Birds of Anguilla

Birds of Anguilla
 
The island of Anguilla is blessed with a timeless desert-island feel, the type you’d be kinda alright with washing up on shore as a castaway (especially if were able to live at one of its luxury resorts). Being right on the northeast corner of the Caribbean, Anguilla is tropical yet with a rather dry climate that is kept moderate with the refreshing trade winds blowing out into the Atlantic. It basically remains 80°F (27°C) all year long, basically the perfect temperature. But while some of the Caribbean counterparts are full-on tropical, with lush rainforest teeming with vibrant jungle life, Anguilla is actually quite harsh for most animals to really flourish. But, despite the dry climate and general lack of water – and true to the adaptability of species – many animals call Anguilla home sweet home, and by all accounts just love it as much as the humans. However, the birds of Anguilla are especially remarkable.
 
Anguilla holds down the northern most end of the Leeward Islands which also include about 20 islands such Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, Saint Martin, Saint Kitts/Nevis, and Antigua. The main island is 16 miles long and a skinny three miles wide at its fattest point, making it a small island at 35 square-miles. Anguilla is dominated by three regions: Scrub, Wetlands, and Coastal. There are a few small islands considered part of Anguilla, some inhabited some not, such as Sombrero, Prickly Pear, and Scrub Island. 
 
SCRUB: Approximately 80% of Anguilla is scrub, which in this case does not mean “a guy who thinks he’s fly and is also known as a buster,” as TLC sings, “hanging out the passenger side of his best friend’s ride trying to holler at me.” Scrubland, or brush, in this case refers to a plant community dominated by short bushes and grasses.  WETLANDS: A fair bit of Anguilla is this area saturated with water, with brackish ponds creating the perfect ecosystem for many creatures to flourish. COASTAL: Well, wouldn’t you just know it, this is the beach area by the ocean! Wow, you’re really learning a lot of great facts about life here on this website. 

Anguilla is a great place for ornithologists, known colloquially as “bird nerds”. There is an abundance of beautiful birds that live here and many migratory birds use Anguilla as a stopping off point during their various journeys. Some famous birds include Flamingos, Doves, Cuckoo, Nighthawk, Hummingbird, Kingfisher, Osprey, Whistling & Diving Ducks, Great Blue Herons, and Mockingbirds – along with many, many others.

Birds of Anguilla

Some Fun Facts about Anguilla Birds

HUMMINGBIRD: The smallest of all birds, the hummingbird hovers in mid-air by flapping its tiny wings as much as 80 times per second. They’re able to hibernate when resources are scarce, can fly faster than 54 km/h (34 mph), and are the only species of bird that can fly backwards! Like bees, these hummingbirds (some of which weigh less than a penny) guzzle that sweet sweet nectar from flowers and are able to assess its sugar content. The Aztecs were big into hummingbirds, as they represented vigor and energy along with the sharp beaks for bloodletting (those zany Aztecs and their ritual sacrifices).

KINGFISHER: The kingfisher is a radiantly plumaged bird with a long dagger-like bill who hunts fish by hovering over the water then dive-bombing down under the surface to snatch the prey out of the drink. They are cavity nesters, nesting in holes dug out of the ground on riverbanks and the like, digging elaborate tunnels up to a remarkable 28-feet long.  The Polynesians believed the kingfisher to wield control over the seas and the waves.

DUCK: The verb meaning to bend low came before the naming of this waterfowl, calling it such for its deep underwater foraging. A psychology study concluded that of all animals, ducks attract the most humour and silliness; leading to some ducks simply wanting to be taken seriously for once. However, with corkscrew penises that can either go one of two ways, depending on how you interpret a corkscrew penis.

DOVES: These glorious birds, along with the olive branch, are the Christian symbol for peace and deliverance. Interesting how doves and pigeons are basically the same bird, yet one is considered purity and one is considered filthy. The Passenger Pigeon was infamously driven to extinction during the Great Depression as its meat was used first for slaves then to feed the poor.

GREAT BLUE HERON: Herons are magnificent creatures that remind me of Rafiki from Lion King. They are graceful and patient, tip-toeing through the marshes to sneak up on fish for dinner. To the Native Americans, it brings messages of self-determination and self-reliance while representing the ability to progress and evolve.   

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