Sri Lanka is located at the extreme southern point beyond the south of India. The stretch of ocean from
Sri Lanka to the South Pole contains no other land. Therefore migrant birds, which are flying in the
direction of India, choose Sri Lanka as their final destination. Sri Lanka is one of most popular
destinations among migratory birds in the world, merely because of the location in the world map.
There are over 460 bird species are recorded at this moment. About half of these are breeding residents.
Apart from seabirds, with a peak season in the northern summer (May-October), most migratory birds
visit Sri Lanka in northern winter (October-April). Consequently this is also the best time to visit Sri
Lanka. Within this period the best time probably is February - March when a lot of local birds are starting
their breeding season, being significantly more active.
There are 3 flying routes across India along which immigrant birds come to Sri Lanka; the western route,
the eastern route and the Andaman Island route.
The western route
This route lies along the western coast of India. Those birds using this route begin their journey
from the northern and northwestern parts of the world. After reaching extreme south of India,
which is called commarin point, they fly further across the southern coast of India and arrive in
Sri Lanka; most of these birds enters the island between Mannar and Kalutara.
The migrant birds from Europe, West Asia including western Siberia, & from the western
regions of Himalaya including Kashmir are known to be using the western route.
The Eastern route
This migrate route starts from the northern and northeastern parts of the world and lies along the
Eastern coast of India, towards the southern India. Birds using this route flying further in the
direction of Sri Lanka and reach the island passing the Indian coast between Kalmier point and
Ramesvaran. Most of these birds are flying from East Asian countries such as eastern Siberia and
Mongolia. Birds from eastern regions of Himalaya including Tibet are also known to be using
Andaman Islands route
Apart from the above-mentioned two migrant routes some of the birds are using the Andaman
Islands route. This route falls across the Andaman Islands in the Indian Ocean. It is believed that
these migratory birds, which are using the Andaman Islands route, start their journey from south
East Asian and East Asian countries.
From October to April falls the main migration season of the birds in the island. It is believed,
that birds are using the same route, on the return journey. However some birds are known to be
using the different routes on the return journey. Sri Lanka proved to be a top birding destination.
All different types of birdwatchers will be able to find their likings here. This small island
contains descriptions of 435 bird species including 110 migratory species. It is 26% of the total
number of birds. During the Migratory period from November to February birds visit Sri Lanka.