very successful: full of endemic birds, many speciality species, plenty of mammals, some unusual reptiles, and endless verdant and unique landscapes. Any tour to this beautiful island will leave visitors with enjoyable memories of some exciting birding, a surprising variety of wildlife, and, of course, its friendly people.
  • 2019 [02 February] - Stephen Burch

    We arrived at this standard hotel in time for lunch on the first day of our tour. It is very well situated overlooking a river that can be viewed from a veranda area. We stayed for 2 nights which gave us time to explore the immediate vicinity of the hotel both on our own and with our guide Dhammi. There were spectacular views from the back of the hotel over the river to the rain forest beyond. The river had Asian Openbill, Grey Wagtail and we had our only (distant) views of Stork-billed Kingfisher on wires over the river. There were distant views of Alexandrine and Layard's Parakeets in the forest beyond and over the river. Closer to the hotel was our first Yellow-fronted Barbet, Lesser Goldenback with Magpie Robin on the lawn outside the dining room.
  • 2019 [12 December] - Daniel Keith Danckwerts

    PDF Report
    Here, we enjoyed sightings of Loten’s and Purple-rumped Sunbirds, Brahminy Kite, White-breasted Waterhen, both Scaly-breasted and Tricolored Munias, Oriental Magpie-robin, and noisy flocks of Yellow-billed Babbler.
  • 2020 [01 January] - Tropical Birding Tours

    PDF Report
    Known to the Romans as Serendivis, the Arabs as Serendib, the British as Ceylon, and the modern world as Sri Lanka, this large island off of the Indian subcontinent beholds a true world of its own. A little south Asian, a little Indonesian, with a flavour hearkening back to its history as a Chinese trading post, this teardrop shaped piece of land off of south-east India has rightly earned its reputation among birders and general naturalists as a heaven on Earth.
  • 2021 [04 April] - Luca Feuerriegel

    PDF Report
    Pelagic birding is relatively new in Sri Lanka. While seabirds have been recorded from land as well as from boats, long-term systematic observations have not been made. This means that detailed distribution and migration patterns of many uncommon seabirds are relatively unknown.
  • 2022 [03 March] - Okamoto Keita Sin

    PDF Report
    Life as a non-rich birder wilted past the first quarter of 2019 due to reasons that involve masks and toilet paper shortages. Towards 2022, travel restrictions in Singapore started easing slightly for select countries and I finally had the chance to take a long overdue birding break in Sri Lanka with my fantastic group of friends.
  • 2023 [01 January] - Arjan Brenkman

    PDF Report
    Between 27th January and 6 th February 2023 Arjan Brenkman and I (Jan van der Laan) finally made it to make a trip together again. We had planned this for February 2022, but a few days before departure I was diagnosed to have Covid-19 and was not allowed to travel. We managed to postpone the trip for 11 months. In the summer of 2022 there was a deep economic crisis in Sri Lanka, affecting
  • 2023 [03 March] - Steve Firth

    PDF Report
    12 nights, 40 species of mammals, 209 birds (including all the endemics), 25 species of reptile including 8 snakes, 10 frog species and 16 species of butterflies
Places to Stay
  • Hotel Sigiriya - Sigiriya

    The Sigiriya rock, which is amongst the ten wonders of the world, is home to Hotel Sigiriya. Hotel Sigiriya has a serene rustic and inviting charm in a setting of ancient glory. Its cool woodland gardens echoes of birds-songs. A stunning view of the fifth century A.D Sigiriya Rock / Fortress, the World heritage site Citadel in the sky famed for its entrancing frescoes, lion stairway, Mirror wall and water gardens dominates the hotel
Other Links
  • Endemic Birds in Sri Lanka

    Just what is says - pictures and species accounts…
  • Amila Kanchana - Wild Sri Lanka

    Last updated May 2017 - A wildlife BLOG from Sri Lanka…
  • Amila Salgado - Gallicissa

    Last updated January 2013 - I am a bird watching and nature Tour Guide in Sri Lanka. My blog is about my birding and natural history travel notes and other commentary…
  • Luca Feurriegel - My Zone is Birding

    I am 18 years old and was born in Hamburg, Germany. I lived in South Africa from 2007 to 2017. My interest in birds started when I was very young and I got more serious with birding in 2013, when I started keeping a list of the species I saw.
  • Nishantha Ganeshapriya - Explore Sri Lanka

    Last updated December 2012 - Sri Lanka a land like no other is a pearl in the Indian Ocean. Blend of beautiful nature creations like sunny beaches, misty hills, rain forests, valleys etc. It is a Paradise for bird watchers and wildlife enthusiasts because of rich bio diversity. Number of endemic bird species can be observing in Sri Lanka. Sigiriya rock fortress, which is regards as the eighth wonder of the world, is a mirror to the ancient architecture.
Photographers & Artists
  • Photographer - Amilia Salgado

    I hold a record as the first birder from Colombo to visit Sinharaja rain forest in a tuktuk – a feat achieved to bag the ultra-secretive Bay Owl in a daytime roost in Jan, 2007. I got hooked on birds in 1989 after a school project. Apart from birding, I enjoy digiscoping & thrashing my clients at Scrabble
  • Photographer - Wim van der Schot

    Wim van der Schot's World of Birds - Sri Lanka photos

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