The Birds of Vieques

Recent Encounters with a Great Blue Heron.

great blue heron hovering in flight
This amazing Great Blue Heron hovered for some time looking at us!

Below: Wilsons Plover and eggs • Mangrove Cuckoo photos.

Black Necked Stilt photo

Wilsons Plover photo above left by Father Sanchez, Plover eggs by Elena
Above right: The little eggs of the 'Wilsons Plover'. Eggs are laid right on the beach. You will know they are near you when an 'injured bird' hovers near by and tries to lure you away. Plovers are very good at this tactic! Until you get wise you will truly believe the bird is injured and follow it (away from the eggs). Plovers ( pronounced pluver) are easily seen on any deserted beach. Playa La Plata ( Orchid Beach) is a good place to look.

Hummingbirds American Kestrel at Red Beach Mangrove EcosystemCoral Reefs

The birds of the salt flats of Sun Bay, a key wintering and feeding habitat for waterfowl. Featuring the White Cheeked Pintail ( Bahama Duck). This is a species of concern due to it being overhunted, mongeese stealing the eggs and loss of habitat. One quarter of the Puerto Rico population of this bird lives here.

White Cheeked Pintail Duck, Photo Father Sanchez

The Birds of Puerto Rico webpage on Elenas El Yunque website. Featuring the 'San Pedrito' ( tody).



Adelaides Warbler on the left, Yellow Warbler at right, photos Father Sanchez


Birding is best done early morning. Birds are plentiful in the mangrove lagoons. Blue Heron kayaks is willing to make special early morning trips for birders. See bird lists below.

Pelicans make their nests in the mangrove lagoons. Monte Pirata is in the background. Below photo by Elena.

Pelicans nesting in the shallow south coast lagoon on the southwest coast of Vieques
Shallow Lagoon behind Playa Grande, Monte Pirata in background
The Pelican Rookery is on an island off the south east end of Vieques.


Our Troubled Oceans




List of The Endemic Birds of Puerto Rico:

Puerto Rican Woodpecker - Melanerpes portoricensis Endemic

Puerto Rican Tody - Todus mexicanus Endemic

Puerto Rican Lizard-Cuckoo - Saurothera vieilloti Endemic

Puerto Rican Parrot - Amazona vittata Endemic threatened

Green Mango Hummingbird - Anthracothorax viridis Endemic

Puerto Rican Emerald Hummingbird - Chlorostilbon maugaeus Endemic

Puerto Rican Screech-Owl - Otus nudipes Endemic

Puerto Rican Nightjar - Caprimulgus noctitherus Endemic threatened

Puerto Rican Flycatcher - Myiarchus antillarum Endemic

Puerto Rican Vireo - Vireo latimeri Endemic

Adelaide's Warbler - Dendroica adelaidae Endemic

Elfin-woods Warbler - Dendroica angelae Endemic

Puerto Rican Tanager - Nesospingus speculiferus Endemic

Puerto Rican Bullfinch - Loxigilla portoricensis Endemic

Yellow-shouldered Blackbird - Agelaius xanthomus Endemic threatened


Excerpt from 'bigpockets' about Vieques:

"A week spent birding on Vieques will usually net you approximately 60 species, including the Puerto Rican endemics--Puerto Rican Woodpecker, Puerto Rican Flycatcher, and Adelaide's Warbler as well as a bunch of Caribbean species. Vieques is a good spot to go birding during migration which peaks in September to October and March and April and for wintering North American migrants, especially waterbirds, shorebirds, and warblers. .

Personally (and from a very prejudice point of view) I think the best birding is from a kayak. Elena

Link to a Bird Checklist of Puerto Rico - opens in new window

Puerto Rico Ornithology Organization.


Mangrove Cuckoo