Nine-Year-old twins from Royal College in a quest to cover all 450 birds

Dec 09 2022.

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Thinev and Mihela Danansuriya, nine-year-old twins from Grade 4 of Royal College, Colombo hope to cover all 450+ birds of Sri Lanka in their video blog. During one of many unexpected holidays in 2022, they started a fun project to create a two-minute educational video blog about each of the birds that they have seen in Sri Lanka. Despite being 9-year-olds, they have covered quite a lot of Sri Lanka’s map already. They turned bird lovers when they were 4 years old when they received the book “Birds of Sri Lanka” as a gift and this passion has been growing ever since. 

What started as a fun project turned a bit more serious when they realized that no one has ever done a complete series of videos that cover every single bird. It seemed that few had started but they had given up after around 50-60 birds. They have so far completed about 150 videos and published 120 online where a new bird video is released daily. They hope that people including foreigners who visit Sri Lanka see their videos and develop an interest in “Bird Watching”. “Bird watching is a really fun activity and there are lots and lots of birds anywhere you go. Knowing a bit more about the birds makes it really interesting,” said Thinev, the elder of the twin brothers. 

Younger of the two Mihela explains “All our videos have different parts, at first we introduce the bird with information like whether they are endangered or not, then we explain where else in the world this bird can be spotted other than Sri Lanka. Of course, some birds are endemic to Sri Lanka. Then we explain their plumage (feathers) and variations among male-female, adult-juveniles, breeding-non breeding likewise. Later we explain their behaviours, sounds and what they are called in Sinhala. At the end of each of our videos, we say whether we have seen this bird or not, if we have seen then we say where we have seen them. If not, we talk about tourist places that you can actually see them.”

They hope to cover 250 birds by their 10th birthday. And by their 11th birthday, they hope to complete all 450+ birds of Sri Lanka. Their father added “They love it, and of course, their normal school activities are not hampered, they cover one bird each on the weekends, that is Saturday and Sunday which comes to 4 videos per week. And during holidays they can do more. We are quite happy about this because they get to improve on their reading, researching, public speaking and presenting skills without any impact on their education.”

Just four months old, so far 60% of their visitors are from India, the rest of the top spots include the US, UK, Thailand, Turkey and Sri Lanka. Thinev and Mihela hope that many who see their videos turn into bird lovers and see Sri Lanka as a destination to travel to. You can find them online by searching for “Birds of 
Sri Lanka with Mihela and Thinev.”  


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