With the dreary and gray winter days in much of the US, traveling to Jamaica was surely one of the better ways to spend a week! We submersed ourselves in the lush Caribbean flora, took in some breathtaking scenic views, tried some traditional food, and thoroughly enjoyed one of the more impressive lists of endemics in all of the Caribbean.
Our trip got underway in Kingston after staying at a hotel that had frigatebirds and even Brown Boobies flying right offshore! We wound our way north, through the middle of the island, until reaching the northern shore. A few quick birding stops, like at the Westmoreland Bridge, got our triplist going. Our destination that day, Hotel Mockingbird Hill, was our home base for many nights which was an absolute treat.
Our fearless and exceptional local guide, Dwayne, took us high up into the Blue Mountains for our first full day. Endemics came fast and furious that morning which included Jamaican Euphonia, Jamaican Oriole, Jamaican Pewee, Ring-tailed Pigeon, Arrowhead Warbler, and many more. Although one of our main targets, the elusive Crested Quail-Dove, made us work a bit, we eventually were rewarded with excellent scope views.
The second full day of birding took us to Ecclesdown Road where we climbed up into the John Crow Mountains. We arrived to find endemic parrots flying over, Jamaican Crows bubbling in the distance, and the guttural growls of Chestnut-bellied Cuckoos coming from the forest. Whether it was the adorable and feisty Jamaican Tody, the raucous Jamaican Woodpeckers, or the snazzy Jamaican Spindalis, there was always something to look at. And we can't forget lunch that day! We visited a nearby restaurant where we tried many of the traditional Jamaican foods like the spicy Jamaican jerk.
By the third day, the number of endemics we lacked had dropped to just a couple. We visited the nearby San San Reserve and knocked a couple more out of the park. Blue Mountain Vireo made us work but we eventually had good looks at one overhead, the Yellow-shouldered Grassquit did the same, and the show put on by the Jamaican Lizard-Cuckoos was phenomenal! At one point, we watched as one darted along a branch surprisingly quickly! They're said to chase lizards down by running along branches and we got see some of that!
Having our home base at Mockingbird Hill was truly a delight. Whether your patio looked out over the ocean, the lush forest, or the inviting pool, we were never far from great birding. The grounds hosted a number of highlights including a point-blank Northern Potoo, many Black-billed Streamertails, Rufous-tailed Flycatchers, and even day-roosting Jamaican Owls!
But it was eventually time to head west and so we packed up and birded our way towards Montego Bay. The experience we all had at the Rocklands Bird Sanctuary is one we're sure to remember. Not only being able to see Red-billed Streamertails and Jamaican Mangoes super close but getting them to land on our fingers! It was impossible not to smile as they used us as their perches.
Our last full day took us inland. We started the day by watching 50+ Plain Pigeons leaving their roost which is a unique and rare spectacle to see in Jamaica. We later birded in the small village of Stewart Town. Black-billed Parrots and Jamaican Crows were both common here and a short walk up the trail added our final endemic, the tiny Jamaican Elaenia!
Lastly, our final morning together was a relaxed hour of watching from the roof of The Mynt. We enjoyed the ubiquitous Bananaquits and White-crowned Pigeons, a Yellow-faced Grassquit, plenty of "Jamaican" Olive-throated Parakeets, Northern Parula, and even a stunner Yellow-throated Warbler came in to wish us farewell.
This short tour owes much of its success to our fantastic driver (and basically part guide!) Raymond and our local guide Dwayne who tirelessly tracked down so much of what we saw. Thank you, guys! A big thanks goes to the staff at Mockingbird Hill and especially Valarie at The Mynt who prepared a beautiful setup for our dinners and treated us like family. Managing these Jamaican tours for years now, Sharon, is our FG expert and her hard work made this tour get off the ground. And lastly, and most importantly, thanks to you all for joining me on this Caribbean adventure! I'll never forget the laughs about bird #3000, the companionship with Dwayne and Raymond, and all the excellent luck we had with the birds of Jamaica.
Until we meet again, be safe and good birding to "owl" of you!
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
WEST INDIAN WHISTLING-DUCK (Dendrocygna arborea)
This uncommon regional specialty was an important target for us and so we visited the Jamaica Swamp Safari for the first time. What we found was interesting. Although we saw lots of captive birds, of all sorts, some of the whistling-ducks were indeed wild.
BLUE-WINGED TEAL (Spatula discors)
This fairly common dabbler was spotted a few times including from the Westmoreland Bridge and then the Montego Bay Sewage Ponds late in the tour.
NORTHERN SHOVELER (Spatula clypeata)
It wasn't until our visit to the Montego Bay Sewage Ponds that we found this common and distinctive dabbler.
RUDDY DUCK (Oxyura jamaicensis)
A few of these small divers were seen at the sewage ponds but that was the only spot on this trip.
LEAST GREBE (Tachybaptus dominicus)
Some of the only big water we saw on this trip, the Montego Bay Sewage Ponds, hosted a couple of these tiny grebes.
PIED-BILLED GREBE (Podilymbus podiceps)
Like the previous species, we finally found some of these at the Montego Bay Sewage Ponds.
ROCK PIGEON (Columba livia) [I]
Introduced, found in cities and occasionally along mountain roads as well.
WHITE-CROWNED PIGEON (Patagioenas leucocephala)
This sharp-looking pigeon is a widespread species throughout the Caribbean. Lucky for us, we tallied them every day in a variety of habitats. They're surprisingly urban around some of the cities we visited!
PLAIN PIGEON (Patagioenas inornata exigua)
This is a rare species in Jamaica but in recent years it's been discovered where they roost and where observers can watch them fly out in the morning. We did that on our final full day and witnessed more than 50 flying overhead. Note the endemic subspecies. Other than Jamaica, they're found only in Cuba, Puerto Rico, and on Hispaniola.
RING-TAILED PIGEON (Patagioenas caribaea) [E]
One of the 28 species endemic to Jamaica, this large and pale pigeon was seen a number of times, usually up in the mountains or foothills. The IUCN lists these as Vulnerable.
EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVE (Streptopelia decaocto) [I]
Although they're obviously introduced in Jamaica, they're not particularly common. Still, we found some at the swamp safari.
COMMON GROUND DOVE (Columbina passerina jamaicensis)
We encountered flighty pairs of these tiny guys along various roads but it wasn't until our visit to Rocklands that we enjoyed prolonged looks. Note the endemic subspecies.
CRESTED QUAIL-DOVE (Geotrygon versicolor) [E]
This Near-Threatened specialty of Jamaica can be notoriously difficult to find. We tried our hand at tracking one of these down in the Blue Mountains but it wasn't until Dwayne miraculously spotted one that we breathed a sigh of relief. It's such a pretty species too! We later heard a half dozen more on Ecclesdown Road, and saw some captive ones at the safari.
RUDDY QUAIL-DOVE (Geotrygon montana)
This secretive species is found from the Caribbean south into South America. In Jamaica, they're fairly common but spotting them is another thing. They're notoriously hard to spot when you want to! We encountered a couple including a fairly-brave one at Rocklands.
CARIBBEAN DOVE (Leptotila jamaicensis jamaicensis)
Note the endemic Jamaican subspecies of this attractive, ground-loving species. We had point-blank looks at several at the Rocklands Bird Sanctuary.
WHITE-WINGED DOVE (Zenaida asiatica)
A familiar and fairly common species on this trip.
ZENAIDA DOVE (Zenaida aurita)
At a quick glance, these resemble Mourning Doves. Although they are similar, this species has a short tail, white in the wing, and slightly darker coloration overall. These were common and spotted daily.
MOURNING DOVE (Zenaida macroura)
Not a common species in Jamaica. Still, we encountered one right away after leaving the Kingston airport.
SMOOTH-BILLED ANI (Crotophaga ani)
A fairly common but quirky member of the cuckoo family from the Caribbean south into much of South America. Raymond spotted our first ones right outside the Kingston airport on our first day.
CHESTNUT-BELLIED CUCKOO (Coccyzus pluvialis) [E]
Only found in Jamaica, this is a very large and impressive cuckoo. Lucky for us, we had numerous encounters and sometimes right on the grounds of our lodge! We had looks at multiple birds up Ecclesdown Road as well.
JAMAICAN LIZARD-CUCKOO (Coccyzus vetula) [E]
Smaller than the previous species (but flashier), this is another Jamaican specialty. We were birding in the San San Reserve and ended up getting looks at a couple of birds that were countersinging each other. At one point we saw one dart along a branch, just like they do when they're hunting for lizards! Several of you picked this as one of your Top 3 and I couldn't agree more.
NORTHERN POTOO (CARIBBEAN) (Nyctibius jamaicensis jamaicensis)
Wow, we had such great looks of this fascinating species right on the grounds at Mockingbird Hill. This subspecies is endemic to Jamaica.
ANTILLEAN PALM-SWIFT (Tachornis phoenicobia phoenicobia)
It wasn't until we were in Montego Bay that we started to see these tiny, black-and-white rockets overhead. These are mostly found in Cuba, Jamaica, Hispaniola, and some in Puerto Rico.
JAMAICAN MANGO (Anthracothorax mango) [E]
This is a big, dark hummingbird found exclusively in Jamaica. We saw these a number of times including at Mockingbird Hill and the Errol Flynn Marina. The color of the tail, when they'd flash open, was beautiful!
VERVAIN HUMMINGBIRD (Mellisuga minima minima)
This is a truly tiny species of bird. In fact, it's the 2nd smallest species of bird in the world, second only to the Bee Hummingbird of Cuba. We encountered them many places and on a majority of our days.
STREAMERTAIL (RED-BILLED) (Trochilus polytmus polytmus) [E]
The Red-billed Streamertail, now given full species status, is a stunner of a hummer! Found only in Jamaica, the "Doctorbird", was fairly common most places we visited. However, none of the experiences quite matched what we enjoyed at the Rocklands Bird Sanctuary when we were able to feed them from our fingers!
STREAMERTAIL (BLACK-BILLED) (Trochilus polytmus scitulus) [E]
This endemic species, formerly just a subspecies of Streamertail, is limited to the eastern parts of the island. We had fantastic looks at these right on the grounds of Mockingbird Hill.
COMMON GALLINULE (Gallinula galeata)
Seen a few places but nowhere had more than the Montego Bay Sewage Ponds where there were 40+.
AMERICAN COOT (Fulica americana)
Montego Bay Sewage Ponds hosted this familiar species.
BLACK-NECKED STILT (Himantopus mexicanus)
More than 40 of these lanky, black-and-white shorebirds were present at the sewage ponds in Montego Bay.
KILLDEER (Charadrius vociferus)
Strangely, we only had one of these loud plovers and that came on our first day at the Westmoreland Bridge.
RUDDY TURNSTONE (Arenaria interpres)
A few folks saw this attractive shorebird at the Grand Excelsior at the start of the tour.
SPOTTED SANDPIPER (Actitis macularius)
These were easy to ID because they were bobbing up and down, as they do. We tallied them from the Westmoreland Bridge and the sewage ponds.
GREATER YELLOWLEGS (Tringa melanoleuca)
This tall shorebird was seen at the Westmoreland Bridge and the Montego Bay Sewage Ponds where we were able to study the length of the bill.
LAUGHING GULL (Leucophaeus atricilla)
This was the only species of gull seen on the trip (and it was pretty common too).
ROYAL TERN (Thalasseus maximus)
This big tern, and our only tern of the trip, was fairly common anywhere along the coast.
WHITE-TAILED TROPICBIRD (Phaethon lepturus)
Ooh! Even though they weren't exactly super close, it was still interesting to see this distinctive species flying offshore. Our first looks came from the balcony of our lodge (!) but they mostly looked like white specks. And so later on we stopped along the coast and got them in the scopes. From there, we were able to see the long tails and sometimes the black on the wings.
MAGNIFICENT FRIGATEBIRD (Fregata magnificens)
Wafting on the warm tropical air, these pirates kept a careful eye on the ocean and shoreline below. Anytime we were along the coast, there were usually some of these around, soundlessly gliding overhead.
BROWN BOOBY (Sula leucogaster)
It was a nice treat to see this species right from the grounds of the Grand Excelsior on our first day. This can be a tough bird to find in Jamaica and so we were lucky.
BROWN PELICAN (SOUTHERN) (Pelecanus occidentalis occidentalis)
Fairly common anytime we were along the shoreline. Note the nominate subspecies; these are not found in the US. Instead they range from Cuba and the Caribbean south to the north edge of South America.
GREAT BLUE HERON (Ardea herodias)
Although not abundant, this familiar heron was seen on a number of days, often as we drove by.
GREAT EGRET (Ardea alba)
Singletons were spotted at Westmoreland Bridge, Errol Flynn Marina, Montego Bay Sewage Ponds, and the swamp safari.
SNOWY EGRET (Egretta thula)
A few of these yellow-footed herons were seen at various places like Westmoreland Bridge and the Jamaica Swamp Safari.
LITTLE BLUE HERON (Egretta caerulea)
This was another familiar heron for us and we tallied them at the swamp safari as well as the Westmoreland Bridge.
CATTLE EGRET (Bubulcus ibis)
Common, seen daily, usually in fields alongside... well, cattle.
GREEN HERON (Butorides virescens)
Very good job in spotting this small, quiet heron in the river below us at the Westmoreland Bridge on our first day. That would end up being our only sighting.
BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON (Nycticorax nycticorax)
It was rather surprising but these were rather common at the Grand Excelsior in Kingston.
YELLOW-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON (Nyctanassa violacea)
We had close looks at a beautiful adult stalking prey in the mangroves at Errol Flynn Marina.
WHITE IBIS (Eudocimus albus)
A trio of these distinctive and familiar birds was spotted at the Westmoreland Bridge on our first full day.
GLOSSY IBIS (Plegadis falcinellus)
There were about 15 of these feeding in the river at the Westmoreland Bridge.
TURKEY VULTURE (Cathartes aura)
Common, tallied daily. Some of the ones found in the John Crow Mountains have big white patches in their plumage.
OSPREY (Pandion haliaetus)
A flying bird was seen by most folks as we were driving towards Montego Bay on our final day.
RED-TAILED HAWK (JAMAICENSIS) (Buteo jamaicensis jamaicensis)
A few of these were seen at various places. Note the subspecies, the ones in Jamaica are of the nominate B. j. jamaicensis.
JAMAICAN OWL (Asio grammicus) [E]
By the end of the trip, we had amassed quite a list of spots we enjoyed this Jamaican endemic. Dwayne found one impossibly hidden at Mockingbird Hill but the following day it was showing better. We also were able to see one at night on the grounds. And perhaps best of all was the look we had of one at Rocklands Bird Sanctuary.
JAMAICAN TODY (Todus todus) [E]
This diminutive endemic really shocks you the first time you put bins on it. They're SO small but so vibrant! This was absolutely one of the favorites of the trip and at least 5 folks listed it as one of their Top 3. At one point we even got to watch as one captured a large moth and swallowed it, though with much difficulty.
BELTED KINGFISHER (Megaceryle alcyon)
Not a common species in Jamaica. We saw our one-and-only at the Westmoreland Bridge on our first day.
JAMAICAN WOODPECKER (Melanerpes radiolatus) [E]
Of all the endemics, one of the ones that we got to enjoy daily was this woodpecker. Woodpeckers in Jamaica are fairly easy to ID considering there's only one year-round species there!
AMERICAN KESTREL (HISPANIOLAN) (Falco sparverius dominicensis)
This small falcon was fairly common on the trip, mostly seen sitting on power-lines in open areas.
BLACK-BILLED PARROT (Amazona agilis) [E]
Jamaica hosts two species of endemic parrots and this one is the less common of the two. By far, the best experience was when we scoped and watched several of these in Stewart Town on our last full day.
YELLOW-BILLED PARROT (Amazona collaria) [E]
This endemic parrot is fairly common in the right habitat and we saw them a variety of places like Ecclesdown Road, San San Reserve, and Stewart Town.
GREEN-RUMPED PARROTLET (Forpus passerinus) [I]
Although this tiny Psittacid was introduced from South America, it's still enjoyable to watch their frenzied antics. We managed to find a couple of perched ones at Mockingbird Hill.
OLIVE-THROATED PARAKEET (JAMAICAN) (Eupsittula nana nana)
This is an interesting species. This is a native parakeet to Jamaica and the endemic subspecies is also its nominate subspecies. It's surely just a matter of time until this is split off (and perhaps called Jamaican Parakeet?).
JAMAICAN BECARD (Pachyramphus niger) [E]
Our one and only encounter was with a couple high up in the Blue Mountains on our first full day of birding. The male sat out nicely and we got to study the dark gray/black plumage.
JAMAICAN ELAENIA (Myiopagis cotta) [E]
Of all the Jamaican endemics, this one ended up giving us the most anxiety. It wasn't until our final day in Stewart Town that we connected with this tiny flycatcher (and boy, did we see it well!).
JAMAICAN PEWEE (Contopus pallidus) [E]
A small, rather kind-looking flycatcher. This endemic was fairly common up in the Blue Mountains where we got great looks and good photographs too.
SAD FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus barbirostris) [E]
We went the first couple days without any encounters of this endemic, which was curious, but then one landed on the railing next to the table at breakfast! It clearly wanted to get seen by everyone!
RUFOUS-TAILED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus validus) [E]
This large and somewhat flashy Myiarchus was common and tallied most days. The large bicolored bill and the enormous amount of rufous in the wings and tail really stood out.
LOGGERHEAD KINGBIRD (LOGGERHEAD) (Tyrannus caudifasciatus jamaicensis)
This abundant flycatcher was tallied daily in a variety of habitats. Although it's found throughout the Caribbean, note the endemic subspecies found only in Jamaica.
BLUE MOUNTAIN VIREO (Vireo osburni) [E]
This is one of two vireos endemic to Jamaica. This particular one is rather plain in plumage but has a huge bill. It's listed as Near Threatened by the IUCN. For us, we eventually cleaned it up in the San San Reserve.
JAMAICAN VIREO (Vireo modestus) [E]
Much more numerous in Jamaica than the previous species, this endemic has two white wing bars and a pale eye. We encountered them a number of times at places like the Blue Mountains, Ecclesdown Road, and the San San Reserve.
JAMAICAN CROW (Corvus jamaicensis) [E]
Although in plumage it looks a lot like other crows, the very odd, bubbly vocalizations really made it stand out. Our best experience with this island endemic was in Stewart Town where they ended up being quite common.
CAVE SWALLOW (CARIBBEAN) (Petrochelidon fulva poeciloma)
We encountered a large flock feeding over fields near Port Antonio.
EUROPEAN STARLING (Sturnus vulgaris) [I]
It wasn't until our final morning in Montego Bay that we added this introduced species.
NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRD (Mimus polyglottos)
Common and seen daily.
RUFOUS-THROATED SOLITAIRE (RUFOUS-THROATED) (Myadestes genibarbis solitarius)
This montane species was pretty tricky and we only had one encounter in the Blue Mountains. Most people heard it singing but only a few actually saw it well. This species is found only in Jamaica, on Hispaniola, and several of the Lesser Antilles.
WHITE-EYED THRUSH (Turdus jamaicensis) [E]
An unobtrusive thrush, often present in the dark and shady forests where it was able to slip away. We had very good looks at this endemic at places like Mockingbird Hill, San San Reserve, and Ecclesdown Road.
WHITE-CHINNED THRUSH (Turdus aurantius) [E]
An abundant and familiar Jamaican endemic, seen daily. Although the bird was usually easy to see hopping around on the ground, the actual white chin was pretty hard to spot. The local name in Jamaica is Hopping Dick.
SCALY-BREASTED MUNIA (Lonchura punctulata) [I]
We were leaving Mockingbird Hill when Dwayne spotted a small flock of these along the roadside. For a while we thought this was the milestone bird for Ellen!
HOUSE SPARROW (Passer domesticus) [I]
A few of these introduced birds were seen at the Kingston Airport near our hotel.
JAMAICAN EUPHONIA (Euphonia jamaica) [E]
As far as euphonias go, these are rather dully-colored. Still, we added this endemic up in the Blue Mountains on our first full day.
JAMAICAN SPINDALIS (Spindalis nigricephala) [E]
Formerly part of the Stripe-headed Tanager complex, this endemic now-species always grabbed our attention, especially the gaudy males.
JAMAICAN ORIOLE (Icterus leucopteryx leucopteryx)
We encountered only one species of oriole on our trip and it was this fairly common regional endemic. Note that this isn't technically a Jamaican endemic because they're also found on a couple of islands between Jamaica and Central America.
JAMAICAN BLACKBIRD (Nesopsar nigerrimus) [E]
Of all the endemics in Jamaica, it's this one that is the rarest. The IUCN lists it as Endangered with a dwindling population perhaps as low as 1500 individuals left. Not surprising, this was a very difficult bird for us. We worked many hours spanning a couple of days until we had a brief encounter with one in upper Ecclesdown Road.
SHINY COWBIRD (Molothrus bonariensis)
The only cowbird in Jamaica, these started to come out of the woodwork later in the tour including at Mockingbird Hill, Rocklands, and Jamaica Swamp Safari.
GREAT-TAILED GRACKLE (Quiscalus mexicanus)
This isn't a species that has been present in Jamaica for that long but they've become established and we saw them at the Kingston Airport.
GREATER ANTILLEAN GRACKLE (Quiscalus niger crassirostris)
The common grackle in Jamaica. These were seen daily and in a variety of urban and disturbed habitats.
OVENBIRD (Seiurus aurocapilla)
One was seen quietly walking the grounds at Mockingbird Hill.
WORM-EATING WARBLER (Helmitheros vermivorum)
It was a treat seeing this species on its wintering grounds. We saw them picking through dead leaf clusters which is what this species is known for.
LOUISIANA WATERTHRUSH (Parkesia motacilla)
We were leaving the San San Reserve when we spotted one of these warblers walking down the road in front of us.
NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH (Parkesia noveboracensis)
It wasn't until our final day, along the beach near our lunch stop, that we found one of these tail-bobbing warblers.
BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLER (Mniotilta varia)
Although not abundant, these familiar warblers were seen at pretty random stops. We tallied them from the Blue Mountains, San San Reserve, the Errol Flynn Marina, and the swamp safari.
SWAINSON'S WARBLER (Limnothlypis swainsonii)
This was a great find! Up in the Blue Mountains, Dwayne keyed in on the call note of this rare warbler and we eventually were able to see it on a low branch. Paul even managed to document it.
COMMON YELLOWTHROAT (Geothlypis trichas)
This familiar, skulking warbler was at least heard a couple of times but it rarely wanted to show itself.
ARROWHEAD WARBLER (Setophaga pharetra) [E]
This was the star warbler of the trip, it's found nowhere else on earth! Lucky for us, we had repeated encounters with this endemic species and we got to enjoy the intricate black-and-white markings.
AMERICAN REDSTART (Setophaga ruticilla)
Common and tallied daily.
CAPE MAY WARBLER (Setophaga tigrina)
Although not typically a common species in Jamaica, we had great luck and ended up seeing them more days than not.
NORTHERN PARULA (Setophaga americana)
This is another familiar warbler that we tallied most days. One of the best looks came during our morning birding session on the roof of The Mynt.
YELLOW WARBLER (GOLDEN) (Setophaga petechia eoa)
This uncommon species was eventually found but it took most of the trip. We finally saw one as a group during the swamp safari walk.
BLACK-THROATED BLUE WARBLER (Setophaga caerulescens)
Jamaica lies squarely within the wintering range of this fantastic migrant warbler and we ended up seeing it almost every day. It never gets old seeing the males with their black, blue, and white plumage.
PALM WARBLER (WESTERN) (Setophaga palmarum palmarum)
Like the waterthrushes and Ovenbird, this warbler prefers to forage on the ground a lot. We saw them bobbing their tails on the trails at Mockingbird Hill.
YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER (MYRTLE) (Setophaga coronata coronata)
This particular trip yielded more of these migrants than I had seen before. All the ones we saw were of the expected Myrtle subspecies.
YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER (Setophaga dominica)
This is such a spiffy warbler and we saw one exceptionally well as we birded atop The Mynt. Some folks saw one at Mockingbird Hill as well.
PRAIRIE WARBLER (Setophaga discolor)
This is yet another fun warbler that we got to spend considerable time with. Tallied almost daily, these were looking mighty sharp!
BANANAQUIT (GREATER ANTILLEAN) (Coereba flaveola flaveola)
Surely one of the most abundant passerines in Jamaica, these flower-loving residents were never rare! This subspecies is found only on the Cayman Islands, Hispaniola, and Jamaica.
YELLOW-FACED GRASSQUIT (Tiaris olivaceus olivaceus)
Fairly common but never abundant. Our best looks came when males and females were feeding on the cracked corn at Rocklands.
ORANGEQUIT (Euneornis campestris) [E]
This is an interesting and fairly common Jamaican endemic. The males have a glossy blue plumage while the females are gray with brownish backs. In some ways, the body shape and bill are reminiscent of Bananaquit. We had some fantastic looks on this tour including many at Rocklands.
GREATER ANTILLEAN BULLFINCH (Melopyrrha violacea ruficollis)
This is a handsome Caribbean specialty. Although they were never common, they weren't rare either. We found them at Ecclesdown Road and Stewart Town, for example. This particular species is mainly found in the Bahamas, Hispaniola, and Jamaica.
YELLOW-SHOULDERED GRASSQUIT (Loxipasser anoxanthus) [E]
Of the 28 endemics found in Jamaica, this one often has the potential to be difficult to find. Thankfully we had splendid looks at one overhead in the San San Reserve.
BLACK-FACED GRASSQUIT (Melanospiza bicolor marchii)
The cracked corn at Rocklands attracted quite a few of these. This is mostly a Caribbean species but it does make it south to Colombia and Venezuela.
GRAHAM'S ANOLE (Anolis grahami)
Some of the anoles we saw at Mockingbird Hill were this species. They were originally found only in Jamaica but now they've been introduced to Bermuda as well.
CANE TOAD (Rhinella marina) [I]
Quite a behemoth! We found this one after dark at Mockingbird Hill. These were introduced around the world in hopes that they would rid sugarcane plantations of their pests such as the Cane Beetle. But as we now know, that was a mistake. This is often considered the most destructive non-native pest in the world.
We saw a variety of insects as well.
Spanish Moth (Xanthopastis regnatrix)
Cuban Calisto (Calisto herophile)
Cassius Blue (Leptotes cassius)
Malachite (Siproeta stelenes)
Julia Heliconian (Dryas iulia)
Roseate Skimmer (Orthemis ferruginea)
Totals for the tour: 109 bird taxa and 0 mammal taxa