Bird watching in Sri Lanka

Although a small island, Sri Lanka has a rich array of bird life that can be spotted in the variety of land and water based habitats found across the country.

Of the 433 documented bird species found in Sri Lanka, 33 are completely unique to the island. There is an abundance of resident and migratory species, the latter of which migrate to Sri Lanka during the northern winter months and can therefore be spotted between September and April. The exception are the seabirds, such as the Petrels, that migrate during the southern winter months.

Bird watching in Wilpattu

Painted Stork in Yala National Park, Sri Lanka

One of the best places for bird watching in Sri Lanka is Wilpattu National Park which is one of the largest national parks found on the island. The name of the park offers some insight into the habitat it provides; ‘Willu’ means lake, of which there are numerous to be found all across the 130,000 hectare reserve.

The Spoonbill, Pintail, Garganey, Purple heron, and Black-headed ibis are just a selection of wetland birds that can be spotted in and around the natural lakes found in Wilpattu. You will also sight various species of eagles, owls, gulls and kite buzzards whilst bird watching in the park.

The recommended times to visit Wilpattu National Park are in the morning or mid-afternoon when it is generally easiest to spot not only the birds but also the Leopards, Elephants and Sloth Bear.

If you’re interested in going bird watching in Sri Lanka then take a look at our selection of tours to Sri Lanka which incorporate trips to Wilpattu and other wildlife hotspots around the beautiful island.


  Wildlife and National Parks of Sri Lanka

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