Best known for its dolphins, sea lions and stingrays, Blue Lagoon Island also happens to be a haven for birds.
The private island destination invited local birders and island guests to participate in three birding tours as part of The Global Big Day in Birding earlier this month. They joined nearly 30,000 people worldwide in the effort to spot and record sightings of birds.
This was the first time Blue Lagoon Island participated in Global Big Day, and the results were impressive for the designated Important Bird Area.
According to Dr Ancilleno Davis, Blue Lagoon Island’s Sustainability Coordinator, 16 different bird species were recorded on the island that day. This represented 12 percent of the total number of species recorded throughout the Bahamas that day.
The early bird team that started just after dawn was the first group to record 12 of the species and was the only place a Black and White Warbler was recorded.
Some of the other special sightings on Blue Lagoon Island that day included Antillean Nighthawks, nesting Yellow-crowned Night Herons, Western Spindalis and Bananaquits, one of whom was spotted weaving a nest.
“My favorite part of the day were the guests, who had no idea this was also possible in the Bahamas, including two Bahamian guests,” said Dr Davis, adding, “Sharing the wildlife experience with our guests, putting biodiversity, sustainable tourism and sea level rise shoulder-to-shoulder with beautiful birds, butterflies, and edible plants can really change perspectives.”
Local birders and members of the Blue Lagoon Island team joined in on the early morning tour, and later in the day the invitation was extended to all guests on the island.
A number of cruise ship guests took advantage of the opportunity to do something completely different.
Michael, a cruise guest who had never been birding before said “I don’t think I appreciated avian life before the tour. I want to go birding at home in Texas now.”
Another cruise guest, Kieyana was celebrating her birthday and declared the birding tour through the Tower Trail Forest on Blue Lagoon Island ‘a once in a lifetime experience!”
Since January Blue Lagoon Island has been actively recording birding activity on the island and since then 16 species have been recorded for the first time. Forty-three different bird species have been recorded on the island in total according to eBird data and five species have nested on the island so far this year – Yellow-crowned Night Herons, Bananaquits, Common Ground Doves, Ospreys and Americal Kestrels.
Blue Lagoon Island plans to offer more birding opportunities throughout the year and is using the information discovered to further enhance the Segway Safari and Eco Nature Walking Tours currently offered to guests