When it comes to local wildlife, bird watching is one of the most relaxing and rewarding experiences you can have.
Whether you are an expert birdwatcher or just a wildlife lover, the Bahamas serves as one of the best places to catch a glimpse of a wide variety of winged creatures. With over 300 species of birds inhabiting the Bahamas, you are bound to have a few interesting encounters.
DISCOVER THE LOCAL BIRDS
From Abaco, to Eleuthera, to Exuma, to Andros, the Out Islands of the Bahamas are typically the best places to spot interesting birds. There are a number of field guides available, although be sure to do your research early and book well before your departure.
Bird watching is a niche pursuit, but also a very rewarding one.
There are various habitats throughout the Bahamas where you will be able to take in the wildlife and catch a glimpse of the local birds, including ponds, seashores, wetlands and reserves managed by the Bahamas National Trust. Between native birds, migrating birds and endemic birds (i.e., only breed on the islands), the Bahamas is home to some of the most interesting and exotic birds in the world.
Many North American migrant birds call the Bahamas home during the winter, and some of the most common species you will find while checking out the Bahamas wildlife include white-cheeked pintails, Caribbean doves, Bahama woodstars, loggerhead kingbird and a variety of egrets and herons.
FIVE LOCAL SPECIES THAT CAN BE SEEN IN VARIOUS BAHAMAS HABITATS
Bahama Swallow – The Bahama Swallow is an endemic species of the Bahamas that can be found in the summer months on Grand Bahama, Abaco and Andros. You are likely to spot these slender-bodied birds with pointed wings perched on wires or high branches when they are not darting to catch flying insects. While the movement of these birds is not as well understood as others, you may catch a glimpse of them nesting in pine tree cavities.
Bahama Woodstar – Another endemic species, woodstars are the only hummingbirds that can be found on New Providence and the majority of surrounding islands. These birds have gorgeous colors, boasting greenish upper parts and a white chest. Males have violet throat feathers that are absolutely stunning when you see them in the sunlight. You are most likely to find these birds feasting on the nectar found in flowers or minute insects. Check out local gardens, woodlands, and the open country.
Bahama Yellowthroat – The yellowthroat is a relatively large bird whose movement is slowed down by its heavy bill. With a black mask, gray cap and yellow throat, breast and upper belly, these birds are very distinctive. Check out Abaco, Grand Bahama, Eleuthera and Cat Island for a sighting.
Red-legged Thrush – One of the most striking birds to be found on the Bahamas, this bird is roughly 10 inches long and is predominantly grey in color with a reddish bill, red legs and a bright red ring around the eye. Look for the thrush throughout most of the northern islands on lawns, gardens, and areas left natural.
Bananaquit – This bird measures just four inches long and has a thin down-curved bill, white eyebrow, black back with white underparts and yellow rump and breast. Found on most islands, these small birds feed on nectar and in gardens with flowering shrubs, such as hibiscus.
With such a wide variety of species to be found, you will have no shortage of sightings. Check out Harrold and Wilson Ponds Park on New Providence, Abaco National Park or Inagua National Park for large colonies of these beautiful birds and many, many more.
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