Flying and Swimming – the Cayman Islands Best Excursions

The endangered sea turtles…

The beach, the surf, the sand…that’s island life in the Cayman Islands of the Caribbean. Every year thousand flock to paradise to enjoy their vacations. Yet, did you know that humans are not the only inhabitants of these lush, green landscapes. If you love animals, you will love what the Caribbean Islands have in store for you!

In this series of articles about the Grand Caymans you will learn:

Birding on the Cayman Islands

The Cayman Islands have 246 species of birds…

The Caribbean Birds

The Cayman Islands have 246 species of birds, making this a bird watchers paradise. Even if you are not a member of the Audubon Society, you can appreciate the color, sounds, and freedom of our flying friends.

Birding tours in Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman are another way to see the islands. In this video series, you’ll get a look at the inner part of the island.

In the first video, you’ll trek the Mastic Trail, part of the National Trust of the Cayman Islands which, according to its website, currently cares for 843 acres of high priority environmental areas, forming the Mastic Reserve. It’s here, away from the hustle and bustle of Seven Mile Beach, where you can enjoy all the flora and fauna of the island as well as secondary growth forest and pristine old growth forest near the heart of the island.

There are guided tours available, or you can do the hike on your own. The walk will take about 1.5 – 2.5 hours because of the uneven terrain. People who have taken the hike recommend shoes, not sandals. Also recommended are water, a hat, binoculars, and your camera. If you have a DSLR, use your longest lens to get a glimpse of the birding action around you!

Points of interest from the video:

  • Time Stamp: 1:00 – All endemic subspecies of birds are found here
  • Time Stamp: 1:30 – News about the Cuban Bullfinch
  • Time Stamp 2:40 – Migrant birds at The Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park
  • Time Stamp 5:00 – Cayman Parrots

Birding on The Sister Islands

Luke Massey heads over to Cayman Brac with his binoculars and love of birds…and brown booby birds which can be seen plunging headfirst into the water in order to catch a meal.

Points of interest from the video:

  • Time Stamp 0:55 – The search for the elusive Red-legged Thrush
  • Time Stamp 1:10 – The Cayman Islands second national bird, the Brac Parrot
  • Time Stamp 2:10 – It’s off to Little Cayman!
  • Time Stamp 2:45 – Piracy in the Caribbean…bird piracy
  • Time Stamp 4:10 – Wrap it up

Bonus: Bird Watching includes a Search for the Cayman Blue Iguana

Venture into the 650-acre Nature Reserve on Grand Cayman to look for the endangered Blue Iguana. In 2002, according to the video’s guide, there were less than 12 Blue Iguanas remaining. At the time of this video, January 2018, there were more than 800 as a result of intense conservation efforts. To learn more about the Blue Iguana Recover Program, be sure to visit that organizations website, listed in the resources below.

  • Time Stamp 1:00 – Learn about the harsh habitat of coral and poisonous plants where the iguana lives
  • Time Stamp 2:45 – First bird sighting
  • Time Stamp 3:00 – Blue Iguana Poo and a tree frog
  • Time Stamp 4:00 – This tree will kill you
  • Time Stamp 4:40 – Persistence pays off!

Best Excursions in Grand Cayman for Animal Lovers: (Click for the next article)

Resources: When You Go to Cayman Islands

National Trust for the Cayman Islands
Website:  https://www.nationaltrust.org.ky/mastic-trail-tour

Mastic Trail Tours
Weekday mornings.
Minimum of 6 participants required.
Afternoon, weekend and private tours may also be available.
Call (345) 749-1121 for reservations, meeting time and directions.
Email: smailer@nationaltrust.org.ky

Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park
Website: http://www.botanic-park.ky/
Located in the district of North Side on Frank Sound Road
Contact: (345) 947-9462

Audubon Guide to North American Birds
Website: https://www.audubon.org/bird-guide

Blue Iguana Recovery Program
Website: http://www.blueiguana.ky/