Sri Lankan wildlife is legendary, from the elusive leopards of Yala National Park and the gargantuan blue whales in the south coast waters, to the kaleidoscopic array of birdlife that takes to the skies each day. Of Sri Lanka’s more than 400 species of bird, over 50 of these can be seen here at Tri. 2018 marks National Geographic’s Year of the Bird, so what better time to celebrate the winged and wonderful companions with which we share our home…
Black-rumped Flameback (Dinopium benghalense psarodes)
A sub-species of the more commonly known black-rumped flameback, this woodpecker is endemic to Sri Lanka and differentiates itself with deep red wings and darker, more extensive markings. Often spotted flitting through the trees at Tri, you’ll recognise its characteristic rattling-whinnying call and undulating flight.
White-bellied Sea Eagle (Heliaeetus leucogaster)
Keen birders will spot the huge white-bellied sea eagle swooping down to pluck fish from Koggala Lake, its regular hunting ground, and the bird can often be seen roaming the grounds here at Tri. No shrinking violet, this raptor bird of prey is Sri Lanka’s largest bird — with a wingspan of up to 2.5m — and is particularly distinctive with its white head, under-wing coverts and loud, goose-like honking.
Sri Lankan Green Pigeon (Treron pompadora)
A sub-species of the fabulously-named pompadour green pigeon (also seen at Tri), this bird is thought to be endemic to Sri Lankan wildlife. Beautifully bright in colour with an emerald green body and deep purple wings, the Sri Lankan Green Pigeon usually nests alone or in small groups, and can be spotted making fast and fleeting flights with a sharp flick of the wing.
Jerdon’s Leafbird (Chloropsis jerdoni)
Living high amongst the treetops, the Jerdon’s Leafbird is easily camouflaged in Tri’s lush vegetation thanks to its small size and fluorescent green body. Eagle-eyed guests will spot the little bird hanging out in our cashew and jackfruit trees, singing its unique song made through mimicking the calls of a number of other nearby bird species.
White-throated Kingfisher (Halcyon smyrnensis)
A favourite amongst birders of Sri Lankan wildlife, these gorgeously iridescent blue birds can be spotted flitting across the waters by Tri, feeding on small reptiles, amphibians, crabs and even other birds. A powerful bill and rapid flight means the species has few predators, and they are especially noticeable here at Tri during breeding season thanks to a loud morning wake up call.
Birding interest piqued? The list doesn’t stop there… Here at Tri, you’ll also find black-hooded orioles, emerald doves, red-wattled lapwings – more commonly known as the ‘did ‘e do it’ bird on account of its unique call – babblers, bul buls and barbets, peacocks, parakeets and more…
There’s a whole world of aerial Sri Lankan wildlife to discover. Keen birders: grab your binoculars, for Sri Lanka’s birding paradise awaits…