español / english local weather today
20 July 2019
The Ciénago National Park Zapata is considered by ornithologists as the region of greatest diversity of birds of Cuba; of the 368 birds known in Cuba, 70 % are present in the Zapata reserves, including three locally endemic species: the Ferminina, the Cabrerito de la Ciénaga and the Gallinuela de Santo Tomás, real treasures of ornithology in Cuba. If you look closely you might see the world's smallest bird. It is a hummingbird (Mellisuga helenae) that only lives in Cuba and the Isle of Pines. The Cubans call it sunsunsito. You can also find the arriero, the tocororo , the Cuban parrot, the pedorrera, the green woodpecker, etc. etc.
 Birdwatching is relatively easy walking the various trails throughout the area, some very well known internationally as for example: Bermejas, Las Salinas de Brito and Hatiguanico River. Still, it's wise to hire the services of an expert guide to take better advantage of your visit. ...
The Ciénago National Park Zapata is considered by ornithologists as the region of greatest diversity of birds of Cuba; of the 368 birds known in Cuba, 70 % are present in the Zapata reserves, including three locally endemic species: the Ferminina, the Cabrerito de la Ciénaga and the Gallinuela de Santo Tomás, real treasures of ornithology in Cuba. If you look closely you might see the world's smallest bird. It is a hummingbird (Mellisuga helenae) that only lives in Cuba and the Isle of Pines. The Cubans call it sunsunsito. You can also find the arriero, the tocororo , the Cuban parrot, the pedorrera, the green woodpecker, etc. etc.
 Birdwatching is relatively easy walking the various trails throughout the area, some very well known internationally as for example: Bermejas, Las Salinas de Brito and Hatiguanico River. Still, it's wise to hire the services of an expert guide to take better advantage of your visit. Furthermore, tourists are not allowed to enter certain parts of the reserve without an official guide such as Las Salinas.
The most famous birdwatcher in the area is "el Chino" , from El Caletón. He will guide you as no one inside the National Park (or any other place in Cuba). It's quite a sight to see el Chino in action: whistling, singing, yelling .... always looking for the birds to react and often he manages. If not, he takes his pocket cassette player out and plays recorded bird sounds.
The International Birdwatching Center also organizes bird watching activities. The Center takes Playa Larga as a starting point for various ornithology excursions (day or night) through the Montemar woods, part of the Zapata reserve. The best time to see birds is the period from November to May, when migratory birds arrive to Las Salinas, offering a spectacular array of species and colors. In warm months you should consider that mosquitoes abound so a good repellent is essential.
 
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