• Welcome to BirdForum, the internet's largest birding community with thousands of members from all over the world. The forums are dedicated to wild birds, birding, binoculars and equipment and all that goes with it.

    Please register for an account to take part in the discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.
ZEISS DTI thermal imaging cameras. For more discoveries at night, and during the day.


This is an article published in the last issue of the digital magazine The Cuban Birder. To download Issue No.2 (June 2021), please go to (no title)

The capital city has several places suitable for birdwatching that are located relatively close to where we live. Both in the coastal areas and in the peripheral municipalities there is abundant vegetation that, due to the characteristics of our climate, it remains green all year round. There are, in addition, considerable quantities of insects, fruits and wild flowers that serve as food for our winged friends. In this issue of the magazine we will travel through the coastal areas, but in future issues we will cover the entire city as far south as the southern end.

Towards the northwest of Havana, in the town of Santa Fe, in the municipality of Playa, you can find the mouth of Santa Ana river. On both of its banks, mangroves and coastal vegetation grow and during migration peaks lots of passerines stop over before continuing their journey. To get there you can take the Panamericana Highway up to the Santa Ana River, which marks the city limits with neighboring Artemisa. This is just before the Latin American School of Medicine.

At the height of the big hotels of Miramar is also the Monte Barreto, a small green space enclosed between 7th, 9th,70th Avenues and 82nd Street, where you can see a large number of birds. If we move further east, we stumble upon the Almendares River, the largest river in the city, which crisscross from south to north. Both the area next to the bridge that connects Vedado with Playa and in the area of Puentes Grandes, El Husillo and Parque Forestal Metropolitano, there is lush wooded vegetation that shelters a large number of species. The most important accesses are through the Almendares Bridge, the Havana Forest and Avenue 51, both the area close to 26th Avenue and the El Husillo exit. In the area near Havana Bay, we get to Morro Castle, La Cabaña Fortress, Triscornia and Playa del Chivo. This is another of the privileged spots for birdwatchers in the capital. On the high walls of the castles there are almost always several species of swallows that fly through the sky in search of flying insects, especially at dawn and dusk. There is also a good variety of shorebirds at Playa del Chivo and Triscornia; and in the entrance channel of the bay, frequent sightings of Brown Pelicans, Royal Terns, Laughing Gulls and Frigatebirds searching for sardines on the surface.

We continue towards the east and between Cojímar and Rincón de Guanabo there are several favorable places for observation, such as the mouth of Cojímar, Bacuranao, Tarará, Itabo and Guanabo rivers. The entire coastal strip is populated by mangrove forests and coastal vegetation, which become more or less dense in sections. Since they are relatively close to the Via Blanca, access is not complicated. There we can also find a great variety of species.

To all this, let's add the large number of parks and green spaces within the neighborhoods such as 5th Avenue in Miramar and Avenida Paseo in Vedado where we can find… wild Cuban Parrots!! There are also the parking lots of the Meliá Habana, Neptuno and Tritón hotels lively with the singing of Yellow Warblers; Vedado´s parks of 15 and 18, Lennon Park or H and 21st, all of them very active at peak times of the fall and spring migrations. Also the area of La Maestranza on Avenida del Puerto, Parque del Pescado on Cerro, Quinta de Los Molinos, among many others.

According to historical reports from birders - both on eBird.org and other sources of information - there are records of about 160 species throughout this wide area of the city, with the largest numbers in Monte Barreto (109), Triscornia (84), Playa del Chivo (80), Quinta de los Molinos (70), Parque Forestal Metropolitano (67) and Bosque de La Habana (55).

There are very common species that can be found, but also, with a little luck we can observe other not so frequent ones such as the Veery, Baltimore Oriole, Merlin, Northern Harrier, several rare Warblers such as Hooded, Blue-winged, Orange-crowned, Blackpoll, Golden-winged, as well as the Acadian Flycatcher. Also the Caspian Tern, Whimbrel, American Avocet, Black Skimmer, among many others.

There is no justification anymore! Let's go birding in Havana without moving long distances from downtown.


  • LA HABANA lugares más importantes.jpg
    LA HABANA lugares más importantes.jpg
    632.7 KB · Views: 12
  • _MG_1952.jpg
    331.5 KB · Views: 11
Thanks for that, Birding Havana. Very interesting. I have looked at the link to the magazine which mentions birding trips for foreign visitors to Cuba.

We will be staying in Varadero in February 2022. I would be looking for a guide to take me to Zapata for the day and perhaps for a general day’s birding (somewhere else) on another day. Would this be something that you could help with?

Hi Mark! Thank you for your message!

Yes, I can organize for you a full day birding trip to Zapata from Varadero. In Zapata we have one of the best birding guides who would lead you to a good amount of endemics and specially to the Bee Hummingbird! On Issue No.3 of The Cuban Birder magazine I will include a full article about him and his backyard on which the Bee lives in total freedom.

Please, tell me your dates in Varadero most suitable to go to Zapata when you have a chance and other details such as food allergies (if any), age, walking difficulties (if any), target species, your level of skills in birding and any other you consider relevant. After that I will send you a quote.

Kind regards,

Vladimir Mirabal
General Director of Birding Havana
Director of The Cuban Birder
[email protected]
Hi Vladimir

Thanks very much for your reply! We’re in Cuba from 3rd February until the 17th February. Perhaps it would be best to email you nearer the time, once we know exactly what we are doing, as we hope to spend a couple of nights in Havana as well. We aren’t on a birding holiday but I tend to go birding early each morning and also arrange a couple of days with a guide.

Unless I hear differently from you, perhaps I could email you, say in November and give you a bit more information. Thanks once again, very useful and helpful.

Warning! This thread is more than 3 years ago old.
It's likely that no further discussion is required, in which case we recommend starting a new thread. If however you feel your response is required you can still do so.

Users who are viewing this thread