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.
If you look at a map you will observe that Bermuda falls on the line between some regions of North and South America. As a result, you can see thousands of migratory birds who fly over the island and over the North Atlantic ocean, and many birds land on the island to feed and regain energy before taking off for another long haul.
The species and the varieties of birds that you find in Bermuda depend on the season. There are about 250 species of birds recorded in Bermuda and about 20 of them are residents. While I have talked about many of these birds in the following sections, here are the most important ones including Endemic (that are unique to Bermuda), Native and Introduced species. Check out the links to get detailed information about a specific bird along with its picture.
Bermuda Longtail Bird
Bermuda's Endemic Birds (that can not be found anywhere else in the world)
Bermuda's Native Birds (arrived in Bermuda on their own, became native, but can also be found elsewhere in the world)
Introduced Species (introduced to the island with human assistance)
Here is information about the birds of Bermuda by season and best places to see them.
February to April is the time for Spring migration. The birds migrate from South to North America for breeding and on the way many of them stop over in Bermuda. As a result you can see many colorful birds in the island during this time of the year.
Although summer time is a relatively quite period for birding activities in Bermuda, you can still see many resident birds. Another great spectacle during this time is the migration of the pelagic sea birds who spend most of the year over the ocean.
Large number of birds of many species land in Bermuda during the fall migration that takes place from the North to South America. This is the time when you will see more species than any other season in Bermuda. September and October are the peak months for bird watching in the island. This time is also the Hurricane season in Bermuda. So strong winds also sometimes sweep in large number of birds into the island.
There are some 90 species of birds that can be seen in Bermuda every year during the winter time. This is because many birds migrate to Bermuda due to the freezing climate in the Americas. And in Bermuda, the nearby Gulf Stream provides all the comfort the birds need to make a winter residence.
Bermuda Petrel (The Cahow)
Great bird watching locations in Bermuda
Some of the great places in Bermuda for bird watching includes:
Spittal Pond Nature Reserve in Smith's Parish,
Hog Bay Park in Sandy's,
Alfred Blackburn Smith Nature Reserve in Paget Parish.
Watch Hill Park and Devonshire Bay for watching the migration of seabirds from South Shore of Bermuda during summer time. A binocular or even better a telescope would be ideal to watch such migration over the ocean.
Mangrove Lake located in the border of Smith's Parish and Hamilton Parish and east of Harrington Sound is also a great bird watching site. You can see many migratory birds here who make a stop over during their migration over the Atlantic. One of such prominent birds is the Green Herons. The pond, largest in Bermuda, is fringed with think red mangrove trees and covers an area of some 30 acres. There are of course many other great bird locations in Bermuda like the Warwick Pond, Somerset Long Bay, and Seymour’s Pond.
Update January 2015: The 40th Christmas bird count ended in the last week of December 2014. A total of 92 species of birds have been recorded in Bermuda in 2014 bird count during Christmas week.
1. Check out Bermuda Activities to know about all the popular activities in the island.
2. Check out Bermuda Animals & Wildlife for full information on Bermuda's animal habitats.
By Raj Bhattacharya
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