Sri Lanka is an island on the tip of the Indian Ocean with a land area of 56,000 sq.km. Due to the location and the island being small in size the country has recorded more than 468 species of birds. There are a total of 339 varieties of birds found in Sri Lanka and a further 129 species of migrant birds. A total of 26 species of the birds found are Endemic Birds. The seasonal migrant birds those shuttle between the North and South Pole often use the island as the point of relaxation due to its strategic location. A bird watcher could expect to observe much as 230 species at any given time.
Bellanwila-Attidiya Bird Sanctuary. Bellanwila-Attidiya marsh is a precious residual fragment of the once extensive marshlands around Colombo. It is of major importance as a wildlife refuge as well as a flood retention area for Colombo. Although its surroundings are far from salubrious, it is rich in species and well worth a visit.
|Kandalama sanctuary where 55 acre forest around the Kandalama tank which contains the Kandalama hotel, has a variety of trees, some 100 years or more in age, plus medicinal plants and a rich and varied bird life. Kandalama offers one of the best bird watching opportunities in the North Central Province.The diversity in habitat and the tank provides the visitors the opportunity to observe around the hotel more that 145 species, which is almost on third of the observed total number of bird life in Sri Lanka. This population consists of the arboreal, terrestrial and aquatic birds. One can also observe many waders and raptors too.
Udawattekale Sanctuary in Kandy, which is a tract of rainforest rich in species that has enjoyed protection from historical times
Victoria Park in Nuwaraeliya. It is an ornamental park in the heart of town that has gained a reputation for birds.
Horton Plains in Nuwaraeliya . A highland plateau at an elevation 2134 meters comprising montane grassland and elfin forest. It is contiguous with the Peak Wilderness Sanctuary. The second and third highest peaks in Sri Lanka are found here.
Hakgala Botanical gardens for bird watching. It is an important fragment of elfin forest situated above the Hakgala Botanical Gardens.
Kelani Valley Forest Reserve. It was established as a forest reserve to protect the watershed of the Kelani River it is home to many of Sri Lankaís endemic fauna and flora.
Sinharaja man and biosphere reserve.
A world heritage site since 1988 this is arguably the most important site in Sri Lanka and is internationally important for its biodiversity. The reserve encompasses some of the few remaining sizeable tracts of undisturbed primary lowland rainforest. Much of the birding, however, is done in areas that were once subject to selective logging.
Udawalawe national park. It is A mixture of abandoned teak plantation, grassland and scrub jungle.
Sri Lanka jungle fowl, Sri Lanka gray hornbill, macabre pied hornbill, woolly-necked stork, black-headed ibis, black-shouldered kite, white-bellied sea eagle, crested serpent eagle, changeable hawk eagle, shikra, sirkeer malkoha, blue-faced malkoha. A game drive can yield up to 100 species of birds.
Kalametiya . Kalametiya is a wetland with two brackish lagoons, mongrove swamps and open areas with pockets of scrub jungle. A very important site for migrant shorebirds.
Bundala national park. Bundala national park is similar to yala national park comprising scrub jungle bordering the sea together with large shallow pools. The beaches are an important nesting site for turtles.
Ruhunu (Yala) national park.
Ruhunu national park (yala west) is the most visited national park comprising a diversity of habitats including scrub jungle, tanks, brackish lagoons and riverine habitat. The best park in the country for viewing mammals.
Kumana Bird Sanctuary
Kumana to the North east of the larger Yala national park, is visited for itís resident and migratory aquatic birds including flamingoes, ibis, herons, pheasants particularly impressive in the man grove swamps. Herds of elephants too could be spotted although leopards and bears are more elusive.