Your Guide to Birdwatching Adventures in Sri Lanka

With its diverse ecosystems and rich avian biodiversity, Sri Lanka is celebrated as a paradise for birdwatchers. The island’s unique geographical position and varied climates make it an ideal habitat for numerous bird species, including several endemic and migratory ones. Join us as we delve into everything you need to know about birdwatching in Sri Lanka, including some of the very best locations, what to look out for, and essential tips to make sure you get the most out of your birdwatching experience.


Kumana Bird Sanctuary

Nestled in the southeastern coast of Sri Lanka, Kumana Bird Sanctuary is a magnet for birdwatching enthusiasts. The sanctuary’s extensive wetlands are teeming with life, hosting over 255 species of birds, including the elusive Black-necked Stork. The best time to visit Kumana is during the migratory season from April to July, when the lagoons and mangroves become a temporary home for thousands of migratory birds.

Kalametiya Bird Sanctuary

Kalametiya birdwatching offers an intimate encounter with nature. This coastal wetland, located in the southern part of the island, is less crowded, providing a peaceful birdwatching experience. Key species to look out for including the Sri Lankan Junglefowl, Purple Heron, and the Glossy Ibis. The months from November to March, when the migratory birds from colder climates visit, are considered the best time for birdwatching in Kalametiya.

Bundala National Park

Bundala National Park is renowned for its spectacular avian life, making it a must-visit for those interested in Sri Lanka birdwatching adventures. This UNESCO Biosphere Reserve is a winter home for migratory water birds like Flamingos, which paint the wetlands pink from September to March. The park is an excellent location for spotting both endemic and migratory species, including the Greater Flamingo and the Eurasian Spoonbill.

Anawilundawa Bird Sanctuary

Situated between Chilaw and Puttalam, Anawilundawa is a hidden gem among birdwatching places in Sri Lanka. This RAMSAR wetland is crucial for the conservation of both endemic and migratory birds. Birdwatchers can expect to see the Pheasant-tailed Jacana, Asian Openbill, and many species of kingfishers and herons. The best birdwatching season here spans from August to April, offering a tranquil setting away from the more touristy spots.

Best Time for Birdwatching

The best birdwatching season in Sri Lanka largely depends on the location and the type of birds you wish to observe. Generally, the migratory season between October and April is highly favourable, as it brings an influx of birds from colder regions. However, for endemic species, the year-round warm climate means that any time can be a good time, with early mornings and late afternoons being particularly rewarding.

Tips for Birdwatching in Sri Lanka


  • Bird watching tours in Sri Lanka offer guided experiences that can significantly enhance your birdwatching journey. Opting for a tour can provide you with expert insights into local bird species and the best spots to observe them. Local guides are not only knowledgeable about bird species and their habits, but also familiar with the terrain, ensuring a fruitful birdwatching session.
  • Early morning is the best time to observe birds as this is when they are most active. Be sure to reach your chosen location by dawn.
  • Wear comfortable and preferably light camouflage or earth-toned clothing to blend into the Sri Lankan environment and avoid startling the birds.
  • Investing in a good pair of binoculars and a field guide to birds in Sri Lanka will greatly enhance your birdwatching experience.
  • Stick to marked paths, keep a safe distance from the birds, and carry out everything you bring in, to minimise your impact on the natural habitats.


With careful planning and a respectful approach, birdwatching can provide not only a delightful hobby, but also a meaningful way to connect with nature and support conservation efforts. So, pack your binoculars, bring your field guide, and embark on a birdwatching adventure that promises both beauty and discovery at every turn!

If you’re searching for the perfect travel package to make this dream a reality, look no further. Visit our website, and our knowledgeable travel experts at Apple Vacations will be ready to assist you. They’ll help you tailor the ideal holiday experience in Sri Lanka, ensuring that your birdwatching safari is nothing short of spectacular.