The Portland Bight Protected Area is designated as an Important Bird Area by BirdLife International, indicating a globally important site for the conservation of bird populations. It is home to many endemic and resident birds, including the Vulnerable West Indian Whistling Duck - one of the most threatened waterfowl species in the Western Hemisphere. The Near Threatened Plain Pigeon and White-crowned Pigeon, are keystone species threatened over much of their range and also nest in this area. Keystone species maintain the integrity and diversity of ecological communities, for example, by spreading seeds in coastal and inland forests. Among the 17 endemics that occur in the area are: Jamaican Lizard Cuckoo, Jamaican Oriole, Jamaican Owl, Jamaican Tody, Sad Flycatcher, Jamaican Spindalis, and Jamaican Mango. Magnificent Frigatebird and Brown Noddy nest on the Portland Bight cays.
The PBPA also provides a critical refuge for numerous Neotropical migrants, including ducks, warblers, waterbirds, shorebirds, and seabirds. These birds leave their temperate and sub-arctic North American habitats to spend the winter months in the PBPA, or use the area as a stopover site where they rest and refuel for the long migrations to and from breeding and wintering grounds.
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West Indian Whistling Ducks are a threatened regional endemic, resident in the PBPA. They have been declining in Jamaica due to loss of wetland habitat - Anthony Levesque West Indian Whistling Ducks ( Dendrocygna arbor), are most active at sunset and during the night. During the day, they typically roost in mangroves and shoreline vegetation; at night they fly around to different wetlands to feed, giving their beautiful and haunting whistling call - Claude Fletcher Brown Noddy ( Anous stolidus) - Ted Lee Eubanks Brown Noddys nest in high numbers on Little Half Moon Cay, PBPA - Ted Lee Eubanks Brown Noddy ( Anous stolidus) parent and downy chick on Little Half Moon Cay, PBPA - Lisa Sorenson Baby Brown Noddy ( Anous stolidus) chick on Little Half Moon Cay, PBPA - Lisa Sorenson Brandon Hay of C-CAM surveys nesting of Brown Noddys on Little Half Moon Cay - Lisa Sorenson Sandwich Tern ( Thalasseus sandvicensis) - Ted Lee Eubanks Royal Tern ( Thalasseus maximus) - Ted Lee Eubanks Black Terns Chlidonias niger) eat fish and insects - Ted Lee Eubanks Bridled tern ( Onychoprion anaethetus) - Ted Lee Eubanks Juvenile Magnificent Frigatebirds have entirely white heads while the females have white only on their chests - Ted Lee Eubanks The male Magnificent Frigatebird ( Fregata magnificent) has no white coloration and a red throat patch - Ted Lee Eubanks The Brown Pelican ( Pelecanus occidentals) is a master of flight - David Rayner Laughing Gull ( Leucophaeus atricilla) has a distinctive black cap - Ted Lee Eubanks Wilson's Plover ( Charadrius wilsonia) has a large bill that helps it catch larger prey items than other plovers on the beaches of the PBPA - Ted Lee Eubanks Semipalmated Plover ( Charadrius semipalmatus) is a common winter migrant in the PBPA - Ted Lee Eubanks Greater Yellowlegs ( Tringa melanoleuca) is one of the many shorebird species that winters in the PBPA and Goat Islands, having migrated thousands of miles from it's sub-arctic breeding habitat - David Rayner Black-necked Stilts ( Himantopus mexicanus) feed in the swamps of Hellshire - Mike Fouraker Yellow-crowned Night-Heron ( Nyctanassa violate) is a common bird in mangrove and swamp habitats of the PBPA and is generally nocturnal - David Rayner Tricolored Heron ( Egretta tricolor) perched in White Mangrove - David Rayner Green Herons ( Butorides virescens) are resident in the PBPA - David Rayner Little Blue Heron ( Egretta cerulean) breeds in freshwater and estuarine habitats - Ted Lee Eubanks Reddish Egret ( Egretta rufescens) comes in a dark grey and white form - Ted Lee Eubanks White-crowned Pigeon ( Patagioenas leucocephala) breeds in the PBPA - Lisa Sorenson Bahama Mockingbird ( Mimus gundlachii hillii) fills the forest of Hellshire with clever songs and is found in the PBPA - Kirsten Hines The Jamaican or Yellow-billed Parrot ( Amazona collaria) is endemic to Jamaica - Claude Fletcher Chestnut-bellied Cuckoo ( Coccyzus pluvialis) is endemic to Jamaica - Ted Lee Eubanks Jamaican Oriole ( Icterus leucopteryx) - Claude Fletcher Sad Flycatcher ( Myiarchus barbirostris) is found only in Jamaica - Ted Lee Eubanks Loggerhead Kingbird ( Tyrannus caudifasciatus) - Ted Lee Eubanks Yellow Warbler ( Setophaga petechia) - Ted Lee Eubanks Black-throated Blue Warbler ( Setophaga caerulescens) - Ted Lee Eubanks The Louisiana Waterthrush ( Parkesia motacilla) is in the warbler family - Ted Lee Eubanks Bananaquit ( Coereba flaveola) - Ted Lee Eubanks The tiny endemic Jamaican Tody is very curious and visible despite its size - Kirsten Hines The Jamaican Tody ( Todus todus) eats a variety of insects like this caterpillar, larvae, and fruits - Rick van Veen Red-billed Streamertail ( Trochilus polytmus polytmus) - Claude Fletcher Vervain Hummingbird ( Mellisuga minima) - Claude Fletcher Jamaican Mango ( Anthracothorax mango) is endemic to Jamaica - Claude Fletcher Jamaican Euphonia ( Euphonia jamaica) - Claude Fletcher Black-whiskered Vireo ( Vireo altiloquus) - Claude Fletcher
For more great images from Ted Lee Eubanks, link to the
Portland Bight Protected Area FaceBook Album