Yala National Park located in the Southeastern coast of the island of Sri Lanka is a unique ecosystem that borders the sea. It is a well-loved safari destination in the country for all wildlife enthusiasts both local and tourists alike.
The region is semi-arid with lagoons and beaches that host a myriad of bird species and for that reason it is a favourite spot for bird lovers of the world. 215 bird species can be found in the park, six of these are endemic to Sri Lanka.
Here are some of the more famous species birds of you can spot on your bird watching expeditions:
- Starting with the six endemic birds to Sri Lanka, these are the Sri Lanka Grey Hornbill, Sri Lanka Junglefowl, Sri Lanka Wood Pigeon, Crimson-fronted Barbet, Black-capped Bulbul, and Brown-capped Babbler.
- Common water birds that can be spotted in the wetlands include Waterfowl – Lesser Whistling Duck, Garganey. Cormorants – Little Cormorant, Indian Cormorant. Large water birds include the Grey Heron, Black-headed Ibis, Eurasian Spoonbill, Asian Openbill and Painted Storks.
- Rare birds that can be spotted are the Black-necked Stork and Lesser Adjutant.
- Other types of water birds attracted to the Yala lagoons specifically also include Lesser Flamingo, and Pelicans. Rare species of Purple Heron, Night Herons, Egrets, Purple Swamphen and Oriental Darter.
- The predatory birds that can be spotted are the Crested Serpent Eagle and White-Bellied Sea Eagle.
- Forest birds that can be spotted away from the waters are the Orange-Breasted Green Pigeon, Hornbills, Old World Flycatchers, Asian Paradise-Flycatcher, Asian Barbets, and Orioles. These birds make their homes further inland.
- Birds that are known to reside in the park all year through include the Lesser Whistling Duck, Yellow-Wattled Lapwing, Red-wattled Lapwing, and Great Stone-curlew.
When you stay at Jetwing Safari Camp, you can witness the park’s winged creatures, from hunting eagles to waddling ducks even before your safari begins!