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Cuba:Birding and Bees

Cuba: Birding and Bees


Cuba, 25 August- 7 September 2001

by Jono Leadley

Bird List

Endemic species/subspecies in blue. "Salinas" refer to the Salinas visited from Playa Larga.

  • Magnificent Frigatebird, Fregata magnificens
  • Up to 3 seen most days from the Bay of Pigs coast.

  • Neotropic Cormorant, Phalacrocorax brasilianus
  • Up to 50 in the Salinas.

  • Double-crested Cormorant, P. auritus
  • Smaller numbers in the Salinas, with up to 20 seen.

  • Anhinga, Anhinga anhinga
  • One seen in the Salinas

  • Great Blue Heron, Ardea herodias
  • Two in the Salinas.

  • Reddish Egret, Egretta rufescens
  • 10 in the Salinas, including one white morph.

  • Tricoloured Heron, E. tricolor
  • 15 in the Salinas.

  • Snowy Egret, E. thula
  • Seen at various points between Havana and San Diego De Los Banos, plus 6 in the Salinas.

  • Cattle Egret, Bubulcus ibis
  • Common.

  • Little Blue Heron, Egretta caerulea
  • One in the Salinas.

  • Green Heron, Butorides virescens
  • Four in the Salinas.

  • Black-crowned Night Heron, Nycticorax nycticorax
  • Two seen in Havana on the way to the airport.

  • White Ibis,Eudocimus albus
  • At least 20 in the Salinas.

  • (Caribbean) Greater Flamingo, Phoenicopterus ruber
  • Over 200 in the Salinas.

    Caribbean Flamingo

  • Fulvous Whistling-duck, Dendrocygna bicolor
  • One in the Salinas.

  • Green-winged Teal, Anas (crecca) carolinensis
  • c40 flew over Playa Larga, towards Zapata on 03/09/02.

  • Turkey Vulture, Cathartes aura
  • Very common throughout.

  • Gundlach's Hawk, Accipter gundlachi
  • One bird seen well soaring over La Guira NP on 30/08/01.

  • Common Black Hawk, Buteogallus anthracinus
  • Two seen in the Salinas with singles seen elsewhere along the south coast.

  • Osprey, Pandion haliaetus
  • 8 in the Salinas, including one struggling to fly with a huge fish.

  • American Kestrel, Falco sparverius
  • Commonly seen all over. Most were of the rufous morph. One pale morph was seen in the Salinas.

    American Kestrel

  • Northern Jacana, Jacana spinosa
  • Four seen in pond by the roadside crocodile farm, La Boca, near Soplillar.

  • Common Moorhen, Gallinula chloropus
  • One in pond at La Boca.

  • Wilson's Plover, Charadrius wilsonia
  • One seen in the Salinas.

  • Kildeer, C. vociferus
  • Common on grassy areas along the coast.

  • Black-necked Stilt, Himantopus mexicanus
  • Four in the Salinas.

  • Turnstone, Arenaria interpres
  • Three in the Salinas.

  • Knot, Calidris canutus
  • Over 30 in the Salinas.

  • Least Sandpiper, C. minutilla
  • Three very confiding birds in the Salinas, aged as an adult and two juveniles.

  • Willet, Catoptrophorus semipalmatus
  • Over 20 in the Salinas.

  • Spotted Sandpiper, Actitis macularia
  • One on the front at Havana and three in the Salinas.

  • Long-billed Dowitcher, Limnodromus scolopaceus
  • Three juveniles in the Salinas.

  • Laughing Gull, Larus atricilla
  • Fairly common on all coasts.

  • Royal Tern, Sterna maxima
  • Seen fishing on the coast at Havana. 8 in the Salinas and another 8 at Playa Giron.

  • Least Tern, S. antillarum
  • Two in the Salinas.

  • White-crowed Pigeon, Columba leucocephala
  • Small numbers at La Guira and Berjemas.

  • Mourning Dove, Zenaida macroura
  • Three at Soplillar on 02/09/01.

  • Zenaida Dove, Z. aurita
  • Small numbers at all sites on the south coast.

  • Common Ground-dove, Columbina passerina
  • Common at all sites.

  • Grey-headed Quail-dove, Geotrygon caniceps
  • Two at Soplillar on 02/09/01, including close views of a singing male.

  • Collared Dove, Streptopelia decaocto
  • Common.

  • Smooth-billed Ani, Crotophaga ani
  • Very common at the south coast sites.

  • Cuban Parrot, Amazona leucocephala
  • Very common in the Playa Larga area, with a roost of over 100 near the hotel complex.

  • Cuban Parkeet, Aratinga euops
  • 8 seen near Palpite on 04/09/01

  • Great Lizard Cuckoo, Suarothera merlini
  • Up to ten seen most days at south coast sites.

  • Stygian Owl, Asio stygius
  • At Playa Giron,one flew over the floodlit hotel grounds on the evening of 04/09/01, during cabaret!

  • Cuban Screech Owl, Otus lawrencii
  • One seen peering out of a hole in a hollow tree in the Salinas.

  • Cuban Pygmy Owl, Glaucidium siju
  • Two at Berjemas on 07/09/01.

    Cuban Pygmy Owl

  • Antillean Palm Swift, Tachornis phoenicobia
  • Breeding colony in Plaza Del Armas in Havana.

  • Greater Antillean Nighthawk, Chordeiles gundlachii
  • Large numbers seen at dusk in Havana on the way to the airport were presumably this species.

  • Bee Hummingbird, Mellisuga helenae
  • One cracking and showy male seen perched atop a bare twig singing, at Soplillar on 02/09/01. Watched for 20 minutes making vertical song-flights.

  • Cuban Emerald, Chlorostilbon ricordii
  • Commonly seen throughout.

    Cuban Emerald

  • Cuban Trogon, Priotelus temnurus
  • Commonly heard in all woodland areas, with many seen well at all south coast sites.

  • Cuban Tody, Todus multicolor
  • Single at La Guira NP on 30/08/01, and a confiding pair at Berjemas on 05/09/01. Heard fairly frequently, but often difficult to locate due to habit of sitting motionless.

    Cuban Tody

  • Cuban Green Woodpecker, Xiphdiopicus percussus
  • Small numbers at all woodland sites.

  • West Indian Woodpecker, Melanerpes superciliaris
  • Small numbers at most sites.

  • Fernandina's Flicker, Colaptes fernandinae
  • Male and female seen at Berjemas on 05/09/01.

  • La Sagra's Flycatcher, Myiarchus sagrae
  • Small numbers at Soplillar and Berjemas.

  • Cuban Pewee, Contopus caribaeus
  • Common in most woodland areas, with up to 10 in the Salinas.

    Cuban Pewee

  • Grey Kingbird, Tyrannus dominicensis
  • Single seen in Havana and common at all other sites.

  • Loggerhead Kingbird, T. caudifasciatus
  • Common.

  • Red-eyed Vireo, Vireo olivaceus
  • One seen at Cuevas de Pescado, 04/09/01.

  • Black-whiskered Vireo, v. altiloquus
  • Very common.

  • Cuban Vireo, V. gundlachii
  • Two at Soplillar on 02/09/01.

    Cuban Vireo

  • Cuban Crow, Corvus nasicus
  • One near Playa Larga.

  • Cuban Martin,Progne cryptoleuca
  • Common in Havana.

  • Cave Swallow, Hirundo fulva
  • Three near Soplillar on 02/09/01.

  • Cuban Solitaire, Myadestes elisabeth
  • Heard at La Guira NP.

  • Blue-grey Gnatcatcher, Polioptila caerulea
  • Common.

  • Red-legged Thrush, Turdus plumbeus
  • Very common in La Guira. Small numbers in other woodland areas.

  • Northern Mockingbird, Mimus polyglottos
  • Fairly common throughout.

  • Yellow Warbler, Dendroica petechia
  • Four seen in the Salinas, with small numbers elsewhere.

  • Black-And-White Warbler, Mniotilta varia
  • Two at Berjemas on 05/09/01.

  • Olive-capped Warbler, Dendroica pityophila
  • 12 around Cabanos Dos Pinos in La Guira NP, including 5 feeding in pine needle litter together.

  • Prairie Warbler, D. discolor
  • One male at Berjemas on 05/09/01.

  • Northern Parula, Parula americana
  • Small numbers throughout.

  • Yellow-throated Warbler, Dendroica dominica
  • One showy individual seen on consecutive days in palms at Playa Larga.

  • Ovenbird, Seirus aurocapillus
  • One caught by hand in the reception area of the hotel at Playa Giron. It was released unharmed into nearby bushes.


  • Yellow-headed Warbler, Teretistris fernandinae
  • Common.

  • Red-legged Honeycreeper, Cyanerpes cyaneus
  • Two seen at La Guira NP on 30/08/01.

  • Stripe-headed Tanager (Spindalis), Spindalis zena
  • Common at La Guira NP. The song noted to be similar to Goldcrest!

  • Yellow-faced Grassquit, Tiaris olivacea
  • Very common in grassland/farmland areas on south coast.

  • Cuban Bullfinch, Melopyrrha nigra
  • Common in woodland areas.

    Cuban Bullfinch

  • Chestnut Munia, Monja tricolor
  • Seen on the journey between Havana and San Diego De Los Banos.

  • House Sparrow, Passer domesticus
  • Common in Havana.

  • Shiny Cowbird, Molothrus bonariensis
  • Common.

  • Tawny-shouldered Blackbird, Agelaius humeralis
  • Very common.

  • Greater Antillean Grackle, Quiscalus niger
  • Common.

  • Cuban Blackbird, Dives atroviolacea
  • Common.

  • Black-cowled Oriole, Icterus dominicensis
  • Four seen at Soplillar on 02/09/01.


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    all material on this website is copyright Jono Leadley 2004