List of birds of Sri Lanka

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 524 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.

34 species are confirmed as endemic.[1] 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. 26 species are globally threatened.

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 34 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. Supplemental updates and taxonomy follow The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World, 2022 edition.[2][3]

The following tags have been used to highlight several categories. The commonly occurring native species do not fall into any of these categories.

  • (A) Accidental - a species that rarely or accidentally occurs in Sri Lanka
  • (E) Endemic - a species native or restricted to Sri Lanka
  • (I) Introduced - a species introduced to Sri Lanka as a consequence, direct or indirect, of human actions

Ducks, geese, and waterfowl

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.[4]

Name Binomial Subspecies Status IUCN
Fulvous whistling-duck

Dendrocygna bicolor Least concern
Lesser whistling-duck

Dendrocygna javanica Resident Least concern
Bar-headed goose

Anser indicus Least concern
Graylag goose

Anser anser Anser anser rubrirostris Least concern
Knob-billed duck

Sarkidiornis melanotos Least concern
Ruddy shelduck

Tadorna ferruginea Least concern
Cotton pygmy-goose

Nettapus coromandelianus Resident Least concern

Spatula querquedula Least concern
Northern shoveler

Spatula clypeata Least concern

Mareca strepera Mareca strepera strepera Least concern
Eurasian wigeon

Mareca penelope Least concern
Indian spot-billed duck

Anas poecilorhyncha Anas poecilorhyncha poecilorhyncha Least concern

Anas platyrhynchos Anas platyrhynchos platyrhynchos Least concern
Northern pintail

Anas acuta Least concern
Green-winged teal

Anas crecca Least concern
Marbled teal

Marmaronetta angustirostris Vulnerable
Red-crested pochard

Netta rufina Least concern
Common pochard

Aythya ferina Vulnerable
Tufted duck

Aythya fuligula Least concern

Pheasants, grouse, and allies

Order: Galliformes   Family: Phasianidae

The Phasianidae are a family of terrestrial birds. In general, they are plump and have broad, relatively short wings.

Name Binomial Subspecies Status IUCN
Indian peafowl

Pavo cristatus Pavo cristatus singhalensis Resident Least concern
Sri Lanka spurfowl

Galloperdix bicalcarata Endemic Least concern
Blue-breasted quail

Coturnix chinensis Coturnix chinensis chinensis Least concern
Common quail

Coturnix coturnix Least concern
Rain quail

Coturnix coromandelica Francolinus pondicerianus pondicerianus Least concern
Jungle bush-quail

Perdicula asiatica Least concern
Painted francolin

Francolinus pictus Least concern
Gray francolin

Ortygornis pondicerianus Ortygornis pondicerianus pondicerianus Least concern
Sri Lanka junglefowl

Gallus lafayettii Endemic Least concern


Order: Phoenicopteriformes   Family: Phoenicopteridae

Flamingos are gregarious wading birds, usually 3 to 5 feet (0.9 to 1.5 m) tall, found in both the Western and Eastern Hemispheres. Flamingos filter-feed on shellfish and algae. Their oddly shaped beaks are specially adapted to separate mud and silt from the food they consume and, uniquely, are used upside-down.

Name Binomial Subspecies Status IUCN
Greater flamingo

Phoenicopterus ruber Least concern
Lesser flamingo

Phoenicopterus minor Near threatened


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.

Name Binomial Subspecies Status IUCN
Little grebe

Tachybaptus ruficollis Tachybaptus ruficollis capensis Resident Least concern

Pigeons and doves

Order: Columbiformes   Family: Columbidae

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

Name Binomial Subspecies Status IUCN
Rock pigeon

Columba livia Columba livia intermedia (resident)

Columba livia domestica (introduced)

Resident + Introduced Least concern
Sri Lanka wood-pigeon

Columba torringtoniae Endemic Vulnerable
Pale-capped pigeon

Columba punicea Vulnerable
Oriental turtle-dove

Streptopelia orientalis Least concern
Eurasian collared-dove

Streptopelia decaocto Streptopelia decaocto intercedens Least concern
Red collared-dove

Streptopelia tranquebarica Least concern
Spotted dove

Streptopelia chinensis Spilopelia chinensis suratensis Resident Least concern
Asian emerald dove

Chalcophaps indica Chalcophaps indica robinsoni Least concern
Orange-breasted green-pigeon

Treron bicincta Treron bicincta leggei Least concern
Sri Lanka green-pigeon

Treron pompadora Endemic Least concern
Yellow-footed green-pigeon

Treron phoenicoptera Least concern
Green imperial-pigeon

Ducula aenea Least concern


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.

Name Binomial Subspecies Status IUCN
Green-billed coucal

Centropus chlororhynchus Endemic Vulnerable
Greater coucal

Centropus sinensis Centropus sinensis parroti Resident Least concern
Lesser coucal

Centropus bengalensis Least concern
Sirkeer malkoha

Taccocua leschenaultii Least concern
Red-faced malkoha

Phaenicophaeus pyffhocephalus Endemic Vulnerable
Blue-faced malkoha

Phaenicophaeus viridirostris Least concern
Chestnut-winged cuckoo

Clamator coromandus Least concern
Pied cuckoo

Clamator jacobinus Clamator jacobinus jacobinus Least concern
Asian koel

Eudynamys scolopacea Eudynamys scolopacea scolopacea Least concern
Asian emerald cuckoo

Chrysococcyx maculatus Least concern
Banded bay cuckoo

Cacomantis sonneratii Cacomantis sonneratii waiti Least concern
Gray-bellied cuckoo

Cacomantis passerinus Least concern
Fork-tailed drongo-cuckoo

Surniculus dicruroides Least concern
Common hawk-cuckoo

Hierococcyx varius Least concern
Lesser cuckoo

Cuculus poliocephalus Least concern
Indian cuckoo

Cuculus micropterus Least concern
Common cuckoo

Cuculus canorus Cuculus canorus bakeri Least concern


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.

Name Binomial Subspecies Status IUCN
Sri Lanka frogmouth

Batrachostomus moniliger Resident Least concern

Nightjars and allies

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.

Name Binomial Subspecies Status IUCN
Great eared-nightjar

Lyncornis macrotis Least concern
Jungle nightjar

Caprimulgus indicus Caprimulgus indicus kelaarti Resident Least concern
Jerdon's nightjar

Caprimulgus atripennis Caprimulgus atripennis aequabilis Resident Least concern
Indian nightjar

Caprimulgus asiaticus Resident Least concern


Order: Caprimulgiformes   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.

Name Binomial Subspecies Status IUCN
White-throated needletail

Hirundapus caudacutus Least concern
Brown-backed needletail

Hirundapus giganteus Least concern
Indian swiftlet

Aerodramus unicolor Least concern
Himalayan swiftlet Aerodramus brevirostris Least concern
Alpine swift

Apus melba Least concern
Common swift

Apus apus Least concern
Pallid swift

Apus pallidus Least concern
Blyth's swift Apus leuconyx Least concern
Dark-rumped swift Apus acuticauda Vulnerable
Little swift

Apus affinis Least concern
Asian palm-swift

Cypsiurus balasiensis Least concern


Order: Caprimulgiformes    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.

Name Binomial Subspecies Status IUCN
Crested treeswift

Hemiprocne coronata Resident Least concern

Rails, gallinules, and coots

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.

Name Binomial Subspecies Status IUCN
Water rail

Rallus aquaticus Rallus aquaticus korejewi Least concern
Brown-cheeked rail

Rallus indicus Least concern
Corn crake

Crex crex Least concern
Slaty-breasted rail

Lewinia striata Least concern
Eurasian moorhen

Gallinula chloropus Eurasian common moorhen Gallinula chloropus chloropus Least concern
Eurasian coot

Fulica atra Least concern
Gray-headed swamphen

Porphyrio poliocephalus Least concern

Gallicrex cinerea Least concern
White-breasted waterhen

Amaurornis phoenicurus Amaurornis phoenicurus phoenicurus Least concern
Slaty-legged crake

Rallina eurizonoides Least concern
Ruddy-breasted crake

Zapornia fusca Least concern
Baillon's crake

Zapornia pusilla Least concern


Order: Charadriiformes   Family: Burhinidae

Thick-knees 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.

Name Binomial Subspecies Status IUCN
Indian thick-knee

Burhinus indicus Resident Least concern
Great thick-knee

Esacus recurvirostris Resident Least concern

Stilts and avocets

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.

Name Binomial Subspecies Status IUCN
Black-winged stilt

Himantopus himantopus Himantopus himantopus meridionalis Resident Least concern
Pied stilt

Himantopus leucocephalus Least concern
Pied avocet

Recurvirostra avosetta Resident Least concern


Order: Charadriiformes   Family: Haematopodidae

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

Name Binomial Subspecies Status IUCN
Eurasian oystercatcher

Haematopus ostralegus Near threatened

Plovers and lapwings

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.

Name Binomial Subspecies Status IUCN
Black-bellied plover

Pluvialis squatarola Least concern
Pacific golden-plover

Pluvialis fulva Least concern
Yellow-wattled lapwing

Vanellus malabaricus Least concern
Gray-headed lapwing

Vanellus cinereus Least concern
Red-wattled lapwing

Vanellus indicus Vanellus indicus lankae Least concern
Sociable lapwing

Chettusia gregarius Critically endangered
Lesser sand-plover

Charadrius mongolus Least concern
Greater sand-plover

Charadrius leschenaultii Least concern
Caspian plover

Charadrius asiaticus Least concern
Kentish plover

Charadrius alexandrinus Least concern
Common ringed plover

Charadrius hiaticula Charadrius hiaticula tundrae Least concern
Long-billed plover

Charadrius placidus Least concern
Little ringed plover

Charadrius dubius Least concern
Oriental plover

Charadrius veredus Least concern


Order: Charadriiformes   Family: Rostratulidae

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

Name Binomial Subspecies Status IUCN
Greater painted-snipe

Rostratula benghalensis Least concern


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.

Name Binomial Subspecies Status IUCN
Pheasant-tailed jacana

Hydrophasianus chirurgus Least concern

Sandpipers and allies

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.

Name Binomial Subspecies Status IUCN

Numenius phaeopus Least Concern
Little curlew

Numenius minutus Least Concern
Slender-billed curlew

Numenius tenuirostris Critically Endangered
Eurasian curlew

Numenius arquata Near Threatened
Bar-tailed godwit

Limosa lapponica Near Threatened
Black-tailed godwit

Limosa limosa Near Threatened
Ruddy turnstone

Arenaria interpres Least Concern
Great knot

Calidris tenuirostris Endangered
Red knot

Calidris canutus Near Threatened

Calidris pugnax Least Concern
Broad-billed sandpiper

Calidris falcinellus Least Concern
Sharp-tailed sandpiper

Calidris acuminata Least Concern
Curlew sandpiper

Calidris ferruginea Near Threatened
Temminck's stint

Calidris temminckii Least Concern
Long-toed stint

Calidris subminuta Least Concern
Spoon-billed sandpiper

Calidris pygmeus Critically Endangered
Red-necked stint

Calidris ruficollis Near Threatened

Calidris alba Least Concern

Calidris alpina Least Concern
Little stint

Calidris minuta Least Concern
White-rumped sandpiper

Calidris fuscicollis Least Concern
Buff-breasted sandpiper

Calidris subruficollis Near Threatened
Pectoral sandpiper

Calidris melanotos Least Concern
Asian dowitcher

Limnodramus semipalmatus Near Threatened
Jack snipe

Lymnocryptes minimus Least Concern
Eurasian woodcock

Scolopax rusticola Least Concern
Wood snipe

Gallinago nemoricola Vulnerable
Great snipe

Gallinago media Near Threatened
Common snipe

Gallinago gallinago Least Concern
Pin-tailed snipe

Gallinago stenura Least Concern
Swinhoe's snipe

Gallinago megala Least Concern
Terek sandpiper

Xenus cinereus Least Concern
Wilson's phalarope

Phalaropus tricolor Least Concern
Red-necked phalarope

Phalaropus lobatus Least Concern
Red phalarope

Phalaropus fulicarius Least Concern
Common sandpiper

Actitis hypoleucos Least Concern
Spotted sandpiper

Actitis macularius Least Concern
Green sandpiper

Tringa ochropus Least Concern
Solitary sandpiper

Tringa solitaria Least Concern
Spotted redshank

Tringa erythropus Least Concern
Common greenshank

Tringa nebularia Least Concern
Nordmann's greenshank

Tringa guttifer Endangered
Marsh sandpiper

Tringa stagnatilis Least Concern
Wood sandpiper

Tringa glareola Least Concern
Common redshank

Tringa totanus Least Concern


Order: Charadriiformes   Family: Turnicidae

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

Name Binomial Subspecies Status IUCN
Small buttonquail

Turnix sylvaticus Least concern
Barred buttonquail

Turnix sylvatica Least concern


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.

Name Binomial Subspecies Status IUCN

Dromas ardeola Least concern

Pratincoles and coursers

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.

Name Binomial Subspecies Status IUCN
Indian courser

Cursorius coromandelicus Least concern
Collared pratincole

Glareola pratincola Least concern
Oriental pratincole

Glareola maldivarum Least concern
Small pratincole

Glareola lactea Least concern

Skuas and jaegers

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.

Name Binomial Subspecies Status IUCN
South polar skua

Catharacta maccormicki Least concern
Brown skua

Catharacta antarctica Least concern
Pomarine jaeger

Stercorarius pomarinus Least concern
Parasitic jaeger

Stercorarius parasiticus Least concern
Long-tailed jaeger

Stercorarius longicaudus Least concern

Gulls, terns, and skimmers

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.


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.[5]

Name Binomial Subspecies Status IUCN
White-tailed tropicbird

Phaethon lepturus Phaethon lepturus lepturus Least concern
Red-billed tropicbird

Phaethon aethereus Least concern

Southern storm-petrels

Order: Procellariiformes   Family: Oceanitidae

Southern 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.[6]

Name Binomial Subspecies Status IUCN
Wilson's storm-petrel

Oceanites oceanicus Least concern
White-faced storm-petrel

Pelagodroma marina Least concern
Black-bellied storm-petrel

Fregetta tropica Least concern

Northern storm-petrels

Order: Procellariiformes   Family: Hydrobatidae

Northern 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.[6]

Name Binomial Subspecies Status IUCN
Swinhoe's storm-petrel

Hydrobates monorhis Near threatened

Shearwaters and petrels

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.[6]

Name Binomial Subspecies Status IUCN
Cape petrel

Daption capense Daption capense capense Migrant Least concern
Soft-plumaged petrel

Pterodroma mollis Least concern
Barau's petrel

Pterodroma baraui Endangered
White-headed petrel

Pterodroma lessonii Least concern
Bulwer's petrel

Bulweria bulwerii Least concern
Jouanin's petrel

Bulweria fallax Near threatened
Streaked shearwater

Calonectris leucomelas Near threatened
Flesh-footed shearwater

Ardenna cameipes Near threatened
Wedge-tailed shearwater

Ardenna pacificus Least concern
Sooty shearwater

Ardenna griseus Near threatened
Short-tailed shearwater

Ardenna tenuirostris Least concern
Tropical shearwater

Puffinus bailloni Least concern
Persian shearwater

Puffinus persicus Least concern


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.[7]

Name Binomial Subspecies Status IUCN
Asian openbill

Anastomus oscitans Resident Least concern
Black stork

Ciconia nigra Least concern
Asian woolly-necked stork

Ciconia episcopus Ciconia episcopus episcopus Resident Vulnerable
White stork

Ciconia ciconia Ciconia ciconia asiatica Least concern
Black-necked stork

Ephippiorhynchus asiaticus Ephippiorhynchus asiaticus asiaticus Resident[8] Near threatened
Lesser adjutant

Leptoptilos javanicus Resident Vulnerable
Painted stork

Mycteria leucocephala Resident Near threatened


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.[5] None are resident.

Name Binomial Subspecies Status IUCN
Lesser frigatebird

Fregata ariel Fregata ariel ariel Least concern
Christmas Island frigatebird

Fregata andrewsi Critically endangered
Great frigatebird

Fregata minor Fregata minor minor Least concern

Boobies and gannets

Order: Suliformes   Family: Sulidae

The gannets and boobies in the family Sulidae are medium to large coastal seabirds that plunge-dive for fish.[5]

Name Binomial Subspecies Status IUCN
Masked booby

Sula dactylatra Sula dactylatra melanops Least concern
Brown booby

Sula leucogaster Sula leucogaster plotus Least concern
Red-footed booby

Sula sula Sula sula rubripes Least concern


Order: Suliformes   Family: Anhingidae

Anhingas or 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.[5]

Name Binomial Subspecies Status IUCN
Oriental darter

Anhinga melanogaster Resident[9] Near threatened

Cormorants and shags

Order: Suliformes   Family: Phalacrocoracidae

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.[5]

Name Binomial Subspecies Status IUCN
Little cormorant

Microcarbo niger Resident Least concern
Great cormorant

Phalacrocorax carbo Phalacrocorax carbo carbo Resident Least concern
Indian cormorant

Phalacrocorax fuscicollis Resident Least concern


Order: Pelecaniformes   Family: Pelecanidae

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.[5]

Name Binomial Subspecies Status IUCN
Great white pelican

Pelecanus onocrotalus Least concern
Spot-billed pelican

Pelecanus philippensis Resident.[10] Near threatened
Dalmatian pelican

Pelecanus crispus Near threatened

Herons, egrets, and bitterns

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.[7]

Name Binomial Subspecies Status IUCN
Great bittern

Botaurus stellaris Botaurus stellaris stellaris Least concern
Yellow bittern

Ixobrychus sinensis Resident Least concern
Schrenck's bittern

Ixobrychus eurhythmus Least concern
Cinnamon bittern

Ixobrychus cinnamomeus Resident Least concern
Black bittern

Ixobrychus flavicollis Resident Least concern
Gray heron

Ardea cinerea Ardea cinerea cinerea Resident Least concern
Goliath heron

Ardea goliath Least concern
Purple heron

Ardea purpurea Ardea purpurea manilensis Resident Least concern
Great egret

Ardea alba Eastern great egret
Ardea alba modesta
Resident Least concern
Intermediate egret

Ardea intermedia Resident Least concern
Little egret

Egretta garzetta Egretta garzetta garzetta Resident Least concern
Western reef-heron

Egretta gularis Resident.[11] Least concern
Cattle egret

Bubulcus ibis Bubulcus ibis coromandus Resident Least concern
Indian pond-heron

Ardeola grayii Resident Least concern
Chinese pond-heron

Ardeola bacchus Least concern
Striated heron

Butorides striata Resident Least concern
Black-crowned night-heron

Nycticorax nycticorax Nycticorax nycticorax nycticorax Resident Least concern
Malayan night-heron

Gorsachius melanolophus Least concern

Ibises and spoonbills

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.[7]

Name Binomial Subspecies Status IUCN
Glossy ibis

Plegadis falcinellus Least concern
Black-headed ibis

Threskiornis melanocephalus Resident.[12] Near threatened
Red-naped ibis

Pseudibis papillosa Least concern
Eurasian spoonbill

Platalea leucorodia Platalea leucorodia leucorodia Resident.[13] Least concern


Order: Accipitriformes   Family: Pandionidae

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

Name Binomial Subspecies Status IUCN

Pandion haliaetus Resident Least concern

Hawks, eagles, and kites

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.

Name Binomial Subspecies Status IUCN
Black-winged kite

Elanus caeruleus Elanus caeruleus vociferus Least concern
Egyptian vulture

Neophron percnopterus Neophron percnopterus ginginiatus Endangered
European honey-buzzard

Pernis apivorus Least concern
Oriental honey-buzzard

Pernis ptilorhynchus Least concern
Jerdon's baza

Aviceda jerdoni Aviceda jerdoni ceylonensis Least concern
Black baza

Aviceda leuphotes Least concern
Crested serpent-eagle

Spilornis cheela Spilornis cheela spilogaster Least concern
Changeable hawk-eagle

Nisaetus cirrhatus Nisaetus cirrhatus ceylanensis Least concern
Legge's hawk-eagle

Nisaetus kelaarti Not Evaluated
Rufous-bellied eagle

Lophotriorchis kieneri Least concern
Black eagle

Ictinaetus malaiensis Least concern
Greater spotted eagle

Clanga clanga Vulnerable
Booted eagle

Hieraaetus pennatus Least concern
Bonelli's eagle

Aquila fasciata Least concern
Eurasian marsh-harrier

Circus aeruginosus Least concern
Eastern marsh-harrier

Circus spilonotus Least concern
Pallid harrier

Circus macrourus Near threatened
Pied harrier

Circus melanoleucos Least concern
Montagu's harrier

Circus pygargus Least concern
Crested goshawk

Accipiter trivirgatus Least concern

Accipiter badius Least concern

Accipiter virgatus Least concern
Eurasian sparrowhawk

Accipiter nisus Least concern
Black kite

Milvus migrans Milvus migrans govinda Least concern
Brahminy kite

Haliastur indus Haliastur indus indus Least concern
White-bellied sea-eagle

Haliaeetus leucogaster Least concern
Gray-headed fish-eagle

Haliaeetus ichthyaetus Least concern
Common buzzard

Buteo buteo Buteo buteo buteo Least concern
Himalayan buzzard

Buteo refectus Least concern
Eastern buzzard

Buteo japonicus Least concern
Long-legged buzzard

Buteo rufinus Buteo rufinus rufinus Least concern

Barn owls

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.

Name Binomial Subspecies Status IUCN
Barn owl

Tyto alba Tyto alba stertens Resident Least concern
Sri Lanka bay-owl

Phodilus assimilis Phodilus assimilis assimilis Resident Least concern


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.

Name Binomial Subspecies Status IUCN
Serendib scops-owl

Otus thilohoffmanni Endemic Endangered
Indian scops-owl

Otus bakkamoena Resident Least concern
Oriental scops-owl

Otus sunia Resident Least concern
Spot-bellied eagle-owl

Bubo nipalensis Resident Least concern
Brown fish-owl

Ketupa zeylonensis Sri Lankan brown fish owl
Ketupa zeylonensis zeylonensis
Resident Least concern
Jungle owlet

Glaucidium radiatum Resident Least concern
Chestnut-backed owlet

Glaucidium castanotum Endemic Least concern
Brown wood-owl

Strix leptogrammica Resident Least concern
Brown hawk-owl

Ninox scutulata Resident Least concern
Short-eared owl

Asio flammeus Asio flammeus flammeus Vagrant Least concern


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.

Name Binomial Subspecies Status IUCN
Malabar trogon

Harpactes fasciatus Resident Least concern


Order: Bucerotiformes   Family: Upupidae

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

Name Binomial Subspecies Status IUCN
Eurasian hoopoe

Upupa epops Upupa epops ceylonensis Resident Least concern


Order: Bucerotiformes   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.

Name Binomial Subspecies Status IUCN
Sri Lanka gray hornbill

Ocyceros gingalensis Endemic Least concern
Malabar pied hornbill

Anthracoceros coronatus Resident Least concern


Order: Coraciiformes   Family: Alcedinidae

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

Name Binomial Subspecies Status IUCN
Common kingfisher

Alcedo atthis Alcedo atthis taprobana Resident Least concern
Blue-eared kingfisher

Alcedo meninting Alcedo meninting phillipsi Resident Least concern
Black-backed dwarf-kingfisher

Ceyx erithaca Resident Least concern
Stork-billed kingfisher

Pelargopsis capensis Pelargopsis capensis capensis Resident Least concern
White-throated kingfisher

Halcyon smyrnensis Halcyon smyrnensis fusca Resident Least concern
Black-capped kingfisher

Halcyon pileata Resident Least concern
Pied kingfisher

Ceryle rudis Ceryle rudis leucomelanura Resident Least concern


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.

Name Binomial Subspecies Status IUCN
Asian green bee-eater

Merops orientalis Merops orientalis orientalis

Merops orientalis ceylonicus

Resident Least concern
Blue-tailed bee-eater

Merops philippinus Resident Least concern
European bee-eater

Merops apiaster Resident Least concern
Chestnut-headed bee-eater

Merops leschenaulti Resident Least concern


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.

Name Binomial Subspecies Status IUCN
European roller

Coracias garrulus Least concern
Indian roller

Coracias benghalensis Coracias benghalensis indicus Resident Least concern

Eurystomus orientalis Eurystomus orientalis irisi Resident Least concern

Asian barbets

Order: Piciformes   Family: Megalaimidae

The Asian 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.

Name Binomial Subspecies Status IUCN
Crimson-fronted barbet

Psilopogon rubricapillus Endemic Least concern
Coppersmith barbet

Psilopogon haemacephalus Psilopogon haemacephalus indica Resident Least concern
Brown-headed barbet

Psilopogon zeylanicus Resident Least concern
Yellow-fronted barbet

Psilopogon flavilfrons Endemic Least concern


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.

Name Binomial Subspecies Status IUCN
Eurasian Wryneck

Jynx torquilla Least concern
Brown-capped pygmy woodpecker

Yungipicus nanus Least concern
Yellow-crowned woodpecker

Leiopicus mahrattensis Least concern
Crimson-backed flameback

Chrysocolaptes stricklandi Endemic. Least concern
White-naped woodpecker

Chrysocolaptes festivus Least concern
Rufous woodpecker

Micropternus brachyurus Least concern
Black-rumped flameback

Dinopium benghalense

Dinopium benghalense jaffnense

Resident. Least concern
Red-backed flameback

Dinopium psarodes Endemic. Least concern
Lesser yellownape

Picus chlorolophus Picus chlorolophus wellsi Least concern
Streak-throated woodpecker

Picus xanthopygaeus Least concern

Falcons and caracaras

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.

Name Binomial Subspecies Status IUCN
Black-thighed falconet

Microhierax fringillarius Least concern
Lesser kestrel

Falco naumanni Least concern
Eurasian kestrel

Falco tinnunculus Falco tinnunculus tinnunculus Resident Least concern
Red-necked falcon

Falco chicquera Near threatened
Amur falcon

Falco amurensis Least concern
Eurasian hobby

Falco subbuteo Least concern
Oriental hobby

Falco severus Least concern
Peregrine falcon

Falco peregrinus Shaheen falcon
Falco peregrinus peregrinator[14]

Eastern peregrine falcon
Falco peregrinus calidus

Least concern

Old World parrots

Order: Psittaciformes   Family: Psittaculidae

Characteristic features of parrots include a strong curved bill, an upright stance, strong legs, and clawed zygodactyl feet. Many parrots are vividly coloured, and some are multi-coloured. In size they range from 8 cm (3.1 in) to 1 m (3.3 ft) in length. Old World parrots are found from Africa east across south and southeast Asia and Oceania to Australia and New Zealand.

Name Binomial Subspecies Status IUCN
Alexandrine parakeet

Psittacula eupatria Psittacula eupatria eupatria Resident Near threatened
Rose-ringed parakeet

Psittacula krameri Psittacula krameri manillensis Resident Least concern
Plum-headed parakeet

Psittacula cyanocephala Psittacula cyanocephala cyanocephala Resident Least concern
Layard's parakeet

Psittacula calthrapae Endemic Least concern
Sri Lanka hanging-parrot

Loriculus beryllinus Endemic Least concern


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.

Name Binomial Subspecies Status IUCN
Indian pitta

Pitta brachyura Migrant Least concern


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.

Name Binomial Subspecies Status IUCN
Small minivet

Pericrocotus cinnamomeus Pericrocotus cinnamomeus malabaricus Least concern
Orange minivet

Pericrocotus flammeus Least concern
Large cuckooshrike

Coracina macei Least concern
Black-headed cuckooshrike

Lalage melanoptera Least concern
Indochinese cuckooshrike

Lalage polioptera Least concern

Old World orioles

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Oriolidae

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

Name Binomial Subspecies Status IUCN
Eurasian golden oriole

Oriolus oriolus Least concern
Indian golden oriole

Oriolus kundoo Least concern
Black-naped oriole

Oriolus chinensis Oriolus chinensis diffusus Least concern
Slender-billed oriole

Oriolus tenuirostris Least concern
Black-hooded oriole

Oriolus xanthornus Oriolus xanthornus ceylonensis Resident Least concern

Woodswallows, bellmagpies, and allies

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Artamidae

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

Name Binomial Subspecies Status IUCN
Ashy woodswallow

Artamus fuscus Resident Least concern

Vangas, helmetshrikes, and allies

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Vangidae

The Vangidae comprises a group of often shrike-like medium-sized birds distributed from Asia to Africa. Many species in this family were previously classified elsewhere in other families.

Name Binomial Subspecies Status IUCN
Sri Lanka woodshrike

Tephrodornis affinis Endemic Least concern
Bar-winged flycatcher-shrike

Hemipus picatus Hemipus picatus leggei Resident Least concern


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.

Name Binomial Subspecies Status IUCN
Common iora

Aegithina tiphia Resident Least concern
White-tailed iora

Aegithina nigrolutea Least concern


Order: Passeriformes   Family: Rhipiduridae

The fantails are small insectivorous birds which are specialist aerial feeders.

Name Binomial Subspecies Status IUCN
White-browed fantail

Rhipidura aureola Least concern


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.

Name Binomial Subspecies Status IUCN
Black drongo

Dicrurus macrocercus Least concern
Ashy drongo

Dicrurus leucophaeus Least concern
White-bellied drongo

Dicrurus caerulescens Dicrurus caerulescens leucopygialis Least concern
Greater racket-tailed drongo

Dicrurus paradiseus Dicrurus paradiseus ceylonicus Least concern
Sri Lanka drongo

Dicrurus lophorinus Endemic Least concern

Monarch flycatchers

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Monarchidae

The monarch flycatchers are small to medium-sized insectivorous passerines which hunt by flycatching.

Name Binomial Subspecies Status IUCN
Black-naped monarch

Hypothymis azurea Hypothymis azurea ceylonensis Least concern
Indian paradise flycatcher

Terpsiphone paradisi • Ceylon paradise flycatcher
Terpsiphone paradisi ceylonensis

• Indian paradise flycatcher
Terpsiphone paradisi paradisi

• Himalayan paradise flycatcher
Terpsiphone paradisi leucogaster

Resident, Migrant Least concern


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.

Name Binomial Subspecies Status IUCN
Red-backed shrike

Lanius collurio Least concern
Brown shrike

Lanius cristatus Lanius cristatus cristatus Least concern
Bay-backed shrike

Lanius vittatus Least concern
Long-tailed shrike

Lanius schach Lanius schach caniceps Least concern
Great gray shrike

Lanius excubitor Least concern

Crows, jays, and magpies

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.

Name Binomial Subspecies Status IUCN
Sri Lanka blue-magpie

Urocissa ornata Endemic Vulnerable
House crow

Corvus splendens Corvus splendens protegatus Resident Least concern
Large-billed crow

Corvus macrorhynchos Resident Least concern

Fairy flycatchers

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Stenostiridae

Most of the species of this small family are found in Africa, though a few inhabit tropical Asia. They are not closely related to other birds called "flycatchers".

Name Binomial Subspecies Status IUCN
Gray-headed canary-flycatcher

Culicicapa ceylonensis Culicicapa ceylonensis ceylonensis Least concern

Tits, chickadees, and titmice

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.

Name Binomial Subspecies Status IUCN
Cinereous tit

Parus cinereus Parus cinereus mahrattarum Resident Least concern


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.

Name Binomial Subspecies Status IUCN
Ashy-crowned sparrow-lark

Eremopterix griseus Eremopterix griseus ceylonensis Least concern
Jerdon's bushlark

Mirafra affinis Least concern
Greater short-toed lark

Calandrella brachydactyla Least concern
Mongolian short-toed lark

Calandrella dukhunensis Least concern
Oriental skylark

Alauda gulgula Alauda gulgula gulgula Least concern

Cisticolas and allies

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.

Name Binomial Subspecies Status IUCN
Common tailorbird

Orthotomus sutorius • Highland common tailorbird
Orthotomus sutorius fernandonis

• Lowland common tailorbird
Orthotomus sutorius sutorius

Resident Least concern
Rufescent prinia

Prinia rufescens Least concern
Gray-breasted prinia

Prinia hodgsonii Prinia hodgsonii pectoralis Least concern
Jungle prinia

Prinia sylvatica Least concern
Ashy prinia

Prinia socialis Prinia socialis brevicauda Least concern
Plain prinia

Prinia inornata Least concern
Zitting cisticola

Cisticola juncidis Cisticola juncidis cursitans Least concern

Reed warblers and allies

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Acrocephalidae

The members of this family are usually rather large for "warblers". Most are rather plain olivaceous brown above with much yellow to beige below. They are usually found in open woodland, reedbeds, or tall grass. The family occurs mostly in southern to western Eurasia and surroundings, but it also ranges far into the Pacific, with some species in Africa.

Name Binomial Subspecies Status IUCN
Booted warbler

Iduna caligata Least concern
Sykes's warbler

Iduna rama Least concern
Black-browed reed warbler

Acrocephalus bistrigiceps Least concern
Blyth's reed warbler

Acrocephalus dumetorum Resident Least concern
Clamorous reed warbler

Acrocephalus stentoreus Acrocephalus stentoreus meridionalis Least concern

Grassbirds and allies

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Locustellidae

Locustellidae are a family of small insectivorous songbirds found mainly in Eurasia, Africa, and the Australian region. They are smallish birds with tails that are usually long and pointed, and tend to be drab brownish or buffy all over.

Name Binomial Subspecies Status IUCN
Broad-tailed grassbird

Schoenicola platyura Vulnerable
Pallas's grasshopper warbler

Helopsaltes certhiola Least concern
Lanceolated warbler

Locustella lanceolata Least concern
Common grasshopper-warbler

Locustella naevia Least concern
Sri Lanka bush warbler

Elaphrornis palliseri Endemic Near threatened


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.

Name Binomial Subspecies Status IUCN
Bank swallow

Riparia riparia Least concern
Pale sand martin

Riparia diluta Least concern
Rock martin

Ptyonoprogne fuligula Least concern
Dusky crag-martin

Ptyonoprogne concolor Least concern
Barn swallow

Hirundo rustica Hirundo rustica rustica Least concern
Wire-tailed swallow

Hirundo smithii Hirundo smithii filifera Least concern
Hill swallow

Hirundo domicola Least concern
Red-rumped swallow

Cecropis daurica Least concern
Sri Lanka swallow

Cecropis hyperythra Endemic Least concern
Streak-throated swallow

Petrochelidon fluvicola Least concern
Common house-martin

Delichon urbicum Least concern
Asian house-martin

Delichon dasypus Least concern


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.

Name Binomial Subspecies Status IUCN
Black-capped bulbul

Rubigula melanicterus Endemic Least concern
Red-vented bulbul

Pycnonotus cafer Pycnonotus cafer haemorrhousus Resident Least concern
Yellow-eared bulbul

Pycnonotus pennicilitatus Endemic Near threatened
White-browed bulbul

Pycnonotus luteolus Pycnonotus luteolus insulae Least concern
Yellow-browed bulbul

Iole indica Iole indica guglielmi Least concern
Square-tailed bulbul

Hypsipetes ganeesa Sri Lanka black bulbul
Hypsipetes ganeesa humii
Least concern

Leaf warblers

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Phylloscopidae

Leaf warblers are a family of small insectivorous birds found mostly in Eurasia and ranging into Wallacea and Africa. The species are of various sizes, often green-plumaged above and yellow below, or more subdued with greyish-green to greyish-brown colours.

Name Binomial Subspecies Status IUCN
Dusky warbler

Phylloscopus fuscatus Least concern
Green-crowned warbler

Phylloscopus burkii Least concern
Green warbler

Phylloscopus nitidus Least concern
Greenish warbler

Phylloscopus trochiloides Least concern
Large-billed leaf warbler

Phylloscopus magnirostris Least concern
Western crowned warbler

Phylloscopus occipitalis Least concern

Bush warblers and allies

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Scotocercidae

The members of this family are found throughout Africa, Asia, and Polynesia. Their taxonomy is in flux, and some authorities place some genera in other families.[15]

Name Binomial Subspecies Status IUCN
Pale-footed bush warbler Urosphena pallidipes Least concern

Sylviid warblers, parrotbills, and allies

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.

Name Binomial Subspecies Status IUCN
Lesser whitethroat

Curruca curruca Curruca curruca blythi Resident Least concern
Yellow-eyed babbler

Chrysomma sinense Resident Least concern

White-eyes, yuhinas, and allies

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.

Name Binomial Subspecies Status IUCN
Sri Lanka white-eye

Zosterops ceylonensis Endemic Least concern
Indian white-eye

Zosterops palpebrosa Resident Least concern

Tree-babblers, scimitar-babblers, and allies

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Timaliidae

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

Name Binomial Subspecies Status IUCN
Tawny-bellied babbler

Dumetia hyperythra Dumetia hyperythra phillipsi Least concern
Dark-fronted babbler

Dumetia atriceps • Dryzone dark-fronted babbler
Rhopocichla atriceps siccata

• Wetzone dark-fronted babbler
Rhopocichla atriceps nigrifrons

Least concern
Sri Lanka scimitar-babbler

Pomatorhinus melanurus Endemic Least concern

Ground babblers and allies

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Pellorneidae

These small to medium-sized songbirds have soft fluffy plumage but are otherwise rather diverse. Members of the genus Illadopsis are found in forests, but some other genera are birds of scrublands.

Name Binomial Subspecies Status IUCN
Brown-capped babbler

Pellorneum fuscocapillum Endemic Least concern

Laughingthrushes and allies

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Leiothrichidae

The members of this family are diverse in size and colouration, though those of genus Argya tend to be brown or greyish. The family is found in Africa, India, and southeast Asia.

Name Binomial Subspecies Status IUCN
Orange-billed babbler

Argya rufescens Endemic Near threatened
Yellow-billed babbler

Argya affinis Argya affinis taprobanus Resident Least concern
Ashy-headed laughingthrush

Argya cinereifrons Endemic Vulnerable


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.

Name Binomial Subspecies Status IUCN
Velvet-fronted nuthatch

Sitta frontalis Resident Least concern


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.

Name Binomial Subspecies Status IUCN
Sri Lanka myna

Gracula ptilogenys Endemic Near threatened
Southern hill myna

Gracula indica Resident Least concern
European starling

Sturnus vulgaris Least concern
Rosy starling

Pastor roseus Least concern
Daurian starling

Agropsar sturninus Least concern
Indian pied starling

Gracupica contra Least concern
White-faced starling

Sturnornis albofrontatus Endemic Vulnerable
Brahminy starling

Sturnia pagodarum Least concern
Chestnut-tailed starling

Sturnia malabarica Sturnia malabarica malabarica Least concern
Common myna

Acridotheres tristis Acridotheres tristis tristis

Acridotheres tristis melanosternus

Resident Least concern

Thrushes and allies

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.

Name Binomial Subspecies Status IUCN
Sri Lanka thrush

Zoothera imbricata Endemic Near threatened
Pied thrush

Geokichla wardii Least concern
Spot-winged thrush

Geokichla spiloptera Endemic Near threatened
Orange-headed thrush

Geokichla citrina Geokichla citrina citrina Least concern
Indian blackbird

Turdus simillimus Turdus simillimus kinnisii Resident Least concern
Eyebrowed thrush

Turdus obscurus Least concern

Old World flycatchers

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.

Name Binomial Subspecies Status IUCN
Asian brown flycatcher

Muscicapa dauurica Least concern
Brown-breasted flycatcher

Muscicapa muttui Least concern
Spotted flycatcher

Muscicapa striata Least concern
Rufous-tailed scrub-robin

Cercotrichas galactotes Least concern
Indian robin

Copsychus fulicatus Copsychus fulicatus leucopterus Resident Least concern
Oriental magpie-robin

Copsychus saularis Copsychus saularis saularis Resident Least concern
White-rumped shama

Copsychus malabaricus Copsychus malabaricus leggei Resident Least concern
White-bellied blue flycatcher

Cyornis pallipes Least concern
Blue-throated flycatcher

Cyomis rubeculoides Least concern
Hill blue flycatcher

Cyornis whitei Least concern
Tickell's blue flycatcher

Cyornis tickelliae Least concern
Blue-and-white flycatcher

Cyanoptila cyanomelana Least concern
Dull-blue flycatcher

Eumyias sordidus Endemic Near threatened
Indian blue robin

Larvivora brunnea Migrant Least concern

Luscinia svecica Least concern
Sri Lanka whistling-thrush

Myophonus blighi Endemic Endangered
Yellow-rumped flycatcher

Ficedula zanthopygia Least concern
Black-and-orange flycatcher

Ficedula nigrorufa Near threatened
Slaty-blue flycatcher

Ficedula tricolor Least concern
Kashmir flycatcher

Ficedula subrubra Vulnerable
Red-breasted flycatcher

Ficedula parva Least concern
Rufous-tailed rock-thrush

Monticola saxatilis Least concern
Blue rock-thrush

Monticola solitarius Least concern

Saxicola rubetra Least concern
Siberian stonechat

Saxicola maurus Not evaluated
Pied bushchat

Saxicola caprata Least concern
Northern wheatear

Oenanthe oenanthe Least concern
Isabelline wheatear

Oenanthe isabellina Least concern
Desert wheatear

Oenanthe deserti Least concern
Pied wheatear

Oenanthe pleschanka Least concern


Order: Passeriformes   Family: Dicaeidae

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

Name Binomial Subspecies Status IUCN
Thick-billed flowerpecker

Dicaeum agile Dicaeum agile zeylonense Resident Least concern
White-throated flowerpecker

Dicaeum vincens Endemic Near threatened
Pale-billed flowerpecker

Dicaeum erythrorhynchos Dicaeum erythrorhynchos ceylonense Resident Least concern

Sunbirds and spiderhunters

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.

Name Binomial Subspecies Status IUCN
Purple-rumped sunbird

Leptocoma zeylonica Leptocoma zeylonica zeylonica Resident Least concern
Crimson-backed sunbird

Leptocoma minima Least concern
Purple sunbird

Cinnyris asiaticus Cinnyris asiaticus asiaticus Resident Least concern
Loten's sunbird

Cinnyris lotenius Resident Least concern


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.

Name Binomial Subspecies Status IUCN
Asian fairy-bluebird

Irena puella Least concern


Order: Passeriformes   Family: Chloropseidae

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

Name Binomial Subspecies Status IUCN
Jerdon's leafbird

Chloropsis jerdoni Resident Least concern
Golden-fronted leafbird

Chloropsis aurifrons Resident Least concern

Weavers and allies

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.

Name Binomial Subspecies Status IUCN
Streaked weaver

Ploceus manyar Least concern
Baya weaver

Ploceus philippinus Least concern

Waxbills and allies

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.

Name Binomial Subspecies Status IUCN
Red avadavat

Amandava amandava Least concern
Indian silverbill

Euodice malabarica Least concern
White-rumped munia

Lonchura striata Southwestern white-rumped munia
Lonchura striata striata
Least concern
Black-throated munia

Lonchura kelaarti Lonchura kelaarti kelaarti Least concern
Scaly-breasted munia

Lonchura punctulata Lonchura punctulata punctulata Least concern
Tricolored munia

Lonchura malacca Least concern
Chestnut munia

Lonchura atricapilla Least concern
Java sparrow

Padda oryzivora Exirpated Endangered

Old World sparrows

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.

Name Binomial Subspecies Status IUCN
House sparrow

Passer domesticus Passer domesticus indicus Resident Least concern
Eurasian tree sparrow

Passer montanus Least concern
Yellow-throated sparrow

Gymnoris xanthocollis Least concern

Wagtails and pipits

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.

Name Binomial Subspecies Status IUCN
Forest wagtail

Dendronanthus indicus Least concern
Gray wagtail

Motacilla cinerea Least concern
Western yellow wagtail

Motacilla flava Motacilla flava beema Least concern
Eastern yellow wagtail

Motacilla tschutschensis Least concern
Citrine wagtail

Motacilla citreola Least concern
White-browed wagtail

Motacilla maderaspatensis Least concern
White wagtail

Motacilla alba Least concern
Richard's pipit

Anthus richardi Least concern
Paddyfield pipit

Anthus rufulus Anthus rufulus malayensis Least concern
Blyth's pipit

Anthus godlewskii Least concern
Tawny pipit

Anthus campestris Least concern
Olive-backed pipit

Anthus hodgsoni Least concern
Red-throated pipit

Anthus cervinus Least concern

Finches, euphonias, and allies

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Fringillidae

Finches are seed-eating passerine birds, that are small to moderately large and have a strong beak, usually conical and in some species very large. All have twelve tail feathers and nine primaries. These birds have a bouncing flight with alternating bouts of flapping and gliding on closed wings, and most sing well.

Name Binomial Subspecies Status IUCN
Common rosefinch

Carpodacus erythrinus Least concern

Old World buntings

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Emberizidae

The emberizids are a large family of passerine birds. They are seed-eating birds with distinctively shaped bills. Many emberizid species have distinctive head patterns.

Name Binomial Subspecies Status IUCN
Black-headed bunting

Emberiza melanocephala Least concern
Red-headed bunting

Emberiza bruniceps Least concern
Gray-necked bunting

Emberiza buchanani Least concern

See also


  1. Manakadan, Ranjit; Khan, Asif N. (March 2020). "Birds of the Indian Subcontinent ─ In a Nutshell". Buceros. BNHS-ENVIS. 24 (2 & 3).
  2. Lepage, Denis. "Checklist of birds of Sri Lanka". Bird Checklists of the World. Avibase. Retrieved 13 August 2021.
  3. "Birds of Sri Lanka, the complete checklist". WICE (World Institute for Conservation and Environment). Retrieved 13 August 2021.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Onley, Derek; Scofield, Paul (2007). Albatrosses, Petrels and Shearwaters of the World (Helm Field Guides). Christopher Helm Publishers Ltd. ISBN 978-0-7136-4332-9.
  7. Walters, Michael P. (1980). Complete Birds of the World. David & Charles PLC. ISBN 0-7153-7666-7.
  8. BirdLife International (2016). "Ephippiorhynchus asiaticus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2016: e.T22697702A93631316. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-3.RLTS.T22697702A93631316.en. Retrieved 12 November 2021. Database entry includes a brief justification of why this species is Near threatened
  9. BirdLife International (2016). "Anhinga melanogaster". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2016: e.T22696712A93582012. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-3.RLTS.T22696712A93582012.en. Retrieved 12 November 2021. Database entry includes a brief justification of why this species is Near threatened
  10. BirdLife International (2017). "Pelecanus philippensis". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2017: e.T22697604A117970266. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2017-3.RLTS.T22697604A117970266.en. Retrieved 12 November 2021.
  11. BirdLife International (2016). "Egretta eulophotes". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2016: e.T22696977A93596047. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-3.RLTS.T22696977A93596047.en. Retrieved 12 November 2021. Database entry includes a brief justification of why this species is vulnerable
  12. BirdLife International (2016). "Threskiornis melanocephalus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2016: e.T22697516A93618317. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-3.RLTS.T22697516A93618317.en. Retrieved 12 November 2021. Database entry includes a brief justification of why this species is near threatened
  13. BirdLife International (2017). "Platalea minor". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2017: e.T22697568A119347801. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2017-3.RLTS.T22697568A119347801.en. Retrieved 12 November 2021. Database entry includes a range map and justification for why this species is endangered
  14. 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.
  15. Gill, F. and D. Donsker (Eds). 2019. IOC World Bird List (v 9.2). Doi 10.14344/IOC.ML.9.2. retrieved 22 June 2019
  • Collinson, Martin (June 2006). "Splitting headaches? Recent taxonomic changes affecting the British and Western Palaearctic lists". British Birds. 99: 306-323.

Further reading

  • 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
This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.