Grand Bahama Bird Watching
Excerpts from "Natives of The Bahamas (A Guide to Birds & Vegetation of Grand Bahama)" by Erika Moultrie.

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Erika Moultrie-Gates, Certified Birding Guide

Bird-watching tours are available from birding guides certified by the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism. For more information, contact Kayak Nature Tours.

Grand Bahama Bird Watching

Out of all the 700 islands and cays that make up The Islands of The Bahamas, Grand Bahama Island has the distinction of hosting the second highest number of native bird species. For birdwatchers and nature lovers, the island is a true mecca, a place where they can see 18 of the 28 species of Bahamian birds that are not seen in the U.S., Canada, or Europe.  

The Rand Nature Centre, local headquarters of The Bahamas National Trust, is the perfect place for birders to start. It is home to West Indian flamingos, Antillean Peewee birds, Red-legged Thrushes, Stripe-headed Tanagers, and the endangered Bahama Parrot. The Centre maintains a small library with bird books and field guides and can provide information on other ideal birding spots. 

Parrot Jungle's Garden of the Groves has many of the native specialties and, in season, many Neotropic migrants. West End is a true migrant trap, where more than thirty species of warblers and other migrants have been seen. Other sites vary from mangrove swamps, either accessible by boardwalk or kayak, to comfortable walking trails through the Caribbean pine forest (the dominant vegetation on the island), and other ecosystems -- the Whiteland Coppice, the Rocky Coppice, and the Blackland Coppice. And, of course, there are the beaches and the ponds on golf courses where native and migrating wading and water birds gather. 

Owl Hole, one of the blue holes of the Lucayan Cave System leased by the Underwater Explorers Society (UNEXSO), is home to a family of barn owls. Diving is suspended when the owls are nesting there, usually between August and December.  

Fall migrants can be seen in late September and October.  Many of these species spend the winter on Grand Bahama Island and other islands of The Bahamas. There have been rare sightings of the Kirkland's Warbler and an Eastern Phoebe. Birds migrating north in the spring are best seen during March, April and May.  The best time of year to see the permanent and summer resident species is the summer months.

Bird Watching
Some of Our Species ... 
Resident Birds:  
Barn Owl
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Brown-headed Nuthatcher
Great Blue Heron
Green Heron
Least Grebe
Mangrove Cuckoo
Turkey Vulture

Migrating Birds:  
Baltimore Oriole
Black-whiskered Vireo
Cape May Warbler
Kirtland Warbler
Orchard Orioles
Pectoral Sandpiper
Ruddy Turnstone
Swainson's Warbler
Tennessee Warbler
Virginia's Warbler
Western Kingbird

Endemic Birds: 
Bahama Swallow
Bahama Yellowthroat
Bahama Woodstar

Grand Bahama
Specialty Birds:

Bahama Mockingbird
Black-faced Grassquit 
Cuban Emerald 
Cuban Pewee 
Greater Antillean  Bullfinch
Key West Quail-Dove
LaSagra's Flycatcher
Loggerhead Kingbird  Olive-capped Warbler
Red-legged Thrush
Stripe-headed Tanager
Thick-billed Vireo
White-Cheeked Pintail
Zenaida Dove


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