BIRDING IN THE UPPER JOHN CROW MOUTAINS
Bird watching in the higher elevated areas of the John Crow Mountains is also great fun. This large area of natural forest is located in the higher hills of the northeastern Jamaica that forms part of the Blue and John-crow Mountains National Park, which spanning over 11,600 square miles or 30,044 square kilometers. Starting your birding from the northern side which over looks the town of Port Antonio, to the central areas that overlooks the Rio Grande Valley, is an experience any birder would want to have. It is sad to say that recreational birding is almost impossible throughout the length and breath of this area being that vehicular traffic access is limited, as you head into the main forests.
However this does not stop birders of advanced age to go birding in this area; as birding can also be done from the edge of the driving road for several miles or kilometers. Capturing great pictures and having marvelous close-up views of various rear birds is highly possible while birding along the vehicular road. Most of the birds to be found here are similar to those in the forests of the Lower John Crow Mountains which are located northeast of this location. Comparing to the lower areas, birding along the road is not as quiet, being that cars and humans are passing by more frequent as the mornings gets later.
In this case, early morning birding is more rewarding. In order to have more intense birding person will need to explore deeper into the main forest. These persons need to be of middle or younger and are prepare to walk for some distance. Golden agers who are physically fit and want to take on the challenge, can pursue this venture of exploring the foot trails which are located in these areas. If persons are able to go into the back-end of this forest, their birding morning will be rewarding.
Main Birds and Habitats
Mostly seen in flocks or in pairs, the Yellow-billed Parrot is one of three Parrot species to be found here. These birds traverse the lower regions of the Blue and John Crow National Park, all over the Cockpit Country, Castleton Gardens and Hope Gardens.
This group of birders traverse the off road areas of the upper John Crow Mountains searching for the Crested Quail-dove, Yellow-shouldered Grass-quit and Ring-tailed Pigeon. All of these were found on the day, March 20th, 2018.
An adventurous birding off on a trail through farmlands in the upper John Crow Mountains in search of needed to see rare birds such as the Caribbean Dove, Crested Quail-dove, Ring-tailed Pigeon and Blue Mountain Vireo. You can do the same...
Unlike other crow species in the World, this one is slightly different in behavior; whereas it does not come to parks and eat from benches and tables. It constantly stays in the wild. This means that you will have to go looking for it.
With its bright yellow that glows in the distance, this charming bird is not hard to see when spotted. It is hard to get a good view if it is hungry. However after it has gotten a full stomach, it will settle for a few pictures and good viewing. Most of the time, this bird is in the wild..
Also the Jamaican striped headed Tanager (male), is another bright coloured bird that lightens up the forests when it comes in to feed or perch. Usually with its partner, "the female", they are a great sight to watch.
Otherwise known as the Jamaican Striped Headed Tanager (Female), is not as brightly coloured as its male counterpart. However it is by behaviour similar and compliments its partner throughout the deep and mainly lush forests of Jamaica.
Known for its elusiveness, this bird is another of those on your Jamaica's endemic list that could have you looking around for days. However taking one of our single day birding tours will assure you great success in finding this bird.
Also elusive and in a flash could be easily make you think that you might have seen the Orange-quit Female, this bird is a gem to see. Usually in the wild in open areas that are boxed between small forests. Our experts are ready to take you to this and other rare endemics.
Based on the driving time from your place of accommodation in the Port Antonio area or other areas of northeastern Jamaica to the higher hills of the John Crow Mountains, the departure time is 5:00 am from your accommodation venue on your requested tour date. This will allow you to arrive in the recommended habitat at 6:am. On arrival, we will start our bird watching at 6:00 am and bird to about 8:30 am. At this time we will pause for a cup of delicious Blue Mountain coffee along with our packed breakfast somewhere in the forest.
After breakfast, we will bird for another three (3) hours before concluding our morning's birding in these forests. We will then depart the upper John Crow Mountains for birding in , having lunch somewhere in the lower regions. After having lunch, you will be taken to other forests for early to mid afternoon birding. After your splendid day of first class birding, you will be driven back to your place of accommodation.
Our target birds in these areas are mainly of our Jamaican endemics and endemic sub species. These are mainly Chesnut-bellied Cuckoos, Jamaican Lizard Cuckoos, Jamaican Black-bird, Jamaican Crows, Jamaican Woodpeckers, Jamaican Euphonia, Jamaican Orioles, Jamaican Becards, Jamaican Spindalises, Jamaican vireos, Jamaican Todys, Jamaican Elaenias, Jamaican Pewees, Sad Fly-catchers, Rufus-tailed Fly-catchers, Black Billed Parrots, Yellow Billed Parrots, Orange-quits, White Chinned Thrushes, White-eyed Thrushes, Crested Quail-dove, Orange-quits, Yellow-shouldered Grass-quits, Ring-tailed Pigeons, Red-billed Streamer-tailed Humming-bird, Black-billed Streamer-tailed Humming-bird, Jamaican Mango Humming-bird, are just a few of the endemics to be found in this area.
During our endemic search we will be viewing other species of birds which may also be lifers for you . In doing this promotion we are sure that your choice to bird with us is a decision worth making. We also want to make sure that your Jamaica birding will also bring your bird watching spirits alive.
Cost for this tour includes:-
- All transportation in regards to this tour.
- One (1) packed breakfast per person on tour.
- Birding guide cost.
- Twelve page Jamaica birds checklist
For more information regarding availability, booking and other inquiries, please contact us using the information provided. You can also book and confirm this tour online.
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