Birding Cuba

Cuba is well-known for its amazing landscapes, vibrant culture and unique biodiversity. According to the recent Endemic Birds of Cuba: A Comprehensive Field Guide, 371* birds have been recorded in Cuba, including 26 which are endemic to the island and 30 which are considered globally threatened. Due to its large land area and geographical position within the Caribbean, Cuba is also extraordinarily important for Neotropical migratory birds—more than 180 species pass through during migration or spend the winter on the island.

* With a marked increase in birding activity in Cuba, records of new species are emerging quickly. At least 5 more species have been documented ... see the recent photographic evidence of Kirtland's Warbler!

Field Guides we suggest for birding in Cuba are:

Endemic Birds of Cuba: A Comprehensive Field Guide by Nils Navarro

This ground-breaking guide, authored by talented wildlife artist, illustrator and scientist, Nils Navarro, was over ten years in the making. It promises to set a new standard for field guides. This is the first field guide focused on Cuban endemic birds. The book is worth owning for the artwork alone. Each bird comes to life on the page, thanks to Nils' intimate knowledge of each species from countless hours of careful observation in the field. Species accounts include concise notes on identification, status, distribution, habitats, behavior, and food. The accounts are supplemented with easy-to-read distribution maps and symbols (that can be colored in) that provide a quick reference to key information.

Learn more about this book and how to purchase it on BirdCaribbean's webpage.

Field Guide to the Birds of Cuba by Orlando H. Garrido and Arturo Kirkconnell (2000)

"The richness and diversity of Cuban birdlife features 354 recorded species that represent 20 orders and 60 families. The 21 living endemic species include the charming Cuban Tody, the striking and elegant Cuban Trogon (the national bird), the colorful Cuban Green Woodpecker, and the smallest of all birds, the Bee Hummingbird. This compact and portable field reference will help Cubans, visitors from abroad, and bird enthusiasts identify and enjoy the island's avifauna. The 51 color plates and 662 images accurately illustrate male, female, and juvenile plumages (in some cases for the first time). Many migratory species are depicted in both winter and breeding colors, providing a glimpse of many common North American birds as they appear when away from northern surroundings. In the comprehensive Field Guide to the Birds of Cuba Orlando H. Garrido and Arturo Kirkconnell share their vast wealth of knowledge about birds―and habitats―that are too little known." [Description taken from]

This book can be purchased online.

Birds of the West Indies

by Raffaele, H., Wiley, J., Garrido, O., Keith, A., and. Raffaele, J. 2003. This is the best guide covering all the bird species known to occur in the Caribbean region as a whole, including endemics, residents and migrants. The book includes color plates of all species depicting different plumages and color distribution maps. Species accounts cover identification, voice, status, habitat and range.

This book can be purchased online.