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Birdlife on the island is incomparably vast and unique. As is the case with most oceanic islands, birds arrived on the island by crossing open ocean, at times from great distance, with the sea acting as a natural barrier to dispersal. As a result, relatively few continental organisms have been able to reach the island and specific ecological niches further determined their development. Bird Island, rich in flora typical of the Greater Antillean region, sustains an abundant world of avian treasures making it the paradise it is.

The Exuma Emerald is Bird Island's gem, endemic to the island and found nowhere else in the world. A brilliantly iridescent hummingbird with a long forked tail and ruby-red beak, it lives off the nectar of the flowering hibiscus and bats its wings more than 50 times per second. The year-round residents are those birds that spend their entire life-cycle in and around Bird Island, while the breeding residents come here just to lay their eggs. Non-breeding residents, often referred to as 'visitors', breed elsewhere but are often seen on the island; migrants migrate between islands or to areas outside the West Indies; and wanderers are just that, birds that move between islands at irregular intervals.

Here, then, are just a few of the more than 93 species of birds you can expect to encounter on Bird Island:

C-common; FC-fairly common; R-rare

Endemic
Exuma Emerald (FC)

Year-round Residents
Bahama Woodstar (C); La Sagra Flycatcher (FC); Loggerhead Kingbird (C); Brown-headed Nuthatch (R); Red-legged Thrush (C); Bahama Mockingbird (C); Thick-billed Vireo (C); Yellow Warbler (C); Stripe-headed Tanager (FC); Black-faced Grassquit (C); Red-footed Booby (FC); Brown Pelican (C); Snowy Egret (C); Tri-coloured Heron (C); Greater Flamingo (C); Clapper Rail (C); White Plover (FC); Oystercatcher (C); Mangrove Cuckoo (FC)

Breeding Residents
Crested-eye Peewee (FC); Bananaquit (C); Black-capped Petrel (R); Audobon's Shearwater (C); White-tailed Tropicbird (FC); Magnificent Frigatebird (C); Yellow-billed Cuckoo (FC)

Non-Breeding Residents
Belted Kingfisher (FC); Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (R); Bahama Swallow (R); Bicknell's Thrush(FC); Gray Catbird (C); White-eyed Vireo (FC); Blue-winged Warbler (R); Orange-crowned Warbler (R); Yellow-rumped Warbler (FC); Royal Tern (FC); Blue Grosbeak (R); Indigo Bunting (C); Brown-headed Cowbird (R); Greater Shearwater (FC); Ring-billed Gull (FC); Wilson's Storm-petrel (R); Double-crested Cormorant (R); Neo-tropic Cormorant (FC); Great Blue Heron (C); Blue-winged Teal (FC); Hooded Merganser (R); Osprey (FC); Avocet (FC); Spotted Sandpiper (C); Sanderling (C)

Migrant
Ruby-throated Hummingbird (R); Eastern Phoebe (R); Great-crested Flycatcher (R); Western Kingbird (R); Eastern Kingbird (FC); Purple Martin (FC); Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (FC); Veery (R); Gray-cheeked Thrush (R); Red-eyed Vireo (R); Golden-winged Warbler (R); Yellow-breasted Chat (R); Scarlet Tanager (C); Dickcissel (R); Sooty Shearwater (R) Masked Booby (C); Water Ibis (R); Merlin (C); Purple Gallinule (FC); Red-necked Phalarope (R)

Wanderer
Scarlet Ibis (R); Roseate Spoonbill (R); Whistling Duck (R); Brown Noody (C); Laughing Gull (FC); Virginia Rail (R)


 
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