Birds of St. Lucia
Birdwatching at the Resort & on the Island
Saint Lucia is blessed with a bounty of indigenous fauna and flora, a biodiversity that should truly be appreciated and treasured for its beauty and unique presence on our island. Fond Doux Plantation Resort in particular is a haven for a variety of both native bird species and international species.
Bird Watching at Fond Doux
Since it is situated on a lush, tropical plantation, abundant with organic fruits and vegetables, the resort is populated by several of St. Lucia’s common bird species, such as hummingbirds, bananaquits, wrens, swifts, and more. If you love birds, our 135-acre cocoa resort is an ideal spot to bird watch – at any level of expertise or interest.
Here is a list of the various species known to visit Fond Doux Plantation Resort:
Non-Passerines: Grebes; Shearwaters and Petrels; Tropicbirds; Pelicans; Boobies and Gannets; Cormorants; Darters; Frigate Birds; Bitterns, Herons and Egrets; Ibises and Spoonbills; Flamingos; Ducks; Geese and Swans; Osprey; Hawks, Kites and Eagles; Caracaras and Falcons; Rails; Crakes, Gallinules and Coots; Oystercatchers; Avocets and Stilts; Plovers and Lapwings; Sandpipers and allies; Skuas and Jaegers; Gulls; Terns; Pigeons and Doves; Parrots, Macaws and allies; Cuckoos and Anis; Barn Owls; Nightjars; Swifts; Hummingbirds; Kingfishers.
Passerines: Tyrant Flycatchers; Swallows and Martins; Wrens; Mockingbirds and Thrashers; Thrushes and allies; Vireos; New World Warblers; Bananaquits; Tanagers; Buntings, Sparrows, Seedeaters and allies; Saltators, Cardinals and allies; Troupials and allies.
National Bird & Endemics
Our national bird, the Saint Lucia Parrot (Amazona versicolor), is unique to Saint Lucia and represents our island nation and its spectacular natural beauty. Having recovered from dangerously low population numbers in the early 1980s, the Saint Lucia Parrot is not the only endemic bird on the island. To date, it is only one of six species that are identified as unique to Saint Lucia, giving the island the distinction of having the highest number of endemic birds among the islands of the Eastern Caribbean. The other endemic bird species include:
- St. Lucia Pewee (Contopus oberi)
- St. Lucia Warbler (Dendroica delicata)
- St. Lucia Oriole (Icterus laudabilis)
- St. Lucia Black Finch (Melonospiza richardsoni)
- Semper’s Warbler (Leucopeza samperi)
There are also other potential species which may one day join the ranks of birds recognized as distinctly Saint Lucian when the conservation biologists and geneticists turn their attention to them. The avifauna of St. Lucia includes a number of regional endemics, including our own race of the White Breasted Thrasher, Rufous Nightjar, and House Wren. These are our gems to treasure amongst approximately 50 resident species, which are attractive to birdwatchers – local and foreign alike.
The migrant birds on the island also constitute an enriching, yet transient element to St. Lucia’s avifauna biodiversity. For the fortunate few who are aware of St. Lucia’s “native” birds, the migratory birds add an interesting and somewhat mysterious element to our wildlife. Their stopover appearances around home gardens, shorelines, or water treatment ponds during their southbound journeys from North America to the Caribbean and beyond has prompted the occasional curious phone call to the Forestry Department by individuals seeking to identify them. Far from being considered a foreign element, migratory birds should be regarded as an indigenous part of St. Lucia’s wildlife and appreciated as such.
Very few are aware of the swallows, sandpipers, warblers, and wild ducks that journey over thousands of miles from their summer breeding range to our shores to escape the cold Northern winters. Many strictly associate such birds with North America or Europe, yet our local names for these migrant birds, such as “canard sauvage” (wild ducks) and “becassine” (sandpipers), reflect our longstanding knowledge of them as part of our natural heritage. In the last century, almost a hundred migratory species have been recorded in St. Lucia, therefore constituting the majority of our avian diversity. Many of these birds are either fully protected or partially protected under the Wildlife Protection Act (1980).
*Some content sourced from the Birds of Saint Lucia, West Indies Book.