Birding is becoming a very popular activity in Saint Lucia as there exists a large variety of interesting and attractive species on island. Much of this is due to the wide array of habitats the island features – dry coastal areas, lush rain forests, scrub forests, rugged sea cliffs, etc. – and the resulting variety of foods that appeal to various species.

Six bird species are found in Saint Lucia (and nowhere else in the world):

  1. The St. Lucia Parrot
  2. St. Lucia Peewee
  3. St. Lucia Warbler
  4. St. Lucia Oriole
  5. St. Lucia Black Finch
  6. Semper’s Warbler (which is critically endangered or possibly extinct)
Saint Lucian parrot by well known artist, Daniel Jean-Baptiste

Below is a brief description of some of the more popular and exotic birds found on island followed by lists of birds that can be readily found when looking in the proper habitat. In the lists, unless otherwise noted, the birds are found year-round.

1. The St. Lucian Parrot

The St. Lucian Parrot (Amazona versicolor), our national bird, is known locally as the Jacquot and is found only in Saint Lucia. This beautiful bird is mainly green in color, with a blue forehead, turquoise and green on the cheeks and red breast.

Parrots, which are often encountered in pairs, are found in the rain forest where they feed on the fruits, nuts, and berries of the surrounding trees.

The species had declined from around 1,000 birds in the 1950s to 150 birds in the late 1970s. At that point a conservation program was begun which resulted in a very successful comeback to where the parrots are fairly common in the island’s forests today.

2. Frigatebirds

These magnificent large birds are seen soaring effortlessly over the sea and are able to stay aloft for more than a week at a time. Mostly iridescent black in colour, the male features a red throat pouch, the female a white breast.  Males have wingspans of over two meters. They roost on sea cliffs or in crudely constructed nests in trees. Frigates feed by scooping fish, small turtles and other prey from the sea or beach or by stealing that caught by other birds.

3. Boobies

There are three species of boobies found in Saint Lucia, the masked booby, red-footed booby and brown booby. Boobies feed by plunging from great heights deep into the sea to pursue their prey which is mostly fish. They have air sacs under their facial skin that cushions the impact. Boobies got their name by being extremely gullible and easy to catch as they often will land on ships at sea making for an easy meal for sailors in centuries past. Boobies nest on cliffs or in trees.

4. Broad-winged Hawk

A powerful bird of prey, the broad-winged hawk can have a wingspan of up to one meter. They are named for their relatively short broad wings that taper quickly to a point giving them a recognizable appearance during flight. Broad-winged hawks are found in all types of forested areas on island and typically hunt by perching in a tree and watching with their keen eyes for prey to appear below. Rodents, amphibians, lizards and insects make up their typical diet.

5. Lesser Antillean Bullfinch

These very common birds are known by many island visitors due to their habit of feeding from tables in the island’s open-air restaurants. Some of the more aggressive individuals may even challenge you for your food while you’re dining! The male is black with a reddish-orange throat; females are a brownish grey colour.

6. Hummingbirds

Three species of hummingbirds are very common on island – the purple-throated carib, green-throated carib and Antillean crested hummingbird. All have very striking appearances with colourful florescent markings. Each species has its own favourite habitat but, depending on where guests are staying, one or more of the species of hummingbirds can be commonly seen sipping nectar from the flowers at most of the island’s resorts.

7. White Breasted Thrasher

The white breasted thrasher is a critically endangered species found only in very limited areas in Saint Lucia and Martinique. In Saint Lucia the bird is primarily found in a couple of small areas along the island’s east coast between Dennery and Micoud as it prefers dry scrub forest habitats. Efforts have been made to preserve these habitats to maintain the very limited numbers of individuals that are left.

8. Bananaquit

The bananaquit is a honeycreeper with a black back, white eyebrow stripe and wing spots and yellow breast and belly. It uses its down-curved bill to pierce the base of flowers for their nectar; they feed on insects as well. Bananaquits are very common around flower gardens and are readily seen on island resorts.

9. St. Lucia Peewee

This species of flycatcher is found only in Saint Lucia. Common over much of the island the peewee perches on tree branches and continually flies out and back on the lookout for insects. Grey with a golden breast, they are fun little birds to watch.

A List of Birds Commonly Seen in Saint Lucia

These are the most common birds seen in St. Lucia, complete with the months you have the best chance at seeing them.

  • Red-billed Tropicbird
  • White-tailed Tropicbird
  • Brown Booby
  • Magnificent Frigatebird
  • Little Blue Heron
  • Snowy Egret
  • Cattle Egret
  • Green Heron
  • Yellow-crowned Night-Heron
  • Blue-winged Teal
  • Broad-winged Hawk
  • American Kestrel
  • Sora
  • Common Moorhen
  • Black-bellied Plover (Aug-May)
  • Semipalmated Plover (Aug-May)
  • Spotted Sandpiper (Aug-May)
  • Solitary Sandpiper (Sep-May)
  • Greater Yellowlegs (Aug-May)
  • Lesser Yellowlegs (Aug-Oct; Mar-May)
  • Ruddy Turnstone (Aug-May)
  • Sanderling (Sep-Oct; Mar-Apr)
  • Semipalmated Sandpiper (Aug-May)
  • Laughing Gull (Apr-Sep)
  • Brown Noddy
  • Sooty Tern (May-Aug)
  • Bridled Tern (Apr-Aug)
  • Least Tern (Sep-Mar)
  • Common Tern (May-Oct)
  • Royal Tern (Oct-Apr)
  • Rock Pigeon
  • White-crowned Pigeon
  • Scaly-naped Pigeon
  • Zenaida Dove
  • Common Ground-Dove
  • Ruddy Quail-Dove
  • Mangrove Cuckoo
  • Lesser Antillean Swift
  • Purple-throated Carib
  • Green-throated Carib
  • Antillean Crested Hummingbird
  • Belted Kingfisher
  • Caribbean Elaenia
  • St. Lucia Peewee
  • Gray Kingbird
  • Lesser Antillean Flycatcher
  • Bank Swallow (Sep-Oct; Apr-May)
  • Caribbean Martin
  • Barn Swallow (Sep-Oct; Apr-May)
  • Tropical Mockingbird
  • Gray Trembler
  • Scaly-breasted Thrasher
  • Pearly-eyed Thrasher
  • Bare-eyed Thrush
  • Black-whiskered Vireo
  • Antillean Euphonia
  • Yellow Warbler
  • St. Lucia Warbler
  • Northern Waterthrush (Sep-Apr)
  • Bananaquit
  • St. Lucia Black Finch
  • Lesser Antillean Bullfinch
  • Lesser Antillean Saltator
  • Carib Grackle
  • Shiny Cowbird
  • St. Lucia Oriole

A List of Birds Rarely Seen in Saint Lucia

If you’re up for a treasure hunt, here are some birds you might see in St. Lucia. We’ve also included the time of year you have the best chance at seeing them.

  • Pied-billed Grebe (Oct-Mar)
  • Greater Shearwater (May-Jul)
  • Sooty Shearwater (May-Jul)
  • Audubon’s Shearwater
  • Brown Pelican
  • Masked Booby
  • Red-footed Booby
  • Great Blue Heron (Oct-Apr)
  • Great Egret (Sep-Apr)
  • Tricolored Heron
  • Little Egret (Sep-Jun)
  • Black-crowned Night-Heron
  • American Wigeon (Oct-Apr)
  • Northern Pintail (Sep-Apr)
  • Northern Shoveler (Oct-May)
  • Lesser Scaup (Nov-Mar)
  • Masked Duck
  • Osprey (Sep-Apr)
  • Merlin (Oct-Mar)
  • Peregrine Falcon (Oct-Apr)
  • Purple Gallinule
  • Caribbean Coot
  • American Oystercatcher
  • Black-necked Stilt (Mar-Oct)
  • American Golden-Plover (Aug-Nov)
  • Killdeer (Sep-Mar)
  • Wilson’s Snipe (Oct-Apr)
  • Short-billed Dowitcher (Aug-Apr)
  • Hudsonian Godwit (Sep-Oct)
  • Whimbrel (Sep-May)
  • Willet (Aug-Nov)
  • Western Sandpiper (Sep-Mar)
  • Least Sandpiper (Aug-Mar)
  • White-rumped Sandpiper (Aug-Oct; Mar-Apr)
  • Baird’s Sandpiper (Sep-Oct; Mar-Apr)
  • Pectoral Sandpiper (Aug-Nov)
  • Stilt Sandpiper (Aug-Nov)
  • Buff-breasted Sandpiper (Sep-Nov; Apr)
  • Ring-billed Gull
  • American Herring Gull (Oct-Mar)
  • Black-legged Kittiwake (Dec-Mar)
  • Gull-billed Tern (Oct-Aug)
  • Roseate Tern (Apr-Sep)
  • Sandwich Tern (Oct-Mar)
  • Pomarine Jaeger (Oct-May)
  • Eurasian Collared-Dove
  • Eared Dove
  • Bridled Quail-Dove
  • St. Lucia Parrot
  • Yellow-billed Cuckoo (Sep-Oct; Mar-Apr)
  • Smooth-billed Ani
  • Common Nighthawk
  • Rufous Nightjar
  • Black Swift (Apr-Sep)
  • Cliff Swallow (Aug-Dec; Mar-Apr)
  • House Wren
  • White-breasted Thrasher
  • Forest Thrush
  • Rufous-throated Solitaire
  • Yellow-throated Vireo (Sep-Apr)
  • Northern Parula (Aug-May)
  • Cape May Warbler (Oct-Apr)
  • Yellow-rumped Warbler (Nov-Mar)
  • Blackpoll Warbler (Oct-Nov)
  • Black-and-white Warbler (Aug-Apr)
  • American Redstart (Aug-May)
  • Prothonotary Warbler (Aug-Mar)
  • Ovenbird (Aug-May)
  • Grassland Yellow-Finch
  • Bobolink (Aug-Dec)
  • Baltimore Oriole

Learn more on Birds of St. Lucia.com

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