<< BAHAMAS BIRDING TOURS
A relaxing birding tour to the Bahamas that includes some Cuban bird species such as Cuban Parrot, Cuban Emerald, La Sagra's Flycatcher, Cuban Pewee, Cuban Grassquit and more!
The Bahama islands comprise the northernmost archipelago of the West Indies, covering an area of about 2,300 square miles (5,957 square kilometers) with more than a thousand low-lying islands, all located approximately just north of the western half of the Greater Antillean chain formed by Cuba, Hispaniola, and Puerto Rico. It was in the Bahamas, at San Salvador, where Christopher Columbus and his Spanish crew first touched the New World and recorded the first sighting of an American bird and native people.
Today, the Bahamian avifauna comprises 373 recorded species. This avifauna is strongly influenced by the bird fauna of the West Indies (mostly Cuba), and by that of North America. More than twelve Bahamian bird species are globally threatened and six are living endemics to the archipelago, including Bahama Woodstar (Nesophlox evelynae), Inagua Woodstar (N. lyrura), Bahama Swallow (Tachycineta cyaneoviridis), Bahama Yellowthroat (Geothlypis rostrata), Bahama Warbler (Setophaga flavescens) and Bahama Oriole (Icterus northropi).
Located in the Great Bahama Bank, Andros is the largest island in the Bahamas and is part of the northern section of the subdivision of the archipelago. Our itineraries start at New Providence Island, followed by Andros and ending in Great Inagua. Our tours are short, relaxing birding programs covering all possible endemic bird species present in these islands (see Bird Checklist) and visiting most of the island's habitats, including those of the exquisitely colored resident race of the Cuban Parrot (Amazona leucocephala bahamensis) and spectacularly beautiful males of the Bahamian races of the Western Spindalis.
Tour Route: 1) New Providence, 2) Andros, 3) Great Inagua
DAY 1: Welcome to our Birding Tours to the Bahamas
Arrival on New Providence island and transfer from Nassau International Airport (NAS). We will be waiting for you at the airport for your transportation to the hotel, where members of the group will check into their reserved rooms. Time permitting and depending of arrival of members of the group, a welcome and introductory birding session will be conducted during the afternoon in the vicinity of Nassau. At 6:00 p.m. participants will meet the leader in the lobby for discussion of trip plans before dinner. Night in Nassau.
DAY 2: New Providence (Botanical Gardens & The Retreat National Park)
After breakfast at the hotel, we will depart for birding in some localities of New Providence, including the Botanical Gardens, west to Nassau. Our target birds in the gardens include some of the endemics and specialties, such as Smooth-billed Ani, Bahama Woodstar, Cuban Pewee, La Sagra's Flycatcher, Loggerhead Kingbird, Thick-billed Vireo, Bahama Swallow, Red-legged Thrush, Bananaquit, Western Spindalis, Black-faced Grassquit, and Cuban Grassquit, among others. We will search other areas, including localities for shorebirds, herons, gulls, terns, some plovers, sandpipers, willets, and dowitchers. After lunch, we will head east to The Retreat National Park, where we are likely to encounter Barn Owl, the introduced Caribbean Dove, Bahama Mockingbird, Greater Antillean Bullfinch, and more. Time permitting, we will visit other localities for good views of several duck species, including White-cheeked Pintail. After finishing our observations, we will return to the hotel. Night in Nassau.
DAY 3-4: Andros Island (Eastern section of North Andros)
In the morning, after breakfast, we will have our short flight depart to Andros Island. As soon as we arrive there, and during the next day, we will be birding in some nature trails, including pine forests and most of the habitats present in this small archipelago. In Andros Island (about 2,300 square miles; 3,701 square kilometers) will be possible some good views of two of our target birds in the Bahamas: the endemic Bahama Oriole (restricted to Andros today) as well as the endemic subspecies of the Great Lizard-Cuckoo (Coccyzus merlini bahamensis), only found in two other islands. Other possible species to be observed during this two-day exploration in Andros include the West Indian Whistling-Duck, Blue-winged Teal, Northern Bobwhite, Least Grebe, White-crowned Pigeon, Eurasian Collared-Dove, Key West Quail-Dove, Zenaida Dove, Smooth-billed Ani, Bahama Woodstar, Cuban Emerald, Clapper Rail, Common Gallinule, American Coot, Limpkin, Least Bittern, Roseate Spoonbill, Reddish Egret, Osprey, Red-tailed Hawk, Belted Kingfisher, Hairy Woodpecker, American Kestrel, La Sagra's Flycatcher, Loggerhead Kingbird, Cuban Pewee, Bahama Swallow, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Red-legged Thrush, Bahama Mockingbird, Western Spindalis, Red-winged Blackbird, Shiny Cowbird, Bahama Yellowthroat, Yellow Warbler, Pine Warbler, Bananaquit, and Greater Antillean Bullfinch, among others. A birding session at night, if necessary, will be conducted for nocturnal species such as the Burrowing Owl and the Barn Owl (the Yellow-crowned Night-Heron is possible as well at this time). Two nights on North Andros.
DAY 5-6: Great Inagua Island (South Bahamas)
Morning flight to Matthew Town, Great Inagua (via Nassau). This is the last island of our tour and the third-largest (about 596 square miles; 959 square kilometers) in the Bahamas, located in the Southern section of the archipelago. Our target birds here include the Inagua Woodstar and the endemic Bahama race of the Cuban Parrot, which nests in solution holes in the ground rather than in tree cavities. The endemic Inagua Woodstar hummingbird, in which the part of the males's iridescence extends above the bill, is completely restricted in range to Little and Great Inagua islands. On the other hand, the Cuban Parrot is also present on the northern islands (Grand Bahama and the Abacos), which were recently impacted by Hurricane Dorian. We will explore Great Inagua and its habitats during two days. Some birds expected to be in our list here, including the previously mentioned species, are the West Indian Whistling-Duck, Blue-winged Teal, White-cheeked Pintail, American Flamingo, Least Grebe, Zenaida Dove, Black-necked Stilt, Snowy Plover, Ruddy Turnstone, Stilt Sandpiper, Short-billed Dowitcher, Lesser and Greater Yellowlegs, plus some other shorebird species. Also Least, Gull-billed, Royal, and Sandwich terns, White-tailed Tropicbird, Neotropic Cormorant, Brown Pelican, Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, Little Blue Heron, Reddish Egret, Roseate Spoonbill, Osprey, Burrowing Owl, Belted Kingfisher, Bahama Swallow, Pearly-eyed Thrasher, Northern Mockingbird, Yellow Warbler, Bananaquit, and Greater Antillean Bullfinch, among others. Nights in Matthew Town.
DAY 7: Good-bye & Departure from the Bahamas (Great Inagua Island)
Transfer from the hotel to Matthew Town Airport (IGA) for departures of the members of the group.
Alterations in Tour Itineraries: Owing to a variety of circumstances, a planned itinerary as appears on this website, can be changed or modified locally by the leader to accommodate particular weather conditions, bird activity, human disturbances, unexpected situations, or any other reasons considered by the leader. WILLIAM SUAREZ BIRDING TOURS reserves the right to change any itinerary.