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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Joanna James Joanna James
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A List of Birds of Maldives – Feathered Beauties

Avifauna in the Maldives is restricted due to the small size and isolated location of the archipelago. Just a few are from the Indian sub-continent while most are migratory Eurasian birds.


Birds Belonging to the Anatidae Family

Ducks, geese and swans belong to the Anatidae family. Spread across the world's continents birds from this species are capable of floating on water, diving and swimming. In the Maldives, you will come across the Northern Shoveler, Northern Pintail, Garganey, Common Teal, Ferruginous Duck and Tufted Duck. Many can be spotted gracing the beautiful lagoons surrounding many of the Maldives luxury resorts.



Also called shorebirds the waders are a species of long-legged birds found on shorelines and wetlands. Waders make up about 200 species and are one of the common types found on the Maldives. The birds feed on small invertebrates, crustaceans, vegetable and molluscs.


The Apodidae Family

The high-flying swift belongs to this family; similar to swallows the swift is closely associated to the hummingbird. Some species of swift hold the record for fastest measured flights of any bird species. In the Maldives, you will come across the white-throated needletail, common swift, pallid swift and house swift.


The Upupidae Family

There is just one surviving bird from this family and that's the Hoopoe. This is a colourful species that lives around the Afro-Eurasia region. It's identified by its crown of feathers and survives the now extinct Saint Helena Hoopoe. Blending nature with fine luxury the private resorts of Maldives have now started to promote eco-tourism as means of protecting these treasured species and delicate coral reefs. Like the marine biologist of PER AQUUM Huvafen Fushi, many resorts are employing experts in the fields of environmental protection to offer tourist's conscious of carbon footprints, a better understanding of the fragile eco-system within the Maldivian archipelago.


The Columbidae

Pigeons and doves make up this family boasting a variety of over 300. The Maldives is home to the rock pigeon, turtle dove and rufous turtle dove. The latter is also called the Oriental Turtle Dove.


Birds of Prey

There are a few varieties in the Maldives that belong to the Accipitridae family. The Common Buzzard is one. It is a medium size bird with brownish colour plumage. Others comprise of the crested honey buzzard, marsh harrier and Montagu's harrier.



There are many varieties of Charadriiformes in the Maldives. These consist of the Caspian plover, greater sand plover, grey plover, Kentish plover, little ringed plover and Pacific golden plover. Amongst the Laridae species, the Maldives harbours the black headed gull, black-naped tern, bridled tern, greater crested tern, Caspian tern, lesser noddy and much more.


The Rallidae Family

These are a family of medium-sized ground thriving birds. The 'Rallies' as they are commonly called are most prominent in wetlands. In the Maldives, these species comprise of the white-breasted waterhen, watercock, common moorhen and common coot.