List of birds of Cuba

List of birds of Cuba

This is a list of the bird species recorded in the archipelago of Cuba which consists of the main island of Cuba and over 1000 smaller cays and islands. The avifauna of Cuba includes a total of 368 species, of which 25 are endemic, 17 are globally threatened and 8 have been introduced by humans. Extinct species include the Passenger Pigeon and Cuban Red Macaw.

This list's taxonomic treatment (designation and sequence of orders, families, and species) and nomenclature (common and scientific names) follow the conventions of Clements's 5th edition. The family accounts at the beginning of each heading reflects this taxonomy, as do the species counts found in each family account. Introduced and accidental species are included in the total species counts for Cuba.

The following tags have been used to highlight certain relevant categories. It must be noted that not all species fall into one of these categories. Those that do not are commonly occurring, native species.
*(A) Accidental A species that rarely or accidentally occurs in the archipelago of Cuba.
*(E) Endemic A species endemic to the archipelago of Cuba.
*(I) Introduced A species introduced to the archipelago of Cuba as a consequence, direct or indirect, of human actions.



Order: GaviiformesFamily: Gaviidae

Loons, known as Divers in Europe, are group of aquatic birds found in many parts of North America and northern Europe. It is the size of a large duck or small goose, which it somewhat resembles in shape when swimming, but is completely unrelated to these waterfowl.There are 5 species worldwide and 1 species that occurs in Cuba.

*Common Loon, "Gavia immer" (A)


Order: PodicipediformesFamily: Podicipedidae

Grebes are small to medium-large sized freshwater diving birds. They have lobed toes, and are excellent swimmers and divers. However, they have their feet placed far back on the body, making them quite ungainly on land. There are 20 species worldwide and 2 species which occur in Cuba.

*Least Grebe, "Tachybaptus dominicus"
*Pied-billed Grebe, "Podilymbus podiceps"

hearwaters and Petrels

Order: ProcellariiformesFamily: Procellariidae

The procellariids are the main group of medium-sized 'true petrels', characterised by united nostrils with a medium septum, and a long outer functional primary. There are 75 species worldwide and 5 species which occur in Cuba.

*Black-capped Petrel, "Pterodroma hasitata"
*Cory's Shearwater, "Calonectris diomedea" (A)
*Sooty Shearwater, "Puffinus griseus" (A) Near-threatened
*Manx Shearwater, "Puffinus puffinus" (A)
*Audubon's Shearwater, "Puffinus lherminieri" (A)


Order: ProcellariiformesFamily: Hydrobatidae

The storm-petrels are relatives of the petrels, and are the smallest of sea-birds. They feed on planktonic crustaceans and small fish picked from the surface, typically while hovering. The flight is fluttering and sometimes bat-like. There are 21 species worldwide and 3 species which occur in Cuba.

*Wilson's Storm-Petrel, "Oceanites oceanicus" (A)
*Band-rumped Storm-Petrel, "Oceanodroma castro" (A)
*Leach's Storm-Petrel, "Oceanodroma leucorhoa" (A)


Order: Pelecaniformes Family: Phaethontidae

Tropicbirds are slender white birds of tropical oceans, with exceptionally long central tail feathers. Their heads and long wings have black markings. There are 3 species worldwide and 2 species which occur in Cuba.

*Red-billed Tropicbird, "Phaethon aethereus" (A)
*White-tailed Tropicbird, "Phaethon lepturus" (A)


Order: PelecaniformesFamily: Pelecanidae

Pelicans are large water birds with a distinctive pouch under the beak. As with other members of the order Pelecaniformes, they have webbed feet with four toes. There are 8 species worldwide and 2 species which occur in Cuba.

*American White Pelican, "Pelecanus erythrorhynchos" (A)
*Brown Pelican, "Pelecanus occidentalis"

Gannets and Boobies

Order: PelecaniformesFamily: Sulidae

The sulids comprise the gannets and boobies. Both groups comprise medium-to-large coastal sea-birds that plunge-dive for fish. There are 9 species worldwide and 4 species which occur in Cuba.

*Northern Gannet, "Morus bassanus" (A)
*Masked Booby, "Sula dactylatra" (A)
*Red-footed Booby, "Sula sula" (A)
*Brown Booby, "Sula leucogaster" (A)


Order: PelecaniformesFamily: Phalacrocoracidae

The Phalacrocoracidae is a family of medium-to-large coastal, fish-eating sea-birds that includes cormorants and shags. Plumage colouration varies with the majority having mainly dark plumage, some species being black and white, and a few being colourful. There are 38 species worldwide and 2 species which occur in Cuba.

*Double-crested Cormorant, "Phalacrocorax auritus"
*Neotropic Cormorant, "Phalacrocorax brasilianus"


Order: PelecaniformesFamily: Anhingidae

Darters are frequently referred to as "snake-birds" because of their long thin neck, which gives a snake-like appearance when they swim with their bodies submerged.The males have black and dark brown plumage, an erectile crest on the nape and a larger bill than the female. The females have a much paler plumage especially on the neck and underparts. The darters have completely webbed feet, and their legs are short and set far back on the body. Their plumage is somewhat permeable, like that of cormorants, and they spread their wings to dry after diving. There are 4 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Cuba.

*Anhinga, "Anhinga anhinga"


Order: PelecaniformesFamily: Fregatidae

Frigatebirds are large sea-birds usually found over tropical oceans. They are large, black and white or completely black, with long wings and deeply-forked tails. The males have inflatable coloured throat pouches. They do not swim or walk, and cannot take off from a flat surface. Having the largest wingspan to body weight ratio of any bird, they are essentially aerial, able to stay aloft for more than a week. There are 5 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Cuba.

*Magnificent Frigatebird, "Fregata magnificens"

Bitterns, Herons, and Egrets

Order: CiconiiformesFamily: Ardeidae

The family Ardeidae contains the bitterns, herons and egrets. Herons and egrets are medium to large sized wading birds with long necks and legs. Bitterns tend to be shorter necked and more wary. Unlike other long-necked birds such as storks, ibises and spoonbills, members of Ardeidae fly with their necks retracted. There are 61 species world wide and 12 species which occur in Cuba.

*Great Blue Heron, "Ardea herodias"
*Great Egret, "Ardea alba"
*Reddish Egret, "Egretta rufescens"
*Tricolored Heron, "Egretta tricolor"
*Little Blue Heron, "Egretta caerulea"
*Snowy Egret, "Egretta thula"
*Cattle Egret, "Bubulcus ibis"
*Green Heron, "Butorides virescens"
*Black-crowned Night-Heron, "Nycticorax nycticorax" (A)
*Yellow-crowned Night-Heron, "Nyctanassa violacea"
*Least Bittern, "Ixobrychus exilis"
*American Bittern, "Botaurus lentiginosus" (A)


Order: CiconiiformesFamily: Ciconiidae

Storks are large, long-legged, long-necked, wading birds with long, stout bills. Storks are mute; bill-clattering is an important mode of stork communication at the nest. Their nests can be large and may be reused for many years. Many species are migratory. There are 19 species worldwide and 1 which occurs in Cuba.

*Wood Stork, "Mycteria americana" (A)

Ibises and Spoonbills

Order: CiconiiformesFamily: Threskiornithidae

The Threskiornithidae is a family of large terrestrial and wading birds which includes the ibises and spoonbills. They have long, broad wings with 11 primary and about 20 secondary feathers. They are strong fliers and despite their size and weight, very capable soarers. There are 36 species worldwide and 4 species which occur in Cuba.

*White Ibis, "Eudocimus albus"
*Scarlet Ibis, "Eudocimus ruber" (A)
*Glossy Ibis, "Plegadis falcinellus" (A)
*Roseate Spoonbill, "Ajaia ajaja"


Order: PhoenicopteriformesFamily: Phoenicopteridae

Flamingos are gregarious wading birds, usually 3 to convert|5|ft|m high, found in both the Western and Eastern Hemispheres. They are more numerous in the latter. Flamingos filter-feed on shellfish and algae. Their oddly-shaped beaks are specially adapted to separate mud and silt from the food they consume, and are uniquely used upside-down. There are 6 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Cuba.

*Caribbean Flamingo, "Phoenicopterus ruber"

Ducks, Geese, and Swans

Order: AnseriformesFamily: Anatidae

The family Anatidae includes the ducks and most duck-like waterfowl, such as geese and swans. These are birds that are modified for an aquatic existence with webbed feet, flattened bills and feathers that are excellent at shedding water due to an oily coating. There are 131 species worldwide and 29 species which occur in Cuba.

*Fulvous Whistling-Duck, "Dendrocygna bicolor"
*White-faced Whistling-Duck, "Dendrocygna viduata" (A)
*West Indian Whistling-Duck, "Dendrocygna arborea" Vulnerable
*Black-bellied Whistling-Duck, "Dendrocygna autumnalis" (A)
*Tundra Swan, "Cygnus columbianus" (A)
*Greater White-fronted Goose, "Anser albifrons" (A)
*Snow Goose, "Chen caerulescens" (A)
*Canada Goose, "Branta canadensis" (A)
*Muscovy Duck, "Cairina moschata" (I)
*Wood Duck, "Aix sponsa"
*American Wigeon, "Anas americana"
*Gadwall, "Anas strepera" (A)
*Green-winged Teal, "Anas carolinensis" (A)
*Mallard, "Anas platyrhynchos" (A)
*Northern Pintail, "Anas acuta" (A)
*White-cheeked Pintail, "Anas bahamensis"
*Blue-winged Teal, "Anas discors"
*Cinnamon Teal, "Anas cyanoptera" (A)
*Northern Shoveler, "Anas clypeata"
*Canvasback, "Aythya valisineria" (A)
*Redhead, "Aythya americana" (A)
*Ring-necked Duck, "Aythya collaris"
*Greater Scaup, "Aythya marila" (A)
*Lesser Scaup, "Aythya affinis"
*Bufflehead, "Bucephala albeola" (A)
*Hooded Merganser, "Lophodytes cucullatus" (A)
*Red-breasted Merganser, "Mergus serrator" (A)
*Masked Duck, "Nomonyx dominica"
*Ruddy Duck, "Oxyura jamaicensis"

New World vultures

Order: CiconiiformesFamily: Cathartidae

The New World vultures are not closely related to Old World vultures, but superficially resemble them because of convergent evolution. Like the Old World vultures, they are scavengers. However, unlike Old World vultures, which find carcasses by sight, New World vultures have a good sense of smell with which they locate carrion. There are 7 species worldwide, all found only in the Americas, and 2 species which occur in Cuba.

*Black Vulture, "Coragyps atratus" (A)
*Turkey Vulture, "Cathartes aura"


Order: FalconiformesFamily: Pandionidae

The Pandionidae family contains only one species, the Osprey. The Osprey ("Pandion haliaetus") is a medium large raptor which is a specialist fish-eater with a worldwide distribution.

*Osprey, "Pandion haliaetus"

Hawks and Kites

Order: FalconiformesFamily: Accipitridae

Accipitridae is a family of birds of prey and include hawks, eagles, kites, harriers and Old World vultures. These birds have powerful hooked beaks for tearing flesh from their prey, strong legs, powerful talons, and keen eyesight. There are 233 species worldwide and 9 species which occur in Cuba.

*Hook-billed Kite, "Chondrohierax uncinatus"
*Swallow-tailed Kite, "Elanoides forficatus" (A)
*Snail Kite, "Rostrhamus sociabilis"
*Northern Harrier, "Circus cyaneus" (A)
*Sharp-shinned Hawk, "Accipiter striatus "
*Gundlach's Hawk, "Accipiter gundlachi" (E) Endangered
*Common Black-Hawk, "Buteogallus anthracinus"
*Broad-winged Hawk, "Buteo platypterus"
*Red-tailed Hawk, "Buteo jamaicensis"

Caracaras and Falcons

Order: FalconiformesFamily: Falconidae

Falconidae is a family of diurnal birds of prey. They differ from hawks, eagles, and kites in that they kill with their beaks instead of their feet. There are 62 species worldwide and 4 species which occur in Cuba.

*Crested Caracara, "Caracara cheriway" (A)
*American Kestrel, "Falco sparverius"
*Merlin, "Falco columbarius" (A)
*Peregrine Falcon, "Falco peregrinus"

New World quails

Order: GalliformesFamily: Odontophoridae

The New World quails are small, plump terrestrial birds only distantly related to the quails of the Old World, but named for their similar appearance and habits. There are 32 species worldwide, all found only in the Americas, and 1 species which occurs in Cuba.

*Northern Bobwhite, "Colinus virginianus" Near-threatened


Order: GalliformesFamily: Phasianidae

The Phasianidae are a family of terrestrial birds which consists of quails, partridges, snowcocks, francolins, spurfowls, tragopans, monals, pheasants, peafowls and jungle fowls. In general, they are plump (although they may vary in size) and have broad, relatively short wings. There are 156 species worldwide and 1 species which has been introduced to Cuba.

*Ring-necked Pheasant, "Phasianus colchicus" (I)


Order: GalliformesFamily: Numididae

Guineafowls are a group of African, seed-eating, ground-nesting birds that resemble partridges, but with featherless heads and spangled grey plumage. There are 6 species worldwide and 1 species which has been introduced to Cuba.

*Helmeted Guineafowl, "Numida meleagris" (I)


Order: GruiformesFamily: Gruidae

Cranes are large, long-legged and long-necked birds. Unlike the similar-looking but unrelated herons, cranes fly with necks outstretched rather than retracted.

*Sandhill Crane, "Grus canadensis"


Order: GruiformesFamily: Aramidae

The Limpkin resembles a large rail. It has drab brown plumage and a greyer head and neck.

*Limpkin, "Aramus guarauna"

Rails, Crakes, Gallinules, and Coots

Order: GruiformesFamily: Rallidae

Rallidae is a large family of small to medium-sized birds which includes the rails, crakes, coots, and gallinules. Typically they inhabit dense vegetation in damp environments near lakes, swamps, or rivers. In general they are shy and secretive birds, difficult to observe. Most species have strong legs, and have long toes which are well adapted to soft, uneven surfaces. They tend to have short, rounded wings and be weak fliers. There are 143 species worldwide and 12 species which occur in Cuba.

*Black Rail, "Laterallus jamaicensis"
*Clapper Rail, "Rallus longirostris"
*King Rail, "Rallus elegans"
*Virginia Rail, "Rallus limicola"
*Sora, "Porzana carolina" (A)
*Yellow-breasted Crake, "Porzana flaviventer"
*Zapata Rail, "Cyanolimnas cerverai" (E) Endangered
*Spotted Rail "Pardirallus maculatus"
*Purple Gallinule, "Porphyrio martinica"
*Common Moorhen, "Gallinula chloropus"
*American Coot, "Fulica americana"
*Caribbean Coot, "Fulica caribaea" (A) Near-threatened


Order: CharadriiformesFamily: Jacanidae

The jacanas are a group of tropical waders in the family Jacanidae. They are found worldwide in the Tropics. They are identifiable by their huge feet and claws which enable them to walk on floating vegetation in the shallow lakes that are their preferred habitat. There 8 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Cuba.

*Northern Jacana, "Jacana spinosa"


Order: CharadriiformesFamily: Haematopodidae

The oystercatchers are large and noisy plover-like birds, with strong bills used for smashing or prising open molluscs. There are 11 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Cuba.

*American Oystercatcher, "Haematopus palliatus" (A)

tilts and Avocets

Order: CharadriiformesFamily: Recurvirostridae

Recurvirostridae is a family of large wading birds, which includes the avocets and the stilts. The avocets have long legs and long up-curved bills. The stilts have extremely long legs and long, thin, straight bills. There are 9 species worldwide and 2 species which occur in Cuba.

*Black-necked Stilt, "Himantopus mexicanus"
*American Avocet, "Recurvirostra americana" (A)


Order: CharadriiformesFamily: Charadriidae

The family Charadriidae includes the plovers, dotterels, and lapwings. They are small to medium-sized birds with compact bodies, short, thick necks and long, usually pointed, wings. They are found in open country worldwide, mostly in habitats near water, although there are some exceptions. There are 66 species worldwide and 7 species which occur in Cuba.

*American Golden-Plover, "Pluvialis dominica" (A)
*Black-bellied Plover, "Pluvialis squatarola"
*Semipalmated Plover, "Charadrius semipalmatus" (A)
*Wilson's Plover, "Charadrius wilsonia"
*Killdeer, "Charadrius vociferus"
*Piping Plover, "Charadrius melodus" (A) Near-threatened
*Snowy Plover, "Charadrius alexandrinus"

andpipers, Curlews, Stints, Godwits, Snipes, Dowitchers, and Phalaropes

Order: CharadriiformesFamily: Scolopacidae

The Scolopacidae are a large diverse family of small to medium sized shorebirds including the sandpipers, curlews, godwits, shanks, tattlers, woodcocks, snipes, dowitchers and phalaropes. The majority of species eat small invertebrates picked out of the mud or soil. Variation in length of legs and bills enable different species to feed in the same habitat, particularly on the coast, without direct competition for food. There are 86 species worldwide and 27 species which occur in Cuba.

*Wilson's Snipe, "Gallinago delicata"
*Short-billed Dowitcher, "Limnodromus griseus" (A)
*Long-billed Dowitcher, "Limnodromus scolopaceus" (A)
*Hudsonian Godwit, "Limosa haemastica" (A)
*Marbled Godwit, "Limosa fedoa" (A)
*Whimbrel, "Numenius phaeopus" (A)
*Long-billed Curlew, "Numenius americanus" (A) Near-threatened
*Upland Sandpiper, "Bartramia longicauda" (A)
*Greater Yellowlegs, "Tringa melanoleuca"
*Lesser Yellowlegs, "Tringa flavipes"
*Solitary Sandpiper, "Tringa solitaria "
*Spotted Sandpiper, "Tringa macularia"
*Willet, "Catoptrophorus semipalmatus"
*Ruddy Turnstone, "Arenaria interpres"
*Red Knot, "Calidris canutus" (A)
*Sanderling, "Calidris alba" (A)
*Semipalmated Sandpiper, "Calidris pusilla"
*Western Sandpiper, "Calidris mauri" (A)
*Least Sandpiper, "Calidris minutilla"
*White-rumped Sandpiper, "Calidris fuscicollis" (A)
*Pectoral Sandpiper, "Calidris melanotos" (A)
*Dunlin, "Calidris alpina" (A)
*Stilt Sandpiper, "Calidris himantopus" (A)
*Buff-breasted Sandpiper, "Tryngites subruficollis" (A) Near-threatened
*Wilson's Phalarope, "Phalaropus tricolor" (A)
*Red-necked Phalarope, "Phalaropus lobatus" (A)
*Red Phalarope, "Phalaropus fulicarius" (A)

kuas and Jaegers

Order: CharadriiformesFamily: Stercorariidae

The family Stercorariidae are, in general, medium to large birds, typically with grey or brown plumage, often with white markings on the wings. They nest on the ground in temperate and arctic regions and are long-distance migrants. There are 7 species worldwide and 4 species which occur in Cuba.

*South Polar Skua, "Stercorarius maccormicki" (A)
*Pomarine Jaeger, "Stercorarius pomarinus" (A)
*Parasitic Jaeger, "Stercorarius parasiticus" (A)
*Long-tailed Jaeger, "Stercorarius longicaudus" (A)


Order: CharadriiformesFamily: Laridae

Laridae is a family of medium to large birds seabirds and includes gulls and kittiwakes. They are typically grey or white, often with black markings on the head or wings. They have stout, longish bills and webbed feet. There are 55 species worldwide and 8 species which occur in Cuba.

*Ring-billed Gull, "Larus delawarensis" (A)
*Great Black-backed Gull, "Larus marinus" (A)
*Herring Gull, "Larus argentatus" (A)
*Black-headed Gull, "Larus ridibundus" (A)
*Bonaparte's Gull, "Larus philadelphia" (A)
*Laughing Gull, "Larus atricilla"
*Sabine's Gull, "Xema sabini" (A)
*Black-legged Kittiwake, "Rissa tridactyla" (A)


Order: CharadriiformesFamily: Sternidae

Terns are a group of generally general medium to large sea-birds typically with grey or white plumage, often with black markings on the head. Most terns hunt fish by diving but some pick insects off the surface of fresh water. Terns are generally long-lived birds, with several species now known to live in excess of 25 to 30 years. There are 44 species worldwide and 14 species which occur in Cuba.

*Gull-billed Tern, "Gelochelidon nilotica" (A)
*Caspian Tern, "Hydroprogne caspia" (A)
*Sandwich Tern, "Sterna sandvicensis"
*Royal Tern, "Sterna maxima"
*Roseate Tern, "Sterna dougallii" (A)
*Common Tern, "Sterna hirundo" (A)
*Arctic Tern, "Sterna paradisaea" (A)
*Forster's Tern, "Sterna forsteri" (A)
*Least Tern, "Sternula antillarum"
*Bridled Tern, "Onychoprion anaethetus"
*Sooty Tern, "Onychoprion fuscata"
*Black Tern, "Chlidonias niger" (A)
*Large-billed Tern, "Phaetusa simplex" (A)
*Brown Noddy, "Anous stolidus"


Order: CharadriiformesFamily: Rynchopidae

Skimmers are a small family of tropical tern-like birds. They have an elongated lower mandible which they use to feed by flying low over the water surface and skimming the water for small fish. There are 3 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Cuba.

*Black Skimmer, "Rynchops niger" (A)


Order: CharadriiformesFamily: Alcidae

Auks are superficially similar to penguins due to their black-and-white colours, their upright posture and some of their habits. There are 22 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Cuba.

*Dovekie, "Alle alle"

Pigeons and Doves

Order: ColumbiformesFamily: Columbidae

Pigeons and doves are stout-bodied birds with short necks and short slender bills with a fleshy cere. There are 308 species worldwide and 14 species which occur in Cuba. The extinct Passenger Pigeon, "Ectopistes migratorius", was formerly found in Cuba.

*Rock Dove, "Columba livia" (I)
*White-crowned Pigeon, "Columba leucocephala" Near-threatened
*Scaly-naped Pigeon, "Columba squamosa" (A)
*Plain Pigeon, "Columba inornata" (A) Near-threatened
*Eurasian Turtle-Dove "Streptopelia turtur"
*Eurasian Collared-Dove, "Streptopelia decaocto" (I)
*Mourning Dove, "Zenaida macroura"
*Zenaida Dove, "Zenaida aurita"
*White-winged Dove, "Zenaida asiatica"
*Common Ground Dove, "Columbina passerina"
*Gray-fronted Quail-Dove, "Geotrygon caniceps" (E)
*Key West Quail-Dove, "Geotrygon chrysia"
*Ruddy Quail-Dove, "Geotrygon montana"
*Blue-headed Quail-Dove "Starnoenas cyanocephala" (E) Endangered

Parakeets and Parrots

Order: PsittaciformesFamily: Psittacidae

Parrots are small to large birds with a characteristic curved beak shape. Their upper mandibles have slight mobility in the joint with the skull and the have a generally erect stance. All parrots are zygodactyl, having the four toes on each foot placed two at the front and two back. There are 335 species worldwide and 2 species which occur in Cuba.

*Cuban Parakeet, "Aratinga euops" (E) Vulnerable
*Cuban Amazon, "Amazona leucocephala" Near-threatened

Cuckoos and Anis

Order: CuculiformesFamily: CuculidaeThe family Cuculidae includes cuckoos, roadrunners and anis. These birds are of variable size with slender bodies, long tails and strong legs. Unlike the cuckoo species of the Old World, North American cuckoos are not brood parasites. There are 138 species worldwide and 5 species which occur in Cuba.

*Black-billed Cuckoo, "Coccyzus erythropthalmus" (A)
*Yellow-billed Cuckoo, "Coccyzus americanus"
*Mangrove Cuckoo, "Coccyzus minor"
*Great Lizard-Cuckoo, "Saurothera merlini"
*Smooth-billed Ani, "Crotophaga ani"

Barn owls

Order: StrigiformesFamily: Tytonidae

Barn owls are medium to large sized owls with large heads and characteristic heart-shaped faces. They have long strong legs with powerful talons. There are 16 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Cuba.

*Barn Owl, "Tyto alba" (A)

Typical owls

Order: StrigiformesFamily: Strigidae

Typical owls are small to large solitary nocturnal birds of prey. They have large forward-facing eyes and ears, a hawk-like beak, and a conspicuous circle of feathers around each eye called a facial disk. There are 195 species worldwide and 6 species which occur in Cuba.

*Bare-legged Owl, "Gymnoglaux lawrencii" (E)
*Cuban Pygmy-Owl, "Glaucidium siju" (E)
*Burrowing Owl, "Athene cunicularia"
*Stygian Owl, "Asio stygius"
*Long-eared Owl, "Asio otus" (A)
*Short-eared Owl, "Asio flammeus"


Order: CaprimulgiformesFamily: Caprimulgidae

Nightjars are medium-sized nocturnal birds with long wings, short legs and very short bills that usually nest on the ground. Most have small feet, of little use for walking, and long pointed wings. Their soft plumage is camouflaged to resemble bark or leaves. There are 86 species worldwide and 4 species which occur in Cuba.
*Antillean Nighthawk, "Chordeiles gundlachii"
*Chuck-will's-widow, "Caprimulgus carolinensis" (A)
*Greater Antillean Nightjar, "Caprimulgus cubanensis" (E)
*Whip-poor-will, "Caprimulgus vociferus" (A)


Order: ApodiformesFamily: Apodidae

Swifts are small aerial birds, spending the majority of their lives flying. These birds have very short legs and never settle voluntarily on the ground, perching instead only on vertical surfaces. Many swifts have long swept-back wings that resemble a crescent or a boomerang. There are 98 species world wide and 4 species which occur in Cuba.

*Black Swift, "Cypseloides niger" (A)
*White-collared Swift, "Streptoprocne zonaris"
*Chimney Swift, "Chaetura pelagica" (A)
*Antillean Palm Swift, "Tachornis phoenicobia"


Order: TrochiliformesFamily: Trochilidae

Hummingbirds are small birds capable of hovering in mid-air due to the rapid flapping of their wings. They are the only birds that can fly backwards. There are 337 species worldwide and 3 species which occur in Cuba.

*Cuban Emerald, "Chlorostilbon ricordii"
*Bee Hummingbird, "Mellisuga helenae" (E) Near-threatened
*Ruby-throated Hummingbird, "Archilochus colubris" (A)


Order: TrogoniformesFamily: Trogonidae

The family Trogonidae includes trogons and quetzals. Found in tropical woodlands worldwide, they feed on insects and fruit, and their broad bills and weak legs reflect their diet and arboreal habits. Although their flight is fast, they are reluctant to fly any distance. Trogons have soft, often colourful, feathers with distinctive male and female plumage. There are 33 species worldwide and 1 endemic species occurs in Cuba.

*Cuban Trogon, "Priotelus temnurus" (E)

Water Kingfishers

Order: CoraciiformesFamily: Cerylidae

Water kingfishers are medium sized birds with large heads, long pointed bills, short legs, and stubby tails. There are 94 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Cuba.

*Belted Kingfisher, "Ceryle alcyon"


Order: CoraciiformesFamily: Todidae

Todies are a group of small near passerine forest species of endemic to the Caribbean. These birds have colourful plumage and resemble small kingfishers, but with flattened bills with serrated edges. They eat small prey such as insects and lizards. There are 5 species worldwide and 1 endemic species occurs in Cuba.

*Cuban Tody, "Todus multicolor" (E)

Woodpeckers, Flickers and Sapsuckers

Order: PiciformesFamily: Picidae

Woodpeckers are small to medium sized birds with chisel like beaks, short legs, stiff tails and long tongues used for capturing insects. Some species have feet with two toes pointing forward, and two backward, while several species have only three toes. Many woodpeckers have the habit of tapping noisily on tree trunks with their beaks. There are 218 species worldwide and 6 species which occur in Cuba, one of which, the Ivory-billed Woodpecker, may be extinct.

*West Indian Woodpecker, "Melanerpes superciliaris"
*Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, "Sphyrapicus varius"
*Cuban Woodpecker, "Xiphidiopicus percussus" (E)
*Northern Flicker, "Colaptes auratus"
*Fernandina's Flicker, "Colaptes fernandinae" (E) Vulnerable
*Ivory-billed Woodpecker, "Campephilus principalis" (A) Critically endangered (possibly extinct)

Tyrant flycatchers

Order: PasseriformesFamily: Tyrannidae

Tyrant flycatchers are passerine birds which occur throughout North and South America. They superficially resemble the Old World flycatchers, but are more robust with stronger bills. They do not have the sophisticated vocal capabilities of the songbirds. Most, but not all, have plain colouring. As the name implies, most are insectivorous. There are 429 species worldwide, all found only in the Americas and 18 species which occur in Cuba.

*Western Wood Pewee, "Contopus sordidulus" (A)
*Eastern Wood Pewee, "Contopus virens" (A)
*Cuban Pewee, "Contopus caribaeus"
*Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, "Empidonax flaviventris" (A)
*Acadian Flycatcher, "Empidonax virescens" (A)
*Alder Flycatcher, "Empidonax alnorum"
*Willow Flycatcher, "Empidonax traillii" (A)
*Eastern Phoebe, "Sayornis phoebe" (A)
*Great Crested Flycatcher, "Myiarchus crinitus" (A)
*La Sagra's Flycatcher, "Myiarchus sagrae"
*Tropical Kingbird, "Tyrannus melancholicus" (A)
*Western Kingbird, "Tyrannus verticalis" (A)
*Eastern Kingbird, "Tyrannus tyrannus" (A)
*Gray Kingbird, "Tyrannus dominicensis"
*Loggerhead Kingbird, "Tyrannus caudifasciatus"
*Giant Kingbird, "Tyrannus cubensis" (E) Endangered
*Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, "Tyrannus forficatus" (A)
*Fork-tailed Flycatcher, "Tyrannus savana" (A)

wallows and Martins

Order: PasseriformesFamily: Hirundinidae

The Hirundinidae family is a group of passerines characterized by their adaptation to aerial feeding. Their adaptations include a slender streamlined body, long pointed wings and short bills with wide gape. The feet are designed for perching rather than walking, and the front toes are partially joined at the base. There are 75 species worldwide and 9 species which occur in Cuba.

*Purple Martin, "Progne subis"
*Cuban Martin, "Progne cryptoleuca"
*Tree Swallow, "Tachycineta bicolor"
*Bahama Swallow, "Tachycineta cyaneoviridis" (A) Vulnerable
*Northern Rough-winged Swallow, "Stelgidopteryx serripennis" (A)
*Sand Martin, "Riparia riparia" (A)
*Cliff Swallow, "Petrochelidon pyrrhonota" (A)
*Cave Swallow, "Petrochelidon fulva"
*Barn Swallow, "Hirundo rustica"


Order: PasseriformesFamily: Regulidae

The kinglets or crests are a small group of birds often included in the Old World warblers, but frequently given family status because they also resemble the titmice. There are 7 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Cuba.

*Ruby-crowned Kinglet, "Regulus calendula" (A)


Order: PasseriformesFamily: Bombycillidae

The waxwings are a group of passerine birds characterized by soft silky plumage and unique red tips to some of the wing feathers. In the Bohemian and Cedar Waxwings, these tips look like sealing wax, and give the group its name. These are arboreal birds of northern forests. They live on insects in summer and berries in winter. There are 3 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Cuba.

*Cedar Waxwing, "Bombycilla cedrorum" (A)


Order: PasseriformesFamily: Troglodytidae

The wrens are mainly small and inconspicuous except for their loud songs. These birds have short wings and a thin down-turned bill. Several species often hold their tails upright. All are insectivorous. There are 80 species worldwide (of which all but 1 are New World species) and 3 species which occur in Cuba.

*Zapata Wren, "Ferminia cerverai" (E) Endangered
*House Wren, "Troglodytes aedon" (A)
*Marsh Wren, "Cistothorus palustris" (A)

Mockingbirds and Thrashers

Order: PasseriformesFamily: MimidaeThe mimids are a family of passerine birds that includes thrashers, mockingbirds, tremblers, and the New World catbirds. These birds are notable for their vocalizations, especially their ability to mimic a wide variety of birds and other sounds heard outdoors. Their colouring tends towards dull greys and browns . There are 35 species worldwide and 4 species which occur in Cuba.

*Gray Catbird, "Dumetella carolinensis" (A)
*Bahama Mockingbird, "Mimus gundlachii"
*Northern Mockingbird, "Mimus polyglottos"
*Brown Thrasher, "Toxostoma rufum" (A)

Thrushes, Solitaires and Bluebirds

Order: PasseriformesFamily: Turdidae

The thrushes are a group of passerine birds that occur mainly in the Old World. They are plump, soft plumaged, small to medium-sized insectivores or sometimes omnivores, often feeding on the ground. Many have attractive songs. There are 335 species worldwide and 10 species which occur in Cuba.

*Eastern Bluebird, "Sialia sialis" (A)
*Cuban Solitaire, "Myadestes elisabeth" (E) Near-threatened
*Veery, "Catharus fuscescens" (A)
*Gray-cheeked Thrush, "Catharus minimus" (A)
*Bicknell's Thrush, "Catharus bicknelli" (A) Vulnerable
*Swainson's Thrush, "Catharus ustulatus" (A)
*Hermit Thrush, "Catharus guttatus" (A)
*Wood Thrush, "Hylocichla mustelina" (A)
*Red-legged Thrush, "Turdus plumbeus"
*American Robin, "Turdus migratorius"


Order: PasseriformesFamily: Polioptilidae

These dainty birds resemble Old World warblers in their build and habits, moving restlessly through the foliage seeking insects. The gnatcatchers and gnatwrens are mainly soft bluish grey in colour, and have the typical insectivore's long sharp bill. They are birds of fairly open woodland or scrub, and nest in bushes or trees. There are 15 species worldwide and 3 species which occur in Cuba.

*Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, "Polioptila caerulea"
*Cuban Gnatcatcher, "Polioptila lembeyei" (E)

Old World flycatchers

Order: PasseriformesFamily: Muscicapidae

Old World flycatchers are a large group of small passerine birds native to the Old World. They are mainly small arboreal insectivores. The appearance of these birds is very varied, but they mostly have weak songs and harsh calls. There 274 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Cuba.

*Northern Wheatear, "Oenanthe oenanthe" (A)


Order: PasseriformesFamily: Corvidae

The Corvidae family includes crows, ravens, jays, choughs, magpies, treepies, nutcrackers, and ground jays. Corvids are above average in size for the bird order Passeriformes. Some of the larger species show high levels of learning behavior. There are 120 species worldwide and 2 species which occur in Cuba.

*Cuban Palm Crow "Corvus minutus" (E) Endangered
*Cuban Crow "Corvus nasicus"


Order: PasseriformesFamily: Sturnidae

Starlings are small to medium-sized passerine birds. Their flight is strong and direct, and they are very gregarious. Their preferred habitat is fairly open country. They eat insects and fruit. Plumage is typically dark with a metallic sheen. There are 125 species worldwide and 2 species which occur in Cuba.

*Common Myna, "Acridotheres tristis" (I)
*European Starling, "Sturnus vulgaris" (A)

Estrildid finches

Order: PasseriformesFamily: Estrildidae

The estrildid finches are small passerine birds of the Old World tropics and Australasia. They are gregarious and often colonial seed-eaters with short thick but pointed bills. They are all similar in build and habits, but have a wide variation in plumage colours and pattern. There are 139 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Cuba.
*Nutmeg Mannikin, "Lonchura punctulata" (A)


Order: PasseriformesFamily: Vireonidae

The vireos are a group of small to medium sized passerine birds restricted to the New World. They are typically greenish in colour and resemble wood warblers apart from their heavier bills. There are 52 species worldwide and 9 species which occur in Cuba.

*White-eyed Vireo, "Vireo griseus" (A)
*Thick-billed Vireo, "Vireo crassirostris" (A)
*Cuban Vireo, "Vireo gundlachii" (E)
*Yellow-throated Vireo, "Vireo flavifrons"
*Blue-headed Vireo, "Vireo solitarius" (A)
*Warbling Vireo, "Vireo gilvus"
*Philadelphia Vireo, "Vireo philadelphicus" (A)
*Red-eyed Vireo, "Vireo olivaceus" (A)
*Black-whiskered Vireo, "Vireo altiloquus"

New World warblers

Order: PasseriformesFamily: Parulidae

The New World warblers are a group of small, often colourful, passerine birds restricted to the New World. Most are arboreal, but some are terrestrial. Most members of this family are insectivores. There are 119 species worldwide and 43 species which occur in Cuba.

*Bachman's Warbler, "Vermivora bachmanii" Critically endangered (possibly extinct)
*Blue-winged Warbler, "Vermivora pinus" (A)
*Golden-winged Warbler, "Vermivora chrysoptera" (A) Near-threatened
*Tennessee Warbler, "Vermivora peregrina" (A)
*Orange-crowned Warbler, "Vermivora celata" (A)
*Nashville Warbler, "Vermivora ruficapilla" (A)
*Virginia's Warbler, "Vermivora virginiae" (A)
*Northern Parula, "Parula americana
*Yellow Warbler, "Dendroica petechia"
*Chestnut-sided Warbler, "Dendroica pensylvanica" (A)
*Magnolia Warbler, "Dendroica magnolia"
*Cape May Warbler, "Dendroica tigrina"
*Black-throated Blue Warbler, "Dendroica caerulescens"
*Yellow-rumped Warbler, "Dendroica coronata"
*Black-throated Gray Warbler, "Dendroica nigrescens" (A)
*Black-throated Green Warbler, "Dendroica virens"
*Blackburnian Warbler, "Dendroica fusca" (A)
*Yellow-throated Warbler, "Dendroica dominica"
*Olive-capped Warbler, "Dendroica pityophila"
*Pine Warbler, "Dendroica pinus" (A)
*Prairie Warbler, "Dendroica discolor"
*Palm Warbler, "Dendroica palmarum"
*Bay-breasted Warbler, "Dendroica castanea" A)
*Blackpoll Warbler, "Dendroica striata"
*Cerulean Warbler, "Dendroica cerulea" (A) Vulnerable
*Black-and-white Warbler, "Mniotilta varia"
*American Redstart, "Setophaga ruticilla"
*Prothonotary Warbler, "Protonotaria citrea" (A)
*Worm-eating Warbler, "Helmitheros vermivorus"
*Swainson's Warbler, "Limnothlypis swainsonii" (A)
*Ovenbird, "Seiurus aurocapilla"
*Northern Waterthrush, "Seiurus noveboracensis"
*Louisiana Waterthrush, "Seiurus motacilla"
*Kentucky Warbler, "Oporornis formosus" (A)
*Connecticut Warbler, "Oporornis agilis" (A)
*Mourning Warbler, "Oporornis philadelphia" (A)
*Common Yellowthroat, "Geothlypis trichas"
*Yellow-headed Warbler, "Teretistris fernandinae" (E)
*Oriente Warbler, "Teretistris fornsi" (E)
*Hooded Warbler, "Wilsonia citrina" (A)
*Wilson's Warbler, "Wilsonia pusilla" (A)
*Canada Warbler, "Wilsonia canadensis" (A)
*Yellow-breasted Chat, "Icteria virens" (A)


Order: PasseriformesFamily: Coerebidae or Genus "Coereba" "Incertae sedis"

The Bananaquit is a small passerine bird. It has a slender, curved bill, adapted to taking nectar from flowers and is the only member of the genus "Coereba" (Vieillot, 1809) and is normally placed within the family Coerebidae, although there is uncertainty whether that placement is correct.

*Bananaquit, "Coereba flaveola" (A)


Order: PasseriformesFamily: Thraupidae

The tanagers are a large group of small to medium-sized passerine birds restricted to the New World, mainly in the tropics. Many species are brightly coloured. They are seed eaters, but their preference tends towards fruit and nectar. Most have short, rounded wings. There are 256 species worldwide and 5 species which occur in Cuba.

*Scarlet Tanager, "Piranga olivacea" (A)
*Summer Tanager, "Piranga rubra" (A)
*Western Tanager, "Piranga ludoviciana" (A)
*Western Spindalis, "Spindalis zena"
*Red-legged Honeycreeper, "Cyanerpes cyaneus" (I)

American sparrows, Yellow-finches, Honeycreepers and Towhees

Order: PasseriformesFamily: Emberizidae

The emberizids are a large family of passerine birds. They are seed-eating birds with a distinctively shaped bill. In Europe, most species are named as buntings. In North America, most of the species in this family are known as Sparrows, but these birds are not closely related to the Old World sparrows which are in the family Passeridae. Many emberizid species have distinctive head patterns. There are species 275 worldwide and 14 species which occur in Cuba.

*Cuban Bullfinch, "Melopyrrha nigra" (E)
*Cuban Grassquit, "Tiaris canora" (E)
*Yellow-faced Grassquit, "Tiaris olivacea"
*Black-faced Grassquit, "Tiaris bicolor" (A)
*Saffron Finch, "Sicalis flaveola" (A)
*Green-tailed Towhee, "Pipilo chlorurus" (A)
*Zapata Sparrow, "Torreornis inexpectata" (E) Endangered
*Chipping Sparrow, "Spizella passerina" (A)
*Clay-colored Sparrow, "Spizella pallida" (A)
*Lark Sparrow, "Chondestes grammacus" (A)
*Savannah Sparrow, "Passerculus sandwichensis"
*Grasshopper Sparrow, "Ammodramus savannarum"
*Lincoln's Sparrow, "Melospiza lincolnii" (A)
*White-crowned Sparrow, "Zonotrichia leucophrys" (A)

Cardinals, Grosbeaks and North American Buntings

Order: PasseriformesFamily: Cardinalidae

The cardinals are a family of passerine birds that are robust, seed-eating birds, with strong bills. They are typically associated with open woodland. The sexes usually have distinct plumages. There are 43 species worldwide and 6 species which occur in Cuba.

*Rose-breasted Grosbeak, "Pheucticus ludovicianus" (A)
*Blue Grosbeak, "Passerina caerulea" (A)
*Lazuli Bunting, "Passerina amoena" (A)
*Indigo Bunting, "Passerina cyanea"
*Painted Bunting, "Passerina ciris" (A) Near-threatened
*Dickcissel, "Spiza americana" (A)

Blackbirds, Meadowlarks, Cowbirds, Grackles, and Orioles

Order: PasseriformesFamily: Icteridae

The icterids are a group of small to medium, often colourful, passerine birds restricted to the New World and include the grackles, New World blackbirds, and New World orioles. Most species have black as the predominant plumage colour, often enlivened by yellow, orange or red. There are 98 species worldwide and 15 species which occur in Cuba.

*Bobolink, "Dolichonyx oryzivorus"
*Tawny-shouldered Blackbird, "Agelaius humeralis"
*Red-winged Blackbird, "Agelaius phoeniceus"
*Red-shouldered Blackbird, "Agelaius assimilis" (E)
*Eastern Meadowlark, "Sturnella magna"
*Yellow-headed Blackbird, "Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus" (A)
*Cuban Blackbird, "Dives atroviolacea"(E)
*Rusty Blackbird, "Euphagus carolinus" Rare/Accidental
*Greater Antillean Grackle, "Quiscalus niger"
*Shiny Cowbird, "Molothrus bonariensis"
*Brown-headed Cowbird, "Molothrus ater" (A)
*Hooded Oriole, "Icterus cucullatus" (A)
*Baltimore Oriole, "Icterus galbula" (A)
*Orchard Oriole, "Icterus spurius" (A)
*Greater Antillean Oriole, "Icterus dominicensis"

Cardueline finches

Order: PasseriformesFamily: Fringillidae

Finches are seed-eating passerine birds, that are small to moderately large and have a strong beak, usually conical and in some species very large. All have 12 tail feathers and 9 primaries. These birds have a bouncing flight with alternating bouts of flapping and gliding on closed wings, and most sing well. There are 137 species worldwide and 2 species which occur in Cuba.

*Lesser Goldfinch, "Carduelis psaltria"
*American Goldfinch, "Carduelis tristis" (A)


Order: PasseriformesFamily: Passeridae

Sparrows are small passerine birds. In general, sparrows tend to be small, plump, brown or grey birds with short tails and short powerful beaks. Sparrows are seed-eaters, and they also consume small insects. There are 35 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Cuba, which was introduced.

*House Sparrow, "Passer domesticus" (I)

ee also

*List of birds
*Lists of birds by region


*citation |last=Fox |first= Neil and Michelle |title= First documented record of Northern Gannet "Morus bassanus" in Cuba |journal= Cotinga |number=28 |page=76 |date= Autumn 2007
*cite web
last = Lepage
first = Denis
authorlink =
coauthors =
year =
url =
title = Cuba checklist
format =
work = Bird Checklists of the World
publisher = Avibase
accessdate = 20 April
accessyear = 2007

*cite web
author = Rafael Sanchez
url =
title = Checklist of Cuban Birds
format =
work =
pages =
publisher =Birding in Cuba
language =
accessdate = April 20
accessyear = 2007

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