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BirdNote Trip to Cuba (Oct 19-26)

BirdNote group of travelers in front of Hemingway's home, Finca Vigia © Adam Sedgley

Cuba was the destination for BirdNote's first international trip in October 2015. I don't think we could've picked a better location. Nor could we have picked a better group of 18 participants.

We had a well-balanced itinerary that exposed our group to the arts, food, culture, natural spaces, and people of this beautiful country. We also tallied 83 species on our six-day trip, even though the two days we set aside specifically for birdwatching coincided with the rainiest weather of the trip. Of these species, 22 are only found in the Caribbean, and 12 are only found in Cuba.

A big "Gracias" to Earthbound Expeditions for travel arrangements and to our Cuban guide, Mr. Jorge “Frank” Alpizar Castillo.

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Here's a full list of the birds that were seen by one or all of the group, with location and date of the first sighting. All species in BLACK are only found in the Caribbean; RED are only found in Cuba.

© Tom Luhman

WOOD DUCK (East Vinales Valley - Oct. 23)
RING-NECKED DUCK (Presa Machucucutu - Oct. 24)
RUDDY DUCK (Presa Machucucutu - Oct. 24)
HELMETED GUINEAFOWL (Domestic) (Hotel Nacional de Cuba)
INDIAN PEAFOWL (Domestic) (Hotel Nacional de Cuba)
PIED-BILLED GREBE (Presa Machucucutu - Oct. 24)
AMERICAN FLAMINGO (Domestic) (Las Terrazas - Oct. 24)
ANHINGA (East Vinales Valley - Oct. 23)
BROWN PELICAN (Havana - Oct. 25)
GREAT BLUE HERON (Presa Machucucutu - Oct. 24)
GREAT EGRET (seen along the highway a couple times)
SNOWY EGRET (Presa Machucucutu - Oct. 24)
REDDISH EGRET (Horizontes La Ermita Hotel - Oct. 23)
CATTLE EGRET (seen from the highway)
GREEN HERON (Hacienda Cortina - Oct. 22)
BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON (Presa Machucucutu - Oct. 24)

A boy in Havana © Tom Luhman

TURKEY VULTURE (how could you miss these?)
OSPREY (Jardin Botanico Nacional - Oct. 21)
GUNDLACH’S HAWK (Las Terrazas - Oct. 24)
RED-TAILED HAWK (Jardin Botanico Nacional - Oct. 21)
COMMON GALLINULE (seen at two locations)
AMERICAN COOT (Presa Machucucutu - Oct. 24)
KILLDEER (Jardin Botanico Nacional - Oct. 21)
SPOTTED SANDPIPER (Jardin Botanico Nacional - Oct. 21)
LAUGHING GULL (Havana - Oct. 20)
ROYAL TERN (Cojimar - Oct. 20)
ROCK PIGEON (Most numerous in Havana)
SCALY-NAPED PIGEON (Vinales Valley Overlook - Oct. 23)
WHITE-CROWNED PIGEON (Las Terrazas - Oct. 24)
MOURNING DOVE (widespread)

Vinales Valley © Tom Luhman

GREAT LIZARD-CUCKOO (Jardin Botanico Nacional - Oct. 21)
SMOOTH-BILLED ANI (Hacienda Cortina - Oct. 22)
BARN OWL (Havana - Oct. 20)
ANTILLEAN PALM-SWIFT (Hotel Nacional de Cuba - Oct. 20)
CUBAN EMERALD (Finca Vigia (Hemingway’s House) - Oct. 20)
CUBAN TROGON (Soroa Orchid Garden - Oct. 22)
CUBAN TODY (East Vinales Valley - Oct. 23)
BELTED KINGFISHER (Jardin Botanico Nacional - Oct. 21)
WEST INDIAN WOODPECKER (Jardin Botanico - Oct. 21)
CUBAN GREEN WOODPECKER (Jardin Botanico - Oct. 21)
NORTHERN FLICKER (Horizontes La Ermita Hotel - Oct. 23)
AMERICAN KESTREL (Finca Vigia (Hemingway’s House) - Oct. 20)
PEREGRINE FALCON (Hotel Nacional de Cuba - Oct. 24)
CUBAN PEWEE (Jardin Botanico Nacional - Oct. 21)
LA SAGRA’S FLYCATCHER (Las Terrazas - Oct. 24)
LOGGERHEAD KINGBIRD (Jardin Botanico Nacional - Oct. 21)

Birding Las Terrazas © Tom Luhman

CUBAN VIREO (Jardin Botanico Nacional - Oct. 21)
YELLOW-THROATED VIREO (Las Terrazas - Oct. 24)
BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHER (Jardin Botanico Nacional - Oct. 21)
CUBAN SOLITAIRE (East Vinales Valley - Oct. 23)
RED-LEGGED THRUSH (Hotel Nacional de Cuba - Oct. 20)
GRAY CATBIRD (Horizontes La Ermita Hotel - Oct. 23)
NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRD (Hotel Nacional de Cuba - Oct. 20)
OVENBIRD (Horizontes La Ermita Hotel - Oct. 23)
BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLER (East Vinales Valley - Oct. 23)
TENNESSEE WARBLER (Jardin Botanico Nacional - Oct. 21)
COMMON YELLOWTHROAT (Hacienda Cortina - Oct. 22)
HOODED WARBLER (!) (Hacienda Cortina - Oct. 22)
AMERICAN REDSTART (Hotel Nacional de Cuba - Oct. 20)
CAPE MAY WARBLER (Soroa Orchid Garden - Oct. 22)
NORTHERN PARULA (Hotel Nacional de Cuba - Oct. 20)
MAGNOLIA WARBLER (Las Terrazas - Oct. 24)
BAY-BREASTED WARBLER (Las Terrazas - Oct. 24)
BLACKBURNIAN WARBLER (Hotel Nacional de Cuba - Oct. 26)

Women in Old Havana © Tom Luhman

PALM WARBLER (the most frequently seen warbler)
(Hacienda Cortina - Oct. 22)
YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER (Hotel Nacional - Oct. 20)
PRAIRIE WARBLER (Horizontes La Ermita Hotel - Oct. 23)
YELLOW-HEADED WARBLER (East Vinales Valley - Oct. 23)
RED-LEGGED HONEYCREEPER (Hacienda Cortina - Oct. 22)
YELLOW-FACED GRASSQUIT (Horizontes La Ermita - Oct. 23)
CUBAN BULLFINCH (Las Terrazas - Oct. 24)
WESTERN SPINDALIS (Soroa Orchid Garden - Oct. 22)
SUMMER TANAGER (Hotel Nacional de Cuba - Oct. 20)
EASTERN MEADOWLARK (Highway to Vinales Valley - Oct. 22)
CUBAN BLACKBIRD (Hotel Nacional de Cuba - Oct. 20)
GREATER ANTILLEAN GRACKLE (Jardin Botanico - Oct. 21)
HOUSE SPARROW (Hotel Nacional de Cuba - Oct. 20)

Sights & Sounds

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