# Species:519
# Excl Vagrants:350
# Endemics:33
# Near Endemics:32

Sri Lanka is a tropical island in the Indian Ocean located southeast of the southern tip of India. It's a tear-drop shaped island measuring aboutr 255 miles from north to south and 135 miles from east to west. It was once a British colony named Ceylon. The south central part of the island is highlands, with its highest peak measuring 2243m (7359ft). The western plateau consists of a series of ridges sloped toward the north. The eastern plateau consits of rolling hills covered by grass with some deep valleys and gorges. The northern part of the island is a massif of sttep escarpments, deep gorges, and peaks reaching 1800m (5900ft). Below the plateaus are extensive plains reaching 300m (1000ft) and a narrow coastal belt that rings the island.

The island is tropical and quite hot throughout the year. There are 4 seasons. From mid May to October, southwesterly winds carry moisture from the Indian Ocean which falls as sometimes heavy rain in the southwestern highlands. During October and November, periodic squalls and sometimes cyclones cause overcast skies and rains to the southwest, southeast, and east of the island. From December to March, monsoon winds are from the northeast laden with moisture from the Bay of Bengal and dropping heavy rains on the northeastern slopes of the highlands. From March until mid May, winds are light and variable bringing occasional evening showers. The best time for birding is from November to March when palearctic migrants are present. A notable attraction of the island is the gradually recovering population of the endangered Blue Whale, the largest aniaml to ever exist on Earth. The species is resident year round but moves around the island with the seasons. The best months for whale watching are December, January, and April.

Sri Lanka can be divided into two ecological zones. The Wet Zone is in the southwest and extends to the interior highlands. The rest of the island is the Dry Zone. The dominant vegetation in the Wet Zone is tropical evergreen forest with dense understory in the lowlands and subtropical evergreen forest in the highlands. At the highest altitudes, vegetation is stunted alpine forest. Typical vegetation in the Dry Zone us scryb forest, with xeritic bushes and cacti in the driest areas. The vegetation in the Dry Zone is very seasonal, with bursts of greenery during the rains and everything turning brown and gray during dry season. The main birding sites are west of Colombo in the southwestern part of the island and some sites in the southern and southeastern sectors of the island.



§ Includes Sarawak, Sabah, & Kalimantan
§§ Excludes Taiwan
§§§ Includes Wallacea but excludes Kalimantan (Borneo) and West Papua New Guinea & nearby islands
§§§§ Excludes Sarawak and Sabah on Borneo