Sunday, April 2, 2023

Rocklands Bird Sanctuary - Montego Bay, Jamaica

On February 17, 2023 I spent a little over two hours at Rocklands Bird Sanctuary situated around a house on a hill above Montego Bay, Jamaica. I made arrangements in advance to meet with Fritz, the caretaker, and had a private tour. When I arrived around 7:00 a.m. Fritz had just spread out feed in two areas on the ground and had filled up multiple hummingbird feeders and the place was alive with birds - I've never seen anything like it. 
Birds gather around grain. 

Birds were also here, but scattered as I walked up. 

Red-billed steamertails and Jamaican mangos were almost a non-stop presence at these hummingbird feeders. 

Montego Bay below. 
Fritz indicated that the home became a sanctuary for birds about 50 years ago and the lady who had owned the home had died relatively recently. I walked around alone for awhile, while Fritz got things set up, and I took photos. Caribbean doves, common ground doves, black-faced grassquits, yellow-faced grassquits and a ruddy quail-dove fed on the feed spread on the ground. Red-billed streamertails, Jamaican mangos, bananaquits and a Jamaican oriole fed on the hummingbird feeders and other nectar feeders. Then Fritz took me down a road and up a hill where we encountered a Jamaican woodpecker, an American redstart. a northern mockingbird, a greater Antillean bullfinch, a Jamaican vireo, a loggerhead kingbird and an olive-throated parakeet. Fritz also pointed out a turkey vulture and an osprey flying at some distance away. We went back to the house and took a little trail to the side and back. There we saw a northern potoo, an ovenbird, a white-chinned thrush and finally a Jamaican owl, just as I was leaving. It was an amazing two hours. 

Below are some of the photos from that morning: 
Male black-faced grassquit.

Female black-faced grassquit.

Male yellow-faced grassquit.

Female yellow-faced grassquit.

Caribbean dove

Common ground dove

Ruddy quail-dove

Red-billed streamertail - the national bird of Jamaica.

Jamaican mango


Jamaican oriole

Jamaican woodpecker

American redstart

Greater Antillean bullfinch

Loggerhead kingbird

Olive-throated parakeet

Jamaican vireo

Northern mockingbird

Northern potoo


White-chinned thrush

Jamaican owl

1 comment:

  1. Wow, that is a ton of birds for one location! Even in my ten minutes with you, I probably saw four or five. I do love the streamertail hummingbird. They had huge models of them flitting about the ceiling in the airport in Kingston.