Attidiya Bird Sanctuary

Located near the commercial boundaries of the island’s economic capital of Colombo, the Attidiya Bird Sanctuary is one of the few places of solitude near the commercial-scapes that species of flora and fauna can call home, due to the fast paced urbanisation. Boasting of a number of endemic species, along with migratory species of plants and animals, the bird sanctuary serves to be a haven for those nature lovers looking to escape the hubbub of cosmopolitanism.

Best Known For

  • The Attidiya Bird Sanctuary is best known for being one of the last refuges of wildlife located near the commercial-scapes of Colombo, making it a haven for the nature lover looking for that much needed respite away from the urban jungle.
  • Boasting of more than 200 species of animals and a considerable number of plant life too, the sanctuary, although smaller than other counterparts around the country, does not disappoint anyone who ventures along its nature trails.

Interesting Facts

  • The Attidiya Bird Sanctuary, along with the Beddagana Wetland Park are just some of the few wildlife sanctuaries that many plants and animals can take refuge in, due to the constant expansion of urbanisation from the nearby commercial capital of Colombo.
  • According to the Society for Environmental Education, there are some 166 species of birds, of which 40 are migratory.
  • Moreover, there are 71 species of butterflies and 44 species of fish that have been recorded, along with a number of floral species, mainly mangroves.
  • It is, however, the birdlife that enthralls many a visitor, with its migratory birds and endemic water birds.
  • Such birds are the Indian Shag, the Blue Breasted Banded Tail and the Ruddy Crake. Rare visitors, including the Spot Billed Pelican, White Ibis, Painted stork and the elusive Glossy Ibis prove to be eye candy for many a bird watching enthuse.
  • Many who have ventured through the lesser known nature trails of the marshland claims that the area is inhabited by aggressive Mugger Crocodiles and venomous snakes too, thus making it quite an intriguing wildlife sanctuary, considering the fact that it lies next to urban landscapes.
  • The bird sanctuary also proves to be an exemplary location to view the silhouette of the sacred Adam’s Peak in the distance, provided that the weather plays its part. Thus, making it one of the few places to witness just a slice of the hill country from the coast.

Times, Seasons and Tips

  • The bird sanctuary is open for the public from 9.00am to 5.00pm, however, the best time to visit the bio diversity hotspot is during the mornings or evening, as the sanctuary’s birdlife starts to become all the more noticeable for those bird watching enthusiasts.
  • Do keep in mind that there are a number of pathways to explore the sanctuary and its marshlands, however, many of these pathways teem with a number of fauna that dislike human disturbance. Therefore, it is highly suggested to visit the Wildlife office near the entrance and inquire on the best times to explore the marsh and whether it is possible to arrange a guided tour.
  • It is important to be properly equipped with light trekking attire, hiking boots, along with a few snacks and plenty of water.
  • Please adhere to the rules and regulations set forth by the authorities, as this sanctuary is just one of the few refuges for birds near the hustle and bustle of Colombo.
  • As always, do not forget to bring along your camera, as the sanctuary provides an idyllic setting to engage in some wildlife photography.

The Attidiya Bird Sanctuary then, with its abundant flora and fauna, especially with the number of birds that take refuge, proves to be a birder’s haven to discover the endemic species that dwell in the Paradise Island of Sri Lanka.


December - January


Nature and Outdoors

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