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The island is one of the best birding destinations in the world since it is a tropical country with various and ideal climatic conditions and natural habitats such as forests, scrublands, grasslands, and wetlands. There are nine bird sanctuaries in Sri Lanka. The island is home to 515 bird species, including 34 endemics, 26 globally endangered species, and over 200 migratory species.


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November to April

  • Kalametiya Bird Sanctuary

Over 150 bird species, including endemic and migratory birds, may be seen in the bird sanctuary’s saltwater lagoons, mangrove woods, and grasslands. This is one of the few national parks where you can take a boat ride through it.

It is home to four nationally vulnerable bird species and 38 nationally and internationally threatened reptile species.

October to April

  • Anawilundawa Wetland

Because of its unique natural habitat, hundreds of bird species use it as a nesting and breeding place. The sanctuary is one of Sri Lanka’s six RAMSAR Wetlands.

Throughout the year, over 150 species of resident and migratory birds can be observed, including some of the rarest species of cormorants, egrets, storks, and ibis, as well as the pheasant tailed-jacana and the purple swamphen.

The park’s nine man-made irrigation tanks provide water for farming while also providing natural habitat and shelter for 150 species of waterbirds, as well as a few vulnerable Fish, Amphibians, Mammals, and Reptiles.

November to February

  • Mannar Lagoon Bird Sanctuary

The sanctuary is a blessing in disguise for the environment and wildlife enthusiasts who want to see a wide diversity of migratory and local birds. Within the primary ecosystems of coastal lagoons, seagrass beds, and coral reefs, the Mannar sea area also contains a diversity of habitats.

During the migratory season, the park provides superb feeding and living habitat for over 20000 waterbirds, as well as rare birds such as the spot-billed duck, comb duck, long-toed stint, peregrine falcons, and the extremely rare Eastern Black-tailed Godwit. Nearly 150 different bird species have been observed in the area.

October to March

  • Bundala National Park

Bundala National Park is a popular location for birdwatchers in Sri Lanka since it has the most important wetland reserve on the island’s southern coast. The lagoons of the sanctuary are home to a diverse and abundant population of aquatic birds as well.

Within the region, about 200 bird species have been identified.

The Marsh and Curlew, Sandpipers, Curlews, Greenshanks, Golden and Kentish Plovers, and Large and Lesser Sand Plovers are among the 58 migratory bird species. The park’s most unusual visitors are the Broad-billed Sandpiper and the Red-necked Phalarope. The most well-known migratory bird is the greater flamingo.

The park’s lagoons also attract a wide diversity of aquatic birds. Ibis, pelicans, painted storks, Black-necked Storks, terns, gulls, sandpipers, snipes, teals, egrets, and spoonbills are among them. More frequent endemic birds are the Brown-capped Babbler, Ceylon Woodshrike, and Ceylon Junglefowl.

Between October and January, turtles flock to the seashore to lay their eggs.

December to March

  • Udawatta Kele Sanctuary

This magnificent reserve is a haven for nature lovers and bird watchers. It is only a short walk from Kandy’s city center. The moderate route takes you through the critical bio reserve and helps you burn off the extra calories you accumulated while on vacation.

More than 80 bird species live in the Udawatte Kele sanctuary, including the yellow-fronted barbet, dark-fronted babbler, Layard’s parakeet, Spot-bellied eagle owl, Sri Lankan hanging parrot, Green-fronted leaf bird, native three-toed kingfisher, Black-rumped Sharma, Grey horn-bill, and Sri Lanka hill myna.

February to September

  • Kumana National Park

Kumana is a highly significant migrating bird national park since it is located in the far south of the tropical island of Sri Lana. Kumana has been home to 255 different bird species, both migratory and resident.

During April and July, tens of thousands of birds in different flocks migrate to the region including Asian Openbill, White-breasted Waterhen, Lesser Whistling Glossy Ibis, Purple Heron, Great Egret, Indian Pond Heron, Weathercock, Purple Swamphen, Duck Black-crowned Night Heron, Intermediate Egret, Little Egret, Spot-billed Pelican, Indian Cormorant, Little Cormorant, Common Moorhen, and Little Grebe.

Regular sightings include such species of bird as pelicans, painted storks, spoonbills, white ibis, herons, egrets, and little cormorants.

The very rare Black-necked Stork, Lesser Adjutant, Eurasian Spoonbill, and Great Thick-knee has also been spotted in the park.

March to September

  • Chundikulam National Park

The Chundikulam lagoon is fed by several rivers and serves as a haven for both terrestrial and aquatic birdlife. For bird enthusiasts, this is a must-visit site.

The park is home to Eurasian teal, curlew sandpiper, and gull-billed tern, greater flamingo, ruff, brown-headed gull, black-tailed godwit, Eurasian spoonbill, Eurasian Coot, Eurasian wigeon, northern pintail, shoveler, wood sandpiper and many more.

October to March

  • Galway’s Land National Park

Galway’s Land National Park, 57ha, is a small national park in the central highland of the island but a paradise for bird lovers. It habitats about 20 species of migrant birds and about 30 species of native birds including endemic to Sri Lanka. A few of them are Dull blue Flycatcher, Yellow-eared Bulbul, Indian Blue ribbon, Scaly Thrush, Kashmir Flycatcher, Ceylon Warbler, Ceylon Hill White Eye, and Grey Tit.

December to January

  • Attidiya Bird Sanctuary

Some of the rarer birds to be observed are the Indian Shag, Wide Winged Purple Heron, Blue Breasted Banded Tail, Ruddy Crake, Spot Billed Pelican, Purple Coot, White Ibis, Painted Stork and the elusive Glossy Ibis.

June to September

  • Thangamale Bird Sanctuary

The park situated 1431m above sea level comprises 131ha. The area is home to a plethora of birds and butterflies.

The park is popular with mini-verts hornbills, golden orioles, spot winged thrush, black-napped monarch, yellow eared bulbul, velvet fronted nuthatch, Malabar trogon, scimitar babbler, black eagle, green barbets, paradise flycatchers, blue magpies, Sri Lanka White-eye, and Sri Lankan junglefowl.

May to August

  • Sigiriya Wildlife Sanctuary

The area with a 5099ha forest around the Sigiriya Rock Fortress rock is a preferred habitat of over 65 endemic, resident and migratory bird species.

Several raptor species such as the Shaheen Falcon, White Bellied Sea Eagles, Grey-Headed Fish Eagle, Crested Serpent Eagle, and Crested Hawk-Eagle can be seen gliding over the area.

In addition, the thick canopied forest is home to a variety of both common and rare species such as the Little Scops Owl, Indian Long-tailed Night-Jar, Forest Eagle Owl, Openbill, Orange-breasted Green Pigeon, Green Imperial Pigeon, Emerald Dove, Ceylon Jungle Fowl, Orange-headed Ground Thrush, Indian Blue Chat, Brown-capped Babbler, White-Rumped Shama, Black-capped Bulbul, Tickell’s Blue Flycatcher, Brown Flycatcher, Layard’s Flycatcher, Orange Minivet, Small Minivet, Malabar Pied Hornbill, Ceylon Grey Hornbill, and Blue-faced Malkoha.

December to February and August to September

  • Makandawa Bird Sanctuary

It is one of the richest biodiversity and most unspoiled rainforest in Sri Lanka.

This secondary lowland rainforest is a great place for birdwatching, trekking and hiking through challenging trails.

This bird lovers’ paradise is home for endemic birds such as Sri Lankan Orange-billed Babbler, Green billed Coucal, the Chestnut-backed Owlet, Yellow-fronted Barbet, Ceylon junglefowl, spurfowl, Layard’s Parakeet, Ceylon Lorikeet, Common Hill Mynah, the Black-rumped Flameback, Sri Lankan Crested Drongo, Ceylon Grey Hornbill, and the Sri Lankan Brown-capped Babbler.

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