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Bird Watching Tours

Best Bird Watching Tours in Sri Lanka

Being one of the finest birding destinations in the world, Sri Lanka is truly a paradise for all bird watching enthusiasts. The country is home to 439 species of birds of which 236 are breeding residents, 203 migrants and the rest vagrants.  Sri Lanka is home to 33 endemic bird species and 68 endemic subspecies of birds. The bird species endemism of 11% goes to demonstrate why Sri Lanka is one of the finest birding destinations in the world. Migratory birds are arriving from India, Siberia, Scandinavia and Western Europe. The best time for bird watching in Sri Lanka is towards the latter part of the year.

Best Bird Watching Tour destinations in Sri Lanka

Bird Watching Tour in Kumana National Park, Sri Lanka

The Kumana National Park is one of the most important nesting and breeding grounds for birds in Sri Lanka. It is the most popular bird sanctuary in Sri Lanka. Out of the country’s 400 bird species, the Kumana Bird Sanctuary is known to have recorded 255 species of birds.

The park’s extensive bird life thrives on a massive 200-hectare natural mangrove swamp, the “Kumana Villu” and plenty of tanks and lagoons scattered around the park where thousands of birds nest and breed.

Bird Watching Tour in Kalametiya Bird Sanctuary, Sri Lanka

Kalametiya Bird Sanctuary is one of the oldest and main bird sanctuary in Sri Lanka. In 1938 Kalametiya Bird Sanctuary was declared a wildlife sanctuary.
Kalametiya bird sanctuary is situated in Hambantota district Sri Lanka. 20 Km away from Tangalle city. This sanctuary includes Kalametiya mangrove lagoon and area. This is a brackish water lagoon very close to Kalametiya beach.

There are over 150 species of birds in Kalametiya bird sanctuary including 54 migratory birds. Additionally, about 20 species of mammals, about 41 species of fish and 38 species of reptiles live in Kalametiya bird sanctuary. There are many weaver bird nest in the bird sanctuary.

Bird Watching Tour in Bodhinagala Bird Sanctuary, Sri Lanka

Ingiriya Forest Reserve – Bodhinagala is also an “Aranya Senasanaya” Situated in the western province of Sri Lanka. This is a secondary lowland rain forest patch in the area of Ingiriya. The get way to these precious places lies on the Panadura – Rathnapura main road.

The forest reserve consists of two mountains which are surrounded by the villages. Many species of butterflies can be seen here, including the Tawny Rajah (Charaxes bernardus). Endemic mammal species are Sri Lanka’s monkeys, the Purple-faced Langur (Trachypithecus vetulus) and Toque Macaques (Macaca sinica), and the Grizzled Giant Squirrel (Ratufa macroura), one of the three subspecies of which is also native in Southern India.

The avifauna of Bodhinagala, which is home to 151 recorded bird species, is significant as one of the best sites to spot the Green-Billed Coucal (Centropus chlororhynchos), one of Sri Lanka’s rarest endemic bird species. Other endemic birds occurring in Bodhinagala are Black-capped Bulbul (Pycnonotus melanicterus), Ceylon Spurfowl (Galloperdix bicalcarata), Yellow-fronted Barbet (Psilopogon flavifrons), Ceylon Small Barbet (Psilopogon rubricapillus), Sri Lanka Hanging Parrot (Loriculus beryllinus), Layard’s Parakeet (Psittacula calthrapae), Sri Lanka drongo (Dicrurus lophorinus), Sri Lanka Grey Hornbill (Ocyceros gingalensis), and Spot-winged Thrush (Geokichla spiloptera). Endemics to South Asia occurring in Bodhinagala are the Ceylon Frogmouth (Batrachostomus moniliger), Dark-fronted Babbler (Rhopocichla atriceps), and the Malabar Trogon (Harpactes fasciatus). Common birds are Emerald Dove (Chalcophaps indica), Crested Drongo (Dicrurus forficatus), and Black-napped Monarch (Hypothymis azurea).

Bird Watching Tour in Udawatte Kele, Sri Lanka

Udawatta Kele bird watching and nature trekking tour will give you an exciting experience complete with a tuk-tuk ride in the Hill Country of Sri Lanka. The sanctuary located north of Kandy Lake is an eco-tourism site which expands over 103 hectares. It is one of the beautiful bird sanctuaries in Sri Lanka. The sanctuary contains three Buddhist forest monasteries and three cave dwellings for Buddhist monks & the sanctuary acts as a catchment area for the supply of water to the city of Kandy. this is a great place to explore the birdlife where approximately 80 species of birds can be seen.

Udawatte Kele sanctuary houses to varieties of birds like yellow fronted barbet, Layard’s Parakeet, Spot bellied eagle owl, Sri Lankan hanging parrot, Green fronted leaf bird, and native three-toed Kingfisher, & Sri Lanka hill myna, are some of them. The sanctuary is a good location for panoramic photographs of Kandy city and butterflies, mammals that come very close to you. Endemic animals like toque macaque, jackal, porcupine and mouse deer seems to be common. This is a tall, wet evergreen forest. The lake within the sanctuary attracts many species of birds that feed on fish.

Bird Watching Tour in Bundala Bird Sanctuary, Sri Lanka

Bundala National Park, covering an area of 6216 hectares of eco-tourism appeal, is located about 250km southeast of Colombo in the Hambantota district in Sri Lanka. Falling within the dry zone, the vegetation is predominantly of a dry, thorny scrubland variety which acts as a natural barrier to the wind. The climate is generally dry and arid and the terrain flat with sand dunes borders the coastline.

Bundala features a series of lagoons which are an important habitat for wintering waterbirds. It is due to this landscape that Bundala was declared Sri Lanka’s first Ramsar wetland. The best time to visit the Bundala National Park is between August and April when shorebird numbers can reach as high as 20,000 with approximately 197 species, including several species of migratory waterfowl – resulting in it being designated as a biosphere reserve by UNESCO in 2005.

The Park has also been recognised as an Important Bird Area (IBA) in Sri Lanka. An admirable diversity of avifauna including Lesser Whistling Ducks, Indian Cormorants, and Black-necked Storks as well as large water birds like the Grey Heron, Painted Stork and the Black-headed Ibis can all be sighted at Bundala; undoubtedly, a birder’s paradise.

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