Sri Lankas birdlife is astonishing, ornithologists and birdwatchers flock here to take in such dazzling encounters as a flamboyant peacock strutting like a courtier, trying to impress the hens with his shimmering tail feathers, and a White-bellied Sea Eagle swooping from his perch on a half-submerged tree, diving low over an inland tank to pluck a fish from the water. And not forgetting a Sri Lankan Paradise Flycatcher flitting from perch to perch its amazingly long tail feathers bobbing behind it like a chestnut ribbon.
Hornbills are seen nesting in hollowed tree trunks, completely sealed in except for a small hole sufficient only for their partners to insert food, while noisy flocks of parakeets speckle the blue sky green. In Sinharaja Forest Reserve and other wet zone forests, mixed feeding flocks feature prominently, with many species travelling together through the forest plucking insects from the air, pulling grubs from tree-trunks and sipping nectar from flowers.
Even when confined to the city, birdwatching is an option. Sunbirds dart low through garden groves while stocky-beaked Barbets flash pale green in the higher branches. Koels and Coucals seem to compete with one another for top volume, their raucous morning calls rousing many from slumber. Crows, so common as to be often overlooked, are always worth watching as they bicker and badger one another over food scraps and nesting materials.
Even more evocative is the blood-curdling shriek of the Spot-bellied Forest Eagle Owl, locally known as the ulama or .devil-bird.. This is the largest and rarest of Sri Lanka.s dozen owl species and part of a rich avifaunal community of 482 species that are either residents or visitors to the island, including 26 endemic species.
Bird Watching Main Locations
- Adam's Peak
- Belihul Oya
- Horton Plains