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Endemic Birds of Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka Spurfowl
(ශ්‍රි ලංකා හබන්-කුකුලා)
Galloperdix bicalcarata

Yet to capture image

Sri Lanka Junglefowl
(ශ්‍රි ලංකා වලි-කුකුලා)
Gallus lafayettii

The national bird of Sri Lanka was first seen on the outskirts of the Sinharaja rainforest. Although normally they are very shy, in villages around Sinharaja, they have got used to human dwellings and can be seen around houses. The female is brown in colour.

Images 5 and 6 are of two males from Bundala National Park. Image 7 is from Nilgala Forest Reserve. Images 8 and 9 are from Wilpattu National Park.

Sri Lanka Wood Pigeon / Ceylon Wood Pigeon (ශ්‍රි ලංකා මයිල පරවියා)
Columba torringtoniae

This endemic beauty was photographed on the outskirts of the Sinharaja rainforest. It was in the canopy hidden among the foliage which made it very difficult to take a better picture. Hopefully, I will come across them again so I can do justice to their beauty.

Sri Lanka Green Pigeon / Pompadour Green Pigeon (පොම්පදෝරු බටගොයා)
Treron pompadora

These native beauties have proved notoriously difficult to photograph. The first photos were taken on the outskirts of Kithulgala from afar. A whole bunch were in the canopy and never came down closer.

I came across a flock of them on the outskirts of Wilpattu and got lucky. (Images 3 to 6)

Sri Lanka Hanging Parrot / Ceylon Lorikeet
(ශ්‍රි ලංකා ගිරාමලිත්තා)
Loriculus beryllinus

I was on the roof of my ancestral house in Bulathsinhala waiting for some bird to show up for more than an hour. Just as I was about to give up, this amazing beauty showed up. I didn't know that she is endemic at the time. What joy when I finally checked what I photographed.

The last picture is from Sinharaja rain forest. Look at the beautiful colours and form. :)

Layard's Parakeet
(ශ්‍රි ලංකා අලු ගිරවා)
Psittacula calthrapae

I took the 1st photograph inside the Dehiwala Zoo birds enclosure. The other photos at the outskirts of Sinharaja rain forest where a group of them were feeding on a fruit tree. They gave me a superb display of their colours and abilities.

Endemic to Sri Lanka, just look at the explosion of colours at certain angles.

Red-faced Malkoha
(ශ්‍රි ලංකා වතරතු මල්කොහා)
Phaenicophaeus pyrrhocephalus

Seen at the outskirts of the Sinharaja rain forest, this rare and endemic beauty is a price capture. Such a beautiful bird, he was notoriously hard to take a picture as he stayed mostly inside the bush and was jumping around so quickly. Hope I will see him again and will be able to take a better picture in the future.

Green-billed Coucal
(ශ්‍රි ලංකා බට ඇටි-කුකුලා)
Centropus chlororhynchos

Seen at Sinharaja forest just after a few morning showers. He was catching the first rays of sunlight. Such a majestic bird who is endemic to Sri Lanka.

Serendib Scops Owl
(පන්ඩුවන් කන්බස්සා)
Otus thilohoffmanni

The last new endemic species to be added to the list of endemic birds of Sri Lanka, this majestic owl is photographed in the outskirts of Sinharaja rain forest. After a hectic climb, Thilak (my guide when I go to Sinharaja) was able to spot this one inside a thick bush of bamboo. Unfortunately, taking a good image of the whole bird was impossible as it was inside the thick bush. What a beauty and what personality.

Chestnut-backed Owlet
(ශ්‍රි ලංකා පිට තම්බල උපබස්සා)
Glaucidium castanotum

This rare and endemic owlet is one of my price photographs. Captured at low light deep inside the Sinharaja rain forest, he was very difficult to spot. My bird tracker, ‘Thilake’ used its recorded call to get the owlet to give away its position as he responded when the call was made. How I wished I had taken my tripod to take a long exposure shot which would have had better clarity. What a beauty of a bird.

Sri Lanka Grey Hornbill / Ceylon Grey Hornbill (ශ්‍රි ලංකා අලු කෑදැත්තා)
Ocyceros gingalensis

This endemic beauty is quite common in the rainforests such as Sinharaja. All the pictures are from Sinharaja and its outskirts taken during multiple trips.

Sri Lanka Small Barbet / Ceylon Small Barbet
(රත්-මූනත් කොට්ටෝරුවා)
Xantholaema rubricapillus

When I was initially taking the photographs, I didn’t realise that it was a Sri Lanka Small Barbet as I thought it is a Yellow-fronted Barbet. I was positively surprised when I found out later on. Captured in the outskirts of The Bodinagala forest reserve and in the outskirts of Rathnapura.

Yellow-fronted Barbet
(ශ්‍රි ලංකා රන්මූනත් කොට්ටෝරුවා)
Megalaima flavifrons

Seen at the outskirts of Sinharaja forest, in images 1 and 2, this endemic beauty was looking for food by digging tree barks at the joints. As he was photographed from a distance, I was unable to get a perfect photo. Thus hoped I will run into them again as they are such beautiful bird species.

My wish came true on a subsequent trip where I managed to take some beautiful captures on a rainy morning.

Crimson-backed Woodpecker
Chrysocolaptes stricklandi

Yet to capture image

Sri Lanka Swallow / Ceylon Swallow
Cecropis hyperythra

I came across a flock of them near the Mahaweli river in the outskirts of Kandy. Initially very shy, after a while, they were ok with me approaching closer. There were around 10 birds in this one small flock moving from one small tree to another mostly focusing on the morning grooming. (Images 1 to 8)

Images 9 and 10 are from Yala National Park.

Sri Lanka Woodshrike / Ceylon Wood Shrike
(වන-කෞල් ඇස්පටියා)
Tephrodornis affinis

Photographed in Kalkudah area, it was inside the shade of a tree which meant I had to take the photos in low light without even knowing what species I was photographing. I had to get creative to improve the light with editing to see the beauty of the bird. 

Images 6 and 7 are from the outskirts of Nilgala forest.

Black-headed Yellow Bulbul
Black-headed Yellow Bulbul / Black-capped Bulbul (හිස කලු කොන්ඩයා)
Pycnonotus melanicterus

1st seen at Rathnapura, there were a couple of them flying around in a bush. I wish I had more time to spend in their presence but I was pressed for time as I was with family.

The other images are from Sinharaja rain forest where this beautiful bird put on a good display for me.

Yellow-eared Bulbul
(ශ්‍රි ලංකා කහ-කැන් කොන්ඩයා)
Kelaartia penicillata

Endemic to Sri Lanka and only found in the highlands, this magnificent beauty was seen at Horton Planes.

Sri Lanka Whistling Thrush / Ceylon Whistling Thrush (ශ්‍රි ලංකා උරුවන්-තිරසිකයා) Myophonus blighi

Yet to capture image

Spot-winged Thrush / Spotted-winged Thrush (තිත්-පියා තිරසිකයා)
Geokichla spiloptera

First seen at Sinharaja rain forest, this endemic thrush put on a very good display for me. There were a couple of them flying around and fighting in the tea bushes on the outskirts of the forest.

Image 8 is taken inside Udawatta Forest Reserve in Kandy. This one was feasting on ground worms.

Sri Lanka Scaly Thrush / Ceylon Scaly Thrush
(කයුරු තිරසිකයා)
Zoothera imbricata

Yet to capture image

Brown-capped Babbler
Pellorneum fuscocapillus

First captured in low light inside the bush in Kandalama, I didn't realize at the time it was an endemic species. (Images 1 and 2) I came across another on the outskirts of Wilpattu (image 3) again during a gloomy morning. Notoriously difficult to photograph as they stay well inside the bush.

What a beautiful babbler. 

Sri Lanka Scimita-babbler / Ceylon Scimitar Babbler (දැ-දෙමලිච්චා)
Pomatorhinus melanurus