During the first phase of early settlement, between 1627 and 1680, when virtually all of the island’s forests were felled, a number of bird species disappeared from Barbados.
By 1950, resident birds had reached a low count of nineteen species.
Sixty two years later, there has been a complete reversal to this pattern. There are now over fifty species of birds that reside and breed here. Satellite imagery compared over a series of years, coupled with map analysis, demonstrates that Barbados is now more wooded than at any other time since 1680. Golf courses and other tourism developments have also created new water features - large ponds and lakes which provide habitat for water fowl.
Barbados being just to the west of a major flyway of North American birds, brings many migrants to our island. Barbados is also close enough to South America to attract some bird species from that continent, and the Atlantic has proven to be no barrier to various European and African species which, aided by the trade winds, can be found here on a regular basis. Some 220 migrant species have been recorded for Barbados, of which number, about 160 occur on a regular basis with the other 60 species being vagrants.
Birding Barbados is an eco-tour company which specialises in showcasing Barbados’ uniquely rich birdwatching opportunities. Barbados is one of the best places in the world for observing migratory shorebirds, as they make their annual journeys from as far as the Tundra in the North, to Patagonia in the south, a return journey of 20,000 miles! Most other habitats are spread over thousands of square kilometres but in Barbados, shorebirds are easily accessible. The concept is to plow part of the revenues earned through tourism back into creating and maintaining wetland habitats, such as Golden Grove in St. Philip. Coupled with farming and sustainable water management, this mixed-use project is novel to Barbados and is a must see. Island tours to other hot spots are also encouraged. Visitors can ‘mix it up’ with beach, rum shop tours etc., as itineraries are flexible.
Contact Damian Edghill at birdingbarbados.com
WhatsApp or Call (246) 256-0604