For birders looking to come to the Caribbean basin over the winter there is no better hotspot for birding than Jamaica which offers 28 endemics and a high number of migratory birds.
Its warm temperate client, lush unspoilt north easterly coastline and stunning Blue Mountains, attracts migratory birds from both continents looking for relief from lands of extremes particularly those visited by a harsh Jack Frost.
Mockingbird Hill’s resident bird guide Lyndon Johnson, understandably beloved by all international twitchers he has guided shares his tips with us on winter birding in Jamaica. Of course if you’d like to spend your time quietly in one place you could stay in the gardens at Mockingbird Hill where you can find 22 of its 28 endemics. The 6.5 acres of bio-dynamic gardens are listed as the best place to birdwatch in Jamaica by ‘Birdwatchers in the West Indies’. Make the most of its 4 nights for the price of 3 and complimentary breakfast Autumn offer that runs till the 19th December or join us on a birding tour.
Tips to Winter Birding in Jamaica
- The West Indian Whistling Duck and masked duck is always a good find in Jamaica over the winter. There are two main points on the eastern Jamaica where it can be found. Hellshire and near Robins Bay.
- The White-tailed Tropicbird nests in coastal cliffs east of Mockingbird Hill past Long Bay at Hector’s River along the coast line mainly January to March.
- The Caribbean Coot which differs to the American Coot due to its larger white shield can be spotted over the winter.
- Jamaica has a good mix of pigeon and doves. Although we do have Plain Pigeon it not an easy bird to find so is a super bird if it is found on a tour! The Caribbean Dove is another of Jamaica’s interesting doves.
- The Mangrove Cuckoo despite its name is found mostly in dry low level limestone forest.
- The Northern Potoo can be spotted easily during the winter
- The Vervain Hummingbird which is said to be the second smallest bird in the world is a must-see during the winter months..
- The Greater Antillean Elaenia!
- The Stolid Flycatcher is found easily easily on the east at Hellshire Hills.
- The Bahama Mockingbird is best found in Hellshire Hill.
- Rufous-throated Solitaire is one of the highlights of the Blue Mountain but can be found at a lower elevation during the cooler months.
- The first migaratory to arrive is the the Louisiana Waterthrush that arrives in Jamaica as early as August. Expect to see the American Redstart, Northern Parula, Cape May Warbler, Black-throated Blue Warbler, Prairie Warbler and Black-and-white Warbler and a few Seainson’s Warbler who stick exclusively to the Blue Mountains.
Join us in Jamaica for birdwatching and make the most of our Autumn and Christmas offers which provide a little luxury and huge environmental benefits for a budget price.