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Bird Watching Overview

This beloved hobby is actually the observation of birds as a recreational activity. It can be done with the naked eye, through a visual enhancement device like binoculars and telescopes, or by listening for bird sounds. Bird watching often involves a significant auditory component, as many bird species are more easily detected and identified by ear than by eye.  Most birdwatchers pursue this activity mainly for recreational or social reasons, unlike ornithologists, who engage in the study of birds using more formal scientific methods. 

As for you, who ever you are, where ever you are, we at Attractions Link Tourism Services are here in Jamaica and are ready to serve you according to your birding desires.  If you are planning a birding trip, please, think of birding in Jamaica.  After deciding on taking your birding vacation in Jamaica, you should be clear about where your birding tour activities are going to be, who are you birding with and how effictive your birding will be.  If you then decide on birding with Attractions Link birding vacations and tours, you have found the perfect team of birding profesionals who are ready and willing to make sure that your birding desires are materialised.  

Ornithology

Ornithology is a branch of zoology that concerns the study of birds.  Several aspects of ornithology differ from related disciplines, due partly to the high visibility and the aesthetic appeal of birds.  Most marked among these is the extent of studies undertaken by amateurs working within the parameters of strict scientific methodology.  Several aspects of ornithology differ from related disciplines, due partly to the high visibility and the aesthetic appeal of birds.  Ornithological science has a long history. This intense study on birds have helped develop several key concepts in  ecology such as the definition of species, the process of speciation, instinct, learning, ecological niches, guilds, island biogeography, phylogeography and conservation. 

Recently, Birds Caribbean, formerly the Society for the Conservation and Study of Caribbean Birds (SCSCB), which is a nonprofit membership organization, is working to conserve the birds of the Caribbean and their habitats through research, education, conservation action and capacity building.  This organization was founded in 1988.  Birds Caribbean is the largest single bird conservation organization in the Greater Caribbean region, including Bermuda, the Bahamas and all islands within the Caribbean basin.

Bird Species

There are currently ten thousand (10,000) species of birds in the world.  These ranges from flightless species to species that fly to the longest distances.  Flightless birds are birds that have lost their ability to fly overtime.  There are over sixty (60) extant species including the well known ratites (ostrich, emu, cassowary, rhea and kiwi).  Penguins and a number of diverse endemic island species are also flightless birds.  Birds also have unique digestive and respiratory systems that are highly adapted for flight. Some birds, especially parrots, are among the most intelligent animal species; a number of bird species have been observed manufacturing and using tools, and many social species exhibit cultural transmission of knowledge across generations. 

Many species undertake long distance annual migrations, and many more perform shorter irregular movements.  Birds are social; they communicate using visual signals and through calls and songs, and participate in social behaviors, including cooperative breeding and hunting, flocking, and mobbing of predators. There is a vast majority of bird species are socially monogamous, usually for one breeding season at a time, sometimes for years, but rarely for life. Other species have polygynous ("many females") or, rarely, polyandrous ("many males") breeding systems. Eggs are usually laid in a nest and incubated by the parents.  Most birds have an extended period of parental care after hatching.

Bird Habitats

The needs of birds aren’t much different than our own. Food and water are absolute basics, but so is shelter or cover to serve as protection from the weather and a safe place to raise a family.  Provide these fundamental elements in your backyard or garden habitat and you will attract numerous flyby visitors of which, will fill your bird watching apatite.  Well known Jamaican bird habitats and birding hot spots can be found in the Cockpit Country, various areas of the Blue Mountains, Areas close to Runaway Bay, the John Crow Mountains, outskirts of Kingston, the dry-forests of Jamaica's extreme south coast, the wet-land, ponds and rivers of Jamaica's south.  There are also several unknown bird habitats that can be discovered and developed by way of preservational education to the residents who are living in or near these areas. 

If these measures can put in place, overtime our visitors will have a lot more habitats to explore.  These forests and gardens are natural resources that can be promoted as natural attractions.  If we are willing to appreciate our gift of creation; these forests and gardens surely will boost our country’s economy in many areas.  Currently, tourism is Jamaica's main earner of Foreign Exchange.  For our country to benefit from sustainable tourism, we must first develop sound environmental practices.  This should be done first in our homes and Kindergartens, grooming our young ones first, before lecturing the subject in our universities.  By doing this, our forests and gardens will stand a chance of flourishing in order to keep our birds, butterflies and other wildlife creatures.  If the proper interest and support is given, our natural bird habitats can be ranked among the very best in the world and can highly recommended to visitors for bird watching.

Food and Water

Many garden birds are insect eaters, but will supplement their diet with nuts, seeds, fruit, or nectar, depending on the species. Increase the array of foods you offer, and you will increase the diversity of birds you will attract and support.  Nothing beats natural, native vegetation; as this will attract birds to to feed in any area.  Based on this and other wildlife knowledge, a drive to educate natives of the Rio Grande Valley area of Portland Jamaica regarding the planting and neutering a variety of native plants that supplies food for birds year-round is spearheaded by Attractions Link Tourism Services.  Over time, this practice will inherit the benefit of World-class bird watching.

All birds need water for drinking and for bathing.  By providing a clean, fresh water source, you are maintaining a clean and fresh supply.  In order to maintain the development of bird watching, our goal at Attractions Link is to educate persons living close to natural water sources, streams and wetland how to enhance the attractiveness and wildlife value of these water sources by protecting and restoring native plant species and allowing the vegetation along the banks to grow high to create a buffer zone.

 

Mating, Breeding and Nesting

At Attractions Link we are doing our best to make sure that  the birds remain in their habitats during the breeding season.  This input will secure proper areas which will enhance ideal places for these birds to nest and raise their young.  Different species have different requirements. Some nest in cavities, many others in open nests found on ledges or in a tree crotch, and others nest on the ground.  Our birding team is currently helping persons living close to the habitats how to know which species are likely to nest in different area and how to provide the appropriate habitat or structure for the security of our birds.  

With the blessings of twenty nine (29) endemic bird species, Jamaicans can say their country has 28 more reasons for visitors to visit their island.  This is one of the main reason why persons travel from all over just to experience bird watching in Jamaica.  Recently, a lot of persons are traveling to Jamaica on vacations relating to bird watching.  This trend is proving bird watching to be a growing attraction in Jamaica.  As for Jamaica’s Tourism Industry, bird watching in Jamaica has grown to be not just another ecological adventure activity; but one of Jamaica's most lucrative tourist attractions.  

During the period November 1st 2011 and November 30th 2016, Attractions Link's bird watching team and other bird watching interests have interacted with over twenty one (21) bird watching groups plus fifty three (53) individual birdwatchers from the United Kingdom and North America alone.  Between November 1st, 2011 and November 30 2016, eleven (11) organized eight (8) days birding vacation, nine (9) organized ten (10) days birding vacations and eight (8) organized six (6) days birding vacation for small groups plus several single day birding tours for group and individual birders to various bird watching habitats in Jamaica, were successfully completed by Attractions Link Tourism Servises.  These numbers continues to grow and are expected to grow more during the future corresponding periods.