The Puerto Rican parrot (called "Iguaca" by the Taínos) is found only in Puerto Rico.

Birds in Paradise

Puerto Rico is a small island in geographical extension but with a very diverse ecosystem.

Practicing birdwatching on the Island promotes economically productive, environmentally friendly, and socially responsible tourism. Over 300 species of birds on the Island can be seen on expeditions through our natural reserves. Furthermore, of that amount, at least 17 are endemic species.  

Some of the ideal local attractions for birds and nature lovers are El Yunque National Forest, Toro Negro State Forest, Humacao Nature Reserve, La Parguera, and the Guánica State Forest

In this episode, we invite you to join us to visit a Río Abajo State Forest in Utuado alongside Tanya Martínez and Hacienda la Esperanza's biologist Alcides Morales to learn how to practice birdwatching the right way. Also, we'll explore a state forest to meet the extraordinary Puerto Rican parrot. This endemic bird was on the brink of extinction, but with conservation programs led by people like Tanya Martínez, there are over 400 in captivity and 150 in the wild. 

With more than 300 bird species (17 endemics to Puerto Rico!), it’s no wonder we use bird references in our sayings and expressions. In this episode of Sounds Like Puerto Rico, we visit a nature reserve in Manatí and a forest in Utuado to learn about birdwatching in the hopes of meeting the Puerto Rican Parrot.

These are the endemic species that can be seen in Puerto Rico:

  1. Puerto Rican Lizard-Cuckoo (Pájaro Bobo Mayor or Big Bobo Bird) 
  2. Puerto Rican Nightjar (Guabairo de Puerto Rico)  
  3. Green Mango (Zumbador Verde) 
  4. Puerto Rican Emerald (Zumbadorcito de Puerto Rico)  
  5. Puerto Rican Screech-Owl (Múcaro Común, Mucarito) 
  6. Puerto Rican Tody (San Pedrito, Medio Peso) 
  7. Puerto Rican Woodpecker (Carpintero de Puerto Rico)  
  8. Puerto Rican Parrot (Cotorra Puertorriqueña, Iguaca, Amazona Vittatta)
  9. Puerto Rican Flycatcher (Jui de Puerto Rico) 
  10. Puerto Rican Vireo (Bienteveo) 
  11. Puerto Rican Tanager (Llorosa)  
  12. Puerto Rican Spindalis (Reina Mora)  
  13. Puerto Rican Oriole (Calandria) 
  14. Yellow-shouldered Blackbird (Mariquita or Capitán)  
  15. Elfin-woods Warbler (Reina de Bosque Enano) 
  16. Adelaide's Warbler (Reinita Mariposera)  
  17. Puerto Rican Bullfinch (Comeñame) 

In Puerto Rico, the use of sayings is widespread, and some use birds' behavior as a reference. 

Learn some of the most famous adages and their meaning:

A cada guaraguao le llega su pitirre - The pitirre is a small bird that attacks specifically the guaraguao, a large hawk. The phrase implies that just because someone or something is physically large does not mean that it will automatically dominate someone much smaller. It is commonly used against people of power, suggesting that they will soon have a downfall. 

Averiguao – a person interested in finding out something; sometimes used to describe a “nosy” or curious person. It’s commonly related to “el guaraguao” because it rhymes.  

 No para el pico – It references a bird pecking or singing, and it is used to describe a person who either talks too much or eats too much.  

Ahora los pájaros le tiran a las escopetas – A saying that depicts that the roles are reversed or that a person is rebelling against their superior.  

From the mountains of Puerto Rico

We and our partners use cookies to personalize your experience, to show you ads based on your interests, and for measurement and analytics purposes. By using our website and our services, you agree to our use of cookies as described in our Cookie Policy.

Sounds Like Puerto Rico Web Series

Sponsored Content