Wildlife & Nature

Feathers in Paradise: Birds of Hispaniola Await Your Discovery

Hispaniolan Woodpecker

Photo: Fausto Suero

From the velvet deep blue hues of the Chinchilín to the bright yellow feathers of the Canario de Manglar, these Hispaniola birds are a sight not to miss!

The moment you arrive on the sun-drenched shores of Hispaniola, you’ll immediately be greeted by its engulfing heat on your back, the salty and sweet scent of the ocean, and the harmonic songs of its myriad birds.


As the second-largest island in the Caribbean, Hispaniola boasts an impressive biodiversity, particularly when it comes to its avian residents. With 30 of its 130 bird species being endemic, this island paradise ensures that bird enthusiasts and casual travelers alike will have their heads tilted upwards, eyes scanning the lush canopy for a glimpse of these winged wonders.


Dive into our curated list below for an up-close look at 10 of the most captivating birds that call this island home.

10 Birds of Hispaniola: From Haiti to the Dominican Republic

Yellow-throated Warbler

Photo: René Durocher

1. Yellow-throated Warbler

Characterized by its bright yellow underbelly, white brow, and black-and-white coat, the Yellow-throated Warbler or Ti Kit Fal Jon, as it’s called in Haiti, is a migratory bird commonly known to Hispaniola. These tiny but vibrant birds are typically found in humid, tropical areas, nestling upwards of 60 feet high. One unique feature of these remarkable birds is their sing-songy rapid, high-pitched chirps! If you ever find yourself in the Dominican Republic or Haiti and hear this distinct sound in the air, it might be from this little fella.

Hispaniolan Trogon

Photo: René Durocher

2. Hispaniolan Trogon

Otherwise known as Kanson Wouj, is the national bird of Haiti. This endemic bird is one of the two Trogon species found in the Caribbean. The second is the Cuban Trogon (read more on Cuba’s tropical birds here). The Hispaniolan Trogons encompass the same colorful richness of the island they reside in. From their intense red bellies, yellow beaks, greenish-blue backs, and the most noticeable trait of them all - their speckled blue and long white tails. Although threatened by deforestation and habitat loss, these Trogons typically reside in tropical forests or the mountain ranges of Massif de la Hotte and Sierra de Bahoruco.

Ridgway hawk

Photo: Fausto Suero

3. Ridgway hawk

The Ridgway hawk or Guaraguao as it’s known in the Dominican Republic, is a fascinating bird of prey endemic to Hispaniola. Unfortunately, it is also one of the most endangered, with a dwindling population of only 300, most of these are primarily concentrated in the Los Haitises National Park on the Dominican side and the Cayemites islands in Haiti. Factors such as habitat loss, botfly larvae that attack its chick's nest and people killing them in fear it’ll eat their chickens have all contributed to its sharp decline. Luckily, there are many conservation efforts to preserve and increase their population.

Cape May Warbler

Photo: René Durocher

4. Cape May Warbler

What small bird is decorated with a canary yellow underbelly, black speckled wings, and a small black beak? The Cape May Warbler, of course! Commonly called Ti Tchit Kou Jon in Haitian Kreyol, this tiny bird is known for its migratory patterns from Mexico to Hispaniola. It feeds off of insects, nectar, and fruit juices. They tend to have distinctive migration patterns from the Northeastern U.S. in the warmer seasons to their final stop in Haiti and the Dominican Republic in the colder seasons.

Narrow-Billed Tody

Photo: Fausto Suero

5. Narrow-billed Tody

Known in Haiti as Kolibri Mon or Barrancolí in the Dominican Republic, this bird can be found throughout Hispaniola, primarily in wet subtropical forests, foraging on local insects rummaging away. Like other birds throughout the island, the Narrow-billed Tody is decorated with a brightly colored deep red throat, lime green outer body, and gray belly. These tiny birds are also known for their large, carefully crafted nests visible below.

Antillean Siskin

Photo: René Durocher

6. Antillean Siskin

Next up is the Antillean Siskin, another bird endemic to the island. Males possess strikingly bright yellow solid hues with black speckled wings and a black head. Female species are also a mix of black and yellow throughout their coats but with a whitish belly. Given it’s Haitian name, Ti Seren which means "little mermaid" it’s fitting that it typically resides in tropical wet areas.

Greater Antillean Grackle

Photo: Fausto Suero

7. Greater Antillean Grackle

These deep midnight blue-black birds derive their name from their common presence across the four Greater Antillean islands: Puerto Rico, Cuba, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic. Many birds from Hispaniola are nicknamed based on their distinctive chirps. This particular bird, for instance, is locally known as Chinchilin in the Dominican Republic, a name inspired by its loud cackling call and its ease around humans. Unlike other birds native to Hispaniola, the Grackle has a diverse diet, including small insects, human food scraps, seeds, and lizards.

Antillian Euphonia

Photo: Fausto Suero

8. Antillean Euphonia

If you've ever seen this bird in Hispaniola, its beauty will surely make you do a double take!


Adorned in rich yellow hues complemented by olive-green wings and a brilliant electric blue crown, this striking tri-color bird thrives in the humid, warmth-drenched forests of the region. It primarily feasts on small insects, fruits, and seeds, showing a particular fondness for mistletoe trees. Known as Jilguerillo in the Dominican Republic, this bird is celebrated for its melodious, repetitive song, a symphony of "chit-its" that resonates from the canopy treetops of the island.

Hispaniolan Parakeets

Photo: Fausto Suero

9. Hispaniolan Parakeet

Here's another bird endemic to Hispaniola, hence its Dominican name, El Perico de La Espanola. These parakeets are covered in rich green feathers except for a bold dash of red underneath their wings. This species is currently listed as vulnerable and is among the many birds benefitting from conservation efforts aimed at bolstering its population.

Greater Antillean Bullfinch

Photo: René Durocher

10. Greater Antillean Bullfinch

Last on our list is the Ti kok, meaning "little rooster" in Haitian Kreyol, or the Greater Antillean Bullfinch. Males are recognizable by their velvet smooth feathers offset by splashes of red above their brow, underneath their beak, and under their tails. Females, on the other hand, display lighter shades ranging from brown to brownish-gray. This migratory bird is not limited to Haiti and the Dominican Republic, as it can be spotted throughout the Caribbean.


Want to learn more about where to experience these and other amazing birds? Check out the Best Bird Watching Sites in Dominican Republic, and then head over to Top Birdwatching Sites in Haiti.

Written by Raia Garvin.


Published October 2023.