The amazing abundance of over 400 varieties of birds in Sri Lanka is attributable to the tropical climate and wide range of natural habitats, from mountains to lowlands to dry plains and lush forests. On a point of academic argument, there are either 26 or 23 endemic species in Sri Lanka, largely confined to the rainforests of the hill zone.
The best time of year for sightings is November-April, particularly February and March, after the migrants (198 species) have arrived.
Best time of day for observation is early morning, except for the people-friendly “Townies”, like the black house crows, common mynah, sunbirds, parakeets, etc.
For the ‘birder’ the choice sites are the forests of Sinharaja and Horton Plains. For family enjoyment the National Parks of Yala, Bundala and Uda Walawe are more easily accessible.