TOP 5 ENDEMIC BIRDS OF SRI LANKA
The island of Sri Lanka is home to over 468 species of birds, of which 33 are endemic, making it one of the best bird watching destinations in the Indian subcontinent. For such a small island to have so many species of birdlife we must go back to the Pleistocene era when Sri Lanka was part of the Indian land mass. Naturally, birds fly south which would have placed them in the area that was to be Sri Lanka, and once the land separated to form the island the animals would have been trapped with no way back. The diverse and lush geological landscape of Sri Lanka has evolved creating a bird sanctuary for the animals and a prime spot for birding tours in Sri Lanka.
Below are Eco Team’s top 5 Endemic Birds of Sri Lanka
- Sri Lanka Jungle Fowl
It is only fitting that the national bird of Sri Lanka makes it onto this list, The Ceylon Junglefowl (Gallus Lafayeti) is one of four species in the Genus Gallus. This small flightless bird can be found in a wide variety of habitats across the island ranging from open ground to dense vegetation. Like it’s descendent the domestic chicken, hen’s incubate and brood their young alone and feed on worms, insects and different kinds of grains.
- Sri Lanka Blue Magpie
Many don’t believe that this bird is a member of the crow family, but don’t let that discourage you from appreciating the beauty and intellect of the Sri Lankan Blue Magpie (Urocissa Ornate). Not afraid to live in human populated areas this bird travels in groups of six or more and is famous as a scavenger and omnivore as it feeds on snakes, rodents, insects, wild figs and papaya and may store them for later meals.
- Ceylon Whistling Thrush
Confined to montane forests such as Horton Plains the Ceylon Whistling Thrush (Myphonous Blighi) has the most restricted ranges of Sri Lankan birds. They breed from late January to early May and during this period the Males would sing it’s infamous tune in hopes of attracting a mate. This bird gets its name from the haunting noise it makes that is very similar to a whistle one would hear as they walk along the forest path.
- Sri Lanka Grey Hornbill
Hornbills are some of the most iconic birds in the animal kingdom and the Sri Lankan Grey Hornbill (Ocyceros Gingalensis) is no exception. A much smaller representative of the family, the Sri Lanka they are said to be the most effective seed dispersers especially since their diet consists mainly of fruits, berries and figs. The females and males raise the young together where the female breeds the young in the nest and the male sourcing and feeding the young by passing regurgitated berries to the female who in turn feeds the young.
- Sri Lanka Dull-Blue Flycatcher
A beautiful bird that can be found only in areas that are over 600 meters greater than sea level is the Sri Lankan Dull Blue Flycatcher (Eumyias Sordidus). Living in the highlands of Sri lanka this specimen lives in cup shaped nests packed with moss on the shade of a rock ledge. Despite its relative remote nesting it isn’t uncommon to see as it flies about to source its food of flying insects, beetles, caterpillars and the occasional berry.
This is just a list of our top 5 endemic birds of Sri Lanka. We encourage you to check out the many species of birds when on a bird watching tour of Sri Lanka.