Sri Lanka’s Bird Paradise

Birdlife International has named Sri Lanka as one of the world’s best indigenous bird regions. Many migratory species use it as a wintering and breeding ground. If you love birds, go no further than Sri Lanka. Because of a robust network of highways and national parks, as well as a decent tourism infrastructure, bird watchers may readily visit the 33 unique species. Dedicated birders will spend most of their time in the wet lowlands and highlands, where the endemics are concentrated, but the casual birdwatcher will find much to see across the country.

Birding may be done from your house or even in the middle of the city. Rose-ringed parakeets will visit you almost immediately if you distribute some uncooked rice on a bird table or along your boundary wall. House sparrows will quickly follow and become regulars. They will begin to nest if you put up a nesting box or an earthenware pot. Sunbirds such as Loten’s, Purple-Rumped, and Purple (if you reside in the drier sections of Sri Lanka) may visit your garden to drink nectar from your flowering plants. Common Tailorbirds, Bulbuls, and Ceylon White-Eye will keep insects away from your plants.

Ceylon Spurfowl - Psittacula krameri (Scopoli, 1769)
Ceylon Spurfowl-Psittacula Krameri

Birds such as Little, Median, and Cattle Egrets, Openbill Storks, and Grey and Purple Herons can be seen on paddy fields, grubbing and probing the insect and aquatic life that abounds.

White-breasted Waterhen, Purple Coot, Common Moorhen, Black-winged Stilts, Lesser Whistling Teal, Cotton Teal, and Little Grebe flock to marshes and tanks.

White-browed and Ashy Prinias could be spotted in the adjacent reeds, while Spotted, Black-headed, and White-backed Munias could be observed breaking off skeins of reeds for their nests.

The two species of kingfishers associated with water are the diminutive Common Kingfisher perched patiently by the water’s edge and the Pied Kingfisher gracefully hovering above the water, whereas the White-Breasted Kingfisher’s domain is much larger as it preys not only on aquatic life but also on insects and lizards found in gardens.

The colorful stork-billed The Kingfisher is a kingfisher species that has been seen around manmade ponds in gardens, as well as tanks, lakes, and marshes.

Around the major ancient sites, there is still adequate forest cover for a family on a general trip to combine birding and culture. Over 100 bird species may be spotted in the vicinity of the cultural cities of Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa, for example.

You might deduce from the above that you do not always need to visit sanctuaries, reserves, national parks, and rainforests to see birds. They are all around you, and with a little effort, you will be able to view them from your house or a nearby marsh, field, or tank.

White-Breasted Kingfisher – Halcyon Smyrnesis

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