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Bird Watching: A Guide to the Joys of Nature

watching birds is a pleasurable activity

Sri Lanka is a popular destination for bird watching.

Due to its diverse habitats and high species richness. Some of the notable bird species found in Sri Lanka include:

  1. Sri Lanka Junglefowl: National bird of Sri Lanka.
  2. Spot-billed Pelican: Rare bird species that is a regular winter visitor to Sri Lanka.
  3. Brown-capped Babbler: Endemic bird species found in Sri Lanka’s lowland forests.
  4. Painted Stork: Large wading bird species commonly found in Sri Lanka’s wetlands.
  5. Black-necked Stork: Large wading bird species found in Sri Lanka’s wetlands and open country.

Numerous national parks and natural reserves, including Sinharaja Forest Reserve, Bundala National Park, and Kumana National Park, provide guided bird viewing excursions. For the best chances of seeing birds, travel to these locations from December to April during the dry season.

Bird watching in Sri Lanka

In Sri Lanka, watching birds is a pleasurable activity. Despite having only 65,610 km2, Sri Lanka has 459 bird species, and the island is home to separate genera and families for 55% of the world’s bird orders. The priority of visiting ornithologists is Sri Lanka’s 34 endemic bird species.

It is wise to keep in mind that any successful Sri Lankan birding tour requires the sighting of at least 200 species.

A successful bird viewing tour also requires convenient transportation, excellent lodging, and reliable field guides. Please feel free to get in touch with our knowledgeable bird watching tour coordinators here if you have any questions.It’s crucial to comprehend the visitor’s goals in order to choose a decent Sri Lankan bird viewing tour. Some bird watchers may choose to add some non-ornithological items to their itineraries because Sri Lanka has a well-organized tourism business. If not, any respectable bird watching tour in Sri Lanka must include the following field trips to increase the likelihood of visiting the best locations.

1. Sinharaja rainforest reserve – Lowland wet zone

  • The Sinharaja rainforest is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a national park in Sri Lanka.bird watching
  • It is the last extensive patch of primary lowland rainforest in Sri Lanka.
  • The forest covers an area of 8,864 hectares and ranges from an altitude of 300 to 1,170 meters.
  • The climate is tropical wet lowland evergreen, with an average temperature of 20°C to 25°C and an annual rainfall of 2,500 to 5,000 mm.
  • The forest is home to a wide variety of plant and animal life, including over 600 species of trees, 260 species of birds, 120 species of mammals, and 100 species of reptiles.
  • Some of the endangered species found in the Sinharaja rainforest include the Sri Lankan leopard, the purple-faced langur, and the Sinharaja flying frog.
  • The Sinharaja rainforest is an important watershed for the region, and it also provides a habitat for many plant and animal species that are not found anywhere else in the world.

The Sinharaja rainforest is a valuable natural resource that needs to be protected. It is a popular tourist destination, and there are a number of hiking trails that allow visitors to explore the forest. However, it is important to be respectful of the environment and to leave no trace behind.

Here are some additional facts about the Sinharaja rainforest:

  • The name “Sinharaja” means “Lion King” in Sinhalese.
  • The forest is home to a number of endemic species, meaning that they are found nowhere else in the world.
  • The Sinharaja rainforest is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, which means that it is an area of land that is protected for its biological diversity.
  • The forest is also an Important Bird Area (IBA), which means that it is an important habitat for birds.

2. Horton plains national park – Montane zone

  • Horton Plains National Park is a national park in the central highlands of Sri Lanka.bird watching
  • It is located at an elevation of 2,100–2,300 m (6,900–7,500 ft) and encompasses montane grassland and cloud forest.
  • The park is rich in biodiversity and many species found here are endemic to the region. Some of the animals found in the park include the Sri Lankan sambar deer, the toque monkey, the purple-faced langur, and the Horton Plains scops owl. Some of the plants found in the park include the rhododendron, the magnolia, and the tree fern.
  • The park is a popular tourist destination and is known for its scenic beauty, including the World’s End, a sheer cliff that drops 880 meters (2,900 ft).

The park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a Ramsar Wetland. It is managed by the Department of Wildlife Conservation of Sri Lanka.

3. A dry zone national park – Lowland dry zone

In Sri Lanka, there are a number of dry zone national parks that provide excellent opportunities to watch dry zone birds.

Yala National Park

is the most well-liked alternative.

However, it would be advisable to travel for an additional day or two to a less popular national park if you want to escape crowds for a more relaxing bird viewing experience.bird watching Another location for dry zone bird watching that provides excellent views of waders and raptors is

Udawalawe National Park.

4. A wetland – Lowland dry or wet zone

There are numerous wetland eco systems in Sri Lanka that are ideal for wader hunters. Some of these, including Kumana (Yala east) National Park and Bundala National Park, are situated in the lowland dry zone.

Others, like Madu River, bird watchingare located in the lowland wet zone. Checking the Ramsar wetlands of international importance list is a good general rule of thumb. However, Bundala and Kumana are well known in Sri Lanka as excellent wetlands bird watching locations.

In addition to these crucial birding locations, Sri Lanka boasts a large number of micro birding locations that can increase the likelihood of seeing the proper birds. The selection of such birding locations is primarily based on how easily they can be reached from the main locations listed above. Consider using the important bird areas (IBAs) in Sri Lanka that Birdlife International has identified for your study.

Finally, it’s critical to recognize that Sri Lanka is home to a wide variety of avifauna habitats. According to rainfall patterns, there are often three separate biological zones: the semi-arid zone, the dry zone, and the wet zone.

The island’s hilly interior, which is a montane rainforest, is part of the wet zone. At 2524 meters, Piduruthalagala is the highest peak. As it slopes into the south-western coastal plains, the same rainforest gradually transforms into a lowland rainforest. From the central highlands, 103 rivers flow descendingly.

Monsoon forests and dry scrublands are found in the semi-arid and dry zones. Reservoirs, which serve as crucial water supplies for birds living in dry zones, are used to irrigate some areas. Additionally, these locations have a number of significant coastal wetlands.