The Bahamas is one of the Worlds best destinations. The Bahamas has some of the best beaches and some of the best birds. With some species only available in the Bahamas, it is worth a visit.
The eight birds endemic to the Bahamas are the Inagua woodstar, Bahama lizard-cuckoo, Bahama swallow, Bahama nuthatch, Northern red-legged thrush, Bahama oriole, Bahama yellowthroat, and the Bahama warbler.
If you want to check off all the birds worldwide, you need to go to the Bahamas as these eight birds can’t be seen anywhere else.
The Bahamas is a great place to visit with 380 species. The Bahamas are a fantastic destination and an excellent place to view rare birds. However, there are 700 islands in the Bahamas, although only 30 are inhabited.
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The Inagua woodstar Nesophlox lyrura is monotypic, being the only species in its genus. It is a small hummingbird species measuring up to 8cm long with an iridescent reddish-purple forehead and throat and a forked tail.
The Inagua woodstar can be found on Great and Little Inagua islands, home to some fantastic National Parks. They can be found around the islands apart from the mangrove regions. They can be seen around Matthew Town throughout the year except for October when they are breeding
They make a series of ‘tit’ or ‘tit-it’ notes. They have a quiet song that has been described as sounding like wet, squeaking shoes.
The Bahama lizard-cuckoo Coccyzus merlini bahamensis get their name from their call, which sounds like a common cuckoo. The lizard part of their name comes from their previous genus, which meant lizard hunter, an animal, along with frogs, snakes and insects they feed on.
They are olive-brown on top with a long bill, rufous belly, and a barred underside with a long tail. There is a patch of bare red skin around the eye.
Unlike most other cuckoos, it raises it’s own young rather than putting the eggs in another bird’s nest.
The Bahama lizard-cuckoo can be found on the islands of Andros, Eleuthera, and New Providence.
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The Bahama swallow Tachycineta cyaneoviridis has a green head and back with a white belly and chin. They have blue wings and tails and are medium-sized swallows. Their tail is deeply forked.
The Bahama swallow breeds on Abaco, Andros, Grand Bahama, and New Providence. They can be found in pineyards and around pine forests.
The Bahama nuthatch Sitta insularis is a small songbird with a long, sharp, nail-like beak. They are similar to the brown-headed nuthatch.
It is thought that following Hurricane Dorian in 2019, the species may be extinct, or at the most, 50 individuals may be alive on Grand Bahama Island.
Northern red-legged thrush
The Northern red-legged thrush Turdus plumbeus is a large thrush measuring 27cm. They are bluish-grey above and pale grey below. They have, as their name suggests, red legs, but also a red bill and eye-ring.
They live in different forests but can also be seen in gardens and can often be seen walking or running on lawns. They feed on fruits, seeds, vertebrates, and invertebrates.
There are six subspecies of the red-legged thrush with T. p. plumbeus found on the northern Bahamas Islands, such as Bimini.
Tha Bahama oriole Icterus northropi is a critically endangered songbird at risk of extinction by the threat of predators and habitat loss. Hurricane Andrew in 1992 reduced their numbers significantly. In 2011 it was thought that only 300 individuals were left, although this may be higher now.
They are mostly black with yellow underparts from the breast down with white markings on their wings and tail.
They can be found on the island of Andros, the largest in the Bahamas.
The Bahama yellowthroat Geothlypis rostrata has one of the largest ranges of the endemic species as it can be found on six different islands. They can be found in Eleuthera I and Cat I and Grand Bahama Island, Abaco Island, and New Providence Island.
They can be found among scrubs in the open pine forests, among bracken and thatch palm. They feed on insects and berries but will also feed on small lizards.
They have an olive-green back with yellow underparts, grey crown and black facemask. They make a ‘witchity witchity witchit’ sound.
The Bahama warbler Setophaga flavescens can be found in three islands. They can be found on Grand Bahama Island, Great Abaco, and Little Abaco where they live in pine forests.
They were a subspecies of yellow-throated warbler and feed on insects and other invertebrates which they feed on while high in the canopy.
They make a series of whistled notes, ascending in pitch with a call making a ‘tsip’ sound.
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Kirwan, G. M. (2020). Inagua Woodstar (Nesophlox lyrura), version 1.0. In Birds of the World (J. del Hoyo, A. Elliott, J. Sargatal, D. A. Christie, and E. de Juana, Editors). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/bow.inawoo2.01
Kirwan, G. M., R. B. Payne, J. del Hoyo, N. Collar, and A. J. Spencer (2021). Great Lizard-Cuckoo (Coccyzus merlini), version 2.0. In Birds of the World (B. K. Keeney, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/bow.grelic1.02
Ong, G. (2020). Bahama Swallow (Tachycineta cyaneoviridis), version 1.0. In Birds of the World (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/bow.bahswa.01
Mlodinow, S. G., P. F. D. Boesman, G. L. Slater, J. D. Lloyd, J. H. Withgott, and K. G. Smith (2021). Bahama Nuthatch (Sitta insularis), version 0.6. In Birds of the World (B. K. Keeney, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/bow.bnhnut2.00.6
Larsen, N. (2020). Red-legged Thrush (Turdus plumbeus), version 1.0. In Birds of the World (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/bow.relthr1.01
Raza, A., M. Kane, and K. Omland (2020). Bahama Oriole (Icterus northropi), version 2.0. In Birds of the World (P. G. Rodewald and B. K. Keeney, Editors). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/bow.graori3.02