Birds (Endemic)

For an Island of its size, Sri Lanka has a high density of species of birds. A total of 444 birds have been recorded including migrants. No less than 33 species of birds are endemic, found nowhere else in the world. The mixed species feding flocks in Sinharaja (dubbed the ‘Rainforest Rainbow’) are the largest in the world. The birds are also relatively tame and easy to watch.

With the exception of the endangered Sri Lanka Whistling Thrush and the scarce Sri Lanka Bush Warbler all of the endemics have been recorded at Sinharaja. However in the areas visited by birders some of the other montane endemics are unlikely to be seen. Hence to have good coverage of the endemics, as a bare minimum a visit to a wet lowland site such as Sinharaja, Kitulgala or Bodhinagala will need to be combined with a visit to a montane site such as Horton Plains or Hakgala in the mountainous Central Province. For the latter two the hill resort of Nuwara Eliya can be used as a base. Most birders visit Bodhinagala en route to Sinharaja as it the best place to see the endemic Green billed Coucal which if not seen is likely to be heard.