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Turks and Caicos Islands

Greater Flamingo Phoenicopterus ruber ©Steven Holt Website

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: 192

Checklist

iGoTerra Checklist

iGoTerra Checklist

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

Useful Reading

A Field Guide to Birds of the West Indies

A Field Guide to Birds of the West Indies (Peterson Field Guides) James Bond, Don R. Eckelberry (Illustrator); Arthur B. Singer (Illustrator) Paperback (September 1999) Houghton Mifflin Company

ISBN: 0618002103

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Birds of the West Indies

By Herbert Raffaele, James Wiley, Orlando Garrido, Allan Keith & Janis Raffaele
Helm Field Guides Sept 2003 Paperback RRP ?16.99p
See Fatbirder Review

ISBN: 0713654198

Buy this book from NHBS.com

The Birds of the Turks and Caicos Islands

Richard Ground 2001

ISBN: 9769507903

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Birds of the Bahamas and the Turks & Caicos Islands

Bruce Hallett Series: CARIBBEAN POCKET NATURAL HISTORY SERIES 245 pages, colour photos. Macmillan Caribbean 2006

ISBN: 0333937449

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Birding in the Turks and Caicos

Part of the 'Birding In Paradise' series. Available from, and published by, The UK Overseas Territories Conservation Forum - HERE

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

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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

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Turks Head Hotel - Grand Turk

Facebook Page

The Turks Head Hotel is a beautifully restored traditional Caribbean Inn situated on a bay on the West Coast of the unspoiled island of Grand Turk. This fine old mansion house was built circa 1840. as the original home of the Islands Salt overseer and has since served as the British Governors guest house and also, the American Consulate.

Blue Horizon Resort - Middle Caicos

Accommodation

Blue Horizon Resort is like no other place in the Caribbean or Bahamas. Located on unspoiled Middle Caicos Island, Blue Horizon Resort is the most beautiful location in the Turks and Caicos Islands. The beaches are a short walk from your cottage and there are screened porches with spectacular views of the sea and the tropical island. Walk the beach in peaceful seclusion. Watch for ospreys and other native birds.

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.

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…

Organisations

Turks & Caicos National Trust

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

Other Links

Bird Watching in the Turks and Caicos Islands

Article

Visitors will not find the Turks and Caicos Islands listed in most bird watching guides, yet there is a cornucopia of birding delights to be found around every corner. Over 190 species can be found at varying intervals, and 52 of these species are known to breed locally. Birds are seen year-round in the Islands. Many travel during spring and fall via their migration route between North and South America, others spend winters locally or come to breed during summer. Several species are resident throughout the year.

Birdwatching

Website

170 species of bird can be found in the Turks and Caicos Islands from Pelicans and Flamingos to Osprey and Cuban Crows. The variety is staggering and the photographs that have been taken here have been published across the world. On North Caicos in particular the tidal flats on the South side of the island attracts scores of birds including wild pink flamingos that regularly inhabit the aptly named Flamingo Pond…