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Turks and Caicos Islands

Greater Flamingo Phoenicopterus ruber ©Steven Holt Website

Birding the Turks & Caicos

Beautiful by Nature is the National slogan of the Turks and Caicos Islands which is rumored were discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1492 and now some 500 years later is being rediscovered as one of the fastest growing travel destinations in the Caribbean. The British Oversea Territory is famous for her secluded beaches, crystal clear turquoise blue waters, unspoilt reefs and dramatic walls this archipelago has some of the best diving and snorkeling in the world.

These days however, beside their bronzing creams, visitors should pack a good pair of binoculars! The Turks and Caicos has tweaked the interest of serious birders especially since 1992 when the government set aside 33 protected areas of National Parks, Nature Reserves and Sanctuaries. Now over 190 bird species can be found at varying times of the year throughout the islands mainly due to the fact that the Bahamas chain is an important route for migratory birds between North and South America. Of these 190 species there are 52 known to breed locally. In 1990 the Southern coasts of North, Middle and East Caicos were designated a RAMSAR site to ensure the protection of endangered wetlands. Here in the lagoons, salt ponds and mangrove swamps can be found over 60 waterfowl species including the rare West Indian Whistling duck and the Greater Flamingo featured on many stamps as it is the National emblem of the Turks and Caicos.

The Turks and Caicos Islands are one of the last remaining British Colonies and located some 575 miles southeast of Miami Florida with the Bahamas about 30 miles to the Northwest and the Dominican Republic some 100 miles to the Southeast. The country consists of two groups of islands, the Turks Islands and the Caicos Islands which are separated by a 22-mile passage called the Columbus Passage. To the west are the Caicos group: West Caicos , Providenciales, North Caicos, East Caicos and South Caicos. To the east are the Turks group: Grand Turk and Salt Cay.

Contributor

Candy Herwin

Proprietor - Pirates Hideaway Guest House

Salt Cay

piratequeen3@hotmail.com

Number of Species

Number of bird species: 229

(As at October 2018)

More than half (122 are very rare or accidental)

Endemics

Checklist

iGoTerra Checklist

iGoTerra Checklist

Fatbirder Associate iGoTerra offers the most comprehensive and up to date birds lists on the web

Useful Reading

A Birder's Guide to the Bahama Islands (Including Turks and Caicos)

By Anthony W White | ABA | 1998 | Spiralbound | 302 pages, Col and b/w photos, illus, maps |

ISBN: 1878788167

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Birding in Paradise: Grand Turk

(Turks & Caicos Islands: A Guide to Bird-Watching and Heritage Sites) | By Mike Pienkowski, Ann Pienkowski & Bryan Naqqi Manco | UK Overseas Territories Conservation Forum | 2014 | Paperback | 52 pages, colour photos, colour maps |

ISBN: #227052

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Birds of the Bahamas and the Turks & Caicos Islands

By Bruce Hallett | Macmillan Caribbean | 2006 | Paperback | 245 pages, colour photos, b/w illustrations, 1 colour & 1 b/w map |

ISBN: 0333937449

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Birds of the West Indies

By Herbert Raffaele, James Wiley, Orlando Garrido, Allan Keith & Janis Raffaele | Christopher Helm | 2003 Paperback | 216 pages, 92 colour plates, 181 colour distribution maps |

ISBN: 0713654198

Buy this book from NHBS.com

The Birds of the Turks & Caicos Islands

By Richard Ground | Turks and Caicos National Trust | 2001 | Hardback | 94 pages, colour photos |

ISBN: 9769507903

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Organisations

Turks & Caicos National Trust

Facebook Page

Turks & Caicos National Trust - P.O. Box 540 ~ Providenciales ~ Turks & Caicos Islands ~ BWI Phone:649 941 5710 ~ Fax:649 941 4258 ~ Email: tc.nattrust@tciway.tc Mission statement: To establish itself as a self-sustaining organization through the preservation, development and promotion of the heritage of the Turks and Caicos Islands; to create awareness by and opportunities for the people through education and participation; and to ensure that present and future generations take pride in and enjoy the benefits of their heritage. Also see Facebook Page

Reserves

Abbreviations Key

NP North West Point Marine

Information

Satellite View

Located on the northwestern part of the island of Providenciales, 5.2 miles northwest of Blue HillsNorthwest Point Marine National Park includes nearby reefs and several saline lakes that attract breeding and migrant birds

NR Pigeon Pond and Frenchman’s Creek

Information

Satellite View

The Pigeon Pond and Frenchman’s Creek Nature Reserve is a time capsule of TCI’s natural history, and features hundreds of acres of pristine tropical woodlands represented by hardwoods, orchids, perching birds and reptiles some of which are found nowhere else on earth.

Guides & Tour Operators

Click on WAND for tours, guides, lodges and more…

Salt Cay Tours

Tour Operator

Lots of birds spotted throughout the mangroves in the creek. They are found on the salt flats and also in the creeks, on the beach, in the bush and in the air. Enjoy bird watching on an island relatively free from development in the British West Indies…

Trip Reports

Click on WAND for tours, guides, lodges and more…

CloudBirders

Trip Report Repository

CloudBirders was created by a group of Belgian world birding enthusiasts and went live on 21st of March 2013. They provide a large and growing database of birding trip reports, complemented with extensive search, voting and statistical features.

2011 [03 March] - Peter Osborn

PDF Report

...The surrounding area, with its numerous undeveloped plots towards Richmond Hills, held a variety of warblers including migrant Northern Parula and resident Yellow Warbler, species that would become well-known over coming days such as Thick-billed Vireo (heard singing all over the islands), Bahama Woodstar, Common Ground Dove and Northern Mockingbird, plus a good sighting of a Mangrove Cuckoo. One of the memorable points of the visit was the number of birds that gave stunning views...

Places to Stay

Click on WAND for tours, guides, lodges and more…

Crabtree Apartments - Grand Turk

Accommodation

Crabtree Apartments are 3 quaint Bungalow like, 2 bedroom, 1 bath, vacation rental units directly on the beach. Each unit has 2 air-conditioned bedrooms one with an oceanview and queen bed and one with 2 twins that can be converted into a king with a view of the salinas and the wildlife they attract.

Dragon Cay Resort (Formerly Blue Horizon Resort)

Accommodation

Dragon Cay Resort (Formerly Blue Horizon Resort) is a unique tropical destination tucked behind 2,200 feet of naturally preserved beachfront on Middle Caicos, the largest but least developed of the eight inhabited islands in The Turks & Caicos Islands. When you stay at one of the private Cottages or Villas at Dragon Cay Resort, you will be immersed in a privacy and tranquillity not common in today’s Caribbean Resort Landscapes...

Pirates Hideaway Guest House

Accommodation

On the less traveled Turks Island of Salt Cay, awaits Pirates Hideaway Guest House, directly across from one of many beautiful beaches on the Salt Cay waterfront. Discover beachfront all inclusive vacation packages at this small Salt Cay hotel and plan your next Caribbean vacation…

Other Links

Caribbean Birding Trail - Turks & Caicos

Information

...Further shallow banks (Mouchoir, Silver and Navidad) to the south-east, some within TCI territory, are important for whales and probably for feeding seabirds. The Bahamas lie on separate banks to the northwest, and share some aspects of the geography...