Antigua and Barbuda

Barbuda Warbler Setophaga subita ©Josh Noseworthy (WikiCommons) Website
Birding Antigua & Barbuda

Antigua and Barbuda is an island nation located on the eastern boundary of the Caribbean Sea with the Atlantic Ocean. As its name suggests, it consists of two major islands – Antigua and Barbuda – as well as a number of smaller islets. All are close neighbours within the middle of the Leeward Islands and roughly 17 degrees north of the equator.Antigua has a population of 82,000, comprised chiefly of a mixture of people of West African, British and Portuguese descent. The islands of Antigua and Barbuda are part of the Lesser Antilles archipelago. To the south of Antigua and Barbuda lie the islands of Guadeloupe, Dominica, Martinique, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Barbados, Grenada and Trinidad and Tobago. Montserrat lies to the southwest; Saint Kitts and Nevis and Saint Eustatius are to the west, and Saint Barthélemy, Saint Martin and Anguilla are to the northwest.Around 187 species of birds have been recorded in Antigua and Barbuda, of which the majority are migratory. The key bird species include: Lesser Antillean Flycatcher & Lesser Antillean Bullfinch and the endemic Barbuda Warbler, with a supporting cast of Purple-throated and Green-throated Caribs, doves, terns, gulls, Caribbean coot, boobies (masked, red-footed, and brown) and the endangered West Indian Whistling Duck, as well as magnificent frigate bird. The warbler’s habitat was massively damaged by Hurricane Irma (Sept 2017). Despite this, the species survived the storm and its aftermath, though the exact state of the population remains to be seen.Barbuda is the place for frigatebirds as there is a Frigate Bird Sanctuary at Codrington Lagoon. It is the Caribbean’s largest (the world’s second largest) such colony and has c.5,000 frigates. October sees most activity.

Contributors
Number of Species
  • Number of bird species: 187

    (As at September 2018)

    National Bird: Magnificent Frigatebird Fregata magnificens

Endemics
  • Number of endemics: 1

    Barbuda Warbler Setophaga subita
Checklist

  • iGoTerra Checklist

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

  • Checklist of the Birds of Aruba, Curacao and Bonaire: South Caribbean

    By TG Prins, JH Reuter, AO Debrot, J Wattel & V Nijman | Netherlands Ornithologist Union | 2009 | Hardback | 268 pages, maps, colour photos | ISBN: #187100 Buy this book from NHBS.com
  • 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: 0713654198 Buy this book from NHBS.com
Organisations
  • EAG - The Environmental Awareness Group of Antigua & Barbuda

    Website
    Many of our land birds are depicted on a card produced by the Society for the Conservation and Study of Caribbean Birds (SCSCB) in cooperation with the EAG. The card is shown below. If you would like a card,
Reserves

Abbreviations Key

  • BS Frigate Bird Sanctuary

    InformationSatellite View
    The sanctuary is situated in Codrington Lagoon and can only be visited by boat. Tickets can be purchased at the wharf, but you must arrange a tour with a local boatperson in advance.
Trip Reports


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

  • 2010 [11 November] - Chris Grimshaw

    Report
    Our holiday was based at the Jolly Beach resort just outside Jolly Harbour which is not too far from the Island’s capital, St Johns. It wasn’t a birdwatching holiday as such but I did take every opportunity that I could to go off and do some. My binoculars went virtually everywhere with me but early on in the stay I had a problem with the focus wheel on my scope…
  • 2011 [04 April] - Tony & Ruth Payne - Galley Bay Area

    Report
    We had a week’s holiday at Galley Bay, which is situated to the west of the Antiguan capital St. John’s on the Five Islands peninsula. Galley Bay has its own large brackish lagoon which is within the hotel grounds and therefore fairly inaccessible to the wandering birder….
  • 2015 [12 December] - Wilton Farrelly

    PDF Report
    Birds seen included Lesser Antillean Bullfinch, Nutmeg Mannikin, Antillean Crested Hummingbird and Carib Grackle. Also new for the trip was a Lesser Black-backed Gull, two Gull Billed Terns, Tricolored Heron, Sharp-shinned Hawk and Collared Dove
  • 2016 [04 April] - Jesse FaganLesser Antilles

    Report
    10 islands, 14 days, 14 flights, 8 hotels, 1 visit to the emergency room, drive on the right, drive on the left,...you get the picture. It requires a lot of action and movement to see these birds! And see them we did. It was another successful island-hopping adventure this year, and the logistics worked out fine on this logistically complicated tour. Even island time seemed faster. Mark recovered in fine fashion. And we also got all the potential endemics!
  • 2017 [06 June] - Mark Van Beirs

    PDF Report
    Antigua, Barbuda, Montserrat, Dominica, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Santa Lucia, Saint Vincent, Barbados and Grenada were the ten islands we visited on our recent Lesser Antilles tour. Some are independent countries in their own right, while others are Overseas Territories. All these islands exude a quite different flavour, as some are rich and well developed and some are obviously quite poor with pothole-riddled roads and limited infrastructure...
Places to Stay


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

  • Antigua Hotels & Resorts

    Accommodation
  • Antigua Yepton Beach Resort

    Accommodation
    Yepton Beach Resort is located on a 37 acre estate, bordered to the North by the turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea and a quarter mile white sandy beach. Rolling hills and a lagoon that offers sanctuary to pelicans, egrets, blue and white herons, and many other exotic birds and fish, make up the South border.
Other Links
  • Antillean Crested Hummingbird Orthorhyncus cristatus

    Website
    This is the commonest hummingbird of the islands. The larger Green-throated hummingbird has no crest. In Antigua, the name Doctor Brushy is given.
  • Barbuda & Antigua On-line Tourist Guide

    Website
    There are several salt ponds where it is possible to see a great variety of bird life, and in the lagoon the most spectacular of all the birds, the rare Magnificent Frigate bird has a colony of approximately two thousand birds, one of the largest in the world.
  • Barbuda Warbler Setophaga subita

    Information
    The Barbuda warbler (Setophaga subita) is a species of bird in the family Parulidae. It is endemic to the island of Barbuda in Antigua and Barbuda. Its natural habitat is tropical dry shrubland near wetland areas.
  • Birds of Barbuda

    Website
    Your Guide to Birds and Bird Watching Information - Complete Information for Bird Watching Enthusiasts and Bird Watching Beginners, When the love of backyard birds and wild birds first flutters into your heart, a whole new world opens, this is why Birds Of Barbuda is here. Suddenly, you realize that the birds have always been there but perhaps you never paused to observe or enjoy them. The fact that bird watching is one of the most popular hobbies enjoyed by Caribbean People and people all over the world tells us that it truly enriches peoples’ lives.
  • Caribbean Birding Trail

    Webpage
    ...At one level we have every expectation that people will visit Antigua to watch birds. Certainly this strategy will address their needs. But at another level birds provide a perspective of Antiguan patrimony as a whole....

Fatbirder - linking birders worldwide... Wildlife Travellers see our sister site: WAND