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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for 5 Most Famous Endemic Birds of Sinharaja – Incredible Endemic Birds of Sinharaja Forest
Joanna James Joanna James
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5 Most Famous Endemic Birds of Sinharaja – Incredible Endemic Birds of Sinharaja Forest

The island of Sri Lanka contains many wonders but one of the most significant places the nation has to offer is Sinharaja Forest, a lush national park that is globally renowned for its biodiversity.


Sri Lanka Hanging Parrot

This is one of the prettiest creatures to be seen within the forest, and if you're staying in an eco hotel Sri Lanka has to offer around or within the forest, like the Rainforest Ecolodge – Sinharaja, you're bound to find these parrots quite easily. They are rather small, measuring around 13 cm in length, with a bright green body, a reddish-orange beak and a red crown. These birds live in forested areas, and never descend to the ground. The Sinhalese term for this species of bird is gira maliththa. Interestingly, this bird can be found in the 15c postal stamp.


Layard's Parakeet

Another kind of Sri Lankan parrot, this is a most beautiful creature with a head of bluish grey, a green body, and a tail to match the head. They are much larger than the former, with a body length of about 30cm on average. The bird is named after Edgar Leopold Layard, a British naturalist who researched many of the birds in Sri Lanka. In Sinhala, the bird is referred to as the alu girawa, which translates into 'ash parrot'. Layard's Parakeet can be seen on the 50c Sri Lankan postage stamp.


Sri Lanka Blue Magpie

This fascinating bird belongs to the crow family and is endemic to the island's hill forests. Their numbers are currently threatened due to the destruction of their homes. They are usually found in small groups of about six to seven. The Blue Magpie has a very interesting colour scheme with an almost turquoise body, brown head and neck and brown wings. Their long tails are also blue in accordance with their bodies. The legs of the bird as well as the beak are bright red. Overall the Blue Magpie features a smorgasbord of colours, and is a most incredible sight.


Green Billed Coucal

These are some of the rarest birds in the world, and are endemic to Sri Lanka. Usually measuring around forty centimetres, these are birds of average size with purple-black bodies, maroon wings, and long dark-green tails. This bird can be found in the Sri Lankan 20 rupee postage stamp.


Red Faced Malkoha

The Malkoha species is only found in Sri Lanka and the creatures that belong to it are rather large birds considering the usual sizes for local varieties. The average Malkoha will measure about 46cm and has a striking colour scheme of green and white. The upper back is dark green, and their long tails are green-edged but contain a streak of white in the middle. Their underbellies are usually white, but their crown and throat are black. Their eyes have large patches of red around them and the beak is usually greenish. They are part of the cuckoo family, and communicate in very soft grunts. In fact the name 'Malkoha', is a Sinhalese word meaning 'flower cuckoo'. This species of bird is very rarely seen outside the Sinharaja forest reserve.