Bermuda

Bermuda Petrel (Cahow) Pterodroma cahow ©Andrew Dobson Website
Birding Bermuda

Bermuda is a British Overseas Territory situated in the mid-Atlantic, about 600 miles east of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. 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 Gatwick. 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 sq. miles, it is also one of the most densely populated countries in the world – but there are still plenty of good birding locations.

About 375 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 fall 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 fall, when birds are taking a more easterly route. About 100 species are present in the winter months including more than 20 species of wood warbler. 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, much more. Better still, come to Bermuda and see it for yourself!

Contributors
Number of Species
  • Number of bird species: 387

    As of June 2018 - Of these, 104 are uncommon, 61 are rare, and 145 are very rare.
    National Bird - Cahow Pterodroma cahow
Endemics
  • Number of endemics: 1 Breeding Endemic

    Bermuda Petrel Pterodroma cahow

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

Checklist

  • iGoTerra Checklist

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

  • A Birdwatching Guide to Bermuda

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

    | By Andre Raine | Macmillan Caribbean | 2004 | Paperback | 146 pages, Colour photos | ISBN: 9780333971062 Buy this book from NHBS.com
  • 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 | ISBN: 9780807010761 Buy this book from NHBS.com
Organisations
  • Bermuda Audubon Society

    Website
    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

    Website
    Promoting conservation in Bermuda.
  • Society for the Conservation and Study of Caribbean Birds

    Website
    The Society of Caribbean Ornithology (founded in 1988) was recently renamed and incorporated as the Society for the Conservation and Study of Caribbean Birds (SCSCB) and formally registered as a tax-exempt organization by the United States Internal Revenue Service. The society's new name reflects many years of discussion among members and officers about a name that both describes the full range of activities of its members and is more recognizable to the public
Reserves

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


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

  • 2006 [11 November] - Craig Faanes

    Report
    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
Places to Stay


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

  • Barngrove Apartments

    Accommodation
    Barngrove Apartments are run by keen birders…
  • OceanWinds Villa and B&B

    Accommodation
    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

    Webpage
    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

    Article
    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.
  • Bermuda Hotspots

    Website
    Clubs, reserves, etc
  • Birds of Bermuda

    Website

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