Cuba - March 2005

Jim Rose and Dave Ferguson

Cuban Endemics

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It was not hard to find at least some of the endemics and we made an attempt to photograph most of them.   However, we omitted to photograph Cuban Blackbird which was fairly common.   The endemic warblers proved too difficult to photograph in the time we had available, due to the combination of them being high in the trees and constantly on the move.  We almost got some close up photos of Cuban Solitaire (often a difficult find to find and see) but the individual in question flew off about one second too soon!   We ended up with photos of twelve of the endemics.

Cuban Trogon

Pinares De Mayari

Despite as being described as "common" in the field guide, we only saw this individual in the Pine forest close to the Villa Pinares De Mayari. However, we did hear one or two others birds during the trip. This bird was very confiding and came very close.

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Plain Pigeon

Najasa

This species is limited to a few areas on Cuba. Despite it's rarity this species seems fairly easy to find around the Najasa area and we did manage several sightings.

Cuban Tody

Pinares De Mayari

The most delightful and stunning birds of the trip.  Unfortunately not easy to photograph as it rarely stays in any one place for long.  Only seen in or close to forested areas. They were most common in the Pinares De Mayari area.

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Giant Kingbird

Najasa

We stumbled across a single bird close to Belen. Pedro later managed to find a pair of birds at one of his regular sites. This is a very rare bird even in Cuba and is restricted to a few small areas.

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Cuban Screech-owl

Najasa

Also known as "Bare-legged Owl". Pedro knew of the nest site for the common endemic species. As a nocturnal species we would not otherwise have seen this bird.

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Cuban Pygmy-owl

Najasa

Our first individual was skilfully located by Ricardo at El Salton, as it sat up in the trees in a wooded area, which was under grown with Cocoa bushes. We later came across a pair while out with Pedro at Najasa, this providing the better photo opportunity.

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Cuban Parakeet

Najasa

On stopping at a Palm grove close to Najasa we soon heard and then saw a small party of Cuban Parakeets. We were to have several other sightings during that day. We did not see any elsewhere.

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Cuban Parrot

Najasa

Our initial sighting was of a pair almost flying past Pedro's house. While with Pedro, we later had a single bird perch high above us. Unfortunately the bird was against the sky thus preventing the colours of this attractive parrot being seen at their best.

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Cuban Peewee

Pinares De Mayari

One of our first Cuban Endemics and we managed to see several during the week at several sites. The area around the Villa Pinares De Mayari was particularly good.

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Cuban Peewee

Pinares De Mayari.  This photo shows the white semicircle behind the eye.

Photo by Dave Ferguson

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Cuban Emerald

Pinares De Mayari

Fairly common and seen at several locations, sometimes as a flash and whirring of wings! The area around the Villa Pinares De Mayari was particularly good for this species.

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Cuban Green Woodpecker

Najasa

Seen at several of the forested areas. There were good numbers in the area around the Villa Pinares De Mayari.

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Cuban Crow

Najasa

When first heard (not seen) we wondered what on earth could make such a loud and very strange Turkey like call. Its range is very restricted in Cuba and we only saw birds along the south coast and at Najasa (where they were fairly common).

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