Rio Abajo State Forest is the home of the most successful population of the extremely endangered Puerto Rican Parrot. 

Because El Yunque National Forest in eastern Puerto Rico’s highlands was the last place the parrots survived in the wild, biologists had long believed the parrots should be reintroduced there. But after years of frustrating attempts to establish a healthy population at El Yunque, they decided to try another site, selecting Rio Abajo, a region of rugged terrain 60 miles to the west. Parrots disappeared from Rio Abajo in the 1920s following the loss of primary forests, but today the area supports dense second-growth woodlands suitable for the birds. In 2006, scientists introduced a new flock to the region, and since then, “the population in Rio Abajo has taken us by surprise,” says Tom White, a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologist with the Puerto Rican Parrot Recovery Program. “We had no idea it would work so well.”

Four years ago, after nine releases of 133 birds, the Rio Abajo flock numbers at least 72 and perhaps as many as 134. The lower figure is the number positively identified during the last official count, but parrots can disappear into this rugged terrain for months. At least 69 birds have fledged from wild nests. Many continue to settle around the aviary cages, creating a flock of captive and wild birds. The sight of wild parrots wheeling through the forest and the sound of their clown-horn squawks stimulate captive birds to lay.

After Rio Abajo we'll visit hummingbird feeders to look for our 2 endemic hummers: Puerto Rican Emerald and Green Mango, plus the Antillean Mango. Birding is always part of the trip stopping on the way in a couple of spots for some endemics.

Min 9 - Max 13
0700-1500 approx. - from the Puerto Rico Convention Center

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Among the endemic birds that are possible

in this area are:

Puerto Rican Parrot
Adelaide's Warbler
Puerto Rican Vireo
Puerto Rican Tody
Puerto Rican Woodpecker
Puerto Rican Flycatcher
Puerto Rican Lizard-Cuckoo
Puerto Rican Spindalis
Puerto Rican Bullfinch
Puerto Rican Oriole
Puerto Rican Emerald
Green Mango


Among the birds that might catch your interest and are possible today:

Loggerhead Kingbird 
Antillean Euphonia 
Puerto Rican Pewee 
Antillean Mango
Black-whiskered Vireo
White-crowned Pigeon
Scaly-naped Pigeon
Pearly-eyed Thrasher
Red-legged Thrush
Caribbean Martin
... and more.

August 16th, 2020 6:30 AM   through   4:00 PM
Event Fee(s)
Fee $ 95.00