Aquatic birds live on or around water. Some water birds are more terrestrial or aquatic than others, and their adaptations may differ depending on their existing atmosphere. Some of the special adaptations of water birds include webbed feet, bills and legs modified to feed in water, and the ability to dive from the surface of the water or from the air to catch prey in water.

At Aliya aquatic birds refers especially the birds in freshwater habitats. Little Cormorant, Greater Cormorant, Purple Heron, Grey Heron, Intermediate Egret, Little Egret, Black Headed Ibis, Headed Fish Eagle, White Breasted Water Hen, Red-Wattled Lapwing, White Breasted Kingfisher, Common Kingfisher and Indian Pond Heron are habitually present at the lake, in the front look of Aliya.

INDIAN POND HERON

indian pondArdeola grayii
The habit of standing still and flushing only at the last moment has led to widespread folk beliefs that they are semi-blind and their name in many languages consist of such ideas.
For example in Sri Lanka the bird is called “Kana Koka” which translates as “half-blind/blind heron” in the Sinhala language.

COMMON KINGFISHER

Alcedo atthis
common kingfisher

Though it is called the Common Kingfisher it is not the common Kingfisher at ALIYA as well as in Sri Lanka. The most common Kingfisher in Sri Lanka is White-throated Kingfisher (Halcyon smyrnensis) also known as the White-breasted Kingfisher.
However, Common Kingfisher can be spotted; searching for fish, sitting on small trees at the lake

ASIAN OPENBILL

Anastomus oscitans
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This unique stork is found mainly in the Indian subcontinent and southeast Asia. The adults have a opening between the arched upper mandible and curved lower mandible.
This gap is an adaptation that aids in handling their main prey which is composed of snails. Therefore, it is also called “Bellan Koka” and “Wiwara Thuduwa” in Sinhala

WHISKERED TERN

Chlidonias hybridus
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Winter visitor to Sri Lanka from south Europe, Africa, Asia, New Guinea and Australia and also a summer loiterer.
Definitely can be seen at the lake side of ALIYA during the migratory season

Did-you-do-it?
Did-he-do-it?

  • If a bird asks you “did you do it” or “did he do it”?, What would be your answer?
  • When you pass through the lake, paddy field or a grass land of ALIYA you may hear the voice of a bird sounds like “did you do it” or “did he do it”. This sound can be distinctively recognized by yourself. Therefore, if you hear the sound, definitely you can spot the bird too.
  • It is called Red-wattled Lapwing.

RED-WATTLED LAPWING

Vanellus indicus

Common resident bird at ALIYA. Mostly seen in edges of the lake, dry paddy field or any open grass land not too far from water.
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WOOLY-NECKED STORK

Ciconia episcopus
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walks at a snail’s pace and steadily on the paddy field at ALIYA for seeking its prey