Cuba's avifauna features a rich array of species endemic and near endemic to the island. It is also one of the better places to see a variety of birds confined to the larger Caribbean. With some twenty-eight Cuban endemics including such delights as Cuban Kite (found only in Humboldt National Park and the Cuchillas de Toa Biosphere Reserve), Zapata Rail, Cuban Screech Owl, Bee Hummingbird, Cuban Trogon, Cuban Gnatcatcher and Zapata Sparrow, eleven Cuban near endemics and twelve Caribbean endemics, visiting birders can compile an impressive list.

The high season for visiting birders is January through April. In January all but one (Cuban Martin) of the core island endemics are present and wintering northern waterfowl, waders and wood warblers are at peak numbers.

Best birding locations include the Cordillera de Guaniguanico, the Zapata area, the Sierra de Najasa and Cayo Coco. The Cordillera de Guaniguanico is a low but impressive range of limestone hills running 150 kilometres from the eastern border of Pinar del Rio Province to near the western tip of the island. Target species here are Cuban Solitaire and Olive-capped Warbler. Zapata (Matanzas Province, south central Cuba) contains a mix of habitats; the vast marshland of the Zapata Swamp, the tidal rock flats and mangrove islets of La Salina, and the forests near the towns of Palpita, Soplillar and Bermejas. Key birds here include, amongst others Gray-fronted Quail-Dove, Blue-headed Quail-Dove and Bee Hummingbird. But don't expect to see Zapata Rail. Cayo Coco is a string of islands stretching along Cuba´s northeast coast. The caye is 45 kilometres long and home to emerald waters, white sand beaches and several large tourist resorts. The target species here are the endemic Cuban Gnatcatcher and Oriente Warbler, the near endemic Thick-billed Vireo and the Caribbean endemic Bahama Mockingbird.

Cuban Tody

Cuban Tody © Pete Aley

Cuba 360 Holidays

Showing the 32 Most Recent Trip Reports Posted

Cuba, 22nd April - 6th May 2000, author Surfbirds Admin (added September 10, 2004)

Cuba, March 2002, author Birdseekers (link created September 10, 2004)
(Cuban Endemics)

Cuba - Caribbean birding at its best - February 1 - 13, 2014, author Chris Lotz, Birding Ecotours (link created May 28, 2014)
(Bee Hummingbird, Blue-headed Quail-Dove, Fernandina’s Flicker, Stygian Owl, Cuban Tody, Cuban Trogon and Cuban Gnatcatcher)

Cuba - Cayo Coco - 17 April - 01 May 2016, author Stephen Baines (added May 2, 2016)

Cuba II - Mar 2010, author Rockjumper Birding Tours (link created March 7, 2011)

Cuba - Mar 2010, author Rockjumper Birding Tours (link created March 7, 2011)

Cuba: Caribbean Endemics, March 3rd - 12th, 2012 Rockjumper, author Forrest Rowland (added March 29, 2012)
(Zapata Wren, all four species of Quail-Doves!!!, every endemic and near endemic searched for found. )

Cuba - Cayo Coco - March 2015, author Jim Frost (added March 25, 2015)
(Cayo Coco)

Cuba - Caribbean Endemic Birding VII Feb-Mar 17, author Rockjumper Birding Tours (link created June 13, 2017)
(Cuba, Yellow-throated Warbler, Cuban Green Woodpecker, Cuban Pygmy Owl, Fernandina's Flicker, Cuban Tody, Cuban Nightjar, Cuban Parrot, Bare-legged Owl, Blue-headed Quail-Dove, Bee Hummingbird, Cuban Black Hawk, Giant Kingbird, Cuban Gnatcatcher, Cuban Or)

Cuba - Caribbean Endemic Birding II Feb 17, author Rockjumper Birding Tours (link created June 13, 2017)
(Cuba, Cuban Trogon, Cuban Grassquit, Blue-headed Quail-Dove, Grey-fronted Quail-Dove, Cuban Parakeet, Cuban Parrot, Peregrine Falcon)

Cuba - Caribbean Endemic Birding I Jan-Feb 17, author Rockjumper Birding Tours (link created June 13, 2017)
(Cuba, Cuban Amazon, Cuban Pygmy Owl, Blue-headed Quail-Dove, Bee Hummingbird, Giant Kingbird, Painted Bunting, Bahama Mockingbird)

Cuba - Caribbean Endemic Birding III Jan-Feb 17, author Rockjumper Birding Tours (link created June 13, 2017)
(Cuba, Bee Hummingbird, Cuban Tody, Cuban Trogon, Zapata Wren, Bahama Mockingbird, Cuban Nightjar, Blue-headed Quail-Dove, Bare-legged Owl, Stygian Owl, Cuban Solitaire)

Cuba - Caribbean Endemic Birding IV Feb 17, author Rockjumper Birding Tours (link created June 13, 2017)
(Cuba, Cuban Tody, Zapata Wren, Fernandina's Flicker, Bee Hummingbird, Yellow-headed Warbler, Gundlach's Hawk, Blue-headed Quail-Dove, Cuban Green Woodpecker, Cuban Trogon, Western Spindalis)

Cuba - Caribbean Endemic Birding IX Feb 17, author Rockjumper Birding Tours (link created June 13, 2017)
(Cuba, Cuban Tody, Bee Hummingbird, Cuban Trogon, Cuban Green Woodpecker, Zapata Wren, Oriente Warbler, Blue-headed Quail-Dove, Cuban Solitaire, Key West Quail Dove, Cuban Amazon)

Cuba - April 5-19, 2008, author Paul Jones (added June 1, 2008)
(Our total list was 175 and with the exception of Zapata Rail and Cuban Kite, we saw all available Cuban endemics, Cuban near-endemics and Caribbean endemics.)

Cuba in a week, March 30–April 6, 2008, author Guy Kirwan (added July 20, 2008)
(all the endemics in a week)

Cuba - March 2001, author John van der Woude (link created January 25, 2011)
(La Guïra, Zapata, Najasa, Cayo Coco)

Cuba - February 2013, author Paul Davis (added February 15, 2013)
(Hotel Sol Luna-y-mares, Holquin, Mangrove Cuckoo, Cuban Oriole, Great Lizard Cuckoo)

Greater Antilles: Cuba, Jamaica, Puerto Rico Grand Cayman - October 24 - November 21, 2015 , author Greg Roberts (added December 7, 2015)
(90+ Caribbean endemcis)

Cuba - endemics and West Indian endemics - 10 November - 23 November 2018 , author Stephen Blaber (added December 6, 2018)
(Vinales, Cayo Coco, La Belen, Zapata)

Cuba - 24th July – 1st August 2004, author Dick Meijer and Peter van Scheepen (link created December 2, 2012)
(Our visit took place during summer. Our main goal, though, was to find all the Cuban endemics and most of the Caribbean endemics and near-endemics.)

Cuba - October 2018 - Sun, cigars, rum and some birding., author Jeremy Mark Hurley (added December 14, 2018)
(Hicacos Peninsular, Black Skimmer, Key West Quail-Dove, American migrants.)

Cuba, author Clayton Burne (link created December 11, 2010)
(Zapata Peninsula, Bee Hummingbird, Cuban Vireo, Cuban Pewee, Fernandina's Flicker, Cuban Woodpecker, Cuban Tody, Cuban Trogon)

Cuba - 24th March - 6th April 2008, author Pete Morris (link created August 15, 2009)
(Superb birding on this Birdquest tour with 167 species and all bar one of the endemics, including Cuban Kite that hovers on the edge of extinction)

Cuba: 2nd to 16th March 2013, author Ian Merrill (added April 24, 2013)
(West Indian Whistling-Duck, Blue-headed Quail-Dove, Bare-legged and Stygian Owls, Cuban Grassquit and Cuban Sparrow)

Cuba - March 2005, author Tony Murray (added April 18, 2005)

Playa Esmeralda, Guardalavaca, Holquin - Cuba - 26th March - 2nd April 2014, author Mark Graham (added April 16, 2014)

Cayo Guillermo - Cuba, author Mark Graham (added April 15, 2013)
(Cayo Guillermo,)

Cuba I March 2011, author Rockjumper Birding Tours (link created April 12, 2012)

Cuba II March 2011, author Rockjumper Birding Tours (link created April 12, 2012)

Cuba March 2012, author Rockjumper Birding Tours (link created April 12, 2012)

Cuba - February 2016, author Pete Aley (added April 1, 2016)
(Zapata and Cayo Coco. Bee Hummingbirds in a private garden, Stygian Owls at the nest, Bare-legged and Cuban Pygmy Owls together, West Indian Whistling Ducks in our hotel grounds, excellent views of Thick-billed Vireos and Cuban Gnatcatchers, Cuban Nightja)

Showing the 1 Latest Recent Sightings Posted

La Guira NP, CUBA, Giant author Colin Bushell (added April 20, 2006)