Anguilla

Mangrove Cuckoo Coccyzus minor ©Birding Ecotours Website

Anguilla is a British Overseas Territory in the Caribbean. It is one of the most northerly of the Leeward Islands in the Lesser Antilles, lying east of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands and directly north of Saint Martin. The territory consists of the main island of Anguilla, approximately 26 kilometres (16 miles) long by 5km (3 miles) wide at its widest point, together with a number of much smaller islands and cays with no permanent population. The total land area of the territory is c.90 km2 (35 square miles), with a population of about 16,000 people. The territory’s capital is The Valley.

Anguilla is a flat, low-lying island of coral and limestone and the soil is generally thin and poor only supporting scrub, tropical and forest vegetation. The terrain is generally low-lying, with the highest terrain located in the vicinity of The Valley; Crocus Hill, Anguilla’s highest peak at 240 feet (73m), lies in the western regions of the town. The territory is noted for its ecologically important coral reefs and beaches. Apart from the main island of Anguilla itself, the territory includes a number of other smaller islands and cays, mostly tiny and uninhabited.

Northeastern trade winds keep this tropical island relatively cool and dry. Average annual temperature is 80 °F (27 °C) with July to October its hottest period, December to February are its coolest months. Rainfall averages 35 inches (890 mm) annually, although the figures vary from season to season and year to year. The island is subject to both sudden tropical storms and hurricanes, which occur in the period from July to November. Anguilla has a number of introduced species, Cuban Tree Frog Osteopilus septentrionalis) and Red-footed Tortoise Chelonoidis carbonaria, which originally came from South America. Hurricanes in the mid-90s led to over-water dispersal of Green Iguanas Iguana iguana to Anguilla. Five species of bat are also present.

Anguilla’s thin arid soil being largely unsuitable for agriculture, the island has few land-based natural resources. Its main industries are tourism, offshore incorporation and management, offshore banking, captive insurance and fishing. Anguilla has become a popular tax haven, having no capital gains, estate, profit, sales, or corporate taxes.

Birding Anguilla

Anguilla has fourteen Important Bird Areas (IBAs) that cover 53 km2 (including marine areas) which represent about 8% of the islands’ land area. They have been identified on the basis of 17 key bird species, including five restricted range species (Caribbean Elaenia, Green-throated Carib, Antillean Crested Hummingbird, Lesser Antillean Bullfinch, and Pearly-eyed Thrasher) and 13 seabirds. Unfortunately, almost all of Anguilla’s IBAs are on private land and very few are protected. All face varying degrees of pressure from encroaching, inappropriate development or threat thereof. The Anguilla National Trust is exploring options of how it can work to protect these internationally significant sites.

Number of Species
  • Number of bird species: 181

    (As at April 2024)

    National Bird: Zenaida Dove Zenaida aurita

Checklist
  • Avibase

    PDF Checklist
    This checklist includes all bird species found in Anguilla , based on the best information available at this time. It is based on a wide variety of sources that I collated over many years. I am pleased to offer these checklists as a service to birdwatchers.
  • Wikipedia

    Annotated List
    This is a list of the bird species recorded in Anguilla. The avifauna of Anguilla included a total of 181 species, according to Bird Checklists of the World as of July 2022
Useful Reading

  • The 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: 9780713654196 Buy this book from NHBS.com
Organisations
  • Anguilla National Trust

    Website
    The Anguilla National Trust (ANT) was established in 1993 to act as custodian of Anguilla's heritage, preserving and promoting the island's natural environment and its archaeological, historical and cultural resources for present and future generations.
Reserves

Abbreviations Key

  • IBA Sombrero Island

    InformationSatellite View
    Sombrero has been identified as an Important Bird Area by BirdLife International because of its breeding seabirds.[13] The island has also been designated as a protected Ramsar site since 2018. It supports internationally important numbers of:Masked boobies (Sula dactylatra), Brown boobies (Sula leucogaster), Bridled terns (Sterna anaethetus), Brown noddies (Anous stolidus) and Sooty terns (Onychoprion fuscata)
Trip Reports
  • 2000 [02 February] - Julian Hughes

    Report
    This report is the result of a one month trip to Anguilla in January and February 2000. The purpose of the visit was to identify potential Important Bird Areas (IBAs) as part of BirdLife International`s Americas conservation programme and to produce the first country checklist for Anguilla, on behalf of the Anguilla National Trust…
  • 2005 [02 March] - Tim Male

    Report
    This is a brief summary of a one week trip to Anguilla between March 12 to 19, 2005. We were also in Anguilla between February 14 and 19, 2004 and observations from 2004 are noted. /Features/anguil2.html . Totals reported are for the highest total count on any visit…
Places to Stay
  • Anguilla Hotel Guide

    Accommodation
    Anguilla has a wide range of hotels, resorts and guest houses, from five-star legends like Cap Juluca to charming local inns like Lloyd`s. And many vacation villas too. This service of the Anguilla Local News groups accommodations by price, based on the lowest double rate in the high season. Hotels also have specials and greatly reduced rates in the low season (April 15 to Dec 14); and prices do change over time. Be sure to visit the hotel`s web site and inquire about exact pricing.
Other Links
  • A Field Guide to Anguilla's Wetland

    Webpage
    A new book was published on June 5, 1998, with information about Anguilla's ponds. This is a field guide, so there are maps, pictures of the bird species you may see, botanical notes of the flora, directions to find the many ponds, and room for you to make Field Notes and record your bird sightings…
  • Birding on Anguilla

    Article
    This report is the result of a one month trip to Anguilla in January and February 2000. The purpose of the visit was to identify potential Important Bird Areas (IBAs) as part of BirdLife International`s Americas conservation programme and to produce the first country checklist for Anguilla, on behalf of the Anguilla National Trust.

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