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.
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.