Bermuda Petrel (Cahow) Pterodroma cahow ©Friedemann Arndt Website

Bermuda is a British Overseas Territory situated in the mid-North Atlantic, just under 650 miles east of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, USA. It is the second most isolated inhabited island in the world, but readily accessible with daily flights from gateway cities including Atlanta, Boston, New York, Philadelphia and Toronto. Five or six flights a week fly direct to London. Bermuda is an archipelago consisting of 181 islands, although the most significant islands are connected by bridges and appear to form one landmass. It has a land area of just 54 square kilometres (21 square miles).

Bermuda has a sub-tropical climate with summer maximum temperatures reaching the high 80’s (°F) and winter temperatures rarely falling below 60°F. Nearly 60 inches of rain is spread fairly evenly throughout the year.

Bermuda’s economy is based on a large international business sector and tourism. Per capita incomes are among the highest in the world and the cost of living is expensive. With over 65,000 people on 21 square miles, it is also one of the most densely populated countries in the world.

 Birding Bermuda

Nevertheless, there are still plenty of good birding locations.

Views from Cooper’s Island Nature Reserve ©P Hughes, CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Over 380 species of birds have been recorded in Bermuda. As an isolated oceanic island, it is often regarded as impoverished with only 19 resident species. In addition, the Bermuda Petrel (Cahow); White-tailed Tropicbird (Longtail) and Common Tern visit Bermuda to breed. Only the Bermuda Petrel Pterodroma cahow is truly endemic, while some ornithologists regard the Bermudian sub-species of White-eyed Vireo to be an endemic sub-species Vireo griseus bermudianus.

The vast majority of birds are migrants, with a far more obvious passage of birds in the autumn months rather than the spring. Migrants do not remain for long due to the lack of suitable feeding habitat (warblers being a notable exception). Many rare birds are blown way off course during migration, especially in the autumn, when birds are taking a more easterly route. About 100 species are present in the winter months including more than 20 species of American wood warblers. The hot summers are the least productive bird-wise. Resident birders are able to record about 200 species in a single year.

Habitats are varied: coast and shore; ponds and marshes; parks and gardens; woods and mangroves; farmland and golf courses; urban areas and dumps. For guidance on where to go and what to expect at different times of the year, visit the Bermuda Audubon Society’s web site – There is a host of information including: an annotated bird checklist; birding locations; birding through the seasons; bird news; featured articles on the Cahow; field trips; environmental issues; links to Bermuda and foreign web sites and much more. Better still, come to Bermuda and see it for yourself!

Number of Species
  • Number of bird species: 387

    (As at April 2024) Of these just 17 are resident, 104 are uncommon, 61 are rare, and the rest very rare.
    National Bird - Cahow Pterodroma cahow
  • Number of endemics: 1 Breeding Endemic

    Bermuda Petrel Pterodroma cahow

    The Bermudian sub-species of White-eyed Vireo Vireo griseus bermudianus is also endemic.

  • Avibase

    PDF Checklist
    Fatbirder Associate iGoTerra offers the most comprehensive and up to date birds lists on the webThis checklist includes all bird species found in Bermuda , 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.
  • Bermuda Audubon

    Annotated Checklist
    There are at least 25 bird species known to breed in Bermuda. Of these, 17 are considered permanent resident species.
  • Wikipedia

    Annotated list
    The 387 species is a remarkable number considering that the island is a mere 53.3 square kilometres.
Useful Reading

  • A Birdwatching Guide to Bermuda

    | By Andrew Dobson | Arlequin Press | 2002 | Paperback | 173 pages, Colour photos, b/w illus, maps | Out of Print | ISBN: 9781900159715 Buy this book from
  • A Field Guide to the Birds of Bermuda

    | By Andre Raine | Macmillan Caribbean | 2004 | Paperback | 146 pages, Colour photos | Out of Print | ISBN: 9780333971062 Buy this book from
  • Rare Birds: The Extraordinary Tale of the Bermuda Petrel and the Man Who Brought It Back from Extinction

    | By Elizabeth Gehrman | Beacon Press | 2012 | hardback | 240 pages | Out of Print | ISBN: 9780807010761 Buy this book from
  • Bermuda Audubon Society

    Bermuda's spring migration is certainly not as dramatic as the fall migration. In the fall we can witness thousands of birds travelling south but most in rather dull non-breeding plumage or drab coloured juveniles. During the spring months, birders have to search out migrants traveling north from Central and South America to North America
  • Bermuda National Trust

    Promoting conservation in Bermuda.

Abbreviations Key

  • NR Castle Island

    InformationSatellite View
    Cooper's Island Nature Reserve is located at the eastern end of Bermuda in St. Davids. This 12 acres of unspoiled and beautiful nature reserve is now part of Bermuda's national parks. There are nature trails through a vast stretch of woodland area. Although much of the reserve is filled with introduced plantations like Brazil pepper, casuarinas and allspice, there are patches where you can find heavy concentration of Bermuda cedars, palmettos and olivewoods.
  • NR Cooper's Island

    InformationSatellite View
    With the adjacent Castle Islands Nature Reserve, Cooper's Island has been identified as an Important Bird Area by BirdLife International principally because of its importance as a breeding site for seabirds.
  • NR Paget Marsh

    WebpageSatellite View
    Paget Marsh is also a peaceful habitat for many native birds, including the white-eyed vireo, and attracts a variety of migratory species such as the northern cardinal…
  • NR Spittal Pond

    WebpageSatellite View
    The reserve hugs the south shore and at its centre is the 8-acre Spittal Pond, without doubt the best birdwatching location in Bermuda…
  • Parks, Gardens & Nature Reserves

    WebpageSatellite View
    With its varied flora & fauna Bermuda explodes with vibrant colours. The Bermuda Government and organisations such as the National Trust and Audubon Society have worked tirelessly to create open spaces that can be enjoyed by all. Their dedication has resulted in a variety of beautiful parks and nature reserves throughout the island…
Trip Reports
  • 2006 [11 November] - Craig Faanes

    Although Bermuda is high on the list of “gotta get to” places for the rich and famous, it’s not really that much of a stopover area for bird watchers. The reason is simple. Other than the Bermuda Petrel (Cahow), there is not much reason for anyone interested in birds to travel there. Yet, for someone with wanderlust and an incurable affliction for islands, Bermuda is an understandable place to want to spend a few days…
  • 2013 [11 November] - Max Berlijn - Quest for the rarest Petrel of the North Atlantic

    PDF Report
    Illustrated and annotated list
  • 2018 [11 November] - Nick Bonomo

    PDF Report
    In the afternoon we took the 6 bus to Clearwater Beach, which puts you right at the start of Cooper’s Island. It’s about a 20-minute walk, without stopping, from the bus stop to the tip of Cooper’s Point to scope for petrels. Our first tubenose was actually a Cory’s Shearwater, seasonally unusual from land there. We eventually scoped a minimum of five Cahows, though they were pretty distant on this day.
  • 2022 [11 November] - Andrew Dobson-
    A Black-bellied Whistling-Duck remained in Bermuda at various locations to 30 Nov...
Places to Stay
  • OceanWinds Villa and B&B

    Let the sound of surf caress your mind as you relax in the hammock, swing in the garden or, lounge on the terrace and watch the Bermuda Longtails (national bird) soar over the ocean
Other Links
  • 4 of Bermuda's Most Amazing Birds

    Bermuda is home to a wide array of birdlife. Here are just a handful of feathered friends to keep an eye out for while visiting the island.…
  • Bermuda Birds & Guide to Bird Watching

    Bermuda is a great place for bird lovers. Depending on the season, you can see wide varieties of birds, both migratory and land birds. While there are several types of resident birds in Bermuda, lot of the varieties are seen in the birds who migrate en route Bermuda. During the Spring time, many birds migrate from South America towards North America for breeding. However the fall migration is much larger and takes place in the opposite direction, from North towards South.
  • Birds of Bermuda


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