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Cayman Birds

Birdlovers flock to these islands to see parrots, ducks, cuckoos, herons, and other species. One of the most exotic species is the national bird, the Cayman parrot. Look for these birds in early mornings and late afternoons when they return to roost in the stumps of palm trees. (Sadly there are no parrots on Little Cayman. That bird population disappeared in 1932 with the Great Hurricane and never returned.) These parrots eat fruit, flowers and seeds in the dry woodlands.

Another commonly seen bird is the Zenaida dove, a cooing dove that feeds on dried seeds. The colorful bananaquit, a yellow and black bird that's not shy about begging for crumbs (and its favorite treat: sugar) is another common sight.

Red-footed boobies are easily sighted on Little Cayman. Here you'll find 7,000 boobies, about 30of the Caribbean population of this species. This beige bird, about 25 inches long, nests high in the trees. Its young are pure white. Boobies construct a rough nest of sticks that's easy to spot.

Magnificent frigate birds are also sighted in these islands. With a wingspan of over seven feet and wings sharply angled like boomerangs, the black frigate bird is fairly easy to spot as it soars high over the sea.

Little Cayman in particular is a favorite with birders, who come to the tiny isle for the chance to spot red footed boobies, magnificent frigate birds, West Indian whistling ducks, cattle egrets, black necked stilts, snowy egrets, tricoloured herons, and others. Cayman Brac is favored for its parrot viewing, with a large reserve dedicated to these colorful birds. Grand Cayman is also home to several protected areas and ponds where both migrating and resident birds thrive.

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