List of birds of Sri Lanka

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Sri Lanka is a tropical island situated close to the southern tip of India. The bird life of Sri Lanka is very rich for its size and about 433 species have been recorded. In addition to the many resident birds, a considerable number of migratory species winter in the country to escape their northern breeding grounds.

There are 233 species which are resident, of which 26 are endemic. The other resident species are also found in the nearby Indian mainland, but over 80 have developed distinct Sri Lankan races. Some of these races are very different in their plumage characteristics from the related forms in India.

Bird distribution in Sri Lanka is largely determined by its climatic zones. The dry zone is largest of the three, covering more than half of the island, with a prolonged dry and hot period and only one monsoon (the north east monsoon from October to January).

The wet zone, with two monsoons, is in the south western quarter of the island, where the few remaining rain forests are found and humidity is high.

The central hill zone rises to over 2450 m (8-10,000 ft) and has a cool temperate climate. Most of the 26 endemic species are confined to the wet and the hill zones, with only a few extending into the dry zone as well.

Recent updates and sighting information can be obtained through the Field Ornithology Group of Sri Lanka website. The following list is prepared according to An Illustrated Guide to the Birds of Sri Lanka on 2010 by Sarath Kotagama and Gamini Ratnavira.


Table of contents

See also        Notes        References

Grebes[edit]

Little grebe in non-breeding plumage

Order: Podicipediformes   Family: Podicipedidae

Grebes are small to medium-sized diving birds. They breed on fresh water, but often visit the sea whilst migrating and in winter. They have lobed toes and are excellent swimmers and divers; however, their feet are placed far back on their bodies, making them quite ungainly on land. There are 19 species worldwide. Of these, one species has been recorded in Sri Lanka.

Name Binomial Status
Little grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis Resident

Shearwaters and petrels[edit]

Order: Procellariiformes   Family: Procellariidae

The procellariids are the main group of medium-sized "true petrels", characterised by united nostrils with medium septum and a long outer functional primary. There are 75 species worldwide of which twelve have occurred in Sri Lanka.[1]

Short-tailed Shearwater.jpg
Common name Binomial Status
Cape petrel Daption capense
Barau's petrel Pterodroma baraui
Bulwer's petrel Bulweria bulwerii
Jouanin's petrel Bulweria fallax
Streaked shearwater Calonectris leucomelas
Flesh-footed shearwater Ardenna cameipes
Wedge-tailed shearwater Ardenna pacificus
Sooty shearwater Ardenna griseus
Short-tailed shearwater Ardenna tenuirostris
Persian shearwater Puffinus persicus

Storm petrels[edit]

Order: Procellariiformes   Family: Hydrobatidae

Storm-petrels are small birds which spend most of their lives at sea, coming ashore only to breed. They feed on planktonic crustaceans and small fish picked from the surface, typically while hovering or pattering across the water. Their flight is fluttering and sometimes bat-like. There are 22 species worldwide, two of which has been recorded in Sri Lanka.[1]

Common name Binomial Status
Wilson's storm petrel Oceanites oceanicus
Swinhoe's storm petrel Hydrobates monorhis

Tropicbirds[edit]

Order: Phaethontiformes   Family: Phaethontidae

Tropicbirds are slender white birds of tropical oceans, with exceptionally long central tail feathers. Their heads and long wings have black markings. There are three species worldwide of which two have occurred in Sri Lanka.[2]

Common name Binomial Status
Red-tailed tropicbird Phaethon rubricauda
White-tailed tropicbird Phaethon lepturus

Pelicans[edit]

Order: Pelecaniformes   Family: Pelecanidae

Spot-billed pelican, once common, now rare and endangered

Pelicans are large water birds with a distinctive pouch under their beak. As with other members of the order Pelecaniformes, they have webbed feet with four toes. There are eight species worldwide of which three occur in Sri Lanka.[2]

Common name Binomial Status
Spot-billed pelican Pelecanus philippensis Resident, but rare, probably once bred. Globally threatened[3]
Dalmatian pelican Pelecanus crispus Migrant
Great white pelican Pelecanus onocrotalus Migrant

Boobies[edit]

Order: Suliformes   Family: Sulidae

The gannets and boobies in the family Sulidae are medium to large coastal seabirds that plunge-dive for fish. There are nine species worldwide of which three have occurred in Sri Lanka.[2]

Common name Binomial Status
Masked booby Sula dactylatra
Red-footed booby Sula sula
Brown booby Sula leucogaster

Cormorants[edit]

Order: Suliformes   Family: Phalacrocoracidae

Little cormorant, a resident breeding species

Phalacrocoracidae is a family of medium to large coastal, fish-eating seabirds that includes cormorants and shags. Plumage colouration varies; the majority of species have mainly dark plumage, but some are pied black and white, and a few are more colourful. There are 38 members of this family worldwide, of which three are resident in Sri Lanka.[2]

Common name Binomial Status
Indian cormorant Phalacrocorax fuscicollis Resident
Great cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo Resident
Little cormorant Microcarbo niger Resident

Darters[edit]

Order: Suliformes   Family: Anhingidae

Oriental darter. Adult of this now rare species

Darters are often called "snake-birds" because they have long thin necks, which gives a snake-like appearance when they swim with their bodies submerged. The males have black and dark-brown plumage, an erectile crest on the nape, and a larger bill than the female. The females have much paler plumage, especially on the neck and underparts. The darters have completely webbed feet and their legs are short and set far back on the body. Their plumage is somewhat permeable, like that of cormorants, and they spread their wings to dry after diving. There are four species worldwide, of which one is resident in Sri Lanka.[2]

Common name Binomial Status
Oriental darter Anhinga melanogaster Resident, but rare and globally threatened, formerly bred[4]

Frigatebirds[edit]

Order: Suliformes   Family: Fregatidae

Frigatebirds are large seabirds usually found over tropical oceans. They are large, black and white or completely black, with long wings and deeply forked tails. The males have coloured inflatable throat pouches. They do not swim or walk and cannot take off from a flat surface. Having the largest wingspan-to-body-weight ratio of any bird, they are essentially aerial, able to stay aloft for more than a week. There are five species worldwide of which three occur in Sri Lanka.[2] None are resident.

Common name Binomial Status
Christmas frigatebird Fregata andrewsi
Great frigatebird Fregata minor
Lesser frigatebird Fregata ariel

Bitterns, herons and egrets[edit]

Order: Pelecaniformes   Family: Ardeidae

The family Ardeidae contains the bitterns, herons and egrets. Herons and egrets are medium to large wading birds with long necks and legs. Bitterns tend to be shorter necked and more wary. Unlike other long-necked birds such as storks, ibises and spoonbills, members of this family fly with their necks retracted. There are 61 species worldwide of which 17 occur in Sri Lanka.[5]

Yellow bittern
very common resident and winter visitor
Common name Binomial Status
Grey heron Ardea cinerea Resident
Goliath heron Ardea goliath
Purple heron Ardea purpurea Resident
Eastern great egret Ardea modesta Resident
Intermediate egret Egretta intermedia Resident
Little egret Egretta garzetta Resident
Western reef egret Egretta gularis Resident, globally vulnerable[6]
Cattle egret Bubulcus ibis Resident
Indian pond heron Ardeola grayii Resident
Chinese pond heron Ardeola bacchus
Striated heron Butorides striata Resident
Black-crowned night heron Nycticorax nycticorax Resident
Malayan night heron Gorsachius melanolophus
Yellow bittern Ixobrychus sinensis Resident
Cinnamon bittern Ixobrychus cinnamomeus Resident
Black bittern Ixobrychus flavicollis Resident
Eurasian bittern Botaurus stellaris

Storks[edit]

Order: Ciconiiformes   Family: Ciconiidae

Storks are large, long-legged, long-necked, wading birds with long, stout bills. Storks are virtually mute, but bill-clattering is an important mode of communication at the nest. Their nests can be large and may be reused for many years. Many species are migratory. There are 19 species worldwide of which seven occur in Sri Lanka.[5]

Painted stork
Common name Binomial Status
Painted stork Mycteria leucocephala Resident
Asian openbill Anastomus oscitans Resident
Black stork Ciconia nigra
Woolly-necked stork Ciconia episcopus Resident
White stork Ciconia ciconia
Black-necked stork Ephippiorhynchus asiaticus Resident, globally threatened[7]
Lesser adjutant Leptoptilos javanicus Resident

Ibises and spoonbills[edit]

Order: Pelecaniformes   Family: Threskiornithidae

Threskiornithidae is a family of large terrestrial and wading birds which comprises the ibises and spoonbills. Its members have long, broad wings with 11 primary and about 20 secondary flight feathers. They are strong fliers and, despite their size and weight, very capable soarers. There are 36 species worldwide of which three occur in Sir Lanka.[5]

Common name Binomial Status
Black-headed ibis Threskiornis melanocephalus Resident, globally threatened[8]
Glossy ibis Plegadis falcinellus
Common spoonbill Platalea leucorodia Resident, globally endangered[9]

Flamingos[edit]

Order: Ciconiiformes   Family: Phoenicopteridae

Common name Binomial Status
Lesser flamingo Phoenicopterus minor
Greater flamingo Phoenicopterus ruber

Ducks, geese and swans[edit]

Order: Anseriformes   Family: Anatidae

The family Anatidae includes the ducks and most duck-like waterfowl, such as geese and swans. These birds are adapted to an aquatic existence with webbed feet, flattened bills, and feathers that are excellent at shedding water due to an oily coating. There are 131 species worldwide of which 18 occur in Sri Lanka.[10]

Male cotton pygmy-goose
Common name Binomial Status
Fulvous whistling duck Dendrocygna bicolor
Lesser whistling duck Dendrocygna javanica Resident
Greylag goose Anser anser
Ruddy shelduck Tadorna ferruginea
Comb duck Sarkidiornis melanotos
Cotton pygmy goose Nettapus coromandelianus Resident
Eurasian wigeon Anas penelope
Gadwall Anas strepera
Common teal Anas crecca
Mallard Anas platyrhynchos
Spot-billed duck Anas poecilorhyncha
Northern pintail Anas acuta
Garganey Anas querquedula
Northern shoveler Anas clypeata
Marbled teal Marmaronetta angustirostris
Red-crested pochard Netta rufina
Common pochard Aythya ferina
Tufted duck Aythya fuligula

Osprey[edit]

Order: Accipitriformes   Family: Pandionidae

The Pandionidae family contains only one species, the osprey. The osprey is a medium-large raptor which is a specialist fish-eater with a worldwide distribution.


Eagles, hawks, kites, and allies[edit]

Order: Accipitriformes   Family: Accipitridae

Accipitridae is a family of birds of prey, which includes hawks, eagles, kites, harriers and Old World vultures. These birds have powerful hooked beaks for tearing flesh from their prey, strong legs, powerful talons and keen eyesight.

Falcons[edit]

Order: Falconiformes   Family: Falconidae

Falconidae is a family of diurnal birds of prey. They differ from hawks, eagles and kites in that they kill with their beaks instead of their talons.

Pheasants and partridges[edit]

Order: Galliformes   Family: Phasianidae

The Phasianidae are a family of terrestrial birds consisting of quails, partridges, snowcocks, francolins, spurfowls, tragopans, monals, pheasants, peafowls and jungle fowls. In general, they are plump and have broad, relatively short wings.

Rails, crakes, gallinules and coots[edit]

Order: Gruiformes   Family: Rallidae

Rallidae is a large family of small to medium-sized birds which includes the rails, crakes, coots and gallinules. Typically they inhabit dense vegetation in damp environments near lakes, swamps or rivers. In general they are shy and secretive birds, making them difficult to observe. Most species have strong legs and long toes which are well adapted to soft uneven surfaces. They tend to have short, rounded wings and to be weak fliers.

Buttonquails[edit]

Order: Charadriiformes   Family: Turnicidae

The buttonquails are small, drab, running birds which resemble the true quails. The female is the brighter of the sexes and initiates courtship.

Jacanas[edit]

Pheasant-tailed jacana

Order: Charadriiformes   Family: Jacanidae

The jacanas are a group of tropical waders in the family Jacanidae. They are found throughout the tropics. They are identifiable by their huge feet and claws which enable them to walk on floating vegetation in the shallow lakes that are their preferred habitat.

Painted-snipe[edit]

Order: Charadriiformes   Family: Rostratulidae

Painted-snipe are short-legged, long-billed birds similar in shape to the true snipes, but more brightly coloured.

Crab-plover[edit]

Order: Charadriiformes   Family: Dromadidae

The crab-plover is related to the waders. It resembles a plover but with very long grey legs and a strong heavy black bill similar to a tern. It has black-and-white plumage, a long neck, partially webbed feet and a bill designed for eating crabs.

Oystercatchers[edit]

Order: Charadriiformes   Family: Haematopodidae

The oystercatchers are large and noisy plover-like birds, with strong bills used for smashing or prising open molluscs.

Avocets and stilts[edit]

Order: Charadriiformes   Family: Recurvirostridae

Recurvirostridae is a family of large wading birds, which includes the avocets and stilts. The avocets have long legs and long up-curved bills. The stilts have extremely long legs and long, thin, straight bills.

Stone-curlews[edit]

Order: Charadriiformes   Family: Burhinidae

Stone-curlews are a group of largely tropical waders in the family Burhinidae. They are found worldwide within the tropical zone, with some species also breeding in temperate Europe and Australia. They are medium to large waders with strong black or yellow-black bills, large yellow eyes and cryptic plumage. Despite being classed as waders, most species have a preference for arid or semi-arid habitats.

Pratincoles and coursers[edit]

Order: Charadriiformes   Family: Glareolidae

Glareolidae is a family of wading birds comprising the pratincoles, which have short legs, long pointed wings and long forked tails, and the coursers, which have long legs, short wings and long, pointed bills which curve downwards.

Plovers and lapwings[edit]

Order: Charadriiformes   Family: Charadriidae

The family Charadriidae includes the plovers, dotterels and lapwings. They are small to medium-sized birds with compact bodies, short, thick necks and long, usually pointed, wings. They are found in open country worldwide, mostly in habitats near water.

Sandpipers and allies[edit]

Order: Charadriiformes   Family: Scolopacidae

Scolopacidae is a large diverse family of small to medium-sized shorebirds including the sandpipers, curlews, godwits, shanks, tattlers, woodcocks, snipes, dowitchers and phalaropes. The majority of these species eat small invertebrates picked out of the mud or soil. Variation in length of legs and bills enables multiple species to feed in the same habitat, particularly on the coast, without direct competition for food.

Skuas[edit]

Order: Charadriiformes   Family: Stercorariidae

The family Stercorariidae are, in general, medium to large birds, typically with grey or brown plumage, often with white markings on the wings. They nest on the ground in temperate and arctic regions and are long-distance migrants.

Gulls, terns, and skimmers[edit]

Order: Charadriiformes   Family: Laridae

Laridae is a family of medium to large seabirds, the gulls and terns. Gulls are typically grey or white, often with black markings on the head or wings. They have stout, longish bills and webbed feet. Terns are a group of generally medium to large seabirds typically with grey or white plumage, often with black markings on the head. Most terns hunt fish by diving but some pick insects off the surface of fresh water. Terns are generally long-lived birds, with several species known to live in excess of 30 years.

Pigeons and doves[edit]

Order: Columbiformes   Family: Columbidae

Pigeons and doves are stout-bodied birds with short necks and short slender bills with a fleshy cere.

Parrots and allies[edit]

Order: Psittaciformes   Family: Psittaculidae

Cuckoos[edit]

Order: Cuculiformes   Family: Cuculidae

The family Cuculidae includes cuckoos, roadrunners and anis. These birds are of variable size with slender bodies, long tails and strong legs. Many are brood parasites.

Barn owls[edit]

Order: Strigiformes   Family: Tytonidae

Barn owls are medium to large owls with large heads and characteristic heart-shaped faces. They have long strong legs with powerful talons.

Typical owls[edit]

Order: Strigiformes   Family: Strigidae

The typical owls are small to large solitary nocturnal birds of prey. They have large forward-facing eyes and ears, a hawk-like beak and a conspicuous circle of feathers around each eye called a facial disk.

Frogmouths[edit]

Sri Lanka frogmouth

Order: Caprimulgiformes   Family: Podargidae

The frogmouths are a group of nocturnal birds related to the nightjars. They are named for their large flattened hooked bill and huge frog-like gape, which they use to take insects.

Nightjars[edit]

Order: Caprimulgiformes   Family: Caprimulgidae

Nightjars are medium-sized nocturnal birds that usually nest on the ground. They have long wings, short legs and very short bills. Most have small feet, of little use for walking, and long pointed wings. Their soft plumage is camouflaged to resemble bark or leaves.

Swifts[edit]

Order: Apodiformes   Family: Apodidae

Swifts are small birds which spend the majority of their lives flying. These birds have very short legs and never settle voluntarily on the ground, perching instead only on vertical surfaces. Many swifts have long swept-back wings which resemble a crescent or boomerang.

Treeswifts[edit]

Order: Apodiformes   Family: Hemiprocnidae

The treeswifts, or crested swifts, are closely related to the true swifts. They differ from the other swifts in that they have crests, long forked tails and softer plumage.

Trogons[edit]

Malabar trogon

Order: Trogoniformes   Family: Trogonidae

The family Trogonidae includes trogons and quetzals. Found in tropical woodlands worldwide, they feed on insects and fruit, and their broad bills and weak legs reflect their diet and arboreal habits. Although their flight is fast, they are reluctant to fly any distance. Trogons have soft, often colourful, feathers with distinctive male and female plumage.

Kingfishers[edit]

Order: Coraciiformes   Family: Alcedinidae

Kingfishers are medium-sized birds with large heads, long, pointed bills, short legs and stubby tails.

Bee-eaters[edit]

Order: Coraciiformes   Family: Meropidae

The bee-eaters are a group of near passerine birds in the family Meropidae. Most species are found in Africa but others occur in southern Europe, Madagascar, Australia and New Guinea. They are characterised by richly coloured plumage, slender bodies and usually elongated central tail feathers. All are colourful and have long downturned bills and pointed wings, which give them a swallow-like appearance when seen from afar.

Little green bee-eater (Merops orientalis) at Yala National Park, Sri Lanka.

Typical rollers[edit]

Indian roller

Order: Coraciiformes   Family: Coraciidae

Rollers resemble crows in size and build, but are more closely related to the kingfishers and bee-eaters. They share the colourful appearance of those groups with blues and browns predominating. The two inner front toes are connected, but the outer toe is not.

Hoopoes[edit]

Hoopoe

Order: Coraciiformes   Family: Upupidae

Hoopoes have black, white and orangey-pink colouring with a large erectile crest on their head.

Hornbills[edit]

Order: Coraciiformes   Family: Bucerotidae

Hornbills are a group of birds whose bill is shaped like a cow's horn, but without a twist, sometimes with a casque on the upper mandible. Frequently, the bill is brightly coloured.

Barbets[edit]

Order: Piciformes   Family: Megalaimidae

The barbets are plump birds, with short necks and large heads. They get their name from the bristles which fringe their heavy bills. Most species are brightly coloured.

Woodpeckers and allies[edit]

Order: Piciformes   Family: Picidae

Woodpeckers are small to medium-sized birds with chisel-like beaks, short legs, stiff tails and long tongues used for capturing insects. Some species have feet with two toes pointing forward and two backward, while several species have only three toes. Many woodpeckers have the habit of tapping noisily on tree trunks with their beaks.

Pittas[edit]

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Pittidae

Pittas are medium-sized by passerine standards and are stocky, with fairly long, strong legs, short tails and stout bills. Many are brightly coloured. They spend the majority of their time on wet forest floors, eating snails, insects and similar invertebrates.

Larks[edit]

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Alaudidae

Larks are small terrestrial birds with often extravagant songs and display flights. Most larks are fairly dull in appearance. Their food is insects and seeds.

Swallows and martins[edit]

Streak-throated swallow

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Hirundinidae

The family Hirundinidae is adapted to aerial feeding. They have a slender streamlined body, long pointed wings and a short bill with a wide gape. The feet are adapted to perching rather than walking, and the front toes are partially joined at the base.

Wagtails and pipits[edit]

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Motacillidae

Motacillidae is a family of small passerine birds with medium to long tails. They include the wagtails, longclaws and pipits. They are slender, ground feeding insectivores of open country.

Cuckooshrikes[edit]

Scarlet minivet

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Campephagidae

The cuckooshrikes are small to medium-sized passerine birds. They are predominantly greyish with white and black, although some species are brightly coloured.

Woodshrikes[edit]

Bar-winged flycatcher-shrike

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Tephrodornithidae

Bulbuls[edit]

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Pycnonotidae

Bulbuls are medium-sized songbirds. Some are colourful with yellow, red or orange vents, cheeks, throats or supercilia, but most are drab, with uniform olive-brown to black plumage. Some species have distinct crests.

Ioras[edit]

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Aegithinidae

The ioras are bulbul-like birds of open forest or thorn scrub, but whereas that group tends to be drab in colouration, ioras are sexually dimorphic, with the males being brightly plumaged in yellows and greens.

Leafbirds[edit]

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Chloropseidae

The leafbirds are small, bulbul-like birds. The males are brightly plumaged, usually in greens and yellows.

Fairy-bluebirds[edit]

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Irenidae

The fairy-bluebirds are bulbul-like birds of open forest or thorn scrub. The males are dark-blue and the females a duller green.

Shrikes[edit]

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Laniidae Shrikes are passerine birds known for their habit of catching other birds and small animals and impaling the uneaten portions of their bodies on thorns. A typical shrike's beak is hooked, like a bird of prey.

Thrushes and allies[edit]

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Turdidae

The thrushes are a group of passerine birds that occur mainly in the Old World. They are plump, soft plumaged, small to medium-sized insectivores or sometimes omnivores, often feeding on the ground. Many have attractive songs.

Laughingthrushes[edit]

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Leiothrichidae

Ground babblers[edit]

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Pellorneidae

Babblers[edit]

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Timaliidae

The babblers, or timaliids, are somewhat diverse in size and colouration, but are characterised by soft fluffy plumage.

Locustellid warblers[edit]

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Locustellidae

Acrocephalid warblers[edit]

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Acrocephalidae

Phylloscopid warblers[edit]

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Phylloscopidae

Sylviid warblers[edit]

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Sylviidae

The family Sylviidae is a group of small insectivorous passerine birds. They mainly occur as breeding species, as the common name implies, in Europe, Asia and, to a lesser extent, Africa. Many species are difficult to identify by appearance, but many have distinctive songs.

Cisticolas and allies[edit]

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Cisticolidae

The Cisticolidae are warblers found mainly in warmer southern regions of the Old World. They are generally very small birds of drab brown or grey appearance found in open country such as grassland or scrub.

Old World flycatchers[edit]

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Muscicapidae

Old World flycatchers are a large group of small passerine birds native to the Old World. They are mainly small arboreal insectivores. The appearance of these birds is highly varied, but they mostly have weak songs and harsh calls.

Titmice[edit]

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Paridae

The Paridae are mainly small stocky woodland species with short stout bills. Some have crests. They are adaptable birds, with a mixed diet including seeds and insects.

Nuthatches[edit]

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Sittidae

Nuthatches are small woodland birds. They have the unusual ability to climb down trees head first, unlike other birds which can only go upwards. Nuthatches have big heads, short tails and powerful bills and feet.

Flowerpeckers[edit]

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Dicaeidae

The flowerpeckers are very small, stout, often brightly coloured birds, with short tails, short thick curved bills and tubular tongues.

Sunbirds and spiderhunters[edit]

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Nectariniidae

The sunbirds and spiderhunters are very small passerine birds which feed largely on nectar, although they will also take insects, especially when feeding young. Flight is fast and direct on their short wings. Most species can take nectar by hovering like a hummingbird, but usually perch to feed.

White-eyes[edit]

Oriental white-eye

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Zosteropidae

The white-eyes are small and mostly undistinguished, their plumage above being generally some dull colour like greenish-olive, but some species have a white or bright yellow throat, breast or lower parts, and several have buff flanks. As their name suggests, many species have a white ring around each eye.

Waxbills and allies[edit]

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Estrildidae

The estrildid finches are small passerine birds of the Old World tropics and Australasia. They are gregarious and often colonial seed eaters with short thick but pointed bills. They are all similar in structure and habits, but have wide variation in plumage colours and patterns.

Old World sparrows[edit]

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Passeridae

Sparrows are small passerine birds. In general, sparrows tend to be small, plump, brown or grey birds with short tails and short powerful beaks. Sparrows are seed eaters, but they also consume small insects.

Weavers and allies[edit]

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Ploceidae

The weavers are small passerine birds related to the finches. They are seed-eating birds with rounded conical bills. The males of many species are brightly coloured, usually in red or yellow and black, some species show variation in colour only in the breeding season.

Starlings[edit]

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Sturnidae

Starlings are small to medium-sized passerine birds. Their flight is strong and direct and they are very gregarious. Their preferred habitat is fairly open country. They eat insects and fruit. Plumage is typically dark with a metallic sheen.

Old World orioles[edit]

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Oriolidae

The Old World orioles are colourful passerine birds. They are not related to the New World orioles.

Drongos[edit]

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Dicruridae

The drongos are mostly black or dark grey in colour, sometimes with metallic tints. They have long forked tails, and some Asian species have elaborate tail decorations. They have short legs and sit very upright when perched, like a shrike. They flycatch or take prey from the ground.

Woodswallows[edit]

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Artamidae

The woodswallows are soft-plumaged, somber-coloured passerine birds. They are smooth, agile flyers with moderately large, semi-triangular wings.

Crows, jays, ravens and magpies[edit]

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Corvidae

The family Corvidae includes crows, ravens, jays, choughs, magpies, treepies, nutcrackers and ground jays. Corvids are above average in size among the Passeriformes, and some of the larger species show high levels of intelligence.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Onley, Derek; Scofield, Paul (2007). Albatrosses, Petrels and Shearwaters of the World (Helm Field Guides). Christopher Helm Publishers Ltd. ISBN 0-7136-4332-3. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f Harrison, Peter; Peterson, Roger Tory (1991). Seabirds: A Complete Guide to the Seabirds of the World (Helm Identification Guides). Christopher Helm Publishers Ltd. ISBN 0-7136-3510-X. 
  3. ^ BirdLife International (2004). "Pelecanus philippensis". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2006. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 10 May 2006. 
  4. ^ BirdLife International (2006). "Anhinga melanogaster". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2006. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 11 May 2006.  Database entry includes a brief justification of why this species is near threatened
  5. ^ a b c Walters, Michael P. (1980). Complete Birds of the World. David & Charles PLC. ISBN 0-7153-7666-7. 
  6. ^ BirdLife International (2004). "Egretta eulophotes". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2006. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 11 May 2006.  Database entry includes a brief justification of why this species is vulnerable
  7. ^ BirdLife International (2006). "Ephippiorhynchus asiaticus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2006. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 11 May 2006.  Database entry includes a brief justification of why this species is near threatened
  8. ^ BirdLife International (2006). "Threskiornis melanocephalus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2006. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 11 May 2006.  Database entry includes a brief justification of why this species is near threatened
  9. ^ BirdLife International (2006). "Platalea minor". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2006. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 9 May 2006.  Database entry includes a range map and justification for why this species is endangered
  10. ^ Madge, Steve; Burn, Hilary (1988). Wildfowl: An Identification Guide to the Ducks, Geese and Swans of the World (Helm Identification Guides). Christopher Helm. ISBN 0-7470-2201-1. 
  11. ^ de Silva Wijeratne, Gehan; Warakagoda, Deepal; de Zylva, T.S.U. (2007). "Species description". A Photographic Guide to Birds of Sri Lanka. New Holland Publishers (UK) Ltd. p. 37. ISBN 978-1-85974-511-3. 
  • "Splitting headaches? Recent taxonomic changes affecting the British and Western Palaearctic lists" - Martin Collinson, British Birds vol 99 (June 2006), 306-323

Further reading[edit]

  • A Field Guide to the Birds of Sri Lanka by John Harrison and Tim Worfolk
  • Guide to the Birds of Sri Lanka by G.M.Henry