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A Birdwatcher’s Guide to Montserrat: 7 Species You Can’t Miss on Your Next Trip

Montserrat is home to a diverse range of migratory and resident bird species. Its lush forests and varied habitats provide a perfect environment for birds to thrive.

From small hummingbirds to large raptors, Montserrat boasts of a stunning bird population that never fails to captivate bird enthusiasts and nature lovers.

The island is also known for its annual birdwatching festival, which draws visitors worldwide to witness the amazing array of species on display. This article will highlight some of the most fascinating birds found in Montserrat.

7 Birds in Montserrat

Montserrat, a Caribbean island, is home to various bird species, many of which are unique to the region. Here are seven birds that can be found in Montserrat:

1. New World Warblers

New World warblers

New World warblers are an incredibly diverse family of small birds found only in the Americas. They range in size from tiny hummingbirds to large thrushes and come in various vibrant colors.

All have thin bills made for eating insects, which form their main diet. Most species live predominantly arboreal lives, meaning they spend most of their time among trees or bushes searching for food.

However, some members, such as ovenbirds and waterthrushes, prefer more terrestrial habitats like forest floors where they can scavenge for bugs on the ground instead.

Warblers provide a great source of entertainment with their beautiful songs, often filling up woodlands during mornings and evenings throughout springtime.

Scientific classification:

Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Aves
Order Passeriformes
Superfamily Emberizoidea
Family Parulidae Wetmore et al., 1947

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2. Bananaquit


The Bananaquit, scientifically known as Coereba flaveola, is a small passerine bird belonging to the tanager family Thraupidae.

It was previously classified in either its own monotypic family or with other species, such as buntings and New World sparrows (Emberizidae) or warblers (Parulidae).

This beautiful little bird has a yellow-green upper body, pale grey head, and chestnut brown wings.

Its tail feathers are blackish, while its belly is white with some faint streaks of olive green coloration.

The bananaquit can be found across Central America and the Caribbean islands, where it feeds on fruits like bananas, from which it gets its name.

Scientific classification:

Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Aves
Order Passeriformes
Family Thraupidae
Genus Coereba Vieillot, 1809
Species C. flaveola

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3. Common Ground-Dove

Common Ground-Dove

The Common Ground is a small bird that can be found in the southern United States, Central America, the Caribbean, and northern South America.

It’s considered to be one of the smallest dove species in North America, with an average length of around 6–7 inches.

This ground-dwelling species spends most of its time on foot but has been known to fly when necessary or threatened.

The plumage is pale grayish brown above, while their bellies are white and speckled with black spots along their wings.

Its diet consists mainly of seeds from grasses and other low vegetation, which it forages for by walking slowly across open fields or lawns looking for food items like berries, grains, insects, spiders, and snails.

Scientific classification:

Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Aves
Order Columbiformes
Family Columbidae
Genus Columbina
Species C. passerina

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4. Forest Thrush

Forest thrush

The Forest Thrush is a species of bird in the family Turdidae, found mainly in Central America. It has brown upperparts and pale underparts with scaly patterning on its feathers.

This medium-sized thrush measures 25 to 27 cm long and weighs between 100 to 110 grams.

Its diet consists mainly of fruits, insects, lizards, and snails; it also sometimes feeds on small mammals like mice or shrews.

The female lays two eggs, which she incubates for around 15 days before they hatch into young chicks who will remain dependent upon their parents until adulthood at around one year old. 

These birds are very social creatures living within flocks that can number up to 30 individuals during the breeding season but may reduce down to four members outside of this period.

Scientific classification:

Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Aves
Order Passeriformes
Family Turdidae
Genus Turdus
Species T. lherminieri

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5. Scaly-Breasted Thrasher

Scaly-Breasted Thrasher

The Scaly-breasted Thrasher is a species of bird in the family Mimidae, found throughout much of the Lesser Antilles.

It has five subspecies and is approximately 23 cm long with greyish brown upperparts and black wings marked with white spots.

Its underparts are reddish-orange to yellow buff, finely scaled, or scalloped with darker edges, giving it its name. This thrasher feeds mainly on insects but eats fruits, berries, and small lizards.

The male performs elaborate courtship displays, including soaring flights high into the air and singing from perches at the tops of trees or shrubs during the breeding season between February and May each year.

It typically nests low down in thickets near water sources such as rivers or streams using twigs bound together with spider web silk for nesting material, laying 2 to 3 eggs simultaneously.

The Scaly-breasted Thrashers are overall common birds that inhabit various habitats, including mangroves, rainforests, and dry scrublands across their range, making them an important part of local ecosystems within their range.

Scientific classification:

Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Aves
Order Passeriformes
Family Mimidae
Genus Allenia Cory, 1891
Species A. fusca

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6. Brown Trembler

Brown Trembler

The Brown Trembler (Cinclocerthia Ruficauda) is a bird species in the Mimidae family, including mockingbirds and thrashers. It can be found on seven Caribbean islands: Saba, St.

Kitts, Nevis, Montserrat, Guadeloupe, Dominica and St. Vincent. This bird has an olive-brown back with white underparts and unique tail feathers that quiver when perched or flying low over vegetation – hence its name.

The International Ornithological Committee recognizes nine subspecies due to slight variations between each island population; however, further research is needed as some taxonomists believe there are more distinct populations within this species’ range.

Despite limited information about their ecology, we know they primarily feed on fruit from shrubs such as lignum vitae trees while foraging near ground level among tall grasses in open areas like pastures or coastal scrubland habitats.

Scientific classification:

Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Aves
Order Passeriformes
Family Mimidae
Genus Cinclocerthia
Species C. ruficauda

7. Montserrat Oriole

Montserrat Oriole

The Montserrat oriole, also known as Icterus Robert, is a species of black-and-yellow bird belonging to the icterid family.

It is a medium-sized bird and can be found in the Centre Hills and South Soufriere Hills. It is an important bird area on the Lesser Antilles island of Montserrat.

The bird is the national symbol of this British territory. Despite its small size and limited habitat, the Montserrat oriole is a vocal and active bird that adds color to its surroundings and other members of the oriole family.

Its contribution to the local ecosystem serves as a reminder of the importance of preserving the natural habitats that sustain it.

Scientific classification:

Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Aves
Order Passeriformes
Family Icteridae
Genus Icterus
Species I. oberi


The avian landscape near Montserrat is rich and diverse, showcasing a range of species contributing to the vibrancy of the Caribbean’s natural world.

These seven common birds, from the iconic Montserrat Oriole to the graceful Brown Pelican, each play a vital role in their respective ecosystems.

Their presence not only adds to the ecological balance but also enhances the region’s natural beauty.

This array of species highlights the importance of conservation efforts to protect their habitats, ensuring that the skies near Montserrat continue to be graced by these remarkable birds for generations to come.

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