We have had some wonderful experiences watching Antillean Nighthawk in Cuba and they can be commonly seen at dusk during the summer, as they awake from their daytime roost to catch their mainly moth prey to feed to their chicks. The locals call them Querequeté which is onomatopoeic. They are just summer visitors to Cuba presumably wintering somewhere in South America. Like all the members of this group they nest on the ground and this wonderful photo of a chick was taken by Roberto Jovel in July this year on a dry river bed in the Alejandro de Humboldt NP near Baracoa. What amazing cryptic coloration, and full marks to Roberto for spotting it. It reminds me of our mainly butterfly-watching trip to Thailand in March 2018 when as we got out of the vehicle one day in the forest at Kaeng Krachan NP our driver flushed a Large-tailed Nightjar from beside the vehicle. It quickly resettled a few yards away so clearly had a nest. A careful inspection soon revealed two tiny chicks in a small scrape in the ground just 18" from the edge of the tarmac road. They must have emerged just hours before as they still retain the egg-tooth on the bill that enables baby birds to break out of the shell. I had read about this but never actually witnessed it myself. We quickly took pictures and the driver moved the vehicle to a safe distance to allow the parent to return to its nest. This story could have ended so differently if he had chosen to pull off the road just a couple of seconds earlier.
But back to Cuba... and this lovely portrait of the endemic Cuban Pigmy Owl was taken by bird guide Karlos Ross near Holguin. It makes us realise how much we have missed going to Cuba and seeing our friends and the stunning wildlife. But with the release of vaccines quite soon things are starting to look more promising for next year. Can't wait. Thank you Roberto and Karlos - readers can find their contact details on the Links page.
Welcome to our Blog
Here we will post interesting news about what we and others have seen in Cuba.