Birding in Grand Bahama

Birding is another popular activity in the Grand Bahama. Out of all the islands, this one has the second highest population of indigenous species of birds. There are 18 species of birds here that have not been spotted in Europe, USA and Canada. 
Ruddy Turnstone 
Ruddy Turnstone 
Photo: Dennis Jarvis, flickr, cc by-sa 2.0 

Popular Birding Zones

The Rand Nature Center is a popular birding spot specially for amateur birders as it has a good resident population of West Indian Flamingos, red footed thrush, Antillean pee wee, Striped Tanagers and the Bahamian Parrot. There are field guides to guide ornithologists and tourists and a decent collection of birding spots. 
To the east of the grand Lucayan waterway on the southern shore of Grand Bahama lies the Lucayan National park …this contains dense pine and mangrove forests which are home to many avian species. Tours of the park with birding experiences are available daily. 
Birding experiences also abound in the Peterson Cay National park which is actually a mini island near the south shore of Grand Bahama. There is a nesting colony of Bridled terns here which is interesting to observe. 
Another good birding spot is the Garden of the Groves which has both migrants and natives. More than 60 species of avian and 12 walking trails along with several water bodies can be explored… while birders look out for red legged thrushes, loggerhead kingbirds, Antillean bullfinches and Sagra Flycatchers. There are provisions for grilled lunch and supper here. Hours of operation here are between: 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. all days a week (there is a 16.50$ entry fee per adult here). 
West End is 20 miles long and has more of a migratory bird population and more than 30 species of warblers have been spotted here. Owl Hole (one of the holes in the Lucayan Cave chain) has a big family of barn owls that have now earned Government protection. 
Grand Bahama Birds B&B is a unique initiative created by Ed and Erika Gates who have developed a birding hotspot with 103 species. This is more of a private sanctuary and a boutique hotel rolled into one. There are customised treehouse residential options for avid birders. 
Contact them at 
Toll free phone: 1-866-440-4542  

Best Season for Birding

Best time for birders and ornithologists is between Marchs to May when the birds migrating towards north can be spotted. Also summer resident birds are most conspicuous during this season. However if you want to see Fall migrants like Eastern Phoebe and Kirkland Warbler then late September and October are good times. 

Birding Tour Operators

If you are a seasoned birder then you can plan on solo birding trips. In case you plan for a guided birding tour here are a couple of the best birding tours on the island. 
Birding Tour is offered by Grand Bahama Nature Tours and they have a team of certified birding guides who will take you around the popular birding spots and point out exotic species like striped tanger, nectar sipping Bananaquit etc. 
Address: #68 Silver Palm Freeport 
Grand Bahama Island 
Phone: (242) 373-2485, (866) 440-4542 
Blue Green Outdoor adventures offers a bird watching plus hiking tour where you can get a chance to see the unique birds of the island and the migratory birds too. There is a hiking expedition to the Crabbing Bay Birding Trail and the shoreline along with beach relaxation session and Bahamian lunch. The tour is approximately 6.5 hour long and is priced at 118 US $ per person. 
A smaller urban birding Freeport tour is also offered which is more of an educational experience about the city’s birds along with a walking tour. This one is about 3 hour long and prices are about 76$ per person. 
Address: McLean's Town, East Grand Bahama 
Phone: (242) 727-6161 

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