Birding sites Puerto Rico

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Cabo Rojo National Wildlife Refuge

Established: 1974. Acres: 587.
Location: From Mayaguez, drive south on Route 2 (main highway) and exit Route 100 toward Cabo Rojo. When Route 100 ends, turn left onto Route 101. Drive .8 mile, then turn right onto Route 301. Drive approximately 3 miles and look for refuge sign.
The refuge lies along the coastal plain of southwestern Puerto Rico. This land had been in agricultural use for at least two centuries prior to Service ownership. Heavy grazing left the area barren except for a limited number of trees in drainages and near homesteads.
A number of native bird species, including the endangered yellow-shouldered blackbird, occur in and around the refuge. At present, the refuge is approximately 65 percent forest/ scrub and 35 percent grassland.
Puerto Rican tody, Adelaide’s warbler, Caribbean elaenia, troupial, and the endangered yellow-shouldered blackbird.


Established: 1909. Acres: 1,568.
Location: the refuge office is located in Lower Camp, a short drive from Culebra airport.
Administered under Caribbean Island NWRs office.
The refuge is comprised of lands on the main island of Culebra and 22 smaller islands in the same vicinity. It contains diverse habitats including subtropical dry forest, mangroves, brush, and grasslands.
The largest seabird nesting colony occurs at Peninsula Flamenco, where 60,000 sooty terns nest.

Laguna Cartagena

The present lagoon is a remnant of what was once a large open expanse of water and one of the most important freshwater habitats for migrating waterfowl and aquatic birds in Puerto Rico. Due to past agricultural practices, about 90 percent of the lagoon is choked with a variety of aquatic plants which restrict nesting and feeding.
In addition to the lagoon, there are uplands that include pastureland, abandoned sugar cane fields, and 263 acres in the foothills of the Sierra Bermeja. These hills, geologically some of the oldest in the Caribbean, protect a native forest with many endemic plant species.
Historically, almost half of the birds in Puerto Rico have been seen in the area. Visitors may see the smooth-billed ani, magnificent frigatebird, several species of herons, the endangered yellow-shouldered blackbird, and others.

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