Map of Destinations for Caribbean

Birding Caribbean

From the northern coast of Venezuela to the tips of the Yucatan and Florida Peninsulas, a string of gem-like islands guards the Caribbean Sea from the open Atlantic Ocean. These islands—known collectively as “the Caribbean”—harbor some of the world’s most magnificent experiences in nature. Designated as one of our planet’s 35 “biodiversity hotspots,” the Caribbean is a wonderland of endemism. The region’s 700+ islands host tropical flora and fauna that have evolved in isolation, resulting in some astounding numbers of endemic organisms. For starters, the Caribbean islands host more than 13,000 vascular plants, with over 6,500 single-island endemics (compared to 4,200 endemic species for continental North America). Not into plants? No problem. More than 640 endemic reptiles & amphibians include the snake that is smaller than a pencil lead and the curly-tailed lizards. The Jamaican Snoring Frog should be on every naturalist’s bucket list. Prefer fuzzy critters? Come search for the world’s only 2 remaining solenodons, representing an ancient lineage of shrew-like venomous mammals. You might have better luck actually seeing one of 20 hutia species, large rodents of the endemic Capromyidae family. And there is plenty of excitement for birders. The region is considered one of 218 global “endemic bird areas,” with over 170 endemic bird species, 36 endemic genera, and one endemic family: the incredibly adorable Todies (family Todidae), with 5 species in the Greater Antilles. Many of these can be seen along the Caribbean Birding Trail. If you actually get tired of birding, swim with Nurse Shark in the Bahamas or climb a volcano on Sint Eustatius. Taste the delicious Caribbean rums (every islander says that their island makes the best) and decide for yourself if the Dominicans or the Cubans make the best cigars. Whatever you do when you are there, make sure you go beyond the beach and experience the real nature of the Caribbean.

Birding Destinations in Caribbean

Dominican Republic

Dominican Republic

A land of broad contrast, from the turquoise Caribbean Sea to the highest elevation in the West Indies, the Dominican Republic begs a visit from any traveling nature-lover. “DR” boasts an amazingly rich avifauna with 30 endemic bird species, 50 endemic subspecies, and more than 10 Caribbean specialties.
St. Eustatius

St. Eustatius

Imagine going back 30, 40 or even 50 years and visiting the Caribbean. No traffic lights, no McDonald’s, no casinos or high-rise hotels. Now imagine that you can still visit that place. Where? The Netherlands territory you’ve never heard of: St. Eustatius. With a landmass of just 11 square miles, some might be forgiven for thinking there’s nothing to see on St. Eustatius—affectionately known as “Statia”—but this volcanic gem offers fantastic birding opportunities.
Cuba

Cuba

The winds of change have opened doors to Cuba, and this is the next BIG Caribbean destination for travelers of all ilk. From the Cuban Trogon and Cuban Tody to the elegant Blue-headed Quail-Dove and the world’s smallest bird, the Bee Hummingbird, the Cuban bird list (which includes 26 endemics) is superb.
Jamaica

Jamaica

Jamaica contains the richest avian diversity of all the Caribbean Islands. Known locally as the “Rock”, the island boasts more endemic bird species (30) than any other island in the West Indies (yes, even Cuba!), including four genera that can be found nowhere else.
Trinidad & Tobago

Trinidad & Tobago

At the southern gateway to the Caribbean, the sister islands of Trinidad and Tobago offer the perfect introduction to tropical birding. Tropical countries on the mainland can be overwhelming to birders who are new to these latitudes, but managing Trinidad’s 300+ regularly occurring bird species (with about 150 on the much smaller Tobago) is good for the ego.
Anguilla

Anguilla

“Tranquility Wrapped in Blue” perfectly describes the Caribbean island of Anguilla (pron. an-GWILL-uh). The northernmost of the Lesser Antilles, this 35-square-mile British territory is often considered a playground to the stars, where private jets and yachts sometimes outnumber automobiles. But look past the glitterati, and you’ll find 33 pristine, sparkling, white-sand beaches and an abundance of excellent birding.
Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico

High numbers of endemic species coupled with low taxonomic diversity is typical of island archipelago faunas, and Puerto Rico is no exception.