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Sunrise Birding LLC - Worldwide Birding Tours and Wildlife SafarisJamaican Tody. Photo by Gina Nichol.JAMAICA
Winter Getaway! 29 ENDEMICS!
February 24 - March 2, 2019

29 endemics possible in one week!
Past reports:  2012    2013     2014     2016

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Jamaica's avian treasures are little known to most of its beach going tourists. This beautiful, warm, friendly island, known for rum and reggae has a rugged interior covered with lush forests that harbor no less than 29 endemic bird species.  These unique species are found nowhere else in the world and Jamaica is home to more endemics than any other Caribbean island making it the best kept birding secret in the tropics! Add to that at least 17 Jamaican subspecies and a host of other Caribbean endemics and you have a fabulous winter birding getaway!

Jamaican Lizard Cuckoo. Photo by Gina Nichol.Our itinerary explores the less traveled interior of the island from rolling hills to the cool, lush rainforests of the Blue and John Crow Mountains in eastern Jamaica. Here we get ALL of the endemics. No need to mess with Cockpit Country and the throngs of tourists in other parts of the island.  Our local guide knows the spots for species like Blue Mountain Vireo, Crested Quail-Dove, Jamaican Blackbird, and the lovely Black-billed Streamertail hummingbird. You’ll bird the tropical environs of the famous Ecclesdown Road home to Black-billed and Yellow-billed Parrots, Jamaican Becard, Jamaican Oriole, and Jamaican Crow. Jamaica's fantastic birds have been revealed on all of our wildly successful 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2016 tours.  Our fine-tuned itinerary offers even better opportunities to see all of Jamaica’s endemic birds and more!

Join us for a fantastic winter getaway and the absolute best in Caribbean birding!

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Contact to reserve your space!

What clients have said about our past tours>            Photos:  Jamaican Tody, Jamaican Lizard Cuckoo by Gina Nichol.

ITINERARY (Subject to change depending on birds!)

Day 1: Arrival in Kingston, Jamaica
Plan to arrive in the afternoon in Kingston, Jamaica (Airport code KIN) on the southeastern coast of the island. On arrival, you will be transferred to our hotel to get settled before dinner and the official start of the tour this evening.

Day 2: Hellshire Hills, Hope & Castleton Gardens
Yellow-billed Parrot (Photo: Steve Bird)Starting with an early morning excursion to the Hellshire Hills for Bahama Mockingbird and possibly Stolid Flycatcher, we will then spend also spend part of the day birding the Royal (Hope) Botanical Gardens adjacent to the campus of the University of the West Indies. This 200 acre gardens is the largest public green space in the Kingston metropolitan region. The gardens offer quiet respite from the bustling city and excellent birding. Several of Jamaica’s endemic birds are to be found here including the stunning little Jamaican Tody, Yellow-billed Parrot (Photo: Steve Bird), the newly split, newest endemic Jamaican Parakeet, Jamaican Mango, the tiny Vervain Hummingbird and White-chinned Thrush, locally known as ‘Hopping Dick’. A small lake may hold a Least Grebe among the Moorhens and Green Herons. We may also find lingering North American warblers such as Northern Parula, American Redstart, Cape May and Black-and-White also escaping the wrath of winter further north.

We'll also spend some time birding the famed Castleton Botanical Garden. Located north of Kingston in St. Mary Parish, Castleton Botanical Gardens was established in 1862 offers 20 acres of semi-open habitat with a variety of exotic trees that attract an interesting range of birds. The eBird list for Castleton includes several endemics like Jamaican Mango, Vervain Hummingbird, Streamertail, Jamaican Woodpecker (Photo: Gina Nichol), Jamaican Crow, Ring-tailed Pigeon, Orangequit, Jamaican Oriole, Greater Antillean Grackle, Jamaican Euphonia, Jamaican Tody, Olive-throated (Jamaican) Parakeet, White-eyed Thrush, White-chinned Thrush, Jamaican Spindalis and Rufous-tailed Flycatcher.  By the end of today, we will have had a wonderful introduction to the special birds of Jamaica!

29 Jamaican Endemics:

  • Crested Quail-dove
  • Ring-tailed Pigeon
  • Black-billed Parrot
  • Yellow-billed Parrot
  • Jamaican Parakeet
  • Chestnut-bellied Cuckoo
  • Jamaican Lizard Cuckoo
  • Jamaican Owl
  • Black-billed Streamertail
  • Jamaican Mango
  • Red-billed Streamertail
  • Jamaican Tody
  • Jamaican Woodpecker
  • Jamaican Becard
  • Jamaican Elaenia
  • Jamaican Pewee
  • Rufous-tailed Flycatcher
  • Sad Flycatcher
  • White-chinned Thrush
  • White-eyed Thrush
  • Jamaican Crow
  • Blue Mountain Vireo
  • Jamaican Vireo
  • Jamaican Euphonia
  • Arrowhead Warbler
  • Jamaican Spindalis
  • Orangequit
  • Yellow-Shouldered Grassquit
  • Jamaican Blackbird

29 species found in Jamaica
and nowhere else!

Jamaican Woodpecker. Photo by Gina Nichol.Days 3 & 4: Blue Mountains
The lush forests of the Blue Mountains cover the eastern part of Jamaica and today we bird our way to the cool forest. Here we have a chance to encounter Yellow-shouldered Grassquit, Rufous-tailed Flycatcher and Ring-tailed Pigeon - all endemic species. Our destination a coffee plantation situated on the slopes of Jamaica’s picturesque Blue Mountains. The grounds around the lodge are the home of the dazzling endemic Red-billed Streamertail, Jamaica’s national bird which forages in the garden flowers. Here Vervain Hummingbirds and Bananaquits should entertain us with their antics and we have more chances to see the endemic Orangequit here. Jamaican Owl nests here and we have the rest of today and all day tomorrow to find and marvel at the colorful avian delights in the area including the remarkably beautiful Jamaican Spindalis (Stripe-headed Tanager), Jamaican Oriole, Sad Flycatcher and more.


Rufous-tailed Flycatcher. Photo by Steve Bird.

Here, we'll spend time birding a fabulous forest trail that can produce Ring-tailed Pigeon, Jamaican Tody, Rufous-throated Solitaire, Rufous-tailed Flycatcher (Photo: Steve Bird), Jamaican Spindalis, Jamaican Pewee, Greater Antillean Elaenia, and Yellow-shouldered Grassquit. By now we should have several views of Orangequit under our belts and we'll hope for White-eyed Thrush, Greater Antillean Bullfinch, Black-faced Grassquit and even Crested Quail Dove. In the evenings, we will listen for the resident Jamaican Owls around the lodge and hopefully get a glimpse of these sometimes elusive birds. Two nights, Blue Mountains.


Red-billed Streamertail. Photo by Steve Bird.On at least one day, we will head to Hardwar Gap looking for high-elevation bird species like Arrowhead Warbler, Jamaican Woodpecker, Rufous-tailed Flycatcher, the endangered Ring-tailed Pigeon, Chestnut-bellied Cuckoo, Rufous-throated Solitaire, and the beautiful Crested Quail-Dove. The lush forest slopes offer more endemics including Jamaican Spindalis (Stripe-headed Tanager), Jamaican Euphonia, White-eyed Thrush, Jamaican Becard, Jamaican Blackbird, Yellow-shouldered Grassquit, Jamaican Woodpecker, Jamaican Vireo and Blue Mountain Vireo. Red-billed Streamertails (Photo: Steve Bird) are possible here (always a treat!) and mixed flocks of warblers and tanagers could hold Cape May, Black-and-white and Prairie Warblers. Overhead, we’ll watch for White-collared and Black Swift.


Days 5 & 6: Hardwar Gap / John Crow Mountains
This morning after an early breakfast, we'll have another birding session at Hardwar Gap. Later on we will travel to Portland on the northeast coast of Jamaica and check into our lovely beach side hotel. The grounds and surrounding of the hotel offer great birding and this location gives us access to the John Crow Mountains over the next two days. We will bird the mountains along the forested, famous Ecclesdown Road, another endemic hotspot offering chances to see Black-billed Streamertail, Jamaican Blackbird, Crested Quail-dove, Black- and Yellow-billed Parrots, Jamaican Lizard Cuckoo, Chestnut-bellied Cuckoo, Jamaican Crow, Jamaican Euphonia, Jamaican Becard, Jamaican Elaenia, Jamaican Oriole, Yellow-shouldered Grassquit and Ring-tailed Pigeon. Some of these birds are difficult to see and we'll work to get the best possible views of all of the species. One morning we will spend some time scanning the Caribbean Sea at Hectors River for White-tailed Tropicbirds that frequent the waters just off the coast. Magnificent Frigatebirds are likely here and terns are possible including Royal Tern.  Two nights Portland.


Arrowhead Warbler. Photo by Steve Bird.Day 7: Breakfast / Depart to airport
Today depending on departing flight times (late afternoon/evening flights are advised) we will have another birding session at Ecclesdown Road to try and get more views of Jamaica's wonderful birds. Later on, we will head back to Kingston and the airport warmed with the memories of the great hospitality and wonderful birds of Jamaica.

Arrowhead Warbler, Crested Quail Dove (below). Photos by Steve Bird.

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Crested Quail Dove. Photo by Steve Bird.JAMAICA!
February 24 - March 2, 2019
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TOUR PRICE: $2495.00 per person/double occupancy from Kingston, Jamaica (Airport Code: KIN) based on minimum of 8 persons. Single supplement: $425.00

Deposit: $500.00 per person. Tour deposits can be paid by credit card via PayPal.  Use this link to make your credit card payment.  Please advise when you have made payment. 

Included in cost: Accommodation in twin rooms, all meals from dinner on Day 1 through breakfast on Day 7, group airport transfers, ground transport throughout, park entrance fees, water and snacks and services of leaders.

Not included: International flight, passport fees, departure tax, insurance, drinks, laundry, tips, and items of a personal nature.

Note: The tour price is based on a minimum of 8 passengers.  If there are less than 8, a small group supplement may be charged.

RESERVATIONS: This tour is now OPEN FOR BOOKING! To reserve your place on this tour, contact to hold your space! Then follow up with your completed registration form and deposit within two weeks to secure your place. Instructions are on the form. Reservations are held with a deposit on a first-come, first-served basis.   >Download & print the Registration Form. 

Final payment is due October 24, 2018. Check or bank transfer are preferred but credit card payments are possible (surcharges of up to 5% are added depending on amount to cover credit card company fees). Please inquire.

Please note: Tour prices are based on quoted costs from ground operators (in their local currency), estimated fuel costs, and the rate of exchange the time of itinerary publication. The erratic nature to global financial markets makes it difficult to predict changes in costs and foreign currency exchange rates over the long term. Since tours are priced well in advance of the actual operation of the tour, tour costs, fuel costs and exchange rates can change, sometimes drastically. Depending on the extent of such changes, it may be necessary to implement a surcharge on this tour. If a surcharge is necessary, every effort will be made to minimize the amount.

Cancellations and Refunds:  All cancellations must be made in writing.  In the event that you must cancel your booking at any stage, all payments you have made to Sunrise Birding, LLC will be retained by us, except at our discretion. Please ensure that you take out adequate insurance to cover this and any other eventuality as early as possible. You may have the opportunity to transfer your booking to another tour or another person, provided you are unavoidably prevented from coming on the tour. In this case, you will bear any extra costs that such changes may incur.

There are no refunds once the trip is confirmed to go ahead and no refunds will be made for unused meals, accommodations, or other trip features. 

Insurance: Sunrise Birding, LLC recommends that you purchase a travel protection plan to help protect you and your travel investment against the unexpected. Travel protection plans can include coverage for Trip Cancellation, Trip Interruption, Emergency Medical and Emergency Evacuation/Repatriation, Trip Delay, Baggage Delay and more.

For more information on the available plans or to enroll, click on the link below or contact Travelex Insurance Services at 800-228-9792 and reference location number 07-0025.

The product descriptions provided here are only brief summaries. The full coverage terms and details, including limitations and exclusions, are contained in the insurance policy. Travelex CA Agency License #0D10209. All products listed are underwritten by, Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance Company. 11.17 E7N

Questions? Contact Gina Nichol at 
Phone: 203.453.6724

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