The Magical Birds of Cuba
Cuba’s untouched landscapes, pristine waters and crisp fresh air is so clean is greatly smoothing for the soul! One can just sit for hours listening to the birds chirping…
What makes it even more exciting is the birdlife on the island.
There are 371 species described of which there are 26 endemic species currently recognised.
Unfortunately quite a number of them are endangered and one – the Cuban Macaw and Ivory Billed Woodpecker – has even become extinct.
There are other wonderful birds still around, like the Bee Hummingbird which is the smallest, most colourful bird you have ever seen. At the size of a 10 cent coin it’s even a wonder it can fly! There are some other colourful ones like the Cuba Tody – this one is our favourite, it is just so cute and excuisite, – the Cuban Trogon – boasting the colors of the Cuban flag – and the Cuban Parrot – amazingly green and red bird.
Other birds are better known for their enchanting songs, like the Cuban Solitaire, the Zapata Wren, the Cuban Gnatcatcher, and the Cuban Grassquit. Listening to these just lightens up your day.
What about other birds?
And if the endemics alone weren’t exquisite enough already to admire, there are plenty of other birds that make Cuba their island of choice to visit. Some of the non-endemics are winter residents coming from North America, between August and October to spend the winter months in a warmer climate (which I can totally understand!). These are various birds like ducks, gulls, warblers, sparrows and shorebirds.
Then there are the spring migrants coming from South America, arriving between late February and May for the nesting season. The spring migration brings about the Gray King Bird, the Anillean Nighthawk, the Black-whiskered Vireo, the Cuban Martin and the Wilson’s plover. The summer residents leave in September/October each year.
The main migration corridors are Guanahacabibes in Pinar del Rio, Cardenas in Matanzas, Santa Fe in La Habana, Camaguey in Ciego de avila and Gibara in Holguin, where you will find an abundance of such beauties.
Bit about their nesting habits..
Main nesting period is between March and July. We won’t break down each birds habits right here, just want to give you a little insight on things that may help you spot them. Things like the habit of what I’d call ‘nest sharing’. Not all birds will build their own nests. Some will use the ones other species have created. Like the woodpeckers cavity is later used by the Cuban Pygmy Owl, the Bare Legged Owl, the Cuban Parakeet, the Rose throated Parrot and the Cuban Trogon. Talk about getting bang for your buck! Other birds may actually borough, whilst others build nests using plant and animal fibers. Knowing their nesting helps detect them.
We focus on the Pinar Del Rio region with our Collection.
We absolutely love the endemics, like the Cuban Tody, which is why it is the mascot of the collection.
We want to raise awareness of the good work that is being done by protecting their habitats, and want to ensure that we do all we can to save those that are endangered or near endangered for the future generations.