These photos are from a two week survey trip to Cuba 13-25 Feb, 2009 with the Caribbean Conservation Trust led by Gary Markowski. The trip covered all of the major habitat types, and we found 26 of the 27 or so currently extant endemics. Note all images are thumbnails, click for larger version, and all are marked with name of species and date.

  A couple maps of Cuba and the Caribbean from WorldAtlas.Com, you can check out this site here.

  This is the van we used for the trip, being held in place by Bruce Hallett. It was pretty comfortable, and we had a few days we had to cover a lot of ground...  We spent most of our time in the west, and then went as far east as Camaguey to get the eastern endemics.

Here are a few of the spots we birded...

The top row is a trail at the Maria la Gorda Hotel and a trail at Guanahacabibes National Park 2/16.

The second row are both from the La Guira area up in the limestone mountains 2/18.

The third row is La Turba at the Zapata Swamp 2/19

The fourth row is Bermejas Preserve in Zapata National Park and Guama Crocodile Farm on 2/19.

The fifth row is Las Salinas 2/20 and Sierra de Cubita 2/22.

The sixth row is habitat shots from Zapata Swamp at Rio Hatiguanico 2/24.

Old Havana was pretty cool... a lot of neat buildings and old 50s era cars. We spent a few hours with Orlando Garrido on our first day, 2/14, Cuban ornithologist and amazing guy (top row). The USS Maine Memorial (bottom right) used to have a big eagle on top but that got removed sometime recently and is reportedly now in a building occupied by the US "Interest" Section.

  Our group. Back row L-R Nora Schwab, me, driver Palacio, Cooby Greenway, Ivan Schwab, Bruce Hallett. Middle row Larry Schwab, Jeannie Wright, Tony White, Cuban trip leader William Suarez, Judith O'Neale, Carol Foil, Cuban leader Jesus Garcia, front row kneeling local guide Frank Medina, Ed Harper, US Trip Leader/Coordinator Gary Markowski. William was our primary bird guide and he was fantastic! One of our members, Nora, created a blog you can check out here.

THE BIRDS Endemics are bolded.

Greater Flamingo

  Snail Kite

Cuban Black-Hawk

American Kestrel

Local residents come in two color forms, rufous and white. Both can be separated from N American migrants by plumage.


  Plain Pigeon

Gray-fronted Quail-Dove

Right side is waiting for the dove to hopefully cross the trail (which it never did!)

Blue-headed Quail-Dove

Bad photo through the windshield... but a great find crossing the road!

Cuban Parakeet

Great Lizard-Cuckoo

Bare-legged Owl

Also called Cuban Screech-Owl in some books.

Cuban Pygmy-Owl

Stygian Owl

Cuban Emerald

Bee Hummingbird

Smallest bird in the world.


Cuban Trogon

Cuban Tody

West Indian Woodpecker

Cuban Green Woodpecker

Fernandina's Flicker

Cuban Pewee

La Sagra's Flycatcher

Loggerhead Kingbird

Giant Kingbird

Cuban Vireo

Palm Crow

  Cuban Solitaire

Wood Warblers

If you want to see more North American Wood Warblers this page has all the Eastern species:

Giff's Warblers

"Golden" Yellow Warbler Dendroica petechia gundlachi (resident). Note how dull the female at bottom is.

Yellow-headed Warbler

Oriente Warbler

Western Spindalis

Red-legged Honeycreeper

Cuban Bullfinch

Yellow-faced Grassquit

Zapata Sparrow

  Cuban Blackbird

Cuban Black-cowled Oriole

Non Birds  

  Two odonates, we saw few due to the dry season. The dragonfly is a skimmer of uncertain taxonomy, Orthemis cf schmidti . The damselfly is Rambur's Forktail (Ischnura ramburii), even though the pattern of West Indian ramburii on s9 is unlike the mainland US versions. If you like dragonflies check out my odonate site here.

Cuban satyr, not sure the species yet.

Osteopilus septentrionalis, the Cuban Treefrog (thanks for ID from Dennis Paulson)


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All photographs by Giff Beaton 2009 and may not be used for any purpose without permission.