Birds of all sizes and colors can be witnessed at the park. A pair of binoculars are coming in handy to observe them in their natural habitat, and it will assure that you don’t miss a must-see experience, in your safari. A total of 149 species of birds including several endemic species such as the Gray Hornbill, Brown-capped Babbler, Crimsonfronted Barbet and the Sri Lanka Jungle fowl can be easily observed. Large breeding population of Painted storks is a common sight in most years at the Maradanmaduwa tank. Wilpattu is the only site, where the rare Malabar Trogon-Harpactes fasciatus has been recorded in dry-zone in recent times, an indicator of the quality of its tall monsoon forest.


Every year, from September to April the following year, migratory birds from Europe, Western Asia and India fly to evade the winter season to the tropical weather of Sri Lanka. During this season, flocks of birds can be seen gathered around the villus, tanks and the mud flats of the Kala Oya estuary. A few examples of migratory birds are the Northern Pintail, Garganey, Lesser Sand Plover, Black-tailed Godwit Marsh Sandpiper and several species of Gulls and Terns.

Birds at Wilpattu

The Wilpattu National Park hosts a variety of rich biodiversity.
Explore to find out more about the top 5 species of birds at the park.

Birds at Wilpattu

The Wilpattu National Park hosts a variety of rich biodiversity.
Explore to find out more about the top 5 species of birds at the park

Sri Lanka Junglefowl

(Gallus lafayetti)

Sri Lanka Junglefowl is the most common endemic bird of the island and is also the national bird of the country. Like other jungle fowls, this species is also strongly sexually dimorphic; the male being much larger than the female, with more vivid plumage and a highly exaggerated wattle and comb with a central yellow patch. The female has very cryptic brown plumage, with typical white markings, making it easy to conceal when nesting on the ground.


Malabar Pied Hornbill

(Anthracoceros coronatus)

Malabar Pied Hornbill is a fairly-common breeding resident and found mainly associated with the dry zone forests. They are truly bizarre creatures with both males and females having a huge, bony structures on top of their beaks, giving them a rather comical appearance. The casque, as it is known, is light and hollow, and enables the birds' calls to resonate through their dense jungle habitat, making the otherwise silent park a noisy place. As many other hornbill species, they also display rather unusual breeding behavior, during which the male walls up the female in her nest, which is a tree hole making her entirely dependent on him for food during the incubation period. During the evening hours they might be found on the ground having a sand bath.

lesser adjutant

Lesser Adjutant

(Leptoptilos javanicus)

The Lesser Adjutant is a rare breeding resident restricted to the dry zone lowlands of Sri Lanka. The reddish bare head and the long yellow neck make this bird easy to identify. Very silent by nature, the Lesser Adjutants are often observed stalking around villus and tanks as they search for prey, such as fish, frogs, and large invertebrates. It is the largest wading bird found in the island and is considered nationally and globally threatened mainly due to deforestation. Therefore, it will be indeed a bonus to encounter this beauty in the park.


Crested Serpent Eagle

(Spilornis cheela spilogaster)

Crested Serpent Eagle is the most commonly encountered bird of prey in the thick forest of the park. This bird has a very distinctive flight pattern and often tends to fly along with the vehicle for some distance giving an opportunity for the visitor to admire it. As its name suggests, they mainly feed on snakes, but also go after other reptiles and frogs. This species is widespread throughout tropical Asia.

Woolly-necked Stork

Woolly-necked Stork

(Ciconia episcopus)

The Woolly-necked Stork is another globally threatened species encountered in the park. They can be observed individually or in association with other water birds, such as Painted storks and Egrets. Its glossy black overall and cap, as well as the long white neck make it outstand in the wetlands. This species is found in most Asian countries and confined to the dry zone of Sri Lanka. The Woollynecked Stork walks slowly on the ground seeking its prey, which consists of frogs, lizards and large insects.


birds in wilpattu
Shopping Basket