As we travel around the world on the Grand Adventure we have become amateur bird watchers. We didn’t set out to do this but it gradually happened as we marveled at the world’s amazing avian life. A few years ago we discovered the bird identifier app called Merlin. It quickly became one of our most used travel apps. Using it in the Caribbean we have really enjoyed the birds of Antigua West Indies.
The Merlin Bird Identifier App
The free Merlin app is created by the Cornell Lab, part of Cornell University in New York. My husband discovered this app, and it’s honestly amazing that it is free because it offers so many features. Our favorite features include the easy search function, excellent photos (most photos in this post from Merlin) and the super fun birdsong/sound identifier.
As we travel we catalog the birds we discover around the world. And we discovered 13 new birds while on Antigua West Indies. Thanks Merlin!
We spent ten days on this tiny Caribbean island. Here is a list of both the 13 new as well as several others that were repeats with a little bit about each one. These photos below are from the Merlin App.;
Birds of Antigua West Indies
Green Heron – beautiful blue green water bird with a rust colored neck and a crown that he fluffs up when he is agitated or happy.
Broad-winged Hawk – beautiful small hawk, multi colored with spectacular underwing color.
White Winged Dove – usually on the ground or perched, smaller with gray and brown and white on the wings
Zenaida Dove – shy and keeps to beachy or scrub area, similar to Mourning Dove. Distinct white edge on wings when seen in flight.
Green-throated Carib – large for a hummingbird, the fluorescent green color can appear black in certain light.
Common Ground Dove – tiny dove dull brown color keeps to grasses and shrubby areas
White-crowned Pigeon – large dark gray with white cap and pink legs, common in low coast areas and mangroves.
Gray Kingbird – medium gray and white, primarily Caribbean and found in dense woodlands near the coast.
Yellow Warbler – prefers brushy areas near water but easy to spot due to flash of color although females are duller in color.
Carib Grackle – Black with yellow eye, long tail and rather obnoxious call
Bananaquit – Gray with yellow belly and black and white head, known for screeching call. Found in woodlands and gardens, feeds on fruits and at bird feeders.
Laughing Gull, distinctive call that sounds like laughter, most common shorebird on Antigua, white and gray with full black head.
Common Gallinule – chicken-like marsh bird found near cattails, black with distinctive red face and yellow legs.
Lesser Antillean Bullfinch – tame and often seen at your picnic or on your deck, males are black with red throat and females are brownish green.
Great Egret – Large, long-necked white heron found in marshy area, quick to startle.
Cattle Egret – common white stocky with short yellow bill, usually in dryer area than other egrets, splash of pink on the head.
Black-necked Stilt – fragile looking water bird with distinctive pink legs and tuxedo body. Forages in shallow pools and marshes.
Brown Pelican – large and gray brown saltwater habitat, very long bill with pouch for scooping fish. Often gather in groups.
Magnificent Frigatebird – huge seabird found in tropical ocean areas black with forked tail with inflatable red pouch on throat (males) and females white chest and gold bar on shoulder.
Apps Make Travel Fun and Easy
There are several apps we use for travel on nearly a daily basis including Google Maps, Google Translate, Airbnb, Expedia, PictureThis Plant Identifier and The Weather Channel. But Merlin is one of our favorites for both the education and entertainment value it provides. Whether you travel or not, we recommend you check out Merlin Bird Identifier App.
Thanks for reading our post about the birds of Antigua West Indies. See last week’s post about Exploring the Neighborhoods of New York City.
See this week’s top performing pin My Favorite Things to do in New York City