Written by Maia Muttoo

The Rare Birds of Montserrat

The endemic Montserrat Oriole is perhaps the most well-known bird in the country, but did you know that there are 122 species logged for the island? In addition to its native species and regular visitors, Montserrat is visited by 63 rare and accidental birds that birders and adventurers hope to catch a glimpse of. Here are six rare species to look (and listen) for in Montserrat.

Photo by Luke Seitz via All About Birds

Common name: Snowy Plover

Scientific name: Charadrius nivosus

Interesting fact: These shorebirds build their nests in small depressions in the sand, often in human footprints. Their nests consist of a variety of materials including pebbles, shell fragments, bones and vegetation.

Photo by Jeff Timmons via All About Birds

Common name: Black Crowned Night Heron

Scientific name: Nycticorax nycticorax

Interesting fact: These birds take their name from their nocturnal hunting habits. While they typically fish alone, they are social birds who roost and nest in groups.

Photo by Ryan Schain via All About Birds

Common name: Glossy Ibis

Scientific name: Plegadis falcinellus

Interesting fact: These shiny birds fly in flocks with wavy lines, frequenting marshland, lakes and swamps.

Photo by Griffin Richards via All About Birds

Common name: Scarlet Tanager

Scientific name: Piranga olivacea

Interesting fact: Tanagers frequent deciduous forest, preferring tall trees that can reach up to 75ft. They forage for insects including caterpillars, beetles, and spiders, and will also enjoy wild berries.

Photo by Alix d’Entremont via All About Birds

Common name: Prothonotary Warbler

Scientific name: Protonotaria citrea

Interesting fact: During nesting, males arrive at the grounds a week before females to claim territories and challenge other males. While courting, males make vibrant displays by fluffing their plumage and singing loudly.

Photo by Rafael Arvelo via Pinterest

Common name: Antillean Euphonia

Scientific name: Euphonia musica

Interesting fact: Typically flying over the dense forest canopy, these beautiful birds are often recognised by their call, which sounds like a little bell.

So grab your binoculars and bird guides and hit the trails, you never know what incredible species you’ll discover if you just look up.

Sources: Fat Birder, Caribbean Birding Trail, World Birds, Avibase, All About Birds, Defenders, Audubon, US Department of Agriculture Forest Service


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