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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Joanna James Joanna James
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Bird watching places in Sri Lanka- An ornithologist’s paradise

Travellers can enjoy plentiful species of birds in Sri Lanka. There are close to 250 resident & 23 endemic vibrantly coloured bird species which can be spotted in some of the places listed below:


Sinharaja Rainforest

Made a World Heritage site in the year 1958, Sinharaja Rainforest is a huge stretch of low-land rainforest which is known for being one of the most important places to home huge numbers of animal and plant species endemic to the nation and which is also under threat of deforestation. There are many bird-watching excursions to Sinharaja which are offered to travellers visiting the region and they usually involve spotting close to 20 to 33 endemic species of bird such as Red-faced Malkoha and Sri Lanka Blue Magpie. Bird spotters would mainly lookout for the mixed species birds since these birds have unique ways of hunting which have become commonplace amongst mostly insect-eating birds. Around 14 species of these birds clear the forest of insects habiting within its different layers. During the excursion, travellers will also be able to witness leaders of bird flocks like Orange-billed Babbler and Crested Drongo which protects the rest of the birds from predators by use of bird calls.


Adam’s Peak

Among plenty of things to do Sri Lanka offers travellers, incredible sites for bird watching enthusiasts is one of the key attractions. Adam’s Peak is a major spot for spotting many different kinds of beautiful bird species. It is home to the Peak Wilderness Sanctuary. The wildlife sanctuary offers travellers the chance to sightsee a collection of various species of birds from different families. You can see most if not all of the endemic mountain species like the Dull Bull Flycatchers and Yellow Eared Bulbuls at the sanctuary which is also located on what happens to be the fourth tallest mountain in the country. Interestingly, this mountain is popular for being a site of pilgrimage but despite its religious significance, its wildlife sanctuary attracts climbers anxious to glimpse the beautiful birds of Sri Lanka. Resorts in Sri Lanka such as Kalundewa Retreat offer travellers many chances for birding which sometimes include tour guides.


Bundala National Park

This is an ideal destination for Sri Lankan bird watching. Migratory birds from different countries land on this wintering ground which means it is a site of utmost importance. These birds include Greater Flamingos while more than 197 birds have made the park their habitat. Bundala is also the first wetland to be named a Ramsar site in the country having being made a national park in the year 1993. It was later named a UNESCO biosphere reserve. The park lies 245 km away from Colombo to the southeast and has mostly aquatic birds such as Lesser Whistling Duck, Little Cormorant, Garganey, Indian Cormorant and Painted Stork who live within its perimeter. Travellers are advised to make their bird watching expedition during the months of December through May which is the dry season. It is also possible to see more rare species of bird in the park like Coot.

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