Birding in St. Lucia
The avifauna of Saint Lucia includes a total of 177 species, of which 7 are endemic. Being an island, one does expect to see Pelicans, Gannets, Cormorants and the prehistoric-looking Fregate birds … however, at Fond Doux we have, maybe not as large, but certainly more of a colourful palette. Birds of prey that are occasionally seen at Fond Doux include the Hen Harrier, Common Black Hawk, American Kestrel and Merlin. The family of Rallidae’s are small to mediumsized birds, including coots, rails and crakes. Their habitat is normally dense vegetation, close to fresh water. They are a shy group and difficult to spot. Soras are more often heard than seen, the call being a slow whistled ker-whee, or a descending whinny. There are eight species of pigeons and doves in St Lucia and they are quite common at Fond Doux. Parrots are larger birds with the characteristically-shaped curved beak. Only one species occurs in Saint Lucia, the St Lucian Parrot, Amazonia Versicolor. Endemic to St Lucia its home is the rain forest; it can be heard by its distinctive calls and is always seen with its mate.
Today there are around 600 birds on island due to a parrot conservation program. Swifts are small aerial birds. Three species can be spotted: American Black Swift, Lesser Antillean Swift and Alpine Swift. Humming Birds are very common, but extremely difficult to capture on film. The only bird that can fly backward … and that is just one of the many marvels of this bird. Look out for the Purple Throated Carib, Green Throated Carib and the Antillean Crested Hummingbird, the smallest hummingbird in St Lucia. Neil Bowman was on a two week holiday in 2012 and he kindly donated the list below of the birds he spotted at Fond Doux within a very short time frame. Green Heron, Cattle Egret, Peregrine Falcon, American Kestrel, Broad-Winged Hawk, Scalynaped Pigeon, Rudy Quail-Dove, Zenaida Dove, Mangrove Cuckoo, Black Swift, Lesser Antillean Swift, Antillean Crested Humming Bird, Purplethroated Carib, Green-throated Carib, Lesser Antillean Flycatcher, Grey Kingbird, Caribbean Elaenia, St Lucia Pewee, Southern House Wren, Grey Trembler, Scaly-breasted Thrasher, Pearlyeyed Thrasher, Bare-eyed Robin, Black Whispered Vireo, St Lucia Warbler, Bananaquit, Carib Grackle, Black-faced Grassquit, Lesser Antillean Salator, St Lucia Black Finch, Lesser Antillean Bullfinch.