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Caribbean Birdwatching

Two Caribbean seagulls flying over a blue sky

Ruddy Turnstone
Ruddy Turnstone (Arenaria interpres morinella)

Birdwatching in the Caribbean

Royal Tern
Royal Tern (Thalasseus maximus maximus), Bonaire

Lesser Yellowlegs
Lesser Yellowlegs (Tringa flavipes) in winter plumage foraging in a pond in Washington Slagbaai National Park, Bonaire

American Flamingo ( Phoenicopterus ruber ) run on the water with splashes
Personal Statement
The unique biodiversity throughout the Caribbean makes birding a popular pastime. Through both their origins and their isolation from the mainland, 146 of the 564 known birdsspecies in the Caribbean are endemic, which means they are found only here. I highly recommend birdwatching to everyone.


How to become a Birder?
  • Get some good quality binoculars (7x or 8x with roof prisms) and a binocular strap; Photographers need a Spotting Scope (Kowa TSN-883 is the best)
  • Feed your local birds and watch them
  • Get an illustrated field guide
  • Learn some bird anatomy
  • Find other bird watchers
  • Start bird watching in the morning, when birds are searching for food
  • Take a walk or hike
  • Learn to walk quietly
  • Use hides where possible
  • Keep your eye on the bird
  • Judge size and shape
  • Study behavior of bird
  • Be aware of variations
  • Listen for the songs and calls
  • Identify the bird you've spotted in your field guide
  • List every species of bird you have seen
  • Involve your kids
Kowa TSN-883 Prominar tested it: "The Kowa Prominar TSN-883 stood out. Each time we tested, the Kowa's better resolution was clearly visible. It quickly became our reference scope. This scope raises the bar for spotting scopes to a new level. For years, the Zeiss Diascope had bested every other scope we'd ever tested. But optical evolution marches on, and the 88mm Kowa Prominar is now king of the hill."
Kowa Prominaar TSN-883

Birding Etiquette
  • Keep Quiet   
  • Step Aside
  • Share and Share Alike
  • Keep others’ views clear
  • Be Patient
  • Keep Groups Small
  • Share Rides
  • Stick Together
  • Pay Attention
  • Share Sightings
  • Respect the birds
Birdwatching field guide The Stokes Field Guide
to the Birds of North America

The guide features 853 North American bird species and more than 3,400 stunning color photographs. And yet it's portable enough to fit in your pocket!

Sun protective clothing, a broad-brimmed hat and sun protection creme is recommended. Wear breathable fabrics with long sleeves and long pants in and light colors to help prevent sunburn and insect bites. During the wet season a poncho is necessary. Hiking boots are the best choice, providing grip and ankle support.

Caribbean Hotspots

  • Long Island
  • Andros Island
  • Abaco National Park, Great Abaco
  • Lake Windsor, Great Inagua
  • Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park

  • Flower Forest
  • Bayfield Pond
  • Congo Road Swamp
  • Chancery Lane Swamp
  • Graeme Hall Nature Reserve

Cayman Islands
  • Mastic Reserve
  • Meagre Bay Pond
  • Willie Ebanks Farm
  • Barkers National Park
  • Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park

Costa Rica
  1. San Gerardo de Dota
  2. Sarapiqui Eco Observatory
  3. Curi-Cancha Reserve
  4. Wilson Botanical Gardens
  5. Tortugero National Park

  • Cayo Coco
  • Cuchillas del Toa, Guantanamo Province
  • Najasa, Camagüey
  • Topes de Collantes - Escambray-Sancti Spiritus Province
  • Viñales Valley-La Güira
  • Zapata Swamp - Matanzas Province

  • Northern Forest Reserve
  • Central Forest Reserve
  • Morne Diablotin National Park
  • Morne Trois Pitons National Park

Dominican Republic
  • Botanical Gardens, Santo Domingo
  • Parque del Este in the Southeast
  • Reserva de Ebano Verde
  • Salinas near Bani
  • Sierra de Bahoruco

  • Mt Hartman National Park and Dove Sanctuary
  • Grand Etang Forest Reserve
  • Lake Antoine National Park
  • Levera National Park
  • Blue Mountains National Park
  • John Crow Mountains (Ecclesdown)
  • Hope Botanical Gardens, Kingston
  • Marshall's Pen near Mandeville
  • Castleton Botanical Gardens
  • Rocklands Bird Sanctuary
  • Mockingbird Hill Hotel Gardens
  • Royal Palm Reserve near Negril
  • Yallahs Salt Ponds
  • Black River Morass
  • Cockpit Country
  • San San Preserve

Puerto Rico
  • Caribbean Island National Wildlife Refuge Complex
  • El Yunque - The Caribbean National Forest
  • Humacao Wildlife Refuge
  • Parador Hacienda Juanita
  • Caribbean National Forest
  • Cabo Rojo National Wildlife Refuges
  • Guánica State Forest Preserve
  • La Parguera

  • Grafton Bird Sanctuary
  • Bon Accord Wetlands
  • Pigeon Point Roadway
  • Kilgwyn Swamp
  • Turtle Beach
  • Buccoo Swamp
  • Mountain Road
  • Roxborough Dam
  • Arnos Vale Hotel
  • Little Tobago Island
  • St. Giles Island, Northeast Tobago
  • The Adventure Farm & Eco Reserve

  • Asa Wright Nature Centre and Lodge
  • Caroni Swamp Bird Sanctuary
  • El Tucuche Reserve, Maracas
  • Arima Blanchisseuse Road
  • Valencia Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Aripo Savannah and Arena Forest
  • Bush Bush Wildlife Reserve, Nariva Swamp
  • Wild Fowl Trust, Pointe-a-Pierre
  • Paria Springs Eco-Community
  • Point-a-Pierre Wild Fowl Trust
  • Waterloo (Temple in the Sea)
  • Caroni Rice Fields
  • Fullarton Swamp
  • Trinity Hills
  • Nariva Swamp
  • Pax Guest House
  • Trincity Ponds
  • Waller Field

Frigate Bird
Frigate Bird

Cuban Trogon
Cuban Trogon or Tocororo (Priotelus temnurus)

Emerald Hummingbird
Coppery-headed Emerald Hummingbird preparing to feed in Costa Rica

Green Heron
Green Heron (Butorides virescens)

Black-necked Stilt
Black-necked Stilt (Himantopus mexicanus mexicanus) female foraging in a pond in Washington Slagbaai National Park, Bonaire

Flamingo at sunset

Caribbean Birds by name

Englisch Latin
Adelaide's Warbler Dendroica adelaidae
Antillean Crested Hummingbird Orthorhyncus cristatus
Antillean Euphonia Euphonia musica
Antillean Mango Anthracothorax dominicus
Antillean Palm-Swift Tachornis phoenicobia
Antillean Piculet Nesoctites micromegas
Antillean Siskin Spinus dominicensis
Arrowhead Warbler Dendroica pharetra
Ashy-faced Owl Tyto glaucops
Bahama Mockingbird Mimus gundlachii
Bahama Oriole Icterus northropi
Bahama Swallow Tachycineta cyaneoviridis
Bahama Warbler Dendroica flavescens
Bahama Woodstar Calliphlox evelynae
Bahama Yellowthroat Geothlypis rostrata
Barbados Bullfinch Loxigilla barbadensis
Barbuda Warbler Dendroica subita
Bare-legged Owl Gymnoglaux lawrencii
Bay-breasted Cuckoo Coccyzus rufigularis
Bee Hummingbird Mellisuga helenae
Bermuda Petrel Pterodroma cahow
Black-billed Parrot Amazona agilis
Black-capped Petrel Pterodroma hasitata
Black-crowned Palm-Tanager Phaenicophilus palmarum
Blue Mountain Vireo Vireo osburni
Blue-headed Hummingbird Cyanophaia bicolor
Blue-headed Quail-Dove Starnoenas cyanocephala
Bridled Quail-Dove Geotrygon mystacea
Broad-billed Tody Todus subulatus
Brown Trembler Cinclocerthia ruficauda
Chestnut-bellied Cuckoo Coccyzus pluvialis
Crested Quail-Dove Geotrygon versicolor
Cuban Blackbird Dives atroviolaceus
Cuban Black-Hawk Buteogallus gundlachii
Cuban Bullfinch Melopyrrha nigra
Cuban Crow Corvus nasicus
Cuban Emerald Chlorostilbon ricordii
Cuban Gnatcatcher Polioptila lembeyei
Cuban Grassquit Tiaris canorus
Cuban Green Woodpecker Xiphidiopicus percussus
Cuban Martin Progne cryptoleuca
Cuban Oriole Icterus melanopsis
Cuban Parakeet Aratinga euops
Cuban Parrot Amazona leucocephala
Cuban Pewee Contopus caribaeus
Cuban Pygmy-Owl Glaucidium siju
Cuban Solitaire Myadestes elisabeth
Cuban Tody Todus multicolor
Cuban Trogon Priotelus temnurus
Cuban Vireo Vireo gundlachii
Eastern Chat-Tanager Calyptophilus frugivorus
Elfin-woods Warbler Dendroica angelae
Fernandina's Flicker Colaptes fernandinae
Flat-billed Vireo Vireo nanus
Forest Thrush Turdus lherminieri
Giant Kingbird Tyrannus cubensis
Golden Swallow Tachycineta euchrysea
Gray Trembler Cinclocerthia gutturalis
Gray-crowned Palm-Tanager Phaenicophilus poliocephalus
Gray-fronted Quail-Dove Geotrygon caniceps
Great Lizard-Cuckoo Coccyzus merlini
Greater Antillean Bullfinch Loxigilla violacea
Greater Antillean Elaenia Elaenia fallax
Greater Antillean Grackle Quiscalus niger
Greater Antillean Nightjar Caprimulgus cubanensis
Green Mango Anthracothorax viridis
Green-tailed Warbler Microligea palustris
Green-throated Carib Eulampis holosericeus
Grenada Dove Leptotila wellsi
Grenada Flycatcher Myiarchus nugator
Guadeloupe Woodpecker Melanerpes herminieri
Gundlach's Hawk Accipiter gundlachi
Hispaniolan Crossbill Loxia megaplaga
Hispaniolan Emerald Chlorostilbon swainsonii
Hispaniolan Lizard-Cuckoo Coccyzus longirostris
Hispaniolan Oriole Icterus dominicensis
Hispaniolan Parakeet Aratinga chloroptera
Hispaniolan Parrot Amazona ventralis
Hispaniolan Pewee Contopus hispaniolensis
Hispaniolan Spindalis Spindalis dominicensis
Hispaniolan Trogon Priotelus roseigaster
Hispaniolan Woodpecker Melanerpes striatus
Imperial Parrot Amazona imperialis
Jamaican Becard Pachyramphus niger
Jamaican Blackbird Nesopsar nigerrimus
Jamaican Crow Corvus jamaicensis
Jamaican Elaenia Myiopagis cotta
Jamaican Euphonia Euphonia jamaica
Jamaican Lizard-Cuckoo Coccyzus vetula
Jamaican Mango Anthracothorax mango
Jamaican Oriole Icterus leucopteryx
Jamaican Owl Pseudoscops grammicus
Jamaican Pewee Contopus pallidus
Jamaican Spindalis Spindalis nigricephala
Jamaican Tody Todus todus
Jamaican Vireo Vireo modestus
Jamaican Woodpecker Melanerpes radiolatus
Key West Quail-Dove Geotrygon chrysia
La Sagra's Flycatcher Myiarchus sagrae
La Selle Thrush Turdus swalesi
Least Pauraque Siphonorhis brewsteri
Lesser Antillean Bullfinch Loxigilla noctis
Lesser Antillean Flycatcher Myiarchus oberi
Lesser Antillean Pewee Contopus latirostris
Lesser Antillean Saltator Saltator albicollis
Lesser Antillean Swift Chaetura martinica
Lesser Antillean Tanager Tangara cucullata
Loggerhead Kingbird Tyrannus caudifasciatus
Martinique Oriole Icterus bonana
Montserrat Oriole Icterus oberi
Narrow-billed Tody Todus angustirostris
Olive-capped Warbler Dendroica pityophila
Orangequit Euneornis campestris
Oriente Warbler Teretistris fornsi
Palm Crow Corvus palmarum
Palmchat Dulus dominicus
Pearly-eyed Thrasher Margarops fuscatus
Plain Pigeon Patagioenas inornata
Plumbeous Warbler Dendroica plumbea
Puerto Rican Bullfinch Loxigilla portoricensis
Puerto Rican Emerald Chlorostilbon maugaeus
Puerto Rican Flycatcher Myiarchus antillarum
Puerto Rican Lizard-Cuckoo Coccyzus vieilloti
Puerto Rican Nightjar Caprimulgus noctitherus
Puerto Rican Oriole Icterus portoricensis
Puerto Rican Parrot Amazona vittata
Puerto Rican Screech-Owl Megascops nudipes
Puerto Rican Spindalis Spindalis portoricensis
Puerto Rican Tanager Nesospingus speculiferus
Puerto Rican Tody Todus mexicanus
Puerto Rican Vireo Vireo latimeri
Puerto Rican Woodpecker Melanerpes portoricensis
Purple-throated Carib Eulampis jugularis
Red-legged Thrush Turdus plumbeus
Red-necked Parrot Amazona arausiaca
Red-shouldered Blackbird Agelaius assimilis
Ridgway's Hawk Buteo ridgwayi
Ring-tailed Pigeon Patagioenas caribaea
Rufous-tailed Flycatcher Myiarchus validus
Rufous-throated Solitaire Myadestes genibarbis
Sad Flycatcher Myiarchus barbirostris
San Andres Vireo Vireo caribaeus
Scaly-breasted Thrasher Allenia fusca
Semper's Warbler Leucopeza semperi
St. Lucia Black Finch Melanospiza richardsoni
St. Lucia Oriole Icterus laudabilis
St. Lucia Parrot Amazona versicolor
St. Lucia Warbler Dendroica delicata
St. Vincent Parrot Amazona guildingii
Stolid Flycatcher Myiarchus stolidus
Streamertail Trochilus polytmus
Tawny-shouldered Blackbird Agelaius humeralis
Thick-billed Vireo Vireo crassirostris
Trinidad Motmot Momotus bahamensis
Trinidad Piping-Guan Pipile pipile
Vervain Hummingbird Mellisuga minima
Vitelline Warbler Dendroica vitellina
West Indian Whistling-Duck Dendrocygna arborea
West Indian Woodpecker Melanerpes superciliaris
Western Chat-Tanager Calyptophilus tertius
Whistling Warbler Catharopeza bishopi
White-breasted Thrasher Ramphocinclus brachyurus
White-chinned Thrush Turdus aurantius
White-eyed Thrush Turdus jamaicensis
White-fronted Quail-Dove Geotrygon leucometopia
White-necked Crow Corvus leucognaphalus
White-winged Warbler Xenoligea montana
Yellow-billed Parrot Amazona collaria
Yellow-headed Warbler Teretistris fernandinae
Yellow-shouldered Blackbird Agelaius xanthomus
Yellow-shouldered Grassquit Loxipasser anoxanthus
Zapata Rail Cyanolimnas cerverai
Zapata Sparrow Torreornis inexpectata
Zapata Wren Ferminia cerverai