Morning birding session in the cool hills of the Blue Mountains followed by afternoon birding in Hope Gardens. Lunch on us! This tour gives a good opportunity to see 25 of the 29 endemic species including the Jamaican Blackbird and the Crested Quail-Dove.
Predetermined 8 days birding tour around the island. You will visit the wetlands of southern Jamaica, the dry southern forests, the highlands of the Blue Mountains and the lush forests of Portland. Many opportunities to see all endemics and many other species.
Create an itinerary for one or more days to virtually any location on the island and on any date convenient to you. Whether you want a week-long tour, targeted birding, wildlife photography, or incorporate other activities. With this option the possibilities are endless.
This tour departs early morning from Kingston where we travel up the Blue Mountains pass the historic military training base of New Castle and commence birding at Hardwar Gap (elevation 1200m). These cool western slopes of the Blue Mountains are within the Blue and John Crow Mountains National Park, an Important Bird Area in Jamaica. There are scattered cottages and homes along with small plots of coffee farms. The remaining forest is mostly secondary growth with areas of good primary forests and supports 24 of the island’s 29 endemic bird species. This is a good area to see the elusive Crested Quail-Dove and much sought-after Jamaican Blackbird. We will make time to have packed snacks and coffee or tea before making our way back into Kingston for lunch and a period of relaxation.
The afternoon session will be shorter and more leisurely as we enjoy a couple hours of birding in Hope Gardens. The main highlights here are the flocks of Yellow-billed Parrots that call this area home. There are also a few Black-billed Parrots among the flocks so be sure to observe carefully. The Hope Gardens also shares up an impressive array of migrant warblers to ensure we are kept busy to the very end.
In all, this one day tour provides good chances of seeing as many as 25 of the 29 endemic bird species.
This tour can also be customized to suit your needs. Contact us for more information.
Cost: US$130 per person for groups of 2.
US$180 for an individual.
Contact Us Please contact us for pricing for groups larger than 2.
7 DAYS TOUR
A week long tour is the standard for a birding trip to Jamaica. During these 7 days you will visit the dry forests of Hellshire Hills, the highlands of the Blue Mountains and the lush rain forests of Portland. You will get multiple chances to see all endemics and many other species.
This tour is concentrated in the eastern section of the island and provide many chances to see all of the island’s endemics. During the winter months you can reasonably expect to see about 110 bird species while in the summer you can expect about 85 species. The tour cost includes double occupancy accommodations for nights 1 to 6 along with all meals each day, starting with dinner on day one and ending with breakfast on day 7. All transportation is also included. The cost does not include alcoholic beverages or items of a personal nature.
Cost: US$2,200 per person for groups of 2 to 4. (single room supplement: US$300) Contact Us Please contact us for a quotation for other group sizes.
All guests are greeted at the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston and transported to their hotel for the night. There we will have a welcome dinner and review the itinerary for the trip. You will have the option to begin the search for owls and potoos that night.
We depart early morning to our first birding destination, Hellshire Hills. This is just one of two places on the island where the Bahama Mockingbird can be found. In addition, several Caribbean endemics such as the Stolid Flycatcher and Greater Antillean Bullfinch can be found there. You will have your first encounter with Jamaican endemics such as the Jamaican Vireo, Jamaican Mango and Yellow-shouldered Grassquit. Lunch will be at a local restaurant followed by a session of relaxed birding at the Hope Gardens. Here you will experience close up views of the endemic Yellow-billed Parrot. In the afternoon we travel into the Blue Mountains where we will spend the next 2 nights. Our first official search for the Jamaican Owl and Northern Potoo begins this evening and we will search each night until we have seen them both.
The Blue Mountains rises to 2,256m (7,402ft.) at its peak but our birding will be concentrated on the famous Hardwar Gap Road which is about half way up the mountain. Most of the Blue Mountains along with the John Crow Mountains forms the Blue and John Crow Mountains National Park, a recently designated World Heritage Site and an Important Bird Area. You will experience first hand, the numerous fields of the world famous Blue Mountain Coffee being grown and the unique culture of this rural farming community. The bird life is just as fascinating so prepare to be bombarded with one endemic bird after the other. The main target birds for this area would be the much sought-after Crested Quail Dove and the threatened Jamaican Blackbird. The Chestnut-bellied Cuckoo and the Jamaican Lizard Cuckoo will provide an interesting challenge but you will have numerous close encounters with the charming Jamaican Tody, a favourite of most visitors. The majestic Red-billed Streamertail, Jamaica’s National Bird, will be abundant and close. We will spend another night at our lodge where we are provided with home style meals and endless amounts of Blue Mountain coffee.
After breakfast we continue to bird the cloud forests of the Blue Mountains. The White-chinned Thrush, and its less common cousin, the White-eyed Thrush, should provide good treats. The stunning Rufous-throated Solitaire will be heard singing all around in the forest but we will need to search hard to get a glimpse of this rather shy bird. We will be sure to get our fill of the abundant and stunning Jamaican Spindalis as well as an Arrowhead Birding Tours must…the Arrowhead Warbler. Both these species become less common in other areas. We depart the Blue Mountains in the late morning and travel down the scenic Buff Bay River Valley to the north coast, then continue eastwards to the town of Port Antonio in the parish of Portland. After lunch, we check in to our villas where we will spend the next 2 nights. By this time we should have had most endemic birds with the notable exceptions being the Jamaican Crow, the Black-billed Streamertail and the Black-billed Parrot.
We make an early morning departure to Hector’s River to see the nesting White-tailed Tropicbirds (December to April) along the cliffs before they all depart for sea. This is followed by birding along the famous Ecclesdown Road, arguably one of the best birding routes on the island. Here we hope to get good views of the Black-billed Parrots and Jamaican Crows as well as more views of all the other endemics we say on previous days. Up until this point all the Streamertail hummingbirds that were encountered were the Red-billed Streamertails. In this section of the island however, they are all Black-billed Streamertails. After lunch we have the option for afternoon birding or to relax on the beach. After dinner we will finalize our lists and determine our targets for the last full day of birding.
We return to Ecclesdown Road or to San San for another morning of birding. By this time we should have amounted a rather impressive trip list including all the endemics. Birding at this stage will be either targeted to species we want to see or very general as we enjoy the beauty of the tropical rain forest. We will return to the villas for lunch then depart for a final night in Kingston.
Depending on the departure times, we may have some time for a little more birding. We will have our final breakfast together then you will be transferred to the airport at least 2 hours before your scheduled departure time. The tour comes to an end.
We return to Ecclesdown Road for the final morning of birding. By this time we should have an impressive trip list including all the endemics. Lunch will be at the beach side restaurant at Frenchman’s Cove after which we pack for the return trip to our starting point in Montego Bay where the trip comes to an end.
We understand that each birder’s needs are different and so this option provides you the flexibility to bird the way you want. Do you want to search the wetlands for the elusive Masked Duck, the Spotted Rail or the Yellow-breasted Crake? Or do you want to search the dry southern forests for the Bahama Mockingbird or the Stolid Flycatcher? Are you interested in bird photography? Or do you want to see all the endemics and as many birds as the island has to offer?
Simply Contact Us and describe what your birding objectives and dates are and we will design a birding experience to match.
You will be provided with a tentative itinerary along with a quotation.