For plant and animal life, Puerto Rico is a genuine Eden. Only a handful of bird species are native to Puerto Rico, despite the fact that it is home to over 100. We look at the gorgeous and unusual birds of Puerto Rico in this article.
18 BIRDS IN PUERTO RICO
There are over 18 bird species native to Puerto Rico, despite the fact that some species are re-classified and disputed. Only two hawk species are not included. The word endemic refers to a species that can only be found in one location on Earth.
1. PUERTO RICAN VIREO
Scientific Name: Vireo latimeri
Shade coffee plantations and mangrove swamps are among the woodlands where the Puerto Rican vireo lives on Puerto Rico. Because of its call, it sings constantly and has been given the moniker “bien-te-veo” (see you well) by the locals.
Insects are eaten on the forest floor, where they browse for them. Lizards are even consumed by some people!
2. PUERTO RICAN EMERALD
Scientific Name: Riccordia maugaeus
Look for this little green hummingbird on the island of Puerto Rico, wherever you may find it. Females have off-white underparts, while males have an entirely green body. Females have white tip tail feathers and a white spot behind their eye, while males have a black tail.
It’s most likely to be seen in the island’s mountainous north, or on the shore in the south. They’re often seen around crimson blooms, particularly ones that resemble lengthy tubes. small flies and spiders are also added to their nectar diets.
3. PUERTO RICAN FLYCATCHER
Scientific Name: Myiarchus antillarum
This gray and white bird is a native of Puerto Rico, and it’s subtle and sweet. Insects make up the majority of its diet, but seeds and fruit are also included.
The Puerto Rican Flycatcher is the first bird you might see if you visit the island. They can be found in both woodland and partly-open environments. The can be found in Cabo Rojo National Wildlife Refuge.
4. PUERTO RICAN SPINDALIS
Scientific Name: Spindalis portoricensis
The Blackberry Queen is the Spanish name for this bird, which comes from the term “reina mora.” The Puerto Rican spindalis feeds on blackberries (and other fruits), which they may be seen in fruit thickets.
The sexually dimorphic males and females of the spindalise. Males have a black and white striped head, a brilliant yellow-orange neck and belly, and black and white striped wings. Females are plain colored dull brown with traces of yellow.
5. PUERTO RICAN NIGHTJAR
Scientific Name: Antrostomus noctitherus
The distinctive “whip-whip-whip” cry of the Puerto Rican nightjar is a part of every peaceful island evening. This nightjar is most active in the evening and overnight hours, as are other nightjars. Others will sometimes call when one calls, forming a chorus.
In the dry southwestern parts of the island, this insectivorous nightjar dwells in scrub bush on the ground. The nightjar is brown and gray in color, rather than having brilliantly colored plumage like other Puerto Rican birds. In the shadows of the forest floor, this dark plumage serves as camouflage.
6. PUERTO RICAN PARROT
Scientific Name: Amazona vittata
Iguaca, a local Puerto Rican name, is also used to describe the Puerto Rican parrot. Their beak is pink, their legs are blue, and they have a crimson patch between their eyes. They are virtually all bright green. El Yunque National Rainforest, a tropical rainforest draped with waterfalls and hiking routes on the western coast, is where this parrot calls home.
One of the world’s most endangered parrots is this unique species! They have grown from a population of barely 13 parrots in 1973 to nearly 450 today. For the last five decades, scientists have tried valiantly to save these magnificent birds.
7. PUERTO RICAN WOODPECKER
Scientific Name: Melanerpes portoricensis
The only woodpecker family native to Puerto Rico is the Puerto Rican woodpecker. It adapts well to human infrastructure, from homes to telephone poles, and is widely distributed across the island.
The Puerto Rican woodpecker and the red-headed woodpecker are said to have comparable behaviors, according to scientists. Scorpions may be eaten by the Puerto Rican woodpecker on rare occasions. The neck and belly are crimson, and their head is black with a brown back.
8. PUERTO RICAN LIZARD-CUCKOO
Scientific Name: Coccyzus vieilloti
The tree lizards are the cuckoo’s favorite food, which gives it its name. They also consume caterpillars and enormous spiders, in addition to lizarads. Dense forest thickets and coffee plantations dot the entire island, home to the Puerto Rican lizard-cuckoo.
They have a red ring around the eye, are ruddy brown on the belly, and have an extended tail. They are a tawny brown color all over. The tail is brown with a white tip and a black band at the bottom. The tail, on the other hand, is more visible from below due to its thick black and white markings.
9. PUERTO RICAN TODY
Scientific Name: Todus mexicanus
The Puerto Rican tody, also known as “small Saint Peter” on the island, is a little insect-eater that dwells in foggy, high-altitude rainforests and dense thickets. Their vivid green hue stands out against the crimson throat and orange beak, producing a stunning combination. Gray eyes are seen in males; white eyes are seen in females.
These todies will perch on a limb and gaze upwards at the bottom of the leaves above them in order to capture insects. They’ll fly up and capture an insect off the leaf in one swoop when they perceive it.
10. PUERTO RICAN TANAGER
Scientific Name: Nesospingus speculiferus
Fruits and insects are favorite foods for these community nesters. They may be identified by their dark head and back contrasting with their light underside, as they gather in huge flocks of distinct bird species.
Only if you go up into the island’s east and west mountain rainforests will you see a Puerto Rican tanager. The birds in El Yunque National Forest have a stable population.
11. YELLOW-SHOULDERED BLACKBIRD
Scientific name: Agelaius xanthomus
The dry coastal woods of southern Puerto Rico are home to the Yellow-shouldered blackbird, an insect-eating blackbird. In the early 1900s, most of these woods were chopped down to make way for huge sugarcane plantations.
On the main island of Puerto Rico, as well as two nearby islands: Mona and Monito, the species still survives in small fragments of habitat. Males are slightly bigger than females, and both sexes appear the same. Except for bright yellow feathers on their wing’s shoulder, they have totally black bodies. When the wings are extended, they’re usually much more visible.
12. ELFIN-WOODS WARBLER
Scientific name: Setophaga angelae
This little bird is ethereal and exquisite. It differs from the Black-and-white warbler, a migratory visitor throughout the winter and spring months, by having a white eye ring.
In central Puerto Rico’s protected cloud forests, look for the Elfin-woods warbler. Plant life required for nipping insects off of wide leaves thrives in these pristine areas.
13. ADELAIDE’S WARBLER
Scientific name: Setophaga adelaidae
Throughout the whole island of Puerto Rico, look for Adelaide’s warbler. It thrives in arid woods, such as the Yellow-shouldered blackbird, but will endure in moister climes. Caterpillars are one of their favorite foods, but they will eat other insects as well. They’re constantly on the go, dashing about while foraging for food, much like other warblers.
In the intermediate levels of Puerto Rico’s rainforests, this bird searches for insects. They aren’t particularly timid of humans and prefer to associate with other birds in flocks.
14. PUERTO RICAN BULLFINCH
Scientific name: Melopyrrha portoricensis
A black and orange bird that’s a little smaller than a robin is the fruit-eating Puerto Rican bullfinch, so identify it. It’s simple to notice the rusty orange dots on their tail, above their eyes, and on their neck.
They may be found in the woods of the island. They weave woven spherical nests out of sticks and soft grasses during the nesting season, which runs from March through June. Green eggs are the color of their eggs.
15. PUERTO RICAN ORIOLE
Scientific name: Icterus portoricensis
These beautiful orioles may be found in woods across the island, as well as gardens and other wooded regions. They can open bromeliads and other large, curled leaves for food with their strong bill muscles, which they use to eat both fruits and insects.
The shoulders, belly, and rump of these orioles are all bright yellow. The yellow above and below their tail distinguishes them from the Yellow-shouldered Blackbird, which may be similar to them.
16. GREEN MANGO
Scientific name: Anthracothorax viridis
The Green Mango, a related endemic hummingbird, is found in Puerto Rico. Males and females are practically completely green, as the name suggests. On their underparts and tail, they have a metallic blue-green patch.
Green Mangos may be found in central and western Puerto Rico’s woodlands, plantations, and mountains, but not along the coastline.
17. PUERTO RICAN SCREECH OWL
Scientific name: Gymnasio nudipes
Brown and rufous (reddish-brown) are two color morphs of this mid-sized screech-owl. Their eyes are crimson, their head is browner, and their belly is white with streaks of brown. Both wooded urban settings and forests are home to these owls. Their shrill trill is much easier to hear than see. Crickets, mantis, and beetles, as well as small vertebrates like lizards and small birds, are among the food of these smaller owls.
18. LESSER ANTILLEAN PEWEE
Scientific name: Contopus latirostris
Puerto Rico, Guadeloupe, Dominica, Martinique, and St. Kitts and Nevis are all home to this gorgeous little Pewee. Lucia is a popular name in the United States. The Puerto Rican Pewee is a nickname for several birds found on the island of Puerto Rico. Their head is crowned with a small crest, and their belly color can range from reddish-brown to pale.
It is thought that almost 99% of the insects they consume are real insect specialists, with just a little plant material. Flies, bees, wasps, and ants are their preferred insects.