For our tour description, itinerary, past triplists, dates, fees, and more, please VISIT OUR TOUR PAGE.
See this triplist in printable PDF format with media only on page 1.
The highlight of any Jamaica tour is the charming and diminutive Jamaican Tody. Photo by guide Chris Benesh.
Thanks to all of you for coming along on the first of Field Guides 2019 Jamaica tours. Having last visited this island in the mid-1990s, it was a treat to get back there and see just how much the experience had improved! Under the excellent leadership of Dwayne Swaby we had some great success tracking down the Jamaican endemics as well as other Caribbean specialties. The birding was fantastic with some of those seen being quite memorable. On top of the birds, it was wonderful to see a few interesting reptiles and amphibians, cool arthropods, and some wonderful plants. We also enjoyed the playful banter of Dwayne and driver Raymond Condappa, and sampled a few Jamaican customs. Perhaps most notable was drinking coconut water from freshly harvested coconuts and sampling Blue Mountain coffee at a tiny plantation in Hardwar Gap.
This short tour begins and ends in Montego Bay, staying at the charming Mynt Retreat in Montego Bay, and at the impressive Green Castle Estate near Annotto Bay on the north side of the island. Day trips from there took us to some productive areas, including Ecclesdown Road, Vinery, Hardwar Gap in the Blue Mountains, Dunn’s River Falls, and the Rocklands Bird Sanctuary finale. Which of the many specialty birds stand out most? A tough call, but the Jamaican Tody won the hearts of most. Jamaican Owl and Northern Potoo were both impressive, and the Jamaican Lizard-Cuckoo and Chestnut-bellied Cuckoo are both memorable. While only having a few hummingbirds, Jamaica does them well. What can beat having a Streamertail or Jamaican Mango feeding on sugar water while perched on your finger?
Thanks again to all of you for making the Jamaica tour so special! — Chris
KEYS FOR THIS LIST
One of the following keys may be shown in brackets for individual species as appropriate: * = heard only, I = introduced, E = endemic, N = nesting, a = austral migrant, b = boreal migrant
A pause in the birding at Green Castle Estate, with Dwayne keeping us entertained. Photo by participant Greg Griffith.
Anatidae (Ducks, Geese, and Waterfowl)
BLUE-WINGED TEAL (Spatula discors)
NORTHERN SHOVELER (Spatula clypeata)
RING-NECKED DUCK (Aythya collaris)
LESSER SCAUP (Aythya affinis)
MASKED DUCK (Nomonyx dominicus)
RUDDY DUCK (Oxyura jamaicensis)
The Rocklands Bird Sanctuary was a wonderful spot and provided opportunities to feed streamertails! Photo by guide Chris Benesh.
LEAST GREBE (Tachybaptus dominicus)
PIED-BILLED GREBE (Podilymbus podiceps)
Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)
ROCK PIGEON (Columba livia) [I]
WHITE-CROWNED PIGEON (Patagioenas leucocephala)
RING-TAILED PIGEON (Patagioenas caribaea) [E]
COMMON GROUND-DOVE (Columbina passerina jamaicensis)
One of the toughest grail birds on the Jamaica tour is the Crested Quail-Dove. Raymond spotted one for us on the Eccelesdown Road that provided wonderful views. Photo by guide Chris Benesh.
CRESTED QUAIL-DOVE (Geotrygon versicolor) [E]
RUDDY QUAIL-DOVE (Geotrygon montana)
CARIBBEAN DOVE (Leptotila jamaicensis jamaicensis)
WHITE-WINGED DOVE (Zenaida asiatica)
ZENAIDA DOVE (Zenaida aurita)
MOURNING DOVE (Zenaida macroura)
One of the Northern Potoos hanging out at the Green Castle Estate. Photo by participant Greg Griffith.
SMOOTH-BILLED ANI (Crotophaga ani)
CHESTNUT-BELLIED CUCKOO (Coccyzus pluvialis) [E]
JAMAICAN LIZARD-CUCKOO (Coccyzus vetula) [E]
NORTHERN POTOO (CARIBBEAN) (Nyctibius jamaicensis jamaicensis)
ANTILLEAN PALM-SWIFT (Tachornis phoenicobia phoenicobia)
JAMAICAN MANGO (Anthracothorax mango) [E]
The impressive Jamaican Lizard-Cuckoo! Photo by participant Greg Griffith.
VERVAIN HUMMINGBIRD (Mellisuga minima minima)
STREAMERTAIL (RED-BILLED) (Trochilus polytmus polytmus) [E]
STREAMERTAIL (BLACK-BILLED) (Trochilus polytmus scitulus) [E]
Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)
COMMON GALLINULE (Gallinula galeata)
AMERICAN COOT (Fulica americana)
Recurvirostridae (Stilts and Avocets)
BLACK-NECKED STILT (Himantopus mexicanus)
In the Jim Crow Mountains, we came across the black-billed form of Streamertail, often considered a distinct species. Photo by participant Greg Griffith.
Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)
KILLDEER (Charadrius vociferus)
NORTHERN JACANA (Jacana spinosa violacea)
Scolopacidae (Sandpipers and Allies)
RUDDY TURNSTONE (Arenaria interpres)
SPOTTED SANDPIPER (Actitis macularius)
GREATER YELLOWLEGS (Tringa melanoleuca)
LESSER YELLOWLEGS (Tringa flavipes)
While in the rest of Jamaica, the red-billed form occurs. Photo by participant Greg Griffith.
Laridae (Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers)
LAUGHING GULL (Leucophaeus atricilla)
ROYAL TERN (Thalasseus maximus)
MAGNIFICENT FRIGATEBIRD (Fregata magnificens)
BROWN PELICAN (SOUTHERN) (Pelecanus occidentalis occidentalis)
Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)
GREAT BLUE HERON (Ardea herodias)
GREAT EGRET (Ardea alba)
The furtive highlands dwelling Arrowhead Warbler was one of the trickier species to see well. Photo by participant Greg Griffith.
SNOWY EGRET (Egretta thula)
LITTLE BLUE HERON (Egretta caerulea)
CATTLE EGRET (Bubulcus ibis)
GREEN HERON (Butorides virescens)
YELLOW-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON (Nyctanassa violacea)
Threskiornithidae (Ibises and Spoonbills)
GLOSSY IBIS (Plegadis falcinellus)
The Caribbean Dove must be the most attractive of the Leptotila doves. Photo by guide Chris Benesh.
Cathartidae (New World Vultures)
TURKEY VULTURE (Cathartes aura)
OSPREY (Pandion haliaetus)
Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)
RED-TAILED HAWK (JAMAICENSIS) (Buteo jamaicensis jamaicensis)
BARN OWL (AMERICAN) (Tyto alba furcata)
JAMAICAN OWL (Pseudoscops grammicus) [E]
JAMAICAN TODY (Todus todus) [E]
Jamaica is home to three species of Myiarchus flycatchers, including this Rufous-tailed. Photo by guide Chris Benesh.
JAMAICAN WOODPECKER (Melanerpes radiolatus) [E]
Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)
AMERICAN KESTREL (HISPANIOLAN) (Falco sparverius dominicensis)
MERLIN (Falco columbarius)
PEREGRINE FALCON (Falco peregrinus)
Psittacidae (New World and African Parrots)
BLACK-BILLED PARROT (Amazona agilis) [E]
YELLOW-BILLED PARROT (Amazona collaria) [E]
We saw a number of the strange Loggerhead Kingbirds, a rather atypical kingbird. Photo by participant Greg Griffith.
GREEN-RUMPED PARROTLET (Forpus passerinus) [I]
OLIVE-THROATED PARAKEET (JAMAICAN) (Eupsittula nana nana)
Tyrannidae (Tyrant Flycatchers)
JAMAICAN ELAENIA (Myiopagis cotta) [E]
JAMAICAN PEWEE (Contopus pallidus) [E]
SAD FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus barbirostris) [E]
RUFOUS-TAILED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus validus) [E]
One of the scarcer flycatchers was this Jamaican Elaenia seen on the first full day of birding. Photo by guide Chris Benesh.
STOLID FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus stolidus stolidus)
LOGGERHEAD KINGBIRD (LOGGERHEAD) (Tyrannus caudifasciatus jamaicensis)
Tityridae (Tityras and Allies)
JAMAICAN BECARD (Pachyramphus niger) [E]
Vireonidae (Vireos, Shrike-Babblers, and Erpornis)
BLUE MOUNTAIN VIREO (Vireo osburni) [E]
JAMAICAN VIREO (Vireo modestus) [E]
BLACK-WHISKERED VIREO (Vireo altiloquus altiloquus)
A male Jamaican Becard, one of several seen on the tour. Photo by guide Chris Benesh.
Corvidae (Crows, Jays, and Magpies)
JAMAICAN CROW (Corvus jamaicensis) [E]
CAVE SWALLOW (CARIBBEAN) (Petrochelidon fulva poeciloma)
Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)
RUFOUS-THROATED SOLITAIRE (RUFOUS-THROATED) (Myadestes genibarbis solitarius)
WHITE-EYED THRUSH (Turdus jamaicensis) [E]
WHITE-CHINNED THRUSH (Turdus aurantius) [E]
Mimidae (Mockingbirds and Thrashers)
NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRD (Mimus polyglottos)
We were fortunate with some good views of the Blue Mountain Vireo. Photo by guide Chris Benesh.
Fringillidae (Finches, Euphonias, and Allies)
JAMAICAN EUPHONIA (Euphonia jamaica) [E]
JAMAICAN SPINDALIS (Spindalis nigricephala) [E]
Icteridae (Troupials and Allies)
JAMAICAN ORIOLE (Icterus leucopteryx leucopteryx)
JAMAICAN BLACKBIRD (Nesopsar nigerrimus) [E]
SHINY COWBIRD (Molothrus bonariensis)
GREATER ANTILLEAN GRACKLE (Quiscalus niger crassirostris)
We saw a number of Orangequits, a species and genus endemic to Jamaica, but it wasn't until we got to Rocklands that we could really fully appreciate the orange chins. Photo by guide Chris Benesh.
Parulidae (New World Warblers)
OVENBIRD (Seiurus aurocapilla)
WORM-EATING WARBLER (Helmitheros vermivorum)
LOUISIANA WATERTHRUSH (Parkesia motacilla)
BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLER (Mniotilta varia)
COMMON YELLOWTHROAT (Geothlypis trichas)
ARROWHEAD WARBLER (Setophaga pharetra) [E]
We were fortunate to connect with Black-billed Parrot on our first visit to the highlands. Photo by guide Chris Benesh.
AMERICAN REDSTART (Setophaga ruticilla)
CAPE MAY WARBLER (Setophaga tigrina)
NORTHERN PARULA (Setophaga americana)
YELLOW WARBLER (GOLDEN) (Setophaga petechia eoa)
BLACK-THROATED BLUE WARBLER (Setophaga caerulescens)
PRAIRIE WARBLER (Setophaga discolor)
We had some nice studies of the stunning Jamaican Spindalis. Photo by participant Greg Griffith.
Thraupidae (Tanagers and Allies)
BANANAQUIT (GREATER ANTILLEAN) (Coereba flaveola flaveola)
YELLOW-FACED GRASSQUIT (Tiaris olivaceus olivaceus)
BLACK-FACED GRASSQUIT (Tiaris bicolor marchii)
ORANGEQUIT (Euneornis campestris) [E]
GREATER ANTILLEAN BULLFINCH (Melopyrrha violacea ruficollis)
YELLOW-SHOULDERED GRASSQUIT (Loxipasser anoxanthus) [E]
One of the shyer forest birds was the Yellow-shouldered Grassquit. With patience, we all eventually had some wonderful looks. Photo by guide Chris Benesh.
NORWAY (BROWN) RAT (Rattus norvegicus) [I]
SMALL INDIAN MONGOOSE (Herpestes auropunctatus) [I]
Totals for the tour: 102 bird taxa and 2 mammal taxa