I have already been to Jamaica, Grand Cayman and Cozumel and I’ll be visiting Trinidad, St Lucia, St Vincent, Dominica & Puerto Rico soon for birding – and I am sure birding wasn’t a criteria in this review but it is interesting as a sample of what rich people are looking for in a Caribbean island!
From the list below, I have bolded the islands which have endemic parrots as that is my top interest, though some other islands also have decent birding.
- Puerto Rico
- Dominican Republic
- St Marteen
- The Bahamas
- St Barts
- Cayman Islands
- US Virgin Islands
- St Kitts and Nevis
- Antigua and Barbuda
- St. Lucia
- Trinidad and Tobago
- Turks and Caicos
- British Virgin Islands
- St. Vincent and the Grenadines
See me in Jamaica!
See me in Grand Cayman!
The Cuban Amazon (Amazona leucocephala) also known as Cuban Parrot or the rose-throated parrot, is a medium-sized mainly green parrot found in woodlands and dry forests of Cuba, the Bahamas and Cayman Islands in the Caribbean.
There are four subspecies of the Cuban amazon:
- A. l. leucocephala (Linnaeus, 1758). Present throughout Cuba, including Isla de la Juventud (formerly known as Isla de Pinos).
- A. l. bahamensis (H. Bryant, 1867), also called the Bahama amazon. Two extant populations in the Bahamas; one on the Abaco Islands and one on Great Inagua (with sightings from nearby Little Inagua). Now extirpated populations were present on the Acklins and Crooked Islands and possibly also elsewhere in the Bahamas.
- A. l. caymanensis (Cory, 1886), also called the Grand Cayman amazon. Restricted to Grand Cayman Island.
- A. l. hesterna Bangs, 1916. Now restricted to the island of Cayman Brac, but formerly also on Little Cayman.
The birds I saw while on our cruise were the Cayman Parrot subspecies. Now that Cuba has opened up to tourism, we should be hearing about more sightings of the nominate subspecies as well!
LEARN MORE ABOUT CUBAN/CAYMAN PARROTS
World Parrot Trust
Cayman Islands Government
This video was taken in the same aviary we were in back in 2008.
And here are some in the wild in Grand Cayman.
If you have been thinking about joining this fantastic cruise, don’t delay as it’s only a month away! It’s pretty easy to get to Puerto Rico using airline miles and spend a few extra days pre or post cruise as well!
If you are a dedicated conservationist, eco-tourist or birder who has been looking for an excuse to ease your spouse/partner into the adventure; this is soft ecotourism at its best! What could be easier than boarding a luxurious cruise ship in San Juan and relaxing at sea while you cruise to a different Caribbean island just about every day. Many of these islands have native parrot populations and there will be other bird species too. And best of all, your participation benefits the World Parrot Trust’s conservation efforts!
- Parrot Lovers Cruise
In order to participate in the seminars and dedicated birding excursions, you must book with the official travel agency, Carol’s Travel Time.
The Saint Lucia Amazon (Amazona versicolor) also known as the Saint Lucia Parrot is a species of parrot in the Psittacidae family. It is endemic to Saint Lucia and is the country’s national bird.
Its natural habitat is subtropical or tropical moist montane forest. It is threatened by habitat loss. The species had declined from around 1000 birds in the 1950s to 150 birds in the late 1970s. At that point a conservation program began to save the species, which galvanised popular support to save the species, and by 1990 the species had increased to 350 birds. Although the population in Saint Lucia is small it is still expanding.
It isn’t possible to get to St Lucia exclusively using airline miles as they are only served by small regional carriers such as LIAT and Caribbean Airlines (nice livery!). St Lucia is a popular port on Caribbean cruises so why not choose a cruise that visits this lovely island?