With more than 200 species of birds in the US Virgin Islands, St. John’s vast national park land is the best place to explore and do some good old fashioned bird watching.
Most of the birds you’ll see on St. John arrived on island accidentally, while about 2 dozen were introduced by humans. Here are some of the birds you’ll see around St. John:
The brown booby flies low over the water and plunges deep into the water to forage for small fish. Brown boobies nest on the ground and prefer to roost on solid objects.
Egrets are majestic, streamlined birds. The word Egret is a French word that means “silver heron”. Egrets and herons are not biologically distinct, but tend to be distinctly named because of their color difference (white herons are often called egrets).
Frigatebirds are large seabirds that neither swim or walk. Frigatebirds are either all black or black and white, and are easily distinguished in the air by their long forked tail. Males sport a colorful throat pouch. Frigatebirds can stay aloft continually for over a week!
Guineafowl look like large partridges with featherless heads. Guineafowl are mostly grey, eat seeds, and nest on the ground.
This rapid-flapping small bird hovers easily and is the only bird known to fly backwards.
Kestrels are small falcons with distinctive brown markings that feed on small mammals, lizards, and large insects.
The osprey is a raptor, a fish eater found around the world.
Oystercatchers are found along the shore and easily distinguished by their long orange bill used to dig and pry mollusks.
Large water birds, pelicans have four webbed toes and a distinctive pouch under their beak they use like a fishing net to find food.
Small wading birds found along the shoreline, sandpipers dig for small invertebrates with their bills.
Terms are small, slim birds with narrow wings, short legs, and long tails and bills. Terms can be found all over the world and describe a group of birds that include gulls and skimmers.
The pearly-eyed thrasher is an omnivore and common to St. John, feeding on everything from fruits and berries to large insects and small crabs. Thrashers live mostly in trees and can be aggressive if you have food.
Different from Thrashers, Thrushes are smaller and live on the ground.
Go here for a complete list of our flying friends on island.
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