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.
Streamertail is known as "Doctorbird" in Jamaica, and it is their national bird. Participant Jen Wong caught this gorgeous male of the "red-billed" subspecies feeding at a Hong Kong Orchid Tree.
You were one lucky bunch -- I want you on all my tours. We would have to really reach to find something that didn't fall in our favor on this run around Jamaica. In fact, we set a new record for this company in Jamaica with 122 species, which of course included a clean sweep of the 27 endemics! Thanks so much for choosing Field Guides for your Jamaica birding adventure.
Many of you arrived ahead of the tour start, so we were able to hit the ground running right from day one. Perhaps the most remarkable sighting of the tour occurred at our first stop: Danielle spotted an eel (sp?) consuming a crab in a tide pool! After enjoying our first tastes of traditional Jamaican cuisine at Father Bull, we collected a few coastal species for the checklist and eventually landed at Green Castle Estate (GCE). A great look at a Northern Potoo after dinner was a wonderful way to cap a strong start.
Monday morning we met my dear friend and top local guide, Dwayne Swaby, and hit the trails of GCE. Jamaica's endemic species showed up left and right, highlighted by a Streamertail nest (good spotting Linda)! In the afternoon, we hiked down to the reservoir and tacked on some ducks, grebes, and herons. Almost half the endemics were on the list by the end of our first full day together.
Day three we traveled to the northeast corner of the island and birded the foothills of the John Crow Mountains along Ecclesdown Road. This birding hotspot did not disappoint. We scored fabulous and hard-to-come-by endemics like Chestnut-bellied Cuckoo, Crested Quail-Dove, Jamaican Blackbird and the "black-billed" subspecies of Streamertail. After an authentic Jamaican Jerk lunch in Boston Bay, we leapfrogged our way back to GCE, stopping in Port Antonio and at the bridges over the Spanish and Swift rivers.
We stuck closer to "home" the next morning, venturing to a secret coastal spot of Dwayne's at sunrise to marvel at elegant White-tailed Tropicbirds and a swarm of Cave Swallows. The rest of the morning we tallied new coastal and wetland species like Sanderling, Ruddy Turnstone, Northern Jacana, Yellow Warbler, and Northern Waterthrush, while White-collared Swifts arced and swirled overhead. We also got to study a roosting Barn Owl practically out in the open.
Thursday morning started off with a bang as we cleaned up the endemic Jamaican Owl before we even exited GCE. Next was a beeline to elevation in the Blue Mountains. Killer looks at Crested Quail-Dove, Blue Mountain Vireo, Arrowhead Warbler, Jamaican Becard, Chestnut-bellied Cuckoo, and Ring-tailed Pigeon had us cheering as we made our way to Hardwar Gap. Jamaican Pewee, Orangequit, Jamaican Vireo, White-eyed Thrush, Jamaican Lizard-Cuckoo, and others kept us entertained until a hot lunch was delivered to us at Woodside. Who could forget the perched "Mountain Witch" there that we scoped to our hearts' content?! The hundreds, perhaps thousands, of White-collared Swifts overhead were equally memorable.
Day six we said thank you and goodbye to the fantastic GCE staff and made our way to Cockpit Country. After a productive walk in Stewart Town, we headed to Montego Bay. A favorite detour near the airport added Tricolored Heron and Greater Yellowlegs. Our afternoon session at Rocklands Bird Sanctuary was special as always, with endemics literally in the palms of our hands. Our last stop was the Montego Bay waste water treatment facility, and it was absolutely worthwhile as we added West Indian Whistling-Duck!
Thanks again for choosing Field Guides and joining me in Jamaica. I hope this triplist triggers many happy memories.
Eric a.k.a. Eagle
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
The striking, endemic Jamaican Woodpecker can be found in most forested landscapes. Photo by guide Eric Hynes.
Anatidae (Ducks, Geese, and Waterfowl)
WEST INDIAN WHISTLING-DUCK (Dendrocygna arborea)
BLUE-WINGED TEAL (Spatula discors)
NORTHERN SHOVELER (Spatula clypeata)
RING-NECKED DUCK (Aythya collaris)
RUDDY DUCK (Oxyura jamaicensis)
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]
White-eyed Thrush isn't flashy, but its subtle beauty is undeniable. Photo by participant Linda Rudolph.
EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVE (Streptopelia decaocto) [I]
COMMON GROUND DOVE (Columbina passerina jamaicensis)
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)
SMOOTH-BILLED ANI (Crotophaga ani)
MANGROVE CUCKOO (Coccyzus minor)
CHESTNUT-BELLIED CUCKOO (Coccyzus pluvialis) [E]
JAMAICAN LIZARD-CUCKOO (Coccyzus vetula) [E]
Participant Danielle Wong was particularly keen to see Jamaican Tody well. It appears this one was just as interested in Danielle as she took its picture.
NORTHERN POTOO (CARIBBEAN) (Nyctibius jamaicensis jamaicensis)
WHITE-COLLARED SWIFT (Streptoprocne zonaris pallidifrons)
ANTILLEAN PALM-SWIFT (Tachornis phoenicobia phoenicobia)
JAMAICAN MANGO (Anthracothorax mango) [E]
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)
Participant Jen Wong shared this excellent image of the endemic Jamaican Mango.
Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)
BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER (Pluvialis squatarola)
SEMIPALMATED PLOVER (Charadrius semipalmatus)
KILLDEER (Charadrius vociferus)
NORTHERN JACANA (Jacana spinosa violacea)
Scolopacidae (Sandpipers and Allies)
RUDDY TURNSTONE (Arenaria interpres)
SANDERLING (Calidris alba)
LEAST SANDPIPER (Calidris minutilla)
SPOTTED SANDPIPER (Actitis macularius)
SOLITARY SANDPIPER (Tringa solitaria)
GREATER YELLOWLEGS (Tringa melanoleuca)
WILLET (Tringa semipalmata)
LESSER YELLOWLEGS (Tringa flavipes)
It was hard to walk away from the views we enjoyed of White-tailed Tropicbirds. Photo by guide Eric Hynes.
Laridae (Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers)
LAUGHING GULL (Leucophaeus atricilla)
ROYAL TERN (Thalasseus maximus)
SANDWICH TERN (Thalasseus sandvicensis)
WHITE-TAILED TROPICBIRD (Phaethon lepturus)
MAGNIFICENT FRIGATEBIRD (Fregata magnificens)
BROWN PELICAN (SOUTHERN) (Pelecanus occidentalis occidentalis)
Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)
GREAT BLUE HERON (Ardea herodias)
GREAT EGRET (Ardea alba)
SNOWY EGRET (Egretta thula)
LITTLE BLUE HERON (Egretta caerulea)
Participant Linda Rudolph caught this Snowy Egret levitating.
TRICOLORED HERON (Egretta tricolor)
CATTLE EGRET (Bubulcus ibis)
GREEN HERON (Butorides virescens)
BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON (Nycticorax nycticorax)
YELLOW-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON (Nyctanassa violacea)
Threskiornithidae (Ibises and Spoonbills)
GLOSSY IBIS (Plegadis falcinellus)
Cathartidae (New World Vultures)
TURKEY VULTURE (Cathartes aura)
OSPREY (Pandion haliaetus)
Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)
RED-TAILED HAWK (JAMAICENSIS) (Buteo jamaicensis jamaicensis)
Seeing a roosting Barn Owl this well was a special treat. If Dwayne hadn't said anything, would we have all walked right by it twice? Photo by participant Jen Wong.
BARN OWL (AMERICAN) (Tyto alba furcata)
JAMAICAN OWL (Pseudoscops grammicus) [E]
JAMAICAN TODY (Todus todus) [E]
JAMAICAN WOODPECKER (Melanerpes radiolatus) [E]
Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)
AMERICAN KESTREL (HISPANIOLAN) (Falco sparverius dominicensis)
MERLIN (Falco columbarius)
Psittacidae (New World and African Parrots)
BLACK-BILLED PARROT (Amazona agilis) [E]
YELLOW-BILLED PARROT (Amazona collaria) [E]
GREEN-RUMPED PARROTLET (Forpus passerinus) [I]
OLIVE-THROATED PARAKEET (JAMAICAN) (Eupsittula nana nana)
Tityridae (Tityras and Allies)
JAMAICAN BECARD (Pachyramphus niger) [E]
Tyrannidae (Tyrant Flycatchers)
JAMAICAN ELAENIA (Myiopagis cotta) [E]
GREATER ANTILLEAN ELAENIA (JAMAICAN) (Elaenia fallax fallax) [*]
JAMAICAN PEWEE (Contopus pallidus) [E]
SAD FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus barbirostris) [E]
RUFOUS-TAILED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus validus) [E]
STOLID FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus stolidus stolidus)
LOGGERHEAD KINGBIRD (LOGGERHEAD) (Tyrannus caudifasciatus jamaicensis)
Vireonidae (Vireos, Shrike-Babblers, and Erpornis)
BLUE MOUNTAIN VIREO (Vireo osburni) [E]
JAMAICAN VIREO (Vireo modestus) [E]
BLACK-WHISKERED VIREO (Vireo altiloquus altiloquus)
Corvidae (Crows, Jays, and Magpies)
JAMAICAN CROW (Corvus jamaicensis) [E]
BARN SWALLOW (Hirundo rustica)
CAVE SWALLOW (CARIBBEAN) (Petrochelidon fulva poeciloma)
EUROPEAN STARLING (Sturnus vulgaris) [I]
Any view of the endemic Crested Quail-Dove is worthy of celebration, but ours of this bird, holding its perch for so long, couldn't have gotten any better. Photo by guide Eric Hynes.
Mimidae (Mockingbirds and Thrashers)
NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRD (Mimus polyglottos)
Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)
RUFOUS-THROATED SOLITAIRE (RUFOUS-THROATED) (Myadestes genibarbis solitarius)
WHITE-EYED THRUSH (Turdus jamaicensis) [E]
WHITE-CHINNED THRUSH (Turdus aurantius) [E]
Estrildidae (Waxbills and Allies)
SCALY-BREASTED MUNIA (Lonchura punctulata) [I]
Passeridae (Old World Sparrows)
HOUSE SPARROW (Passer domesticus) [I]
Fringillidae (Finches, Euphonias, and Allies)
JAMAICAN EUPHONIA (Euphonia jamaica) [E]
JAMAICAN SPINDALIS (Spindalis nigricephala) [E]
Bananaquits are ubiquitous on the island of Jamaica, but I never tire of these charismatic sparkplugs. Photo by participant Linda Rudolph.
Icteridae (Troupials and Allies)
JAMAICAN ORIOLE (Icterus leucopteryx leucopteryx)
JAMAICAN BLACKBIRD (Nesopsar nigerrimus) [E]
SHINY COWBIRD (Molothrus bonariensis)
GREATER ANTILLEAN GRACKLE (Quiscalus niger crassirostris)
Parulidae (New World Warblers)
OVENBIRD (Seiurus aurocapilla)
WORM-EATING WARBLER (Helmitheros vermivorum)
LOUISIANA WATERTHRUSH (Parkesia motacilla)
NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH (Parkesia noveboracensis)
BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLER (Mniotilta varia)
COMMON YELLOWTHROAT (Geothlypis trichas)
ARROWHEAD WARBLER (Setophaga pharetra) [E]
AMERICAN REDSTART (Setophaga ruticilla)
CAPE MAY WARBLER (Setophaga tigrina)
This male Orangequit sat still long emough for guide Eric Hynes to snap this shot. The species is endemic and occupies a monotypic genus.
NORTHERN PARULA (Setophaga americana)
YELLOW WARBLER (GOLDEN) (Setophaga petechia eoa)
BLACK-THROATED BLUE WARBLER (Setophaga caerulescens)
YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER (Setophaga dominica)
PRAIRIE WARBLER (Setophaga discolor)
Cardinalidae (Cardinals and Allies)
INDIGO BUNTING (Passerina cyanea)
It is hard to tell where the tree trunk ends and the marvelously cryptic Northern Potoo begins. Check out the notches on the upper eyelid, which perform like peep holes for the bird when its eyes are closed. Photo by guide Eric Hynes.
Thraupidae (Tanagers and Allies)
SAFFRON FINCH (Sicalis flaveola) [I]
BANANAQUIT (GREATER ANTILLEAN) (Coereba flaveola flaveola)
YELLOW-FACED GRASSQUIT (Tiaris olivaceus olivaceus)
ORANGEQUIT (Euneornis campestris) [E]
GREATER ANTILLEAN BULLFINCH (Melopyrrha violacea ruficollis)
YELLOW-SHOULDERED GRASSQUIT (Loxipasser anoxanthus) [E]
BLACK-FACED GRASSQUIT (Melanospiza bicolor marchii)
SMALL INDIAN MONGOOSE (Herpestes auropunctatus) [I]
Streamertail was the runaway favorite species of the tour. Other species receiving multiple votes were Chestnut-bellied Cuckoo and Crested Quail-Dove.
Totals for the tour: 122 bird taxa and 1 mammal taxa