According to BirdLife International, which has designated 28 Important Bird Areas (IBAs) in Cuba, “Over 370 bird species have been recorded in Cuba, including 27 which are endemic to the island and 29 considered globally threatened. Due to its large land area and geographical position within the Caribbean, Cuba represents one of the most important countries for Neotropical migratory birds – both birds passing through on their way south (75 species) and those spending the winter on the island (86 species).“
Of the 368 bird species reported for Cuba about 42% breed on the island, and 70% are migratory (c.114 species are regular winter residents). Of the breeding species, 135 are resident (including eight introduced birds) and 14 arrive from South America to breed on the island in the summer. The island is home to six endemic genera (namely Cyanolimnus, Starnoenas, Xiphidiopicus, Ferminia, Teretistris and Torreornis), 28 endemic birds (including the world’s smallest bird, the Bee Hummingbird Mellisuga helenae) and 60 endemic subspecies.
Our itinerary provides opportunities to see many of Cuba’s endemic species and subspecies, as listed below. The trip will also focus on the many Neotropical migrant species that migrate south to Cuba in the fall and are abundant in Cuba during the winter months (endemic species and endemic subspecies in italics):
Bare-legged Owl, Cuban Oriole, Bee Hummingbird, Blue-headed Quail-Dove, Gray-fronted Quail-Dove, Cuban Black Hawk, Cuban Blackbird, Cuban Bullfinch, Cuban Gnatcatcher, Cuban Grassquit, Cuban Green Woodpecker, Cuban Parakeet, Cuban Parrot, Cuban Pewee, Cuban Pygmy-Owl, Cuban Solitaire, Cuban Tody, Cuban Trogon, Cuban Vireo, Fernandina’s Flicker, Giant Kingbird, Gundlach’s Hawk, Eastern Meadowlark, Cuban Nightjar, Red-shouldered Blackbird, Tawny-shouldered Blackbird, Oriente Warbler, Yellow-headed Warbler, Zapata Wren, Zapata Sparrow, Cuban Crow, Palm Crow, Cuban Emerald, Bahama Mockingbird, Thick-billed Vireo, and Western Spindalis.
Other species of interest include:
Great Lizard-Cuckoo, La Sagra’s Flycatcher, Loggerhead Kingbird, Olive-capped Warbler, Key West Quail-Dove, Ruddy Quail-Dove, Zenaida Dove, Stygian Owl, West Indian Whistling Duck, American Flamingo, Wood Stork, Roseate Spoonbill, a great variety of wading birds, and numerous other migratory and resident species.
Cuban Endemics (E)
Not pictured: Cuban Kite & Zapata Rail (has never been photographed)
Regional Endemics (RE)
Other species of special interest
Contact Us @
Caribbean Conservation Trust
353 West Todd Street
Hamden, CT 06518