List of birds of Antigua and Barbuda
This is a list of the bird species recorded in Antigua and Barbuda. The avifauna of Antigua and Barbuda include a total of 186 species, of which 1 is endemic, 3 have been introduced by humans and 112 are rare or accidental. 3 species listed are extirpated in Antigua and Barbuda and are not included in the species count. 2 species are globally threatened.
This list's taxonomic treatment (designation and sequence of orders, families and species) and nomenclature (common and scientific names) follow the conventions of The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World, 6th edition. The family accounts at the beginning of each heading reflect this taxonomy, as do the species counts found in each family account. Introduced and accidental species are included in the total counts for Antigua and Barbuda.
The following tags have been used to highlight several categories. Not all species fall into one of these categories. Those that do not are commonly occurring native species.
- (A) Accidental - a species that rarely or accidentally occurs in Antigua and Barbuda
- (E) Endemic - a species endemic to Antigua and Barbuda
- (I) Introduced - a species introduced to Antigua and Barbuda as a consequence, direct or indirect, of human actions
- (Ex) Extirpated - a species that no longer occurs in Antigua and Barbuda although populations exist elsewhere
Grebes are small to medium-large freshwater diving birds. They have lobed toes and are excellent swimmers and divers. However, they have their feet placed far back on the body, making them quite ungainly on land.
- Pied-billed grebe, Podilymbus podiceps
Shearwaters and petrels
The procellariids are the main group of medium-sized "true petrels", characterised by united nostrils with medium septum and a long outer functional primary.
- Northern fulmar, Fulmarus glacialis
- Cory's shearwater, Calonectris diomedea (A)
- Audubon's shearwater, Puffinus lherminieri
The storm petrels are relatives of the petrels and are the smallest seabirds. They feed on planktonic crustaceans and small fish picked from the surface, typically while hovering. The flight is fluttering and sometimes bat-like.
- Wilson's storm petrel, Oceanites oceanicus (A)
- Band-rumped storm petrel, Oceanodroma castro (A)
- Leach's storm petrel, Oceanodroma leucorhoa (A)
Tropicbirds are slender white birds of tropical oceans, with exceptionally long central tail feathers. Their heads and long wings have black markings.
Pelicans are large water birds with a distinctive pouch under their beak. As with other members of the order Pelecaniformes, they have webbed feet with four toes.
Boobies and gannets
Frigatebirds are large seabirds usually found over tropical oceans. They are large, black-and-white or completely black, with long wings and deeply forked tails. The males have coloured inflatable throat pouches. They do not swim or walk and cannot take off from a flat surface. Having the largest wingspan-to-body-weight ratio of any bird, they are essentially aerial, able to stay aloft for more than a week.
- Magnificent frigatebird, Fregata magnificens
Bitterns, herons and egrets
The Ardeidae family contains the bitterns, herons and egrets. Herons and egrets are medium to large wading birds with long necks and legs. Bitterns tend to be shorter necked and more wary. Members of Ardeidae fly with their necks retracted, unlike other long-necked birds such as storks, ibises and spoonbills.
- Great blue heron, Ardea herodias
- Great egret, Ardea alba
- Reddish egret, Egretta rufescens (A)
- Tricoloured heron, Egretta tricolor (A)
- Little blue heron, Egretta caerulea
- Snowy egret, Egretta thula
- Little egret, Egretta garzetta (A)
- Cattle egret, Bubulcus ibis
- Green heron, Butorides virescens
- Black-crowned night heron, Nycticorax nycticorax (A)
- Yellow-crowned night heron, Nyctanassa violacea
Ibises and spoonbills
Threskiornithidae is a family of large terrestrial and wading birds which includes the ibises and spoonbills. They have long, broad wings with 11 primary and about 20 secondary feathers. They are strong fliers and despite their size and weight, very capable soarers.
- Glossy ibis, Plegadis falcinellus (A)
Flamingos are gregarious wading birds, usually 3 to 5 feet (0.9 to 1.5 m) tall, found in both the Western and Eastern Hemispheres. Flamingos filter-feed on shellfish and algae. Their oddly shaped beaks are specially adapted to separate mud and silt from the food they consume and, uniquely, are used upside-down.
- Caribbean flamingo, Phoenicopterus ruber (Ex)
Ducks, geese and swans
Anatidae includes the ducks and most duck-like waterfowl, such as geese and swans. These birds are adapted to an aquatic existence with webbed feet, flattened bills, and feathers that are excellent at shedding water due to an oily coating.
- Fulvous whistling duck, Dendrocygna bicolor (A)
- West Indian whistling duck, Dendrocygna arborea (A)
- Tundra swan, Cygnus columbianus (A)
- Eurasian wigeon, Anas penelope (A)
- American wigeon, Anas americana (A)
- Green-winged teal, Anas crecca (A)
- Mallard, Anas platyrhynchos
- Northern pintail, Anas acuta (A)
- White-cheeked pintail, Anas bahamensis
- Blue-winged teal, Anas discors (A)
- Cinnamon teal, Anas cyanoptera (A)
- Northern shoveler, Anas clypeata (A)
- Canvasback, Aythya valisineria (A)
- Ring-necked duck, Aythya collaris (A)
- Lesser scaup, Aythya affinis (A)
- Masked duck, Nomonyx dominica (A)
- Ruddy duck, Oxyura jamaicensis (A)
- Hooded merganser, Lodhodytes cucullatus (A)
The Pandionidae family contains only one species, the osprey. The osprey is a medium-large raptor which is a specialist fish-eater with a worldwide distribution.
- Osprey, Pandion haliaetus (A)
Hawks, kites and eagles
Accipitridae is a family of birds of prey, which includes hawks, eagles, kites, harriers and Old World vultures. These birds have powerful hooked beaks for tearing flesh from their prey, strong legs, powerful talons and keen eyesight.
Caracaras and falcons
Falconidae is a family of diurnal birds of prey. They differ from hawks, eagles and kites in that they kill with their beaks instead of their talons.
- American kestrel, Falco sparverius (A)
- Merlin, Falco columbarius (A)
- Peregrine falcon, Falco peregrinus
Guineafowl are a group of African, seed-eating, ground-nesting birds that resemble partridges, but with featherless heads and spangled grey plumage.
- Helmeted guineafowl, Numida meleagris (I)
Rails, crakes, gallinules and coots
Rallidae is a large family of small to medium-sized birds which includes the rails, crakes, coots and gallinules. Typically they inhabit dense vegetation in damp environments near lakes, swamps or rivers. In general they are shy and secretive birds, making them difficult to observe. Most species have strong legs and long toes which are well adapted to soft uneven surfaces. They tend to have short, rounded wings and to be weak fliers.
- Black rail, Laterallus jamaicensis (A)
- Clapper rail, Rallus crepitans
- Sora, Porzana carolina (A)
- Purple gallinule, Porphyrio martinica (A)
- Common gallinule, Gallinula galeata
- American coot, Fulica americana (A)
- Caribbean coot, Fulica caribaea (A)
- American oystercatcher, Haematopus palliatus
Avocets and stilts
Recurvirostridae is a family of large wading birds, which includes the avocets and stilts. The avocets have long legs and long up-curved bills. The stilts have extremely long legs and long, thin, straight bills.
Plovers and lapwings
The family Charadriidae includes the plovers, dotterels and lapwings. They are small to medium-sized birds with compact bodies, short, thick necks and long, usually pointed, wings. They are found in open country worldwide, mostly in habitats near water.
- American golden plover, Pluvialis dominica (A)
- Black-bellied plover, Pluvialis squatarola
- Semipalmated plover, Charadrius semipalmatus (A)
- Wilson's plover, Charadrius wilsonia
- Killdeer, Charadrius vociferus (A)
- Piping plover, Charadrius melodus (A)
- Snowy plover, Charadrius nivosus
Sandpipers and allies
Scolopacidae is a large diverse family of small to medium-sized shorebirds including the sandpipers, curlews, godwits, shanks, tattlers, woodcocks, snipes, dowitchers and phalaropes. The majority of these species eat small invertebrates picked out of the mud or soil. Variation in length of legs and bills enables multiple species to feed in the same habitat, particularly on the coast, without direct competition for food.
- Wilson's snipe, Gallinago delicata (A)
- Short-billed dowitcher, Limnodromus griseus (A)
- Hudsonian godwit, Limosa haemastica (A)
- Whimbrel, Numenius phaeopus
- Long-billed curlew, Numenius americanus (A)
- Upland sandpiper, Bartramia longicauda
- Greater yellowlegs, Tringa melanoleuca (A)
- Lesser yellowlegs, Tringa flavipes
- Solitary sandpiper, Tringa solitaria (A)
- Willet, Tringa semipalmata (A)
- Spotted sandpiper, Actitis macularia
- Ruddy turnstone, Arenaria interpres
- Red knot, Calidris canutus (A)
- Sanderling, Calidris alba (A)
- Semipalmated sandpiper, Calidris pusilla
- Western sandpiper, Calidris mauri (A)
- Little stint, Calidris minuta (A)
- Least sandpiper, Calidris minutilla (A)
- White-rumped sandpiper, Calidris fuscicollis (A)
- Pectoral sandpiper, Calidris melanotos (A)
- Curlew sandpiper, Calidris ferruginea (A)
- Stilt sandpiper, Calidris himantopus
- Buff-breasted sandpiper, Calidris subruficollis (A)
- Ruff, Calidris pugnax (A)
- Wilson's phalarope, Phalaropus tricolor (A)
- Red phalarope, Phalaropus fulicarius (A)
Skuas and jaegers
The family Stercorariidae are, in general, medium to large birds, typically with grey or brown plumage, often with white markings on the wings. They nest on the ground in temperate and arctic regions and are long-distance migrants.
- Pomarine jaeger, Stercorarius pomarinus (A)
Gulls, terns and skimmers
Laridae is a family of medium to large seabirds and includes gulls, kittiwakes, terns and skimmers. They are typically grey or white, often with black markings on the head or wings. They have longish bills and webbed feet. Terns are a group of generally medium to large seabirds typically with grey or white plumage, often with black markings on the head. Most terns hunt fish by diving but some pick insects off the surface of fresh water. Terns are generally long-lived birds, with several species known to live in excess of 30 years.
- Ring-billed gull, Larus delawarensis (A)
- Herring gull, Larus argentatus (A)
- Lesser black-backed gull, Larus fuscus (A)
- Black-headed gull, Chroicocephalus ridibundus (A)
- Slender-billed gull, Chroicocephalus genei (A)
- Bonaparte's gull, Chroicocephalus philadelphia (A)
- Laughing gull, Leucophaeus atricilla
- Gull-billed tern, Gelochelidon nilotica (A)
- Caspian tern, Hydroprogne caspia (A)
- Sandwich tern, Thalasseus sandvicensis
- Royal tern, Thalasseus maxima
- Roseate tern, Sterna dougallii (A)
- Common tern, Sterna hirundo (A)
- Forster's tern, Sterna forsteri (A)
- Least tern, Sternula antillarum
- Bridled tern, Onychoprion anaethetus (A)
- Sooty tern, Onychoprion fuscata (A)
- Black tern, Chlidonias niger (A)
- Brown noddy, Anous stolidus
Pigeons and doves
- Rock pigeon, Columba livia (I)
- White-crowned pigeon, Patagioenas leucocephala
- Scaly-naped pigeon, Patagioenas squamosa (A)
- Eurasian collared dove, Streptopelia decaocto (I)
- Zenaida dove, Zenaida aurita
- White-winged dove, Zenaida asiatica (A)
- Common ground dove, Columbina passerina
- Bridled quail-dove, Geotrygon mystacea (A)
- Ruddy quail-dove, Geotrygon montana (A)
Cuckoos and anis
- Black-billed cuckoo, Coccyzus erythropthalmus (A)
- Yellow-billed cuckoo, Coccyzus americanus (A)
- Mangrove cuckoo, Coccyzus minor
- Smooth-billed ani, Crotophaga ani (A)
The typical owls are small to large solitary nocturnal birds of prey. They have large forward-facing eyes and ears, a hawk-like beak and a conspicuous circle of feathers around each eye called a facial disk.
- Burrowing owl, Athene cunicularia (Ex)
Nightjars are medium-sized nocturnal birds that usually nest on the ground. They have long wings, short legs and very short bills. Most have small feet, of little use for walking, and long pointed wings. Their soft plumage is camouflaged to resemble bark or leaves.
Swifts are small birds which spend the majority of their lives flying. These birds have very short legs and never settle voluntarily on the ground, perching instead only on vertical surfaces. Many swifts have long swept-back wings which resemble a crescent or boomerang.
- Black swift, Cypseloides niger (A)
Hummingbirds are small birds capable of hovering in mid-air due to the rapid flapping of their wings. They are the only birds that can fly backwards.
- Purple-throated carib, Eulampis jugularis (A)
- Green-throated carib, Eulampis holosericeus
- Antillean crested hummingbird, Orthorhyncus cristatus
Kingfishers are medium-sized birds with large heads, long, pointed bills, short legs and stubby tails.
- Belted kingfisher, Megaceryle alcyon (A)
Woodpeckers and allies
Woodpeckers are small to medium-sized birds with chisel-like beaks, short legs, stiff tails and long tongues used for capturing insects. Some species have feet with two toes pointing forward and two backward, while several species have only three toes. Many woodpeckers have the habit of tapping noisily on tree trunks with their beaks.
- Guadeloupe woodpecker, Melanerpes herminieri (A)
Tyrant flycatchers are passerine birds which occur throughout North and South America. They superficially resemble the Old World flycatchers, but are more robust and have stronger bills. They do not have the sophisticated vocal capabilities of the songbirds. Most, but not all, have plain colouring. As the name implies, most are insectivorous.
- Caribbean elaenia, Elaenia martinica
- Lesser Antillean flycatcher, Myiarchus oberi
- Grey kingbird, Tyrannus dominicensis
Swallows and martins
The Hirundinidae family is adapted to aerial feeding. They have a slender streamlined body, long pointed wings and a short bill with a wide gape. The feet are adapted to perching rather than walking, and the front toes are partially joined at the base.
- Caribbean martin, Progne dominicensis (A)
- Bank swallow, Riparia riparia (A)
- Cliff swallow, Petrochelidon pyrrhonota (A)
- Barn swallow, Hirundo rustica
Mockingbirds and thrashers
The mimids are a family of passerine birds that includes thrashers, mockingbirds, tremblers and the New World catbirds. These birds are notable for their vocalizations, especially their ability to mimic a wide variety of birds and other sounds heard outdoors. Their colouring tends towards dull-greys and browns.
- Tropical mockingbird, Mimus gilvus
- Brown trembler, Cinclocerthia ruficauda (A)
- Scaly-breasted thrasher, Allenia fusca
- Pearly-eyed thrasher, Margarops fuscatus
- Yellow-throated vireo, Vireo flavifrons (A)
- Philadelphia vireo, Vireo philadelphicus (A)
- Black-whiskered vireo, Vireo altiloquus
New World warblers
The New World warblers are a group of small, often colourful, passerine birds restricted to the New World. Most are arboreal, but some are terrestrial. Most members of this family are insectivores.
- Northern parula, Setophaga americana
- Yellow warbler, Setophaga petechia
- Chestnut-sided warbler, Setophaga pensylvanica (A)
- Magnolia warbler, Setophaga magnolia (A)
- Cape May warbler, Setophaga tigrina (A)
- Black-throated blue warbler, Setophaga caerulescens (A)
- Yellow-rumped warbler, Setophaga coronata (A)
- Black-throated green warbler, Setophaga virens (A)
- Barbuda warbler, Setophaga subita (E)
- Prairie warbler, Setophaga discolor (A)
- Bay-breasted warbler, Setophaga castanea (A)
- Blackpoll warbler, Setophaga striata (A)
- American redstart, Setophaga ruticilla
- Hooded warbler, Setophaga citrina (A)
- Black-and-white warbler, Mniotilta varia
- Golden-winged warbler, Vermivora chrysoptera (A)
- Worm-eating warbler, Helmitheros vermivorus (A)
- Ovenbird, Seiurus aurocapilla (A)
- Northern waterthrush, Parkesia noveboracensis
- Louisiana waterthrush, Parkesia motacilla (A)
- Kentucky warbler, Oporornis formosus (A)
- Common yellowthroat, Geothlypis trichas (A)
The bananaquit is a small passerine bird. It has a slender, curved bill, adapted to taking nectar from flowers. It is the only member of the genus Coereba and is normally placed within the family Coerebidae, although there is uncertainty whether that placement is correct.
- Bananaquit, Coereba flaveola
Siskins, crossbills and allies
Finches are seed-eating passerine birds, that are small to moderately large and have a strong beak, usually conical and in some species very large. All have twelve tail feathers and nine primaries. These birds have a bouncing flight with alternating bouts of flapping and gliding on closed wings, and most sing well.
- Antillean euphonia, Euphonia musica (A)
Buntings, sparrows, seedeaters and allies
The emberizids are a large family of passerine birds. They are seed-eating birds with distinctively shaped bills. In Europe, most species are called buntings. In North America, most of the species in this family are known as sparrows, but these birds are not closely related to the Old World sparrows which are in the family Passeridae. Many emberizid species have distinctive head patterns.
- Black-faced grassquit, Tiaris bicolor
- Lesser Antillean bullfinch, Loxigilla noctis
- Grassland yellow finch, Sicalis luteola (A)
- House sparrow, Passer domesticus
Saltators, cardinals and allies
The cardinals are a family of robust, seed-eating birds with strong bills. They are typically associated with open woodland. The sexes usually have distinct plumages.
- Scarlet tanager, Piranga olivacea (A)
- Rose-breasted grosbeak, Pheucticus ludovicianus (A)
- Indigo bunting, Passerina cyanea (A)
Troupials and allies
The icterids are a group of small to medium-sized, often colourful, passerine birds restricted to the New World and include the grackles, New World blackbirds and New World orioles. Most species have black as the predominant plumage colour, often enlivened by yellow, orange or red.
- Bobolink, Dolichonyx oryzivorus (A)
- Carib grackle, Quiscalus lugubris
- Venezuelan troupial, Icterus icterus (A)