Bird Watching in Sri Lanka, what to look for!



So it’s December! And we’re twitching to tilt our Sri Lanka Blog to resemble more a bird blog than anything else. More so because our Ayu in the Wild Naturalists are logging in their incredible trip reports. The 33 endemics are out there in numbers and the migrants have winged their way to our island to buff up the species count. Here’s what to look for to spot these 8 out of 33 endemic birds of Sri Lanka!



Sri Lanka Grey Hornbill


Its call will betray its presence for sure. Quite grotesque looking but we love these endemics, especially their brilliant partnership whilst nesting. The female confines herself in a tree cavity during nesting season, admirably plastered with the male’s and the female’s beaks leaving a narrow hole for the male to send through food. Can be seen spotted close to Sigiriya on day 2 of Ayu in the Wild Holiday’s 14-day birding tour across Sri Lanka.

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Sri Lanka Green Pigeon


The sight of a flock numbering hundreds close to the last remaining water holes during the dry season is incredible. On day 4 on tour, deep inside the thick foliage you are likely to hear the beautiful courtship song of the male which our Guides will pick up for you.

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Greater Crimson – backed Flame back


Out bird watching in Yala National Park on day 8 with Ayu in the Wild Holidays, this shy bird although not rare is definitely a worthy sight. Usually seen snooping around trees for its daily fix of worms and beetles by using its powerful beak to generate sounds resembling the vibrations of a jack hammer and confusing its prey.

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Brown capped Babbler


Spotted hanging around in small flocks this tiny endemic with the demure call is extremely active making bird photography a challenge to say the least!

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Sri Lanka Blue Magpie


The gorgeous blue and chestnut plumage and the fact that they hang around in pairs or more allows for guaranteed sightings of this exotic bird in the Sinharaja rainforest on day 10 with Ayu in the Wild Holidays. This stunning endemic is not illusive or shy in the least.

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Sri Lanka Scimitar Babbler


Even though the bird is not rare or threatened a keen eye and sensitivity to different calls of birds is required to track this bird. Its unusual nest made with moss, ferns and grass roots is quite a sight as well!

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Sri Lanka Hanging Parrot


The bird that sleeps like a bat is seen around Sri Lanka from Hill country to mid country backyards. Always seen devouring juicy fruits before anybody else has a chance to pluck them. Incredibly interesting treks around Kitulgala on our birding tours yields quite a few chances to spot this bird.

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Talk to Ayu in the Wild Holidays Sri Lanka, for your Bird watching tour this season!