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Endemic Birds


Endemic birds have a small, declining population and range. They have suffered reductions in food supply because of replacement of natural forests containing fruiting trees. Endemic birds are scattered throughout Sri Lanka and in various climatic conditions.

Sri Lanka is a birds’ paradise with 435 resident species. There are 26 endemic birds. Most of them are found in the wet zone. The winter migrants come from distant Siberia and Western Europe. The reservoirs attract vast number of water birds. The forests attract many other species.  There are many bird sanctuaries across the little island 270 km by 140 km in size.

Kumana is situated in east coast, Bundala, Kalamatiya are is in the southern coast, Sinharaja Rain Forest, Udawatta Kale, Bellanwila, Muthurajawela, Minneriya, Kitulgala and Minipe are other important bird watching locations. In addition you can see birds through out the country in pockets of forests, lakes, lagoons and river sides during your travel.

26 birds have been identified as endemic birds of Sri Lanka. Most of these birds are threatened by rapid destruction of forest and drying off of water flows.

Sri Lanka Wood Pigeon or Mailagoya (Columba torringtonii)
The Sri Lanka Wood Pigeon loves high altitude undisturbed forests above 1650m where it mostly spends its time in the forest canopy. It is exclusively a forest dweller and lives in pairs. Sinharaja, Gampola, Hakgala and Horton Plains are some of the locations to see this shy bird.

Sri Lanka Spurfowl (Galloperdix bicalcarata)
The Sri Lanka Spurfowl, Galloperdix bicalcarata, is a member of the pheasant family. It is more often heard but rarely seen.Often, the only indication of its presence is its distinctive ringing call, consisting of a series of three-syllable whistles. Its cackling sound early morning is unmistakable and adds a distinct flavour to the melodies of the forest. Sinharaja, Kanneliya and Dombagaskanda are some of the locations where it can be spotted.

Sri Lanka Blue Magpie (Urocissa ornata)
The Sri Lanka Blue Magpie is found in tall, undisturbed, primary forest in the hills and adjoining lowlands of the wet zone. It is usually found in small groups of up to six or seven birds and is largely carnivorous, eating small frogs, lizards, insects and other invertebrates. Both sexes build the nest and feed the young with only the female incubating them.

Sri Lanka Myna (Gracula ptilogenys)
The Sri Lankan Mynah loves high trees, and may be found in the heart of tall forests, as well as on estates and village gardens. Lowland forests of Kithulgala, Gilimale and Sinharaja are some of the locations to catch a glimpse of this rare bird where the loud calls made from the top of the forest canopy are often heard a long distance away helping to locate it. The dietary habits of Sri Lankan Mynah consist of wild fruits such as banyan, bo and nuga figs, wild nutmegs, and sapu seeds. Its nest is made in a cavity in a large branch. The far-carrying shrilling calls of the Sri Lankan Mynah are unmistakable and could often be heard in flight over the dense forest canopy.