Birds in the Maldives
The Maldives are made up of tiny little islands, therefore not so many land animals are found here. We have written about most of them already, bats, lizards and geckos, and insects such at butterflies and dragonflies. The last group of land animals are the birds. Around 180 different species can be found in Maldives. Due to the location and habitat of this area they are mostly seabirds or waders/shore birds.
You find these birds along the shoreline. Their diet consists of small invertebrates, crustaceans and plants. Most have long bills that help them pick through the sand and mud.
This group includes the Plovers. There are many different species including the Snowy/Kiru Bondna, Grey/Alaka, and the Greater Sand/ Valu bon’dana. Sandpipers are also waders. We get the Curlew/Bon’dana Ilohi and the March sandpiper/ Furehdhi Ilohi. These species are small, have long legs, and are dotted around the islands.
A bird that you are almost guaranteed to see while here is the Grey Heron or Maakanaa. They are quite tall birds with very long legs. We see them often hunting along the jettys, or even standing out on the reef when the tide is low. They are trying to catch small fish. The most we have counted was 7 out on our reef one evening.
These birds can be found flying above the ocean, looking for food. Groups of sea birds have helped Maldivian fisherman find large shoals of tuna for many years, and this technique is still being used today. When not out at sea they are often seen on deserted islands and sandbanks, which is where they have their nests.
We get many different species of terns, Bridled/ Vaali, Black naped/ Kirudhooni and the Common tern/Valla to name a few. These are a small species that feed on fish, crustaceans, and squid. They can be seen diving into the ocean to catch their feed.
The white-tailed tropic bird/Dhan’difulhu Dhooni is also found around our islands. These seabirds are easy to identify as they have two long white tail feathers.
You will notice the Crows/Kaalhu around the islands, do not leave your food unattended! The other land bird that you may see but will definitely hear is the Asian Koel. They are found mostly in the tree tops. They are a very loud species, with the males making long ‘koo ooo’ sounds.
These are just some of the many species of birds that can be spotted in the Maldives.