Cuba has long been known as a paradise for nature lovers. From its lush jungles to its vibrant coral reefs, the island nation is home to some of the most diverse wildlife on the planet. But one of the best-kept secrets of Cuban wildlife is birdwatching. The country boasts over 370 species of birds, making it a paradise for birdwatchers and photographers alike. If you are a bird watcher, or even just a nature enthusiast, then Cuba should be at the top of your list of places to explore. So when is the best time to go birding in Cuba?
Let’s take a look at what makes this Caribbean nation such an ideal destination for birders and how you can plan your trip accordingly.
The Seasons in Cuba
Cuba has two distinct seasons that affect birding in different ways.
The dry season runs from November to April and is characterized by warm days and cool nights. This is a great times because the winter season sees an influx of migratory birds from North America and Europe, filling up Cuban skies with new species that can be difficult to find during other times of year.
This is when you’ll find many species that can only be seen in brief windows of time, including warblers, vireos, orioles, tanagers, flycatchers, and more. The warmer weather also means that these birds are more active during this period as they search for food sources and nesting grounds
Additionally, many native species are more active when it’s warmer so you will have better luck spotting them during this period. Also, winter is also typically dry in Cuba, so you won’t have to worry about rain interfering with your birding excursions.
The wet season runs from May to October and brings with it much needed rain for Cuba’s vegetation as well as its wildlife. Making it a little difficult to spot birds.
The start of the wet season brings an abundance of nesting birds and baby chicks, it’s better not to disturb birds at this time as many species abandon their chicks if something, like a human gets near their nest. Although warmer temperatures also mean more opportunities for longer days out in the field when trying to spot rare or elusive birds, the rain may wash you out.
Autumn offers a unique opportunity for birders because it marks the start of migration season once again—this time southbound! During this period you can expect to see many species making their way back down toward South America after spending their summers higher northward in search of food and better weather conditions. Autumn can be a great time to observe behaviour patterns as well as habits such as flocking or territorial disputes that are not visible during other times of year.
Best Places For Bird Watching In Cuba
Cuba boasts a variety of habitats perfect for viewing birds including wetlands, forests, mangroves and coasts – making it one of the best destinations around for birding! The most popular spots include La Guira National Park – if you join our Bird photography tour, will have Nils Navarro joining us here to showcase the beautiful hummingbirds, todies and much more in this area.
Cienaga de Zapata – which offers some excellent opportunities for spotting waterfowl; and see some rare species like Cuban Parakeets and the Zapata wren – there are over 200 species it won’t disappoint.
Península de Guanahacabibes Biosphere Reserve on the northwest coast which is known as one of the best spots in Latin America for spotting migrating warblers; and Cayo Coco National Park off the northern coast – known primarily for its flamingo population but also home to other shorebirds such as pelicans and terns.
For any bird lover looking for an unforgettable experience in a stunning Caribbean destination, Cuba should be at the top of their list!
Birdwatching in Cuba offers something special regardless of when you decide to visit, but if you want the best possible experience then choosing the dry season is your best bet!
Cuba is filled with amazing opportunities for viewing birds – so don’t miss out on this amazing chance! Pack your binoculars and get ready for an unforgettable adventure! Or even better, join us on our Cuba Birding Tour!