White-cheeked pintail (Anas bahamensis)From the Turks and Caicos fp, an article for those interested in Caribbean birdlife:

Although geographically small in scale, the Leeward Cays — including the islands of Water Cay, Pine Cay, Fort George Cay, Dellis Cay, Parrot Cay and the cays of the Princess Alexandra Nature Reserve — are a treasure trove for birds with an affinity for freshwater resources. The late spring and early summer season usually brings a few drops of rain, filling low-lying palustrine flood plains and providing the precious elixir required by waterfowl to fledge their young.

On Pine Cay, the only permanent fresh water lakes in the TCI archipelago provide a reliable source of water for American coot (Fulica americana), least and pie-billed grebes (Tachybaptus dominicus and Podilymbus podiceps), and various species of duck including the regionally-endemic white-cheeked pintail (Anas bahamensis). These birds are also observable in the temporary ponds and marshes that form this time of the year on all of the Leeward Cays.

The wide variety of wetland habitats throughout the Leeward Cays include estuaries, shallow salt ponds and floodplains and provide extensive foraging and breeding areas for wading birds. Almost anything goes this time of the year, and those armed with binoculars are likely to catch a glimpse of a wide variety, including but not limited to reddish egret (Egretta rufescens), great blue heron (Ardea herodias), black-necked stilt (Himanotopus mexicanus), greater and lesser yellowlegs (Tringa melanoleuca and T. flavipes) and great white egret (Casmerodius albus).

Native fruit trees are also in their full glory following the seasonal rains attracting the fruit-loving species of the thrush family. The fruit of locust berry (Byrsonima lucida), Blolly (Guapira discolor) and lignum vitae (Guaiacum sanctum), to name a few, are among the culinary favorites of the thrushes.

Read the full article to learn more about the birds of the Turks and Caicos Islands.

[Photo: barloventomagico]

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One Response to “Birding in the Turks and Caicos Islands” Subscribe

  1. Marilyn Juli June 2, 2011 at 5:34 am #

    These pics are so beautiful ~ thank you xo

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