Saint Lucia, a lush island gem nestled within the Caribbean’s eastern windward islands, presents an idyllic haven for birdwatchers. With a variety of bird species, including several endemics, the island provides an unrivaled opportunity for observing these winged beauties in their natural habitat.
The rainforests, mangroves, and coastal regions of Saint Lucia are home to over 180 bird species. Among them, the six endemics, Saint Lucia Parrot, Saint Lucia Warbler, Saint Lucia Oriole, Saint Lucia Pewee, Saint Lucia Black Finch, and the elusive Semper’s Warbler, represent the distinctive birdlife that sets this island apart.
Known locally as the Jacquot, the Saint Lucia Parrot (Amazona versicolor) is the island’s national bird. Its vibrant plumage, blending green, blue, and red, mirrors the country’s vibrant culture and landscapes. The Quilesse Forest Reserve and the Edmund Rainforest Reserve are the best places to spot these magnificent creatures, primarily known for their strong, direct flights and loud vocalizations.
Aptly named, the Saint Lucia Warbler (Setophaga delicata) is a delicate beauty. Its grey, yellow, and white plumage offers an exquisite contrast to the lush green of the rainforests, creating a mesmerizing sight for birdwatchers.
The Saint Lucia Oriole (Icterus laudabilis) can be identified by its striking yellow and black colors. Often found in the island’s wooded areas, this bird’s melodic song is a lovely addition to the natural soundtrack of Saint Lucia’s outdoors.
The other endemics, the Saint Lucia Pewee (Contopus oberi) and the Saint Lucia Black Finch (Melanospiza richardsoni), though less striking in their colors, still present an exciting find for birdwatchers, adding to the diversity of the avian life on the island.
While the Semper’s Warbler (Leucopeza semperi), believed to be extinct, hasn’t been sighted for decades, there’s always a glimmer of hope amongst birdwatchers that this species might resurface in the dense Saint Lucian rainforests.
In addition to these endemics, species like the Caribbean Elaenia, Broad-winged Hawk, Bananaquit, and Magnificent Frigatebird enhance the birdwatching experience in Saint Lucia, offering sights ranging from the dainty Bananaquit hovering over flowers to the majestic Frigatebird soaring high above the coastline.
Birdwatching in Saint Lucia is more than a hobby—it’s a celebration of nature’s diversity and beauty. The island’s vibrant and unique bird life, set against the backdrop of its stunning natural landscapes, promises an unforgettable birdwatching experience, enticing bird lovers from around the world. With binoculars in hand and the tropical sun overhead, every day is a perfect day to discover Saint Lucia’s avian treasures.
When staying at Anse Chastanet Resort near Soufriere, the resort offers guided birdwatching tours on their own Anse Mamin estate. an estate dating back to the 18th century, in addition to which birdwatching excursions can be arranged to experience some of the most popular nature spots across the island. Please visit https://ansechastanet.