Sri Lanka 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 native 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.
The santuary 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.
There is 55 acre forest with a variety of trees, some 100 years or
more in age, around the Kandalama tank including 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 more than 145 species, which is almost one
third of 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.
Located in Kandy, which is a tract of rainforest rich in species
that has enjoyed protection from historical times
Setting in Nuwaraeliya, it is an ornamental park in the heart of
town that has gained a reputation for birds.
Hakgala Botanical Gardens
The most favorable place for bird watching, Hakgala Botanical
Gardens are the important fragment of elfin forest situated above
the Hakgala Botanical Gardens.
Sinharaja man and biosphere
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.
Kalametiya is a wetland with two brackish lagoons, mangrove swamps
and open areas with pockets of scrub jungle. It is a very
important site for migrant shorebirds.
Kumana Bird Sanctuary
Kumana, situated to the northeast of the Yala National Park, is a
habitat for local birds and migratory aquatic birds including
flamingoes, ibis, herons, pheasants particularly impressive in the
man grove swamps. Herds of elephants can also be spotted although
leopards and bears are more elusive.