A Field Guides Birding Tours Report

Puerto Rico 2024

February 17-23, 2024 with Cory Gregory & Alex Sundvall guiding

Field Guides Birding Tours
A beautiful panoramic view of Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico's southwesternmost point. Photo by guide Cory Gregory.

Puerto Rico is a beautiful gem in the Caribbean Sea. Its small size, warm climate, flashy endemics, and prevalence of English really make this a perfect destination for some Caribbean birding! As a bridge between the Greater and Lesser Antilles, Puerto Rico not only has a few endemics, but some wider ranging Caribbean endemics as well. We lucked into wonderful experiences with all nineteen Puerto Rican endemics on this tour, and even some great experiences with some potential future splits. Rather than a top three for the trip, everyone seemed to agree around a top five for the trip really showing how high the quality of birds was! The rare Puerto Rican Parrot, the mysterious Puerto Rican Owl, the adorable Puerto Rican Tody, the flashy Antillean Crested Hummingbird, and the beautiful Adelaide's Warbler all made the top of our favorite birds list!

We hit the ground running with an early start the first day, heading to Bosque de Río Abajo in search of our first endemics. As we arrived shortly after dawn, the birds were already singing, with Puerto Rican Owls and Bananaquits dominating the chorus. A female Puerto Rican Emerald buzzed through the flowers an arm's reach away in the near darkness. As we set up our picnic breakfast, a couple of critically endangered Puerto Rican Parrots flew through posting up for wonderful views, a Broad-winged Hawk got mobbed by a Loggerhead Kingbird (both are unique subspecies) and we watched a pair of Puerto Rican Orioles feeding young. As we walked along the trail after breakfast, we got another big batch of birds with our first looks at Puerto Rican Vireo, Lesser Antillean Pewee, Puerto Rican Woodpecker, and the adorable Puerto Rican Tody. From there we drove up to Bosque de Cambalache where we got crushing views of Puerto Rican Lizard-Cuckoo and even a bonus Mangrove Cuckoo at the same time! Afterwards we continued driving west to Guajataca where we scanned for White-tailed Tropicbirds, quickly getting on a pair dancing over the waves. While we were preoccupied by the Tropicbirds, a Magnificent Frigatebird tried to steal the attention by flying 50 feet above our heads! From there we headed south to Punta Boca Morena where a small mixed flock of terns provided incredible views of Sandwich and Royal Terns. Semipalmated and Wilson's Plovers played on the rocky shoreline and more Magnificent Frigatebirds glided by overhead. Next stop was our lovely coastal hotel, which provided our main base for the next few days.

Our second day started with an incredible dawn flight of Yellow-shouldered Blackbirds, where we saw nearly 20% of the entire population. We tracked one of the groups down to a flowering bush outside the hotel where we got glimpses of the usually well-hidden yellow shoulders. Our main attraction this morning however, was the Laguna Cartegena, with its concentrations of overwintering ducks and other marsh birds. Some big highlights here were incredible views of a flock of Masked Ducks right off the path, and a long staying vagrant Striated Heron. We then went to a nearby neighborhood pond in Boquerón where we saw a huge flock of White-cheeked Pintail and a large mixed group of shorebirds, with a few Wilson's Phalaropes interspersed! On the road we encountered another group of Yellow-shouldered Blackbirds that graciously flew below eye level across the road in front of us, really showing off those yellow shoulders for us! We spent the afternoon birding the mangroves of La Parguera, where Caribbean Clapper Rails and Golden Yellow Warblers darted through the thicker vegetation and Rosemary spotted the most unexpected bird of the trip, a wayward migrant Northern Harrier!

Day three was another early morning, driving up to the famous Bosque de Maricao, where our main target was the elusive Elfin-woods Warbler. This endemic was only described in 1972 and is only present in a couple very specific locations in Puerto Rico. It took us a few hours, but eventually one of these streaky monochrome warblers flew to the trees right over our heads. There were lots of other birds on our walk as well, including our first Puerto Rican Tanagers and Pearly-eyed Thrashers. After our successes with the warbler, we headed farther up the road where we enjoyed our first cooperative Puerto Rican Bullfinch and a couple pairs of Puerto Rican Euphonias copulating and likely building nests in the mistletoe. After a wonderful morning up in the mountains, our afternoon was spent back at the tower at Laguna Cartegena to soak up some more marsh birding.

On day four, we said goodbye to our hotel and headed first to Cabo Rojo, enjoying some close studies of Lesser Yellowlegs and Stilt Sandpipers and an incredibly cooperative Caribbean Elaenia. On our way out, a pair of Golden Yellow Warblers felt threatened by their reflections in our van windows and mirrors and attacked them, even though we were moving! As we headed east along the southern coast, we made a quick stop at some salt flats in Las Mareas where we saw a continuing group of Red Knots among the other shorebirds. From there, it was to the small town of Central Aguirre where we connected with a couple of Antillean Crested Hummingbirds and Green-throated Caribs at some large flowering trees off the side of the road. We finished our day at the incredible Casa Cubuy Ecolodge where we got marvelous views of a Puerto Rican Owl right on the road, ticking off our final Puerto Rican endemic.

We spent our final morning of birding hiking up the road to El Yunque National Forest, the only tropical rainforest in the US National Forest System. From there we headed down towards the coast again to the ghost town of Roosevelt Roads where we took a long walk out to view a lagoon where a group of American Flamingos was hanging out. We grabbed a quick picnic lunch at Punta Santiago where we scoped the Monkey Island and had a couple flyby Roseate Terns! From there, we went back to our hotel and enjoyed our final evening in this island paradise of Puerto Rico before all flying out the next day.

From all of us at Field Guides, we hope you enjoyed our whirlwind tour of this beautiful island. Thank you for choosing Field Guides and we hope to see you on the birding trail again soon!

—Cory and Alex

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

Anatidae (Ducks, Geese, and Waterfowl)

BLUE-WINGED TEAL (Spatula discors)

Large numbers of these familiar ducks at Laguna Cartegena and the pond in Boquerón.


While there were a couple of these pretty ducks very distantly at Laguna Cartegena, we had our best views of a large flock at the pond in Boquerón.

RING-NECKED DUCK (Aythya collaris)

Small numbers of these divers at Laguna Cartegena.

LESSER SCAUP (Aythya affinis)

A continuing group of these uncommon divers were hanging out in a pond in Boquerón. Mostly female type birds with a couple males.

MASKED DUCK (Nomonyx dominicus)

An incredible spot in the marsh in Laguna Cartegena, we had wonderful views of these rare odd ducks right off the path. Mostly female type birds, but there were a couple young males and one near breeding plumage male.

RUDDY DUCK (Oxyura jamaicensis)

A handful of these tiny divers at Laguna Cartegena and Boquerón.

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A curious Adelaide's Warbler peeking down at us from the canopy. Voted one of the favorite birds of the trip! Photo by guide Alex Sundvall.
Phoenicopteridae (Flamingos)

AMERICAN FLAMINGO (Phoenicopterus ruber)

They may have been a little distant and the walk to them long, but it was incredible to see these vibrantly hot pink waders loping around the mangroves in the Reserva Natural Medio Mundo y Daguao.

Podicipedidae (Grebes)

PIED-BILLED GREBE (Podilymbus podiceps)

A couple at Laguna Cartegena and the pond in Boquerón.

Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)

ROCK PIGEON (Columba livia) [I]

The common city pigeon.

SCALY-NAPED PIGEON (Patagioenas squamosa)

Our common forest pigeon. Mostly heard and seen in flight, but we did get some nice perched views at Bosque Estatal de Maricao.

WHITE-CROWNED PIGEON (Patagioenas leucocephala)

These were pretty slippery for us this year, only a few of us saw a couple in flight.

EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVE (Streptopelia decaocto) [I]

A common invasive dove species, often in smaller cities and agriculture.

AFRICAN COLLARED-DOVE (Streptopelia roseogrisea) [I]

These are pretty tough to separate from Eurasian Collared-Doves, but Alex pointed out a calling bird while we were birding Laguna Cartegena that we later tracked down for views.

COMMON GROUND DOVE (Columbina passerina portoricensis)

Most common in the lowlands, we heard and saw these tiny doves often.

WHITE-WINGED DOVE (Zenaida asiatica)

The most common native dove, we saw and heard these most places we went.

ZENAIDA DOVE (Zenaida aurita)

Mostly heard, but toward the end of the trip we got some great views.

MOURNING DOVE (Zenaida macroura)

These familiar doves were seen and heard around the lowlands.

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Red-legged Thrush is one of the dazzling Caribbean endemics that call Puerto Rico home. Bill was quick with a camera to get this one! Photo by Bill Ypsilantis.
Cuculidae (Cuckoos)

SMOOTH-BILLED ANI (Crotophaga ani)

These wacky cuckoos were often in small groups in the open lowlands. We saw our largest groups at Laguna Cartegena.

MANGROVE CUCKOO (Coccyzus minor)

We had great views of this often secretive bird at Bosque Estatal de Cambalache and Laguna Cartegena.

PUERTO RICAN LIZARD-CUCKOO (Coccyzus vieilloti) [E]

Often heard, we had wonderful views of this large endemic Cuckoo at Bosque Estatal de Cambalache.

Caprimulgidae (Nightjars and Allies)

PUERTO RICAN NIGHTJAR (Antrostomus noctitherus) [E]

Thanks to some sharp spotting we got phenomenal views of this nocturnal endemic outside of La Parguera right at dark.

Trochilidae (Hummingbirds)

PUERTO RICAN MANGO (Anthracothorax aurulentus)

We got our first nice views of a female Mango perched right outside the van window at the pond in Boquerón.

GREEN MANGO (Anthracothorax viridis) [E]

We saw this large endemic hummingbird in the highlands. Our first views came from Bosque Estatal de Río Abajo.

GREEN-THROATED CARIB (Eulampis holosericeus)

We lucked into a few of these large lowland hummingbirds while searching for the Antillean Crested Hummingbird!

PUERTO RICAN EMERALD (Riccordia maugaeus) [E]

The first bird we saw on the tour was a female, an arm's length away, feeding on flowers before dawn!


These cute small regional endemic hummingbirds were a big favorite!

Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)

CLAPPER RAIL (CARIBBEAN) (Rallus crepitans caribaeus)

We heard these in the coastal mangroves and got brief views of some on our muddy mangrove walk at Reserva Natural La Parguera.

SORA (Porzana carolina)

We heard and had some great views of these secretive rails at Laguna Cartegena.

COMMON GALLINULE (Gallinula galeata)

Large numbers at Laguna Cartegena.

AMERICAN COOT (Fulica americana)

We saw both the mainland Red-shielded form and the Caribbean White-shielded form. This is what used to be called Caribbean Coot.

PURPLE GALLINULE (Porphyrio martinica)

We saw a few of these pretty Gallinules at Laguna Cartegena.

YELLOW-BREASTED CRAKE (Hapalocrex flaviventer)

One we tried very hard for, but it left us wanting more. Only seen and heard briefly by a couple of us.

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Mangrove Cuckoo is actually the harder of the two cuckoos to find in Puerto Rico, and we were treated to marvelous looks at a couple! Photo by guide Cory Gregory.
Aramidae (Limpkin)

LIMPKIN (Aramus guarauna)

One seen back in the marsh at Laguna Cartegena.

Recurvirostridae (Stilts and Avocets)

BLACK-NECKED STILT (Himantopus mexicanus)

A decent sized group of these lanky shorebirds were at the pond in Boquerón.

Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)

BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER (Pluvialis squatarola)

Our largest group of these were hanging out on the logs at Reserva Natural Medio Mundo y Daguao.

KILLDEER (Charadrius vociferus)

We saw our first of these at the pond in Boquerón.

SEMIPALMATED PLOVER (Charadrius semipalmatus)

We saw a small group of these while scoping terns at Punta Boca Morena.

WILSON'S PLOVER (Anarhynchus wilsonia)

A great bird for the trip! We had a few of these on the rocks at Punta Boca Morena.

Scolopacidae (Sandpipers and Allies)

WHIMBREL (Numenius phaeopus)

We had our largest group while scoping the Salinas (salt pools) at Las Mareas.

SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHER (Limnodromus griseus)

Great but distant views of some perched on logs at Reserva Natural Medio Mundo y Daguao.

WILSON'S PHALAROPE (Phalaropus tricolor)

A great spot of these rare overwintering birds! We had great views of at least 3 at the pond in Boquerón.

SPOTTED SANDPIPER (Actitis macularius)

One among the shorebirds at the pond in Boquerón.

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Another of our favorite birds, this spiky Antillean Crested Hummingbird was a real star as it buzzed from flower to flower in a roadside tree. Photo by guide Alex Sundvall.

LESSER YELLOWLEGS (Tringa flavipes)

Our most common Shorebird! We had a few large groups flying around the Salinas we scoped and had great looks at Cabo Rojo.

WILLET (WESTERN) (Tringa semipalmata inornata)

We only had a couple of these, and never any extended views. Both sightings were of the expected Western Willet: larger, paler, and plainer than Eastern Willet. These two groups should be split into their own species.

GREATER YELLOWLEGS (Tringa melanoleuca)

Only a handful of these larger cousins to Lesser Yellowlegs, with some great comparisons on either side of the road from one another.

RUDDY TURNSTONE (Arenaria interpres)

Some great looks at a non-breeding bird at Cabo Rojo.

RED KNOT (Calidris canutus)

A rare overwintering bird in PR; we had distant views of a small group at the Salinas in Las Mareas. These birds belonged to the subspecies C. c. rufa, which is the most imperiled subspecies.

STILT SANDPIPER (Calidris himantopus)

After a huge group at the pond in Boquerón, we had wonderful comparative views with Lesser Yellowlegs at Cabo Rojo.

SANDERLING (Calidris alba)

Quick flyby of a pair while we were scoping Monkey Island.

LEAST SANDPIPER (Calidris minutilla)

Our most common peep, seen everywhere we had shorebirds.

WESTERN SANDPIPER (Calidris mauri)

At least one of these milling around the Salinas in Cabo Rojo. We got great comparisons between Least and Semipalmated Sandpipers, showing the longer more curved bill than Semipalmated and the grayer plumage than Least.


A handful at Cabo Rojo, some great comparisons with Least Sandpiper showing the grayer plumage, shorter stubbier straighter bill, and darker legs.

Laridae (Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers)

ROSEATE TERN (Sterna dougallii dougallii)

A great pickup for the tour! While we missed them at their more regular area on the western part of the island, we found a pair while scoping Monkey Island, getting great views of them perched and in flight!

SANDWICH TERN (CABOT'S) (Thalasseus sandvicensis acuflavidus)

All of our Sandwich Terns were of the expected North American Cabot's form, and not the southern Cayenne form.

ROYAL TERN (Thalasseus maximus)

A handful of these large terns around the coast, getting nice views at Punta Boca Morena.

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One of the major highlights of the trip was seeing the critically endangered Puerto Rican Parrot at Bosque Río Abajo. Photo by guide Cory Gregory.
Phaethontidae (Tropicbirds)


We were treated to great but distant views of these graceful seabirds near their breeding cliffs at Guajataca.

Fregatidae (Frigatebirds)


One of our best views of these huge seabirds was when one flew right over our heads at Guajataca!

Sulidae (Boobies and Gannets)

BROWN BOOBY (Sula leucogaster)

We had distant views of a pair sitting on a distant buoy at Punta Boca Morena. Brown Booby Buoy!

Pelecanidae (Pelicans)

BROWN PELICAN (Pelecanus occidentalis)

Seen around the coast.

Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)

LEAST BITTERN (Ixobrychus exilis) [*]

Heard only, giving their exclamatory calls at Laguna Cartegena.

YELLOW-CROWNED NIGHT HERON (Nyctanassa violacea)

Seen heading to roost while we were looking for Puerto Rican Nightjars.

BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT HERON (Nycticorax nycticorax)

One seen on our second day at Laguna Cartegena.

LITTLE BLUE HERON (Egretta caerulea)

Mostly seen during our time at Laguna Cartegena.

TRICOLORED HERON (Egretta tricolor)

Surprisingly uncommon on this trip, distant views at Cabo Rojo were our only extended views.

SNOWY EGRET (Egretta thula)

Another surprisingly uncommon wader, seen at Laguna Cartegena in flight and Cabo Rojo distantly.

STRIATED HERON (SOUTH AMERICAN) (Butorides striata striata)

A fantastic rarity seen well at Laguna Cartegena. This was the nominate South American subspecies of this globally distributed heron.

GREEN HERON (Butorides virescens)

Familiar small heron, seen at Laguna Cartegena. Fun to get a comparison with the rare Striated Heron!


Common in the agricultural areas, this is the half of the recently split Cattle Egret that is in the Americas.

GREAT EGRET (Ardea alba)

Our largest group was at Laguna Cartegena.

GREAT BLUE HERON (Ardea herodias)

Our best views came from Laguna Cartegena.

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Puerto Rican Todies are simply adorable. Like a Hummingbird and Kingfisher hybrid, they zoomed around the understory with intense energy. Photo by guide Alex Sundvall.
Threskiornithidae (Ibises and Spoonbills)

GLOSSY IBIS (Plegadis falcinellus)

Neat to see the large group of these odd waders feeding and flying around Laguna Cartegena!

Cathartidae (New World Vultures)

TURKEY VULTURE (Cathartes aura)

The common large raptor, often seen in transit and in open areas.

Pandionidae (Osprey)

OSPREY (Pandion haliaetus)

We got to watch a few of these fishing at Laguna Cartegena!

Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)

NORTHERN HARRIER (Circus hudsonius)

An incredible spot by Rosemary while we were at Reserva Natural La Parguera! There's usually only one or two reports a year of this species in Puerto Rico.

BROAD-WINGED HAWK (CARIBBEAN) (Buteo platypterus brunnescens)

This small oddly proportioned hawk was seen and heard at Bosque Estatal de Río Abajo on our first day.

RED-TAILED HAWK (JAMAICENSIS) (Buteo jamaicensis jamaicensis)

It was really neat to see the nominate subspecies of this familiar raptor!

Strigidae (Owls)

PUERTO RICAN OWL (Gymnasio nudipes) [E]

A fantastic endemic that we heard our very first morning at Bosque Estatal de Río Abajo and then seen incredibly well one of our final nights at Casa Cubuy.

Todidae (Todies)

PUERTO RICAN TODY (Todus mexicanus) [E]

Like a hummingbird kingfisher hybrid, these tiny vibrant cuties were definitely a favorite!

Alcedinidae (Kingfishers)

BELTED KINGFISHER (Megaceryle alcyon)

A couple quick looks while we were along the SW Coast, our first came right at our hotel the Villa Parguera.

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One of our evening outings was dedicated to finding Puerto Rican Nightjars. We were treated to a lovely chorus and stunning views! Photo by guide Cory Gregory.
Picidae (Woodpeckers)

PUERTO RICAN WOODPECKER (Melanerpes portoricensis) [E]

A great endemic, our first looks came at Bosque Estatal de Río Abajo.

Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)

AMERICAN KESTREL (EASTERN CARIBBEAN) (Falco sparverius caribaearum)

All of our sightings were of this expected Eastern Caribbean subspecies, which is also on the Virgin Islands and Lesser Antilles south to Grenada.

PEREGRINE FALCON (Falco peregrinus)

Some poor views of this charismatic falcon at Laguna Cartegena. Some of us saw them before the trip in San Juan.

Psittacidae (New World and African Parrots)

MONK PARAKEET (Myiopsitta monachus) [I]

The common city parakeet, seen best near our hotel in La Parguera.

PUERTO RICAN PARROT (Amazona vittata) [E]

One of the rarest parrots on earth, we saw and heard these beautiful endemics on our very first day at Bosque Estatal de Río Abajo. Fewer than 100 individuals remain in the wild in Puerto Rico.

Tyrannidae (Tyrant Flycatchers)

CARIBBEAN ELAENIA (Elaenia martinica)

We had an incredible experience with one of these tropical flycatchers at Cabo Rojo.

LESSER ANTILLEAN PEWEE (PUERTO RICO) (Contopus latirostris blancoi)

Some taxonomies split this species creating another endemic for Puerto Rico. We never got crushing views, but we got some decent ones up in Bosque Estatal de Maricao.

PUERTO RICAN FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus antillarum) [E]

This endemic flycatcher resembled a small pale Great Crested Flycatcher. We got some of our best views at Reserva Natural Medio Mundo y Daguao.

GRAY KINGBIRD (Tyrannus dominicensis)

Our most common Kingbird, seen and heard pretty much everywhere.

LOGGERHEAD KINGBIRD (PUERTO RICO) (Tyrannus caudifasciatus taylori)

Some taxonomies split this creating another endemic for Puerto Rico. We got wonderful views at Bosque Estatal de Río Abajo with comparisons to Gray Kingbird.

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The beautiful marsh of Laguna Cartegena with the mountains in the background. Photo by guide Cory Gregory.
Vireonidae (Vireos, Shrike-Babblers, and Erpornis)

PUERTO RICAN VIREO (Vireo latimeri) [E]

Often heard and not seen great, but we did get some views at Bosque Estatal de Río Abajo.

BLACK-WHISKERED VIREO (Vireo altiloquus)

The main vireo in all areas. We were able to get scope views multiple times with pretty great views while at Bosque Estatal de Maricao.

Hirundinidae (Swallows)

CARIBBEAN MARTIN (Progne dominicensis)

Unfortunately not seen well, but we did get some views of birds flying away at Laguna Cartegena.

BARN SWALLOW (Hirundo rustica)

One large group on the wires on the way into Laguna Cartegena.

CAVE SWALLOW (CARIBBEAN) (Petrochelidon fulva puertoricensis)

Our main swallow on this trip; we saw a large group of them under the bridges as we drove west from San Juan. All of our sightings were of the expected Caribbean subspecies, which is the same as you'd expect to see in southern Florida.

Mimidae (Mockingbirds and Thrashers)

PEARLY-EYED THRASHER (Margarops fuscatus)

These striking mimids were all around our breakfast area in Bosque Estatal de Maricao.

NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRD (Mimus polyglottos)

Our first sighting was at Bosque Estatal de Cambalache.

Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)

RED-LEGGED THRUSH (ANTILLEAN) (Turdus plumbeus ardosiaceus)

We heard and saw this striking bird most forested places, but rarely well. Extended views were had our first day at Bosque Estatal de Río Abajo. All of our sightings were of the expected Antillean subspecies group, lacking the solid black and white throat of the Bahamian and Cuban subspecies.

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This Golden Yellow Warbler was fighting his reflection in the windows and mirrors of our van! Photo by Bill Ypsilantis.
Estrildidae (Waxbills and Allies)

BRONZE MANNIKIN (Spermestes cucullata) [I]

After brief views in Boquerón, we had great looks at this introduced species on a roadside in Naguabo.

SCALY-BREASTED MUNIA (Lonchura punctulata) [I]

Mixed in with the Bronze Mannikins on the roadside in Naguabo.

ORANGE-CHEEKED WAXBILL (Estrilda melpoda) [I]

We had great views of a couple flocks of this cute introduced species at Laguna Cartegena and Reserva Natural Medio Mundo y Daguao.

Passeridae (Old World Sparrows)

HOUSE SPARROW (Passer domesticus) [I]

A familiar introduced species, only seen in cities.

Fringillidae (Finches, Euphonias, and Allies)

PUERTO RICAN EUPHONIA (Chlorophonia sclateri)

Often missed on tours, but after some time searching and waiting, we got incredible looks at 2 pairs (including one copulating!) at Bosque Estatal de Maricao.

Nesospingidae (Puerto Rican Tanager)

PUERTO RICAN TANAGER (Nesospingus speculiferus) [E]

We had wonderful views of this monochromatic endemic at Bosque Estatal de Maricao. This species is so unique it is the sole member of its family!

Spindalidae (Spindalises)

PUERTO RICAN SPINDALIS (Spindalis portoricensis) [E]

We got some marvelous views of this former Stripe-headed Tanager while waiting for Euphonias at Bosque Estatal de Maricao.

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Our final night outing was for the incredible Puerto Rican Owl, seen here climbing up a branch. What an incredible experience, and voted one of our favorite birds. Photo by guide Alex Sundvall.
Icteridae (Troupials and Allies)

PUERTO RICAN ORIOLE (Icterus portoricensis) [E]

We got to watch a pair feeding young at Bosque Estatal de Río Abajo.

VENEZUELAN TROUPIAL (Icterus icterus) [I]

We got our best views of this pretty exotic at Laguna Cartegena.


What a show! We saw somewhere around 20% of the entire population of these endangered blackbirds in one morning as they flew past our hotel Villa Parguera. We also had a great moment where one flew low over the road showing its yellow shoulders at the pond in Boquerón.

SHINY COWBIRD (Molothrus bonariensis)

We had nice scope views of a male and female at the Salinas in Cabo Rojo.

GREATER ANTILLEAN GRACKLE (Quiscalus niger brachypterus)

The common blackbird, seen everywhere. Like mini Great-tailed Grackles.

Parulidae (New World Warblers)

LOUISIANA WATERTHRUSH (Parkesia motacilla)

Not ideal views, but we did see and hear this species on the road above Casa Cubuy in their traditional overwintering area.

NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH (Parkesia noveboracensis) [*]

Never seen unfortunately, but heard in a few different mangrove locations.


A couple seen while searching for their cousins at Bosque Estatal de Maricao.

COMMON YELLOWTHROAT (Geothlypis trichas)

Heard and briefly seen at Laguna Cartegena.

ELFIN-WOODS WARBLER (Setophaga angelae) [E]

They didn't come easily, but after a whole lot of persistence and some sharp eyes from Cory, we were treated to great views of this incredible endemic at Bosque Estatal de Maricao.

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While Caribbean Elaenia might not be the prettiest of the birds we saw during our time in Puerto Rico, it more than made up for it by giving us an incredible show, at one point perching mere feet away! Photo by Bill Ypsilantis.

AMERICAN REDSTART (Setophaga ruticilla)

We saw both males and females while searching for their cousins at Bosque Estatal de Maricao.

NORTHERN PARULA (Setophaga americana)

The most common overwintering warbler we saw; we had some nice views at Bosque Estatal de Cambalache.

YELLOW WARBLER (GOLDEN) (Setophaga petechia cruciana)

Our best views came when a pair decided to attack their images in the windows and mirrors of the van! All of our sightings were of the expected Golden subspecies group, largely endemic to the Caribbean.

BLACK-THROATED BLUE WARBLER (Setophaga caerulescens)

Brief but wonderful views of a striking male at Bosque Estatal de Río Abajo.

PRAIRIE WARBLER (Setophaga discolor)

Unfortunately only seen and heard by some of us.

ADELAIDE'S WARBLER (Setophaga adelaidae) [E]

A charming endemic warbler, fairly common in the lowlands. Our best views came at Reserva Natural Medio Mundo y Daguao where we watched two or three singing and chasing each other right along the path.

Cardinalidae (Cardinals and Allies)

INDIGO BUNTING (Passerina cyanea)

A couple puzzling birds turned out to be these at Bosque Estatal de Cambalache, and we got better looks at a female at Laguna Cartegena.

Thraupidae (Tanagers and Allies)

BANANAQUIT (PUERTO RICO) (Coereba flaveola portoricensis)

Truly everywhere. The dominant bird and song everywhere we went. In cities, in forests, along the coast. Everywhere!

YELLOW-FACED GRASSQUIT (Tiaris olivaceus bryanti)

After hearing them a couple times, we finally got some looks at Laguna Cartegena.

PUERTO RICAN BULLFINCH (Melopyrrha portoricensis) [E]

A very pretty endemic! After hearing their Northern Cardinal like song often, and some unsatisfactory views, we finally got some incredible and prolonged views at Bosque Estatal de Maricao.

BLACK-FACED GRASSQUIT (Melanospiza bicolor omissa)

Seen and heard often across the island. We had nice views at Laguna Cartegena and by our hotel Villa Parguera.


SMALL INDIAN MONGOOSE (Herpestes auropunctatus) [I]

Some of us had brief views of this introduced mammal run across the road at Reserva Natural Medio Mundo y Daguao.

Field Guides Birding Tours
SCREAM! Bananaquits were quite literally everywhere, very loudly announcing their presence. Photo by guide Alex Sundvall.

Totals for the tour: 125 bird taxa and 1 mammal taxa