List of birds of Cuba

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This is a list of birds species recorded in the archipelago of Cuba which consists of the main island of Cuba and over 1000 smaller cays and islands. The avifauna of Cuba include a total of 368 species, of which 25 are endemic, 17 are globally threatened and 8 have been introduced by humans. Extinct species include the passenger pigeon and Cuban red macaw.

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 species count for Cuba.

The following tags have been used to highlight several categories. The commonly occurring native species do not fall into any of these categories.

  • (A) Accidental - a species that rarely or accidentally occurs in the archipelago of Cuba
  • (E) Endemic - a species endemic to the archipelago of Cuba.
  • (Es) Endemic subspecies - a subspecies endemic to the archipelago of Cuba.[1]
  • (I) Introduced - a species introduced to the archipelago of Cuba as a consequence, direct or indirect, of human actions


Order: Gaviiformes   Family: Gaviidae

Loons, known as divers in Europe, are a group of aquatic birds found in many parts of North America and northern Europe. It is the size of a large duck or small goose, which it somewhat resemble when swimming, but is completely unrelated to these waterfowl.

Common name Binomial Status
Common loon Gavia immer (A)


Order: Podicipediformes   Family: Podicipedidae

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.

Common name Binomial Status
Least grebe Tachybaptus dominicus
Pied-billed grebe Podilymbus podiceps

Shearwaters and petrels[edit]

Order: Procellariiformes   Family: Procellariidae

The procellariids are the main group of medium-sized "true petrels", characterised by united nostrils with medium septum and a long outer functional primary.

Common name Binomial Status
Black-capped petrel Pterodroma hasitata
Cory's shearwater Calonectris diomedea (A)
Sooty shearwater Ardenna griseus (A) near-threatened
Manx shearwater Puffinus puffinus (A)
Audubon's shearwater Puffinus lherminieri (A)

Storm petrels[edit]

Order: Procellariiformes   Family: Hydrobatidae

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.

Common name Binomial Status
Wilson's storm petrel Oceanites oceanicus (A)
Band-rumped storm petrel Oceanodroma castro (A)
Leach's storm petrel Oceanodroma leucorhoa (A)


Order: Phaethontiformes   Family: Phaethontidae

Tropicbirds are slender white birds of tropical oceans, with exceptionally long central tail feathers. Their heads and long wings have black markings.

Common name Binomial Status
Red-billed tropicbird Phaethon aethereus (A)
White-tailed tropicbird Phaethon lepturus (A)

Gannets and boobies[edit]

Order: Suliformes   Family: Sulidae

The sulids comprise the gannets and boobies. Both groups are medium to large coastal seabirds that plunge-dive for fish.

Common name Binomial Status
Northern gannet Morus bassanus (A)[2]
Masked booby Sula dactylatra (A)
Red-footed booby Sula sula (A)
Brown booby Sula leucogaster (A)


Order: Suliformes   Family: Phalacrocoracidae

Phalacrocoracidae is a family of medium to large coastal, fish-eating seabirds that includes cormorants and shags. Plumage colouration varies, with the majority having mainly dark plumage, some species being black-and-white and a few being colourful.

Common name Binomial Status
Double-crested cormorant Phalacrocorax auritus
Neotropic cormorant Phalacrocorax brasilianus


Order: Suliformes   Family: Anhingidae

Darters are often called "snake-birds" because of their long thin neck, which gives a snake-like appearance when they swim with their bodies submerged. The males have black and dark-brown plumage, an erectile crest on the nape and a larger bill than the female. The females have much paler plumage especially on the neck and underparts. The darters have completely webbed feet and their legs are short and set far back on the body. Their plumage is somewhat permeable, like that of cormorants, and they spread their wings to dry after diving.

Common name Binomial Status
Anhinga Anhinga anhinga


Order: Suliformes   Family: Fregatidae

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.

Common name Binomial Status
Magnificent frigatebird Fregata magnificens


Order: Pelecaniformes   Family: Pelecanidae

American white pelican
Brown pelican

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.

Common name Binomial Status
American white pelican Pelecanus erythrorhynchos (A)
Brown pelican Pelecanus occidentalis

Bitterns, herons and egrets[edit]

Great blue heron (dark form)
Great blue heron (white form)
Reddish egret (dark form)

Order: Pelecaniformes   Family: Ardeidae

The family Ardeidae 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.

Common name Binomial Status
Great blue heron Ardea herodias
Great egret Ardea alba
Reddish egret Egretta rufescens
Tricoloured heron Egretta tricolor
Little blue heron Egretta caerulea
Snowy egret Egretta thula
Cattle egret Bubulcus ibis
Green heron Butorides virescens
Black-crowned night heron Nycticorax nycticorax (A)
Yellow-crowned night heron Nyctanassa violacea
Least bittern Ixobrychus exilis
American bittern Botaurus lentiginosus (A)

Ibises and spoonbills[edit]

Order: Pelecaniformes   Family: Threskiornithidae 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.

Common name Binomial Status
White ibis Eudocimus albus
Scarlet ibis Eudocimus ruber (A)
Glossy ibis Plegadis falcinellus (A)
Roseate spoonbill Platalea ajaja


Order: Ciconiiformes   Family: Ciconiidae

Storks are large, long-legged, long-necked, wading birds with long, stout bills. Storks are mute, but bill-clattering is an important mode of communication at the nest. Their nests can be large and may be reused for many years. Many species are migratory.

Common name Binomial Status
Wood stork Mycteria americana (A)


Order: Phoenicopteriformes   Family: Phoenicopteridae

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.

Common name Binomial Status
Caribbean flamingo Phoenicopterus ruber

Ducks, geese and swans[edit]

Order: Anseriformes   Family: Anatidae

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.

Common name Binomial Status
Fulvous whistling duck Dendrocygna bicolor
White-faced whistling duck Dendrocygna viduata (A)
West Indian whistling duck Dendrocygna arborea vulnerable
Black-bellied whistling duck Dendrocygna autumnalis (A)
Tundra swan Cygnus columbianus (A)
Greater white-fronted goose Anser albifrons (A)
Snow goose Chen caerulescens (A)
Canada goose Branta canadensis (A)
Muscovy duck Cairina moschata (I)
Wood duck Aix sponsa
American wigeon Anas americana
Gadwall Anas strepera (A)
Green-winged teal Anas crecca (A)
Mallard Anas platyrhynchos (A)
Northern pintail Anas acuta (A)
White-cheeked pintail Anas bahamensis
Blue-winged teal Anas discors
Cinnamon teal Anas cyanoptera (A)
Northern shoveler Anas clypeata
Canvasback Aythya valisineria (A)
Redhead Aythya americana (A)
Ring-necked duck Aythya collaris
Greater scaup Aythya marila (A)
Lesser scaup Aythya affinis
Bufflehead Bucephala albeola (A)
Hooded merganser Lophodytes cucullatus (A)
Red-breasted merganser Mergus serrator (A)
Masked duck Nomonyx dominica
Ruddy duck Oxyura jamaicensis

New World vultures[edit]

Order: Cathartiformes   Family: Cathartidae The New World vultures are not closely related to Old World vultures, but superficially resemble them because of convergent evolution. Like the Old World vultures, they are scavengers. However, unlike Old World vultures, which find carcasses by sight, New World vultures have a good sense of smell with which they locate carrion.

Common name Binomial Status
Black vulture Coragyps atratus (A)
Turkey vulture Cathartes aura


Order: Accipitriformes   Family: Pandionidae

The Pandionidae family contains only one species, the osprey. The osprey (Pandion haliaetus) is a medium large raptor which is a specialist fish-eater with a worldwide distribution.

Common name Binomial Status
Osprey Pandion haliaetus

Hawks and kites[edit]

Order: Accipitriformes   Family: Accipitridae

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.

Common name Binomial Status
Hook-billed kite Chondrohierax uncinatus wilsonii (Es)
Swallow-tailed kite Elanoides forficatus (A)
Snail kite Rostrhamus sociabilis
Northern harrier Circus hudsonius (A)
Sharp-shinned hawk Accipiter striatus fringilloides (Es)
Gundlach's hawk Accipiter gundlachi (E) endangered
Cuban black hawk Buteogallus gundlachii (E)
Broad-winged hawk Buteo platypterus cubanensis (Es)
Red-tailed hawk Buteo jamaicensis

Caracaras and falcons[edit]

Order: Falconiformes   Family: Falconidae

American kestrel (Es) male red morph
American kestrel (Es)
female white morph

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.

Common name Binomial Status
Northern caracara Caracara cheriway (A)
American kestrel Falco sparverius sparveroides (Es)
Merlin Falco columbarius (A)
Peregrine falcon Falco peregrinus

New World quails[edit]

Order: Galliformes   Family: Odontophoridae

The New World quails are small, plump terrestrial birds only distantly related to the quails of the Old World, but named for their similar appearance and habits.

Common name Binomial Status
Northern bobwhite Colinus virginianus cubanensis (Es) near-threatened


Order: Galliformes   Family: Phasianidae

The Phasianidae are a family of terrestrial birds which consists of quails, partridges, snowcocks, francolins, spurfowls, tragopans, monals, pheasants, peafowls and jungle fowls. In general, they are plump (although they vary in size) and have broad, relatively short wings.

Common name Binomial Status
Ring-necked pheasant Phasianus colchicus (I)


Order: Galliformes   Family: Numididae

Guineafowls are a group of African, seed-eating, ground-nesting birds that resemble partridges, but with featherless heads and spangled grey plumage.

Common name Binomial Status
Helmeted guineafowl Numida meleagris (I)


Order: Gruiformes   Family: Gruidae

Cranes are large, long-legged and long-necked birds. Unlike the similar-looking but unrelated herons, cranes fly with necks outstretched rather than retracted.

Common name Binomial Status
Sandhill crane Grus canadensis nesiotes (Es)


Order: Gruiformes   Family: Aramidae

The limpkin resembles a large rail. It has drab-brown plumage and a greyer head and neck.

Common name Binomial Status
Limpkin Aramus guarauna

Rails, crakes, gallinules and coots[edit]

Order: Gruiformes   Family: Rallidae

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.

Common name Binomial Status
Black rail Laterallus jamaicensis
Clapper rail Rallus crepitans
King rail Rallus elegans ramsdeni (Es)
Virginia rail Rallus limicola
Sora Porzana carolina (A)
Yellow-breasted crake Porzana flaviventer
Zapata rail Cyanolimnas cerverai (E) endangered
Spotted rail Pardirallus maculatus
Purple gallinule Porphyrio martinicus
Common gallinule Gallinula galeata
American coot Fulica americana


Order: Charadriiformes   Family: Jacanidae

The jacanas are a group of tropical waders in the family Jacanidae. They are found throughout the tropics. They are identifiable by their huge feet and claws which enable them to walk on floating vegetation in the shallow lakes that are their preferred habitat.

Common name Binomial Status
Northern jacana Jacana spinosa


Order: Charadriiformes   Family: Haematopodidae

The oystercatchers are large and noisy plover-like birds, with strong bills used for smashing or prising open molluscs.

Common name Binomial Status
American oystercatcher Haematopus palliatus (A)

Stilts and avocets[edit]

Order: Charadriiformes   Family: Recurvirostridae

Black-necked 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.

Common name Binomial Status
Black-necked stilt Himantopus mexicanus
American avocet Recurvirostra americana (A)


Order: Charadriiformes   Family: Charadriidae

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.

Common name Binomial Status
American golden-plover Pluvialis dominica (A)
Black-bellied plover Pluvialis squatarola
Semipalmated plover Charadrius semipalmatus (A)
Wilson's plover Charadrius wilsonia
Killdeer Charadrius vociferus
Piping plover Charadrius melodus (A) near-threatened
Snowy plover Charadrius nivosus

Sandpipers, curlews, stints, godwits, snipes, dowitchers and phalaropes[edit]

Order: Charadriiformes   Family: Scolopacidae

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.

Common name Binomial Status
Wilson's snipe Gallinago delicata
Short-billed dowitcher Limnodromus griseus (A)
Long-billed dowitcher Limnodromus scolopaceus (A)
Hudsonian godwit Limosa haemastica (A)
Marbled godwit Limosa fedoa (A)
Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus (A)
Long-billed curlew Numenius americanus (A) near-threatened
Upland sandpiper Bartramia longicauda (A)
Greater yellowlegs Tringa melanoleuca
Lesser yellowlegs Tringa flavipes
Solitary sandpiper Tringa solitaria
Willet Tringa semipalmata
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)
Least sandpiper Calidris minutilla
White-rumped sandpiper Calidris fuscicollis (A)
Pectoral sandpiper Calidris melanotos (A)
Dunlin Calidris alpina (A)
Stilt sandpiper Calidris himantopus (A)
Buff-breasted sandpiper Calidris subruficollis (A) near-threatened
Wilson's phalarope Phalaropus tricolor (A)
Red-necked phalarope Phalaropus lobatus (A)
Red phalarope Phalaropus fulicarius (A)

Skuas and jaegers[edit]

Order: Charadriiformes   Family: Stercorariidae

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.

Common name Binomial Status
South polar skua Stercorarius maccormicki (A)
Pomarine jaeger Stercorarius pomarinus (A)
Parasitic jaeger Stercorarius parasiticus (A)
Long-tailed jaeger Stercorarius longicaudus (A)

Gulls, terns and skimmers[edit]

Order: Charadriiformes   Family: Laridae

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. Skimmers are a small family of tropical tern-like birds. They have an elongated lower mandible which they use to feed by flying low over the water surface and skimming the water for small fish.

Common name Binomial Status
Ring-billed gull Larus delawarensis (A)
Great black-backed gull Larus marinus (A)
Herring gull Larus argentatus (A)
Black-headed gull Chroicocephalus ridibundus (A)
Bonaparte's gull Chroicocephalus philadelphia (A)
Laughing gull Leucophaeus atricilla
Sabine's gull Xema sabini (A)
Black-legged kittiwake Rissa tridactyla (A)
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)
Arctic tern Sterna paradisaea (A)
Forster's tern Sterna forsteri (A)
Least tern Sternula antillarum
Bridled tern Onychoprion anaethetus
Sooty tern Onychoprion fuscata
Black tern Chlidonias niger (A)
Large-billed tern Phaetusa simplex (A)
Brown noddy Anous stolidus
Black skimmer Rynchops niger (A)


Order: Charadriiformes   Family: Alcidae

Auks are superficially similar to penguins due to their black-and-white colours, their upright posture and some of their habits.

Common name Binomial Status
Dovekie Alle alle

Pigeons and doves[edit]

Order: Columbiformes   Family: Columbidae

Pigeons and doves are stout-bodied birds with short necks and short slender bills with a fleshy cere. The extinct passenger pigeon, Ectopistes migratorius, was formerly found in Cuba.

Common name Binomial Status
Rock dove Columba livia (I)
White-crowned pigeon Columba leucocephala near-threatened
Scaly-naped pigeon Columba squamosa (A)
Plain pigeon Columba inornata (A) near-threatened
European turtle dove Streptopelia turtur
Eurasian collared dove Streptopelia decaocto (I)
Mourning dove Zenaida macroura
Zenaida dove Zenaida aurita
White-winged dove Zenaida asiatica
Common ground dove Columbina passerina
Grey-fronted quail-dove Geotrygon caniceps caniceps (Es)
Key West quail-dove Geotrygon chrysia
Ruddy quail-dove Geotrygon montana
Blue-headed quail-dove Starnoenas cyanocephala (E) endangered

Parakeets and parrots[edit]

Order: Psittaciformes   Family: Psittacidae

Parrots are small to large birds with a characteristic curved beak. Their upper mandibles have slight mobility in the joint with the skull and they have a generally erect stance. All parrots are zygodactyl, having the four toes on each foot placed two at the front and two to the back.

Common name Binomial Status
Cuban parakeet Psittacara euops (E) vulnerable
Cuban amazon Amazona leucocephala leucocephala (Es) near-threatened

Cuckoos and anis[edit]

Order: Cuculiformes   Family: Cuculidae

The family Cuculidae includes cuckoos, roadrunners and anis. These birds are of variable size with slender bodies, long tails and strong legs. The Old World cuckoos are brood parasites.

Common name Binomial Status
Black-billed cuckoo Coccyzus erythropthalmus (A)
Yellow-billed cuckoo Coccyzus americanus
Mangrove cuckoo Coccyzus minor
Great lizard cuckoo Saurothera merlini merlini (Es) main island, Cayo Conuco, Caibarien
Great lizard cuckoo Saurothera merlini decolor (Es) Isla de Pinos
Great lizard cuckoo Saurothera merlini santamariae (Es) Santa Maria, Coco, Paredon Grande and Romano Cays
Smooth-billed ani Crotophaga ani

Barn owls[edit]

Order: Strigiformes   Family: Tytonidae

Barn owls are medium to large owls with large heads and characteristic heart-shaped faces. They have long strong legs with powerful talons.

Common name Binomial Status
Barn owl Tyto alba (A)

Typical owls[edit]

Order: Strigiformes   Family: Strigidae

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.

Common name Binomial Status
Bare-legged owl Margarobyas lawrencii (E)
Cuban pygmy owl Glaucidium siju (E)
Burrowing owl Athene cunicularia
Stygian owl Asio stygius suguapa (Es)
Long-eared owl Asio otus (A)
Short-eared owl Asio flammeus


Order: Caprimulgiformes   Family: Caprimulgidae

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.

Common name Binomial Status
Antillean nighthawk Chordeiles gundlachii
Chuck-will's-widow Antrostomus carolinensis (A)
Cuban nightjar Antrostomus cubanensis (E)
Eastern whip-poor-will Antrostomus vociferus (A)


Order: Apodiformes   Family: Apodidae

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.

Common name Binomial Status
Black swift Cypseloides niger (A)
White-collared swift Streptoprocne zonaris
Chimney swift Chaetura pelagica (A)
Antillean palm swift Tachornis phoenicobia iradii (Es)


Order: Trochiliformes   Family: Trochilidae

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.

Common name Binomial Status
Cuban emerald Chlorostilbon ricordii ricordii (Es)
Bee hummingbird Mellisuga helenae (E) near-threatened
Ruby-throated hummingbird Archilochus colubris (A)


Order: Trogoniformes   Family: Trogonidae

The family Trogonidae includes trogons and quetzals. Found in tropical woodlands worldwide, they feed on insects and fruit, and their broad bills and weak legs reflect their diet and arboreal habits. Although their flight is fast, they are reluctant to fly any distance. Trogons have soft, often colourful, feathers with distinctive male and female plumage.

Common name Binomial Status
Cuban trogon Priotelus temnurus (E)

Water kingfishers[edit]

Order: Coraciiformes   Family: Cerylidae

Water kingfishers are medium-sized birds with large heads, long, pointed bills, short legs and stubby tails.

Common name Binomial Status
Belted kingfisher Megaceryle alcyon


Order: Coraciiformes   Family: Todidae

Todies are a group of small near passerine forest species endemic to the Caribbean. These birds have colourful plumage and resemble small kingfishers, but have flattened bills with serrated edges. They eat small prey such as insects and lizards.

Common name Binomial Status
Cuban tody Todus multicolor (E)

Woodpeckers, flickers and sapsuckers[edit]

Order: Piciformes   Family: Picidae

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.

Common name Binomial Status
West Indian woodpecker Melanerpes superciliaris superciliaris (Es) main island and Cayo Cantiles
West Indian woodpecker Melanerpes superciliaris murceus (Es) Isla de Pinos
West Indian woodpecker Melanerpes superciliaris florentinoi (Es) Cayo Largo
West Indian woodpecker Melanerpes superciliaris sanfelipensis (Es) Cayo Real
Yellow-bellied sapsucker Sphyrapicus varius
Cuban green woodpecker Xiphidiopicus percussus (E)
Northern flicker Colaptes auratus chrysocaulosus (Es)

Fernandina's flicker Colaptes fernandinae (E) vulnerable
Cuban ivory-billed woodpecker Campephilus principalis bairdii (A) (Es) critically endangered (possibly extinct)

Tyrant flycatchers[edit]

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Tyrannidae

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.

Common name Binomial Status
Western wood pewee Contopus sordidulus (A)
Eastern wood pewee Contopus virens (A)
Cuban pewee Contopus caribaeus (Es) main island, Isla de Pinos, several cays
Cuban pewee Contopus morenoi (Es) Zapata, LOs Canarreos
Cuban pewee Contopus nerlyi (Es) Jardines de la Reina
Cuban pewee Contopus florentinoi (Es) Jardines de la Reina
Yellow-bellied flycatcher Empidonax flaviventris (A)
Acadian flycatcher Empidonax virescens (A)
Alder flycatcher Empidonax alnorum
Willow flycatcher Empidonax traillii (A)
Eastern phoebe Sayornis phoebe (A)
Great crested flycatcher Myiarchus crinitus (A)
La Sagra's flycatcher Myiarchus sagrae
Tropical kingbird Tyrannus melancholicus (A)
Western kingbird Tyrannus verticalis (A)
Eastern kingbird Tyrannus tyrannus (A)
Grey kingbird Tyrannus dominicensis
Loggerhead kingbird Tyrannus caudifasciatus caudifasciatus (Es)
Giant kingbird Tyrannus cubensis (E) endangered
Scissor-tailed flycatcher Tyrannus forficatus (A)
Fork-tailed flycatcher Tyrannus savana (A)

Swallows and martins[edit]

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Hirundinidae

The family Hirundinidae 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.

Common name Binomial Status
Purple martin Progne subis
Cuban martin Progne cryptoleuca
Tree swallow Tachycineta bicolor
Bahama swallow Tachycineta cyaneoviridis (A) vulnerable
Northern rough-winged swallow Stelgidopteryx serripennis (A)
Bank swallow Riparia riparia (A)
Cliff swallow Petrochelidon pyrrhonota (A)
Cave swallow Petrochelidon fulva cavicola (Es)
Barn swallow Hirundo rustica


Order: Passeriformes   Family: Regulidae

The kinglets, also called crests, are a small group of birds often included in the Old World warblers, but frequently given family status because they also resemble the titmice.

Common name Binomial Status
Ruby-crowned kinglet Regulus calendula (A)


Order: Passeriformes   Family: Bombycillidae

The waxwings are a group of passerine birds with soft silky plumage and unique red tips to some of the wing feathers. In the Bohemian and cedar waxwings, these tips look like sealing wax and give the group its name. These are arboreal birds of northern forests. They live on insects in summer and berries in winter.

Common name Binomial Status
Cedar waxwing Bombycilla cedrorum (A)


Order: Passeriformes   Family: Troglodytidae

The wrens are mainly small and inconspicuous except for their loud songs. These birds have short wings and thin down-turned bills. Several species often hold their tails upright. All are insectivorous.

Common name Binomial Status
Zapata wren Ferminia cerverai (E) endangered
House wren Troglodytes aedon (A)
Marsh wren Cistothorus palustris (A)

Mockingbirds and thrashers[edit]

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Mimidae

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.

Common name Binomial Status
Grey catbird Dumetella carolinensis (A)
Bahama mockingbird Mimus gundlachii
Northern mockingbird Mimus polyglottos
Brown thrasher Toxostoma rufum (A)

Thrushes, solitaires and bluebirds[edit]

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Turdidae

The thrushes are a group of passerine birds that occur mainly in the Old World. They are plump, soft plumaged, small to medium-sized insectivores or sometimes omnivores, often feeding on the ground. Many have attractive songs.

Common name Binomial Status
Eastern bluebird Sialia sialis (A)
Cuban solitaire Myadestes elisabeth (E) near-threatened
Veery Catharus fuscescens (A)
Grey-cheeked thrush Catharus minimus (A)
Bicknell's thrush Catharus bicknelli (A) vulnerable
Swainson's thrush Catharus ustulatus (A)
Hermit thrush Catharus guttatus (A)
Wood thrush Hylocichla mustelina (A)
Red-legged thrush Turdus plumbeus schistaceus (Es) eastern Cuba
Red-legged thrush Turdus plumbeus rubripes (Es) central and western Cuba and Isle of Pines
American robin Turdus migratorius


Order: Passeriformes   Family: Polioptilidae

These dainty birds resemble Old World warblers in their build and habits, moving restlessly through the foliage seeking insects. The gnatcatchers and gnatwrens are mainly soft bluish grey in colour and have the typical insectivore's long sharp bill. They are birds of fairly open woodland or scrub, which nest in bushes or trees.

Common name Binomial Status
Blue-grey gnatcatcher Polioptila caerulea
Cuban gnatcatcher Polioptila lembeyei (E)

Old World flycatchers[edit]

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Muscicapidae

Old World flycatchers are a large group of small passerine birds native to the Old World. They are mainly small arboreal insectivores. The appearance of these birds is highly varied, but they mostly have weak songs and harsh calls.

Common name Binomial Status
Northern wheatear Oenanthe oenanthe (A)


Order: Passeriformes   Family: Corvidae

The family Corvidae includes crows, ravens, jays, choughs, magpies, treepies, nutcrackers and ground jays. Corvids are above average in size among the Passeriformes, and some of the larger species show high levels of intelligence.

Common name Binomial Status
Cuban palm crow Corvus minutus (E) endangered
Cuban crow Corvus nasicus


Order: Passeriformes   Family: Sturnidae

Starlings are small to medium-sized passerine birds. Their flight is strong and direct and they are very gregarious. Their preferred habitat is fairly open country. They eat insects and fruit. Plumage is typically dark with a metallic sheen.

Common name Binomial Status
Common myna Acridotheres tristis (I)
European starling Sturnus vulgaris (A)

Estrildid finches[edit]

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Estrildidae

The estrildid finches are small passerine birds of the Old World tropics and Australasia. They are gregarious and often colonial seed eaters with short thick but pointed bills. They are all similar in build and habits, but have wide variation in plumage colours and patterns.

Common name Binomial Status
Nutmeg mannikin Lonchura punctulata (A)


Order: Passeriformes   Family: Vireonidae

The vireos are a group of small to medium-sized passerine birds restricted to the New World. They are typically greenish in colour and resemble wood warblers apart from their heavier bills.

Common name Binomial Status
White-eyed vireo Vireo griseus (A)
Thick-billed vireo Vireo crassirostris (A)
Cuban vireo Vireo gundlachii (E)
Yellow-throated vireo Vireo flavifrons
Blue-headed vireo Vireo solitarius (A)
Warbling vireo Vireo gilvus
Philadelphia vireo Vireo philadelphicus (A)
Red-eyed vireo Vireo olivaceus (A)
Black-whiskered vireo Vireo altiloquus

New World warblers[edit]

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Parulidae

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.

Common name Binomial Status
Bachman's warbler Vermivora bachmanii critically endangered (possibly extinct)
Blue-winged warbler Vermivora cyanoptera (A)
Golden-winged warbler Vermivora chrysoptera (A) near-threatened
Tennessee warbler Orethlypis peregrina (A)
Orange-crowned warbler Orethlypis celata (A)
Nashville warbler Orethlypis ruficapilla (A)
Virginia's warbler Orethlypis virginiae (A)
Northern parula Setophaga americana
Yellow warbler Setophaga petechia
Chestnut-sided warbler Setophaga pensylvanica (A)
Magnolia warbler Setophaga magnolia
Cape May warbler Setophaga tigrina
Black-throated blue warbler Setophaga caerulescens
Yellow-rumped warbler Setophaga coronata
Black-throated grey warbler Setophaga nigrescens (A)
Black-throated green warbler Setophaga virens
Blackburnian warbler Setophaga fusca (A)
Yellow-throated warbler Setophaga dominica
Olive-capped warbler Setophaga pityophila
Pine warbler Setophaga pinus (A)
Prairie warbler Setophaga discolor
Palm warbler Setophaga palmarum
Bay-breasted warbler Setophaga castanea (A)
Blackpoll warbler Setophaga striata
Cerulean warbler Setophaga cerulea (A) vulnerable
Hooded warbler Setophaga citrina (A)
American redstart Setophaga ruticilla
Black-and-white warbler Mniotilta varia
Prothonotary warbler Protonotaria citrea (A)
Worm-eating warbler Helmitheros vermivorus
Swainson's warbler Limnothlypis swainsonii (A)
Ovenbird Seiurus aurocapilla
Northern waterthrush Parkesia noveboracensis
Louisiana waterthrush Parkesia motacilla
Connecticut warbler Oporornis agilis (A)
Kentucky warbler Geothlypis formosa (A)
Mourning warbler Geothlypiis philadelphia (A)
Common yellowthroat Geothlypis trichas
Yellow-headed warbler Teretistris fernandinae (E)
Oriente warbler Teretistris fornsi (E)
Wilson's warbler Cardellina pusilla (A)
Canada warbler Cardellina canadensis (A)
Yellow-breasted chat Icteria virens (A)


Order: Passeriformes   Family: Thraupidae

The tanagers are a large group of small to medium-sized passerine birds restricted to the New World, mainly in the tropics. Many species are brightly coloured. They are seed eaters, but their preference tends towards fruit and nectar. Most have short, rounded wings.

Common name Binomial Status
Western spindalis Spindalis zena pretrei (Es)
Red-legged honeycreeper Cyanerpes cyaneus (I)
Bananaquit Coereba flaveola (A)

American sparrows, yellow-finches, honeycreepers and towhees[edit]

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Emberizidae

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.

Common name Binomial Status
Cuban bullfinch Melopyrrha nigra nigra (Es)
Cuban grassquit Tiaris canorus (E)
Yellow-faced grassquit Tiaris olivacea
Black-faced grassquit Tiaris bicolor (A)
Saffron finch Sicalis flaveola (A)
Green-tailed towhee Pipilo chlorurus (A)
Zapata sparrow Torreornis inexpectata (E) endangered
Chipping sparrow Spizella passerina (A)
Clay-coloured sparrow Spizella pallida (A)
Lark sparrow Chondestes grammacus (A)
Savannah sparrow Passerculus sandwichensis
Grasshopper sparrow Ammodramus savannarum
Lincoln's sparrow Melospiza lincolnii (A)
White-crowned sparrow Zonotrichia leucophrys (A)

Cardinals, grosbeaks and North American buntings[edit]

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Cardinalidae

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.

Common name Binomial Status
Scarlet tanager Piranga olivacea (A)
Summer tanager Piranga rubra (A)
Western tanager Piranga ludoviciana (A)
Rose-breasted grosbeak Pheucticus ludovicianus (A)
Blue grosbeak Passerina caerulea (A)
Lazuli bunting Passerina amoena (A)
Indigo bunting Passerina cyanea
Painted bunting Passerina ciris (A) near-threatened
Dickcissel Spiza americana (A)

Blackbirds, meadowlarks, cowbirds, grackles and orioles[edit]

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Icteridae

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.

Common name Binomial Status
Bobolink Dolichonyx oryzivorus
Tawny-shouldered blackbird Agelaius humeralis humeralis (Es)
Tawny-shouldered blackbird Agelaius humeralis scopulus (Es)
Red-winged blackbird Agelaius phoeniceus
Red-shouldered blackbird Agelaius assimilis (E)
Eastern meadowlark Sturnella magna hippocrepis (Es)
Yellow-headed blackbird Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus (A)
Cuban blackbird Dives atroviolacea (E)
Rusty blackbird Euphagus carolinus (A)
Greater Antillean grackle Quiscalus niger gundlachii (Es) main island except western tip, Coco, Romano, Guajaba and other cays
Greater Antillean grackle Quiscalus niger caribaeus (Es) western tip of main island, Isla de Pinos, southern and some northern cays
Shiny cowbird Molothrus bonariensis
Brown-headed cowbird Molothrus ater (A)
Hooded oriole Icterus cucullatus (A)
Baltimore oriole Icterus galbula (A)
Orchard oriole Icterus spurius (A)
Cuban oriole Icterus melanopsis (E)
Hispaniolan oriole Icterus dominicensis melanopsis (Es)

Cardueline finches[edit]

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Fringillidae

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.

Common name Binomial Status
Lesser goldfinch Spinus psaltria
American goldfinch Spinus tristis (A)


Order: Passeriformes   Family: Passeridae

Sparrows are small passerine birds. In general, sparrows tend to be small, plump, brown or grey birds with short tails and short powerful beaks. Sparrows are seed eaters, but they also consume small insects.

Common name Binomial Status
House sparrow Passer domesticus (I)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Orlando H. Garrido and Arturo H. Kirkconnell, Birds of Cuba, Christopher Helm, Cornell 2000 ISBN 0-7136-5784-7
  2. ^ Fox, Neil and Michelle (Autumn 2007). "First documented record of Northern Gannet Morus bassanus in Cuba". Cotinga (28): 76.