List of birds of Saint Kitts and Nevis
This is a list of the bird species recorded in Saint Kitts and Nevis. Saint Kitts and Nevis is a small West Indian country, a federation of two neighboring islands in the Leeward Islands chain of the Lesser Antilles. The avifauna of Saint Kitts and Nevis include 224 species, according to Bird Checklists of the World as of August 2017. Of them, 161 are rare or accidental and six have been introduced. None are endemic and four have been extirpated.
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, 2017 version. The following tags have been used to highlight several categories. The tags and notes on population status are also from Bird Checklists of the World; the latter refer to status worldwide, not solely on Saint Kitts and Nevis.
- (A) Accidental - a species that rarely or accidentally occurs in Saint Kitts and Nevis
- (I) Introduced - a species introduced directly to Saint Kitts and Nevis or elsewhere in the New World
- (Ex) Extirpated - a species that no longer occurs in Saint Kitts and Nevis although populations exist elsewhere
- 1 Ducks, geese, and waterfowl
- 2 Guineafowl
- 3 New World quail
- 4 Pheasants, grouse, and allies
- 5 Grebes
- 6 Flamingos
- 7 Shearwaters and petrels
- 8 Storm-petrels
- 9 Tropicbirds
- 10 Frigatebirds
- 11 Boobies and gannets
- 12 Cormorants
- 13 Anhingas
- 14 Pelicans
- 15 Herons, egrets, and bitterns
- 16 Ibises and spoonbills
- 17 Osprey
- 18 Hawks, kites, and eagles
- 19 Rails, gallinules, and coots
- 20 Stilts and avocets
- 21 Oystercatchers
- 22 Plovers and lapwings
- 23 Sandpipers and allies
- 24 Skuas and jaegers
- 25 Gulls, terns, and skimmers
- 26 Pigeons and doves
- 27 Cuckoos and anis
- 28 Barn-owls
- 29 Typical owls
- 30 Nightjars and allies
- 31 Swifts
- 32 Hummingbirds
- 33 Kingfishers
- 34 Woodpeckers
- 35 Falcons and caracaras
- 36 Tyrant flycatchers
- 37 Vireos
- 38 Swallows and martins
- 39 Thrushes and allies
- 40 Mockingbirds and thrashers
- 41 New World warblers
- 42 Tanagers and allies
- 43 Cardinals and allies
- 44 Troupials and allies
- 45 Finches, euphonias, and allies
- 46 Old World sparrows
- 47 References
- 48 See also
Ducks, geese, and waterfowl
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.
- White-faced whistling-duck, Dendrocygna viduata (A)
- Black-bellied whistling-duck, Dendrocygna autumnalis (A)
- West Indian whistling-duck, Dendrocygna arborea (A) (Vulnerable)
- Fulvous whistling-duck, Dendrocygna bicolor (A)
- Wood duck, Aix sponsa (A)
- Blue-winged teal, Spatula discors (A)
- Cinnamon teal, Spatula cyanoptera (A)
- Northern shoveler, Spatula clypeata (A)
- Gadwall, Mareca strepera (A)
- American wigeon, Mareca americana
- Mallard, Anas platyrhynchos (A)
- White-cheeked pintail, Anas bahamensis (A)
- Northern pintail, Anas acuta (A)
- Green-winged teal, Anas crecca (A)
- Canvasback, Aythya valisineria (A)
- Redhead, Aythya americana (A)
- Ring-necked duck, Aythya collaris (A)
- Lesser scaup, Aythya affinis (A)
- Hooded merganser, Lophodytes cucullatus (A)
- Red-breasted merganser, Mergus serrator (A)
- Masked duck, Nomonyx dominicus (A)
- Ruddy duck, Oxyura jamaicensis (A)
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 (A) (I)
New World quail
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.
- Northern bobwhite, Colinus virginianus (I) (Ex) (Near-threatened)
Pheasants, grouse, and allies
Phasianidae consists of the pheasants and their allies. These are terrestrial species, variable in size but generally plump with broad relatively short wings. Many species are gamebirds or have been domesticated as a food source for humans.
- Red junglefowl, Gallus gallus (I)
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 (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.
- American flamingo, Phoenicopterus ruber (A)
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.
- Trindade petrel, Pterodroma arminjoniana (A) (Vulnerable)
- Herald petrel, Pterodroma heraldica (A)
- Black-capped petrel, Pterodroma hasitata (A)
- Cory's shearwater, Calonectris diomedea (A)
- Great shearwater, Ardenna gravis (A)
- Sooty shearwater, Ardenna grisea (A) (Near-threatened)
- Manx shearwater, Puffinus puffinus (A)
- Audubon's shearwater, Puffinus lherminieri (A)
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)
- Leach's storm-petrel, Oceanodroma leucorhoa (A)
- Band-rumped storm-petrel, Oceanodroma castro (A)
Tropicbirds are slender white birds of tropical oceans with exceptionally long central tail feathers. Their heads and long wings have black markings.
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 colored 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
Boobies and gannets
Cormorants are medium-to-large aquatic birds, usually with mainly dark plumage and areas of colored skin on the face. The bill is long, thin, and sharply hooked. Their feet are four-toed and webbed, a distinguishing feature among the Pelecaniformes order.
Anhingas are cormorant-like water birds with very long necks and long, straight beaks. They are fish eaters which often swim with only their neck above the water.
- Anhinga, Anhinga anhinga (A)
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.
- Brown pelican, Pelecanus occidentalis
Herons, egrets, and bitterns
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.
- American bittern, Botaurus lentiginosus (A)
- Least bittern, Ixobrychus exilis (A)
- Great blue heron, Ardea herodias
- Gray heron, Ardea cinerea (A)
- Great egret, Ardea alba (A)
- Little egret, Egretta garzetta (A)
- Snowy egret, Egretta thula
- Little blue heron, Egretta caerulea
- Tricolored heron, Egretta tricolor (A)
- Reddish egret, Egretta rufescens (A) (Near-threatened)
- 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.
The family Pandionidae 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
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.
- Northern harrier, Circus hudsonius
- Sharp-shinned hawk, Accipiter striatus (A)
- Common black hawk, Buteogallus anthracinus (A)
- Broad-winged hawk, Buteo platypterus (A)
- Red-tailed hawk, Buteo jamaicensis
Rails, 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.
- Clapper rail, Rallus crepitans (A)
- Sora, Porzana carolina (A)
- Common gallinule, Gallinula galeata
- American coot, Fulica americana
Stilts and avocets
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.
- American oystercatcher, Haematopus palliatus (A)
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.
- Black-bellied plover, Pluvialis squatarola (A)
- American golden-plover, Pluvialis dominica (A)
- Pacific golden-plover, Pluvialis fulva (A)
- Collared plover, Charadrius collaris (A)
- Snowy plover, Charadrius nivosus (A) (Near-threatened)
- Wilson's plover, Charadrius wilsonia
- Semipalmated plover, Charadrius semipalmatus
- Piping plover, Charadrius melodus (A) (Near-threatened)
- Killdeer, Charadrius vociferus (A)
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.
- Whimbrel, Numenius phaeopus (A)
- Black-tailed godwit, Limosa limosa (A) (Near-threatened)
- Hudsonian godwit, Limosa haemastica (A)
- Marbled godwit, Limosa fedoa (A)
- Ruddy turnstone, Arenaria interpres
- Red knot, Calidris canutus (A) (Near-threatened)
- Ruff, Calidris pugnax (A)
- Stilt sandpiper, Calidris himantopus (A)
- Curlew sandpiper, Calidris ferruginea (A) (Near-threatened)
- Sanderling, Calidris alba
- Dunlin, Calidris alpina (A)
- Baird's sandpiper, Calidris bairdii (A)
- Least sandpiper, Calidris minutilla
- White-rumped sandpiper, Calidris fuscicollis (A)
- Buff-breasted sandpiper, Calidris subruficollis (A) (Near-threatened)
- Pectoral sandpiper, Calidris melanotos (A)
- Semipalmated sandpiper, Calidris pusilla (Near-threatened)
- Western sandpiper, Calidris mauri (A)
- Short-billed dowitcher, Limnodromus griseus (A)
- Long-billed dowitcher, Limnodromus scolopaceus (A)
- Wilson's snipe, Gallinago delicata (A)
- Spotted sandpiper, Actitis macularia
- Solitary sandpiper, Tringa solitaria (A)
- Greater yellowlegs, Tringa melanoleuca (A)
- Willet, Tringa semipalmata (A)
- Lesser yellowlegs, Tringa flavipes (A)
Skuas and jaegers
Skuas are in general medium to large birds, typically with gray or brown plumage, often with white markings on the wings. They have longish bills with hooked tips and webbed feet with sharp claws. They look like large dark gulls, but have a fleshy cere above the upper mandible. They are strong, acrobatic fliers.
- Pomarine jaeger, Stercorarius pomarinus (A)
- Parasitic jaeger, Stercorarius parasiticus (A)
- Long-tailed jaeger, Stercorarius longicaudus (A)
Gulls, terns, and skimmers
Laridae is a family of medium to large seabirds and includes gulls, kittiwakes, terns, and skimmers. They are typically gray or white, often with black markings on the head or wings. They have stout, longish bills and webbed feet. Terns are a group of generally medium to large seabirds typically with gray 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.
- Black-headed gull, Chroicocephalus ridibundus (A)
- Laughing gull, Leucophaeus atricilla
- Ring-billed gull, Larus delawarensis (A)
- Herring gull, Larus argentatus (A)
- Lesser black-backed gull, Larus fuscus (A)
- Great black-backed gull, Larus marinus (A)
- Brown noddy, Anous stolidus (A)
- Sooty tern, Onychoprion fuscata (A)
- Bridled tern, Onychoprion anaethetus (A)
- Least tern, Sternula antillarum
- Gull-billed tern, Gelochelidon nilotica (A)
- Caspian tern, Hydroprogne caspia (A)
- Roseate tern, Sterna dougallii (A)
- Common tern, Sterna hirundo (A)
- Forster's tern, Sterna forsteri (A)
- Royal tern, Thalasseus maxima
- Sandwich tern, Thalasseus sandvicensis (A)
- Black skimmer, Rynchops niger (A)
Pigeons and doves
- Rock pigeon, Columba livia (I)
- Scaly-naped pigeon, Patagioenas squamosa
- White-crowned pigeon, Patagioenas leucocephala (A) (Near-threatened)
- Eurasian collared-dove, Streptopelia decaocto (I)
- Common ground-dove, Columbina passerina
- Ruddy quail-dove, Geotrygon montana (A)
- Bridled quail-dove, Geotrygon mystacea
- White-winged dove, Zenaida asiatica (A)
- Zenaida dove, Zenaida aurita
Cuckoos and anis
- Smooth-billed ani, Crotophaga ani (A)
- Yellow-billed cuckoo, Coccyzus americanus
- Mangrove cuckoo, Coccyzus minor
- Black-billed cuckoo, Coccyzus erythropthalmus (A)
Owls in the family Tytonidae are medium to large owls, with large heads and characteristic heart-shaped faces.
- Barn-owl, Tyto alba (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 and allies
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 nighthawk, Chordeiles minor
- Antillean nighthawk, Chordeiles gundlachii (A)
- Chuck-will's-widow, Antrostomus carolinensis (A)
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)
- White-collared swift, Streptoprocne zonaris (A)
- Lesser Antillean swift, Chaetura martinica (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
- 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 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.
- Yellow-bellied sapsucker, Sphyrapicus varius (A)
Falcons and caracaras
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.
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 coloring. As the name implies, most are insectivorous.
- Caribbean elaenia, Elaenia martinica
- Lesser Antillean pewee, Contopus latirostris (A)
- Eastern phoebe, Sayornis phoebe (A)
- Stolid flycatcher, Myiarchus stolidus (A)
- Lesser Antillean flycatcher, Myiarchus oberi
- Eastern kingbird, Tyrannus tyrannus (A)
- Gray kingbird, Tyrannus dominicensis
- Fork-tailed flycatcher, Tyrannus savana (A)
Swallows and martins
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.
- Purple martin, Progne subis (A)
- Caribbean martin, Progne dominicensis
- Bank swallow, Riparia riparia (A)
- Barn swallow, Hirundo rustica
- Cliff swallow, Petrochelidon pyrrhonota (A)
Thrushes and allies
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.
- Veery, Catharus fuscescens (A)
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 coloring tends towards dull grays and browns.
- Scaly-breasted thrasher, Allenia fusca
- Pearly-eyed thrasher, Margarops fuscatus
- Brown trembler, Cinclocerthia ruficauda
- Brown thrasher, Toxostoma rufum (A)
- Tropical mockingbird, Mimus gilvus (A)
New World warblers
The New World warblers are a group of small, often colorful, passerine birds restricted to the New World. Most are arboreal, but some are terrestrial. Most members of this family are insectivores.
- Ovenbird, Seiurus aurocapilla (A)
- Worm-eating warbler, Helmitheros vermivorum (A)
- Louisiana waterthrush, Parkesia motacilla (A)
- Northern waterthrush, Parkesia noveboracensis (A)
- Black-and-white warbler, Mniotilta varia
- Prothonotary warbler, Protonotaria citrea (A)
- Kentucky warbler, Geothlypis formosa (A)
- Common yellowthroat, Geothlypis trichas (A)
- Hooded warbler, Setophaga citrina (A)
- American redstart, Setophaga ruticilla
- Cape May warbler, Setophaga tigrina (A)
- Northern parula, Setophaga americana
- Magnolia warbler, Setophaga magnolia (A)
- Yellow warbler, Setophaga petechia
- Blackpoll warbler, Setophaga striata (A)
- Black-throated blue warbler, Setophaga caerulescens (A)
- Pine warbler, Setophaga pinus (A)
- Yellow-rumped warbler, Setophaga coronata (A)
- Yellow-throated warbler, Setophaga dominica (A)
- Prairie warbler, Setophaga discolor (A)
- Adelaide's warbler, Setophaga adelaidae (A)
- Black-throated green warbler, Setophaga virens (A)
Tanagers and allies
- Grassland yellow-finch, Sicalis luteola (A)
- Yellow-bellied seedeater, Sporophila nigricollis (A)
- Bananaquit, Coereba flaveola
- Black-faced grassquit, Tiaris bicolor
- Puerto Rican bullfinch, Loxigilla portoricensis (Ex)
- Greater Antillean bullfinch, Loxigilla violacea (A)
- Lesser Antillean bullfinch, Loxigilla noctis
- Lesser Antillean saltator, Saltator albicollis (A)
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.
- Summer tanager, Piranga rubra (A)
- Scarlet tanager, Piranga olivacea (A)
- Rose-breasted grosbeak, Pheucticus ludovicianus (A)
- Blue grosbeak, Passerina caerulea (A)
- Indigo bunting, Passerina cyanea (A)
Troupials and allies
The icterids are a group of small to medium-sized, often colorful, 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 color, often enlivened by yellow, orange, or red.
- Bobolink, Dolichonyx oryzivorus (A)
- Baltimore oriole, Icterus galbula (A)
- Shiny cowbird, Molothrus bonariensis (A)
- Carib grackle, Quiscalus lugubris (Ex)
Finches, euphonias, 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
Old World sparrows
Old World sparrows are small passerine birds. In general, sparrows tend to be small plump brownish or grayish birds with short tails and short powerful beaks. Sparrows are seed eaters, but they also consume small insects.
- House sparrow, Passer domesticus (A) (I)
- Lepage, Denis (28 August 2017). "Checklist of birds of Saint Kitts and Nevis". Avibase bird checklists of the world. Retrieved 20 March 2018.
- Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2017. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2017. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/ retrieved 18 August 2017