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24 Birds That Live Around Grand Turk Island

Grand Turk Island is a beautiful and secluded paradise located in the Turks and Caicos Islands. This pristine island is home to a stunning array of bird species that are sure to delight any nature enthusiast.

From majestic seabirds soaring over the crystal-clear waters to brightly colored land birds flitting amongst the lush foliage, Grand Turk Island offers a wealth of bird-watching opportunities for visitors of all ages.

Whether you are an experienced bird-watcher or simply a curious traveler seeking to learn more about this remote island’s natural treasures, the diverse and fascinating birdlife of Grand Turk Island is sure to captivate your imagination.

1. Mallard


The Mallard is a species of dabbling duck that can be found living in temperate and subtropical regions across the Americas, Eurasia and North Africa.

It has been introduced to other areas such as New Zealand, Australia, Peru, Brazil and South Africa by humans.

This beautiful bird belongs to the Anatinae subfamily of waterfowl family Anatidae. The adult mallards have a glossy green head with white neck ring surrounding.

It along with brownish grey body feathers making them look stunning when they fly away or just sitting in their natural habitat around lakes or ponds.

They are excellent swimmers too due to webbed feet which helps them swim fast underwater while looking for food like aquatic insects etc.. Their loud quacking sound makes them quite popular among nature lovers.Scientific classification:

SpeciesA. platyrhynchos

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2. Pied-Billed Grebe

Pied-billed grebe

The Pied-billed Grebe is a water bird found in ponds throughout the Americas. It has earned many nicknames, including American dabchick, rail, and Carolina grebe.

This species of grebe can be recognized by its distinctive bill which is pied or mottled with black and white markings.

Its brownish body is also covered in dark spots as well as having long legs for swimming underwater to catch food such as aquatic insects and crustaceans.

The Pied-billed Grebes are monogamous birds that pair up during breeding season from spring to summer where they build their nests together on vegetation near the shoreline of lakes or slow moving rivers.

These birds are solitary outside of mating season but will form small flocks when migrating south for winter months.Scientific classification:

SpeciesP. podiceps

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3. Grebes


Grebes are a type of diving bird found in freshwater habitats around the world. They belong to the order Podicipediformes and have 22 species that exist across six genera.

Some species can also be found in marine environments during their migration or winter season, and some even live flightless lives on stable lakes.

Grebes vary greatly between regions; for example, they range from 4-32 inches long with anywhere from 8-30 ounces of weight depending on which species it is.

Their plumage may be black, browns/grays or whites but usually consist of bright colors such as yellows, blues and greens while underwater they use these feathers to help them streamline through the water quickly.Scientific classification:

OrderPodicipediformes Fürbringer, 1888
FamilyPodicipedidae Bonaparte, 1831

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4. Smooth-Billed Ani

Smooth-billed ani

The Smooth-billed Ani is a species of bird in the cuckoo family, native to regions spanning from southern Florida and the Caribbean down through Central America, South America, and parts of Argentina.

They have even been introduced to Galapagos around 1960s where they may be impacting local wildlife due to their aggressive nature.

As its name suggests, these birds have smooth bills which are adapted for feeding on hard fruits or other items such as insects and lizards that it finds while scavenging around trees or ground level vegetation.

They usually form small flocks when out searching for food with males being slightly larger than females.

Overall this adaptable species is found in many habitats across its broad range but does best at low elevation open areas near water sources like marshes or swamps making them easier targets for human disturbance as well.Scientific classification:

SpeciesC. ani

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5. American Flamingo

American flamingo

The American flamingo is a large species of bird found in the Neotropics. It has bright pink feathers and long legs, making it easily distinguishable from other species of flamingos.

The diet consists mostly of shrimp and small fish but they are also known to eat algae, aquatic insects, mollusks, crustaceans and seeds.

They live around coastal lagoons or salt ponds in colonies with thousands of birds nesting together on mud flats.

Flamingos build nests out of sticks that sit atop their feet as they wade through shallow waters looking for food during low tide periods when these areas become more accessible for feeding purposes.

These birds have an interesting courtship ritual involving neck stretching which looks like a dance to attract mates before breeding season begins in May-June each year leading to chicks hatching during July-August time periodScientific classification:

SpeciesP. ruber

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6. White-Cheeked Pintail

White-cheeked pintail

The white-cheeked pintail is a species of dabbling duck first described by Carl Linnaeus in 1758. This beautiful bird can be found mainly in the Caribbean, South America, and Galápagos Islands.

It prefers to inhabit brackish lakes or other waters with some salinity where it swims gracefully amongst its environment.

White-cheeked pintails have striking brown plumage on their back which contrasts beautifully against their white cheeks and bellies.

They also possess an elongated tail that aids them during flight as well as helping them attract potential mates while they are courting.

These birds feed primarily on aquatic invertebrates but may also consume small fish or plant material if available.

The conservation status of the white-cheeked pintail is currently considered “Least Concern” due to its wide distribution range and stable population numbers across much of its native habitat range.Scientific classification:

SpeciesA. bahamensis

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7. Red Knot

Red knot

The Red Knot is a medium-sized shorebird that inhabits tundra and Arctic Cordillera in the far north of Canada, Europe and Russia.

It belongs to the Calidris sandpipers family, being one of its largest members second only to the Great Knot.

This species has six subspecies recognized worldwide. During breeding season their diet consists mainly on arthropods and larvae; however they may also feed on other items such as molluscs or crustaceans according to availability during migration periods.

They are known for their long migratory journeys which can last up to 20 000 kilometers per year – from wintering grounds in South America all the way through North American coasts until reaching summer nesting sites across Northern Eurasia.Scientific classification:

SpeciesC. canutus

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8. Grey Plover

Grey plover

The Grey Plover is a large plover bird which breeds in the Arctic regions. It then migrates over long distances, and can be found on coastlines around the world when not breeding.

The species was first described by Swedish naturalist Carl Linnaeus in 1758 under its binomial name “Tringa squatarola”.

In addition to being known as grey plovers or black-bellied plovers, they are also sometimes referred to as “black-breasted lapwings” due to their distinctive plumage that features white underneath with dark greys above.

These birds inhabit beaches, mudflats and saltmarshes where they feed mainly on small invertebrates such as worms and insects.Scientific classification:

SpeciesP. squatarola

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9. Oystercatchers


Oystercatchers are a family of waders forming the Haematopodidae, with one genus; Haematopus.

They live in coastal regions around the world excluding both polar and some tropical areas of Africa & South East Asia.

Eurasian, South Island & Magellanic oystercatcher species also breed far inland – breeding grounds being found much deeper than other members of the family.

They have long beaks used to feed on molluscs such as mussels, clams and oysters which they crack open using their strong bills.

Oystercatchers are usually quite vocal birds making various loud calls when disturbed or alarmed.

The males tend to display more brightly coloured plumage compared to females who share similar brown/black hues for camouflage purposes during nesting season.Scientific classification:

FamilyHaematopodidae Bonaparte, 1838
GenusHaematopus Linnaeus, 1758

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10. Eurasian Whimbrel

Eurasian whimbrel

Eurasian Whimbrels are a species of wading bird commonly found in subarctic regions of Europe and Asia.

They have white rumps, long curved bills, brown wings and backs with light streaking on the lower breast.

These birds feed mainly on crustaceans, mollusks or worms they find while probing in the mud during low tide.

During breeding season they can be seen nesting near coastal areas or wetlands where food is plentiful.

This species has recently been split from Hudsonian whimbrels but some authorities still consider them to be one species due to their similarities which includes migration patterns as well as habitat preferences.

Eurasian whimbrels are an important part of many ecosystems because they help control insect populations by eating larvae before it can cause damage to crops or vegetation nearby.Scientific classification:

SpeciesN. phaeopus

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11. White-Tailed Tropicbird

White-tailed tropicbird

The White-tailed Tropicbird is a beautiful seabird that lives in the tropical waters of the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans.

It is the smallest member of its order Phaethontiformes, measuring only 28 inches from head to tail.

Its wingspan can reach up to 45 inches wide. The bird has white plumage with black markings on its wings and tail feathers.

It also has an unmistakable long streamer which trails out behind them when they are in flight – a characteristic feature for all tropicbirds.

They nest mainly on remote islands throughout their range but have recently begun nesting on Little Tobago as well.

These birds feed primarily off flying fish or squid near the ocean’s surface during daylight hours before returning back home at nightfall.Scientific classification:

SpeciesP. lepturus

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12. Spotted Sandpiper

Spotted sandpiper

The Spotted sandpiper (Actitis macularius) is a small shorebird that can be found across North America and parts of South America.

It has an appealing spotted plumage, predominately brown in colour with white spots on the wings, tail feathers, head and neck.

The Common Sandpiper (A. hypoleucos) is its sister species which takes over geographically when the other moves away; they have been known to hybridize as well when strays settle down among breeders.

This bird was first described by Carl Linnaeus in 1766 in his twelfth edition of Systema Naturae as a migratory summer visitor to Europe but it now also occupies many habitats too like beaches, riversides and even grasslands during migration periods or for breeding season itself.

Its diet consists mainly of insects such as air-borne flies plus molluscs from shallow water areas – this makes them quite unique amongst waders.Scientific classification:

SpeciesA. macularius

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13. White-Crowned Pigeon

White-crowned pigeon

The White-crowned Pigeon is a species of bird belonging to the Columbidae family, widely found in the Caribbean. In the first half of the 18th century it was described as such.

This pigeon has been immortalized by artist John James Audubon through his watercolor painting featured in Birds of America published during early 19th century.

These birds primarily feed on fruits and seeds and have white crowns that make them easily recognizable even from afar.

The beauty of these birds makes them popular amongst birdwatchers all over the world who flock to observe their behavior while they eat or nest.Scientific classification:

SpeciesP. leucocephala

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14. Ring-Billed Gull

Ring-billed gull

The Ring-billed Gull is a medium sized seabird that can be seen throughout North America. Its head, neck and underparts are white while its back and wings are silver gray in color.

It has a relatively short yellow bill with a dark ring around it, as well as yellow legs.

The genus name for this species of gull comes from the Latin word ‘Larus’ which referred to large sea birds or gulls; while the specific delawarensis refers to the Delaware River where these birds were first discovered.

These beautiful creatures thrive near coasts, lakeshores and other bodies of water but also have been known to inhabit urban areas such as parks close by those watersides due to their adaptability towards human habitats.Scientific classification:

SpeciesL. delawarensis

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15. Double-Crested Cormorant

Double-crested cormorant

The double-crested cormorant is a majestic bird with an impressive wingspan, found across North America from the Aleutian Islands all the way down to Mexico.

Its black plumage stands out against its bright orange-yellow facial skin and some extended patches of white feathers on each side of its throat.

It measures between 28 – 35 inches in length and has webbed feet that enable it to swim gracefully through rivers and lakes, as well as coastal areas.

These birds are known for their voracious appetite for fish, sometimes diving over 100 ft deep into water looking for food.

Despite this reputation they also feed on crustaceans, amphibians and insects when available.

Cormorants have been part of many cultures throughout history due to their remarkable ability to fly long distances making them valued messengers or companions during fishing expeditions at sea.Scientific classification:

SpeciesN. auritum

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16. Columbidae


Columbidae is a bird family that includes both doves and pigeons. These birds are characterized by their stout bodies, short necks, and small slender bills with fleshy ceres in some species.

They feed mainly on seeds, fruits, and plants found all around the world but have the greatest variety in Indomalayan and Australasian regions.

Columbidae have an unmistakable soft cooing sound which makes them one of the most beloved avian families worldwide – especially among city dwellers.

Whether it be feeding time or just hearing their soothing call throughout nature walks; these birds will remain a favourite for many more years to come.Scientific classification:

OrderColumbiformes Latham, 1790
FamilyColumbidae Leach, 1820

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17. Sandpiper


Sandpiper is a type of wading bird that belongs to the family Scolopacidae. It is a diverse family that includes various species such as curlew and snipe.

Sandpipers have different bill lengths that allow them to feed on small invertebrates and creatures found in mud or soil.

Due to this diversity, different species can coexist in the same habitat without competing for food.

Sandpipers are commonly found near the coast but are also found in other wetland environments.

They are known for their slender legs, long beak, and streamlined body that enables them to move easily in and out of water.

Sandpipers are a unique and fascinating bird species that are interesting to observe in their natural habitat.Scientific classification:

FamilyScolopacidae Rafinesque, 1815

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18. Brown Pelican

Brown pelican

The majestic brown pelican is a dive-feeding bird that belongs to the pelican family. It is one of the three pelican species found in the Americas and is known to dive into water to catch its prey.

From the Atlantic Coast of New Jersey to the mouth of the Amazon River, and along the Pacific Coast from British Columbia to northern Chile, including the Galapagos Islands, this bird can be found.

Its scientific name is Pelecanus occidentalis, and it has a colored brown plumage, which is its distinct characteristic.

The brown pelican belongs to the largest bird species that exist today, with a wingspan that can stretch up to seven feet long.

This bird helps maintain a balance in the ecosystem by eating smaller fish, crustaceans, and other aquatic prey.Scientific classification:

SpeciesP. occidentalis

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19. Northern Pintail

Northern pintail

The Northern Pintail is a widespread duck species that breeds in northern parts of Europe, across the Palearctic and North America. This migratory bird winters south of its breeding range to the equator.

Unlike most birds with such a wide range, it does not have any subspecies. The male Northern Pintail has a distinctive long, thin tail and a chocolate-brown head. The female has a mottled brown body and a shorter tail.

This duck species prefers shallow wetlands or marshes for breeding and feeds on aquatic plants and insects.

The Northern Pintail is a highly migratory bird, covering great distances in search of suitable habitats.

Despite some threats, this species is not considered globally threatened, although certain populations are experiencing a decline in numbers.Scientific classification:

SpeciesA. acuta

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20. Pomarine Jaeger

Pomarine jaeger

The Pomarine jaeger is a migratory seabird that belongs to the skua family Stercorariidae. It spends winter at sea in tropical oceans. 

Although its relationships are not entirely understood, its mitochondrial DNA is most similar to the great skua while its behavior and morphology relate more to lesser skuas, such as the parasitic jaeger.

This bird’s distinctive features include a black cap and a thick, hooked bill that it uses to snatch fish from other seabirds.

It has a white belly and dark grey-brown plumage on its upper parts, making it easily recognizable as it reaps through the ocean in search of prey.

The Pomarine jaeger is a fascinating bird that plays an important role in maintaining the ecological balance of the ocean.Scientific classification:

SpeciesS. pomarinus

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21. American Oystercatcher

American oystercatcher

The American oystercatcher, a member of the Haematopodidae family, is known for feeding on oysters. They were originally named the “sea pie” but were renamed in 1731 by naturalist Mark Catesby.

There are currently an estimated 43,000 American oystercatchers living in the wild. They are also referred to as the American pied oystercatcher or PiruPiru. With around 1,500 breeding pairs, these birds are considered a threatened species.

Known for their distinctive black and white plumage, American oystercatchers are often seen along the coastlines of North and South America.Scientific classification:

SpeciesH. palliatus

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22. Yellow-Billed Cuckoo

Yellow-billed cuckoo

The yellow-billed cuckoo is a bird that can be found in America. It is also known as the rain crow or storm crow, as it often calls on hot days that prelude a storm.

This bird belongs to the cuckoo family, and its genus name ‘Coccyzus’ means to call like a common cuckoo in Ancient Greek. The name ‘americanus’ refers to its origin in America.

The yellow-billed cuckoo is a unique bird, with its bright yellow bill and cinnamon-brown wings. It feeds on insects, fruits, and seeds, and nests in dense vegetation near water.

While its numbers have declined in recent years due to habitat loss, the yellow-billed cuckoo remains an important species for the ecosystem.Scientific classification:

SpeciesC. americanus

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23. Northern Shoveler

Northern shoveler

The Northern Shoveler, also known as the Shoveler, is a widely distributed and common duck. It breeds in northern regions of Europe and across much of North America.

During the winter months, it can be found in various locations including southern Europe, the Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asia, Central, the Caribbean, and northern South America.

This duck is rarely seen in Australia. The Northern Shoveler is easily identifiable by its large, spoon-shaped bill, which it uses to filter small organisms from the water. It is a dabbling duck that feeds on seeds and aquatic plants.

The male Shoveler has striking plumage with a green head, white breast, chestnut sides, and black tail. Females are more subdued in color with mottled brown feathers.

Overall, the Northern Shoveler is a fascinating bird with unique physical features and a wide distribution range.Scientific classification:

SpeciesS. clypeata

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24. Mangrove Cuckoo

Mangrove cuckoo

The Mangrove cuckoo bird is indigenous to the Neotropics. It was first described in 1788 by Johann Friedrich Gmelin. The species belongs to the cuckoo family and is formally known as Coccyzus minor.

The scientific name was coined by Gmelin himself in his revised and expanded Systema Naturae edition, where he categorized it under the genus Cuculus.

The Mangrove cuckoo is a unique and fascinating bird which is beloved both for its beautiful appearance and unique behavioral characteristics.

Its habitat is mainly in the mangrove areas of the Neotropics. Although the Mangrove cuckoo bird is native to South America and parts of Central America, it has become a popular bird species among bird-watchers all over the world.Scientific classification:

SpeciesC. minor

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