Call us today on 020 7644 1770


Hunting native streamertail hummingbirds in tropical Jamaica

The hummingbird is the world's smallest bird, and the Caribbean island of Jamaica boasts its very own native species - the streamertail, also known as the "Doctorbird" due to its long bill that looks like a medical instrument. Jan Brierley, a writer from the Express newspaper, recently visited the tropical island to hunt for the famous tiny hummingbirds and explore the country's thriving local wildlife.

Hunting native streamertail hummingbirds in tropical Jamaica

Jamaica is famous for its tropical landscapes and laidback lifestyle, but its diverse wildlife is another reason to visit this Caribbean island. The country is home to four native species of the hummingbird, including the beautiful streamertail. Also known as the “Doctorbird” due to its long bill that looks like a 19-century surgical lancet, the streamertails are the national bird of Jamaica.

Red-billed streamertails can be found in the western side of Jamaica, while the black-billed streamertails can usually be seen in the eastern side. Jan Brierley, a writer from the Express newspaper, recently visited Jamaica to search for these beautiful tiny creatures.

During a guided birdwatching tour at Bluefields on the south coast, Jan was lucky enough to catch a glimpse of a hummingbird. He wrote:

“A tiny bird darted by, landing on a flower. To my delight it was a red-billed streamertail supping on nectar and just a few yards away from me.”

Due to their size and nifty movements, hummingbirds are incredibly hard to photograph, but professional photographers are available if travellers want to take home a souvenir picture of their birdwatching experience.

Jamaica is home to 29 endemic birds, but visitors can see up to 300 species of birds in the wild across the island any time of the year due to migrating species and birds from other Caribbean islands coming ashore. The hummingbirds are an important part of Jamaica’s ecosystem, and while they might be tiny, they have a big role to play in helping to pollinate the many wild flowers and trees so they can go on to reproduce.

During her visit to the island, Jan stayed at Mockingbird Hill Hotel which is located in Portland’s hills in the north east. Positioned between the soaring Blue Mountains and the azure sea, the 10-room eco-hotel is nestled within 6.5 acres of lush gardens and trees, and is close to the beautiful Frenchman’s Cove beach.

The boutique hotel has a Garden of Wellness where guests can unwind with pampering treatments amid the flora and fauna; Mille Fleurs restaurant with views of Port Antonio and fresh homemade cuisine; and beautiful tropical gardens where hammocks replace standard garden furniture. The gardens offer the perfect place to enjoy birdwatching and tourists can catch sightings of the Black-billed steamertail hummingbird, as well as 72 species of diverse birds. This hotel has been awarded in past years.

Leave a comment

Talk to a specialist


Call 020 7644 1770 to speak with our award-winning travel consultants.

Opening hours 09:00 - 21:00 GMT

Popular Holidays In Jamaica Browse all

Best Value

From £729 per person
rooms on the beach negril

Rooms on the Beach Negril

Spoil yourself with a week of sun and sand at one of Jamaica's most beautiful beaches. Your eight days in Rooms On The...

From £799 per person
rondel village

Rondel Village

Nestled one mile away from the town of Negril, The Rondel Village Hotel is within close proximity to a multitude of...

From £889 per person
grand pineapple negril

Grand Pineapple Negril

If you're looking for a beautiful, elegant and exotic venue to celebrate a wedding, enjoy a honeymoon, or simply spend...

From £929 per person
shaw park beach hotel and spa

Shaw Park Beach Hotel and Spa

Bringing the essence of all things Jamaican to life, the Shaw Park Beach Hotel and Spa is the quintessential Caribbean...