Cuba Has some absolutely Stunning birds! One of Yoanis’ passions apart from taking people on amazing tours around Cuba, is showing them the beautiful birds of Cuba. He is especially passionate about the endemic species of Cuba. And no surprise as some of them are on the brink of extinction, so he likes to raise awareness of these beauties.
In this article I will only share a few with you, but I promise to bring some more of them to you over time!
Cuban Gnatcatcher – Sinsontillo
This vivacious little bird is the smallest one in its family of Polioptilidae and is another endemic of Cuba. And like most other birds in Cuba, you can mostly find them in pairs also. Is it just me or are you starting to get the feeling that the wildlife is as romantic as the people in Cuba?
You can definitely find most of the 50 shades of grey in this beauty’s color palette with bluish-grey upper parts and greyish-white underparts. The white eye-ring and black face outline help to tell it apart from the Blue-grey Gnatcatcher.
You will find this guy on the southern coast of Guantanamo and in isolated locations between Ciego de Avila to Maisi as it likes to hide in dense, spiny vegetation, where it can find its favorite snack of insects and spiders.
aka Zapata Sparrow, another greyish bird with a light yellow belly and reddish-brown crown. You’d consider this one a medium size bird and as per its alias, you will find it in the Zapata swamp, where we take you on our birdwatching tour.
At the Zapata, swamp is where this beauty was discovered in 1927, but some other populations have since been found in Cayo Coco and Guantanamo. Loves to feed on seeds, flowers, insects, spiders… They are even known for catching small lizards!
Unfortunately due to their low numbers they are classified endangered.
Let me tell you about this beautiful creature, who also happens to be another endemic to Cuba! I mentioned they are greyish, but they do hide a light yellow belly and light coloring around the eyes. They like to hang out with other species like the Yellow-headed Warbler or the Orient Warbler.
It doesn’t like to fly long distances, instead, it likes to forage on the ground and due to its color, it can be hard to find!
You will either find it in natural forests or getting a hit of caffeine at the local coffee plantation. When it’s not taking a coffee break it is munching on insects, spiders, fruits, and small reptiles.
This gorgeous thing is overall black with a scarlet red patch on known as Mayito de Cienaga locally. Another endemic species, is also vulnerable to extinction. You will only find them in certain regions in Cuba like the Isla de Juventud, Cienaga de Zapata and Guanahacabibes.
They are sociable creatures, so outside of the mating season, they often get into a flock with Cuban Blackbirds and others. When they don’t hang out in rice fields, foraging for insects, small reptiles, or drinking nectar, you find them in restaurants gorging on kitchen scraps.
They are not a songbird. Just call it screech and admire its beauty.
Interested in learning more about watching these birds in the wild? Check out our article in Destination Uncovered Magazine.
If you are ready to embark on an amazing discovery around the island of Cuba to find these beauties, our Simply Birds of Cuba Tour is specifically designed to showcase the beautiful birds that Cuba has on offer.