Bird life thrives. Parrots, ducks, cuckoos, herons, and others populate the
wetlands. Birders are on the lookout for numerous species on all three
Little Cayman in particular is a favorite with birders, who come to the tiny
isle for the chance to spot red-footed boobies, magnificent frigate birds,
West Indian whistling ducks, cattle egrets, black necked stilts, snowy
egrets, tricolored herons, and others. Cayman Brac is favored for its parrot
viewing, with a large reserve dedicated to these colorful birds. Grand
Cayman is also home to several protected areas and ponds where both mi-
grating and resident birds thrive.
Much of the credit for the proliferation and recognition of the Cayman Is-
lands' bird life can be taken by former Governor Michael Gore. An avid
birder, Gore worked diligently to secure the many sites and preserve them
for future enjoyment.
One of the most exotic species is the Cayman national bird, the Cayman
parrot . You might hear this bird even before you see its iridescent green
feathers. Look for it in early morning and late afternoon when they return
to roost in the stumps of palm trees. On Grand Cayman, look for the
Grand Cayman parrot ( Amazona leucocephala caymensis ); Cayman
Brac boasts a subspecies, the Cayman Brac parrot ( Amazona leuco-
cephala hesterna) , one of the world's rarest Amazon parrots. These parrots
eat fruit, flowers and seeds in the dry woodlands and nest in hollow trees.
Capturing of Cayman parrots is illegal. Formerly a popular house pet on
the islands, both subspecies are now protected by law and cannot be taken
from the wild.