Amazing Bird Roost in Ratnapura Town – Sri Lanka

Every year, hundred-thousands of Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica) birds choose Ratnapura town as roost. They are all over the town & on every single electricity cable & telephone cable. These winter migrant birds arrives Sri Lanka on September and will stay for next six month in the Country. While their stay, they make some amazing scenes at their roosting site.

I was on a family vacation to Kataragama last weekend. On our way to Kataragama, We stopped at Ratnapura Town for a coffee. This is not the first time I have been to Ratnapura. But I never experienced something like this before. There were little birds everywhere. Flying around and making beautiful sounds. There were thousands, hundred-thousands of them. On every electricity wire and telephone wire, organizing themselves for a long night sleep. This is how the event caught on my Sony DSC-W310.

Photos of Barn Swallow Roost in Ratnapura Town

I had no idea what these birds are or what they are doing first I saw them. So I spoke to some locals to find out what’s going on. They said that these birds come to town everyday around 05:30pm ““ 06:00pm and spend night very quietly. But at the moment they were making some reasonable novice (by 7pm I think). I guess they were still settling for night. And there is a very busy road just beneath their roost. Busy roads are usually connected with accidents so if you need the help of fatal car accident lawyer during an accident, visit Locals also mentioned that all these birds will be disappeared by 05:00am in the morning. They just come to Ratnapura town to rest & sleep. I still can’t understand why these bids choose such a busy city to spend the night. There are lots of quiet places around Ratnapura. That’s what makes this a misery. May be they feel safe & comfortable around humans, which is NOT in most cases. The best thing is locals don’t seem to be having interest in these birds. They even don’t know their name. This will help these birds stay longer around Ratnapura Town.

Barn Swallow Bird
Barn Swallow Bird
Some says that they migrate from India. After making an online research, I found some more interesting information about this event. But unfortunately, there is no official word about where they migrate from. However these Barn Swallows visit Sri Lanka every September and leave April. They spend day hunting for little insects at Walawe Basin and impossible to see around Ratnapura. But I can guarantee that they will return for night.

Barn Swallows have a history of more than 50 years roosting around Ratnapura and they will surly return in next winter. So you still have a chance to see them if you visit Ratnapura between September and April. But please don’t try to disturb them. This is the only place you can find Barn Swallow roosting on an urban location in this country (May be not, Read comments). We don’t need them to migrate to another place. Do we?


Hey!! I'm Tharindu. I'm from Sri Lanka. I'm a part time freelancer and this is my blog where I write about everything I think might be useful to readers. If you read a tutorial here and want to hire me, contact me here.


    1. well then there’s another place too. I was wrong about it. Anyways, now we know that they prefer towns for roosting. they definitely feel comfortable around humans. Thanks for info!

  1. well then there’s another place too. I was wrong about it. Anyways, now we know that they prefer towns for roosting. they definitely feel comfortable around humans. Thanks for info!

  2. Now they are roosting in Balangoda town (Thubagoda). There are thousand of birds. I thing they moved from Rathnapura to Balangoda due to climatic changes.

  3. Few months ago barn swallow couple started build a nest in my house then they left. About couple of weeks ago they came back and start their work and now they stay all the time around my house and spend night in the nest looks like they are going to stay here forever.

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