Rocklands Bird Sanctuary in Montego Bay, Jamaica

Rocklands Bird Sanctuary is home to some of Jamaica’s most exquisite species of bird. This place is a must see if you are a bird or nature lover!

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The bird sanctuary is located at a quaint little house.  The setting here is absolutely peaceful and relaxing.

When I first arrived, it was raining. So I thought it may have been a bad day to go. I figured at best, if I was lucky, I might get a glimpse of some exotic birds here and there. I was soo wrong.

The experience was nothing like I had imagined. The birds here are unbelievably friendly and have no fear of humans whatsoever. I’ve seen many hummingbirds in my life and would never even dream of one landing on finger! Well this is exactly what happened.

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Once you get in, you’re given a seat and a bottle of sweetened water. After no more than about 5 minutes, these exotic birds will start flying around you (I guess checking you out).

Once they are comfortable enough and ready, they will land on your finger, and start drinking. Nothing like I’ve ever seen before.

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The story behind the place is that the original “bird trainer” moved to this remote area in the hills of Jamaica in the early 1900’s, and fell in love. She would take daily strolls through the hills admiring and feeding the exotic species of birds.

I was told that after about 5 years of these daily strolls, the birds started following her back home. Before she knew it, her home became their favorite hangout spot.

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What’s really interesting is that on the day she died, each and every bird left her home. Everyone thought they were gone for good. But miraculously, the day she was buried, they started coming back around.

It’s been many years since she has passed away, and surely the original birds are no longer around either. But the new generations of birds continue to come and are still very human friendly. They’ve been taught that this home, is a “safe zone”.

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Types of birds you may see here:

American Redstart

Bannaquits

Black-throated Blue Warblers

Caribbean Doves (Found in Jamaica, Cayman Islands, Honduras, Mexico and Colombia)

Greater Antillean Bullfinch (Found in Jamaica, The Bahamas, Hispaniola, and Turks and Caicos Islands)

Ground-doves

Jamaican Orioles (found in only Jamaica and San Andres – formerly found in Grand Cayman but is now extinct there)

Jamaican Mango Hummingbird (Endemic to Jamaica)

Jamaican Tody

Jamaican Vireo (Endemic to Jamaica)

Jamaican Woodpecker (Endemic to Jamaica)

Loggerhead Kingbird

Northern Mockingbird

Northern Parula

Orangequit (Endemic to Jamaica)

Red-billed Streamertail Hummingbird (aka Doctorbird – Endemic and indigenous to Jamaica)

Rufous-tailed Flycatcher (Found in Jamaica and Cayman Islands)

Shiny Cowbirds

Vervain Hummingbird (Found in only Jamaica and Hispaniola)

White-chinned Thrush (Found in Jamaica and Cayman Islands)

Yellow-faced Grassquit

*Endemic means it is found only on the island of Jamaica and nowhere else in the world.

Peak bird feeding time: 6am-9am

Length of Tour: 1 hour

Entrance cost: US$20 (includes coffee, tea or juice)

Trave time from:

Negril 1.5 hours

Montego Bay 20 minutes

Some people say the only unpleasant part of this experience is the very bumpy ride up the mountain to sanctuary.

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Have you been here? Leave a comment below and tell us what you thought! And remember to click that “share” button above…