Home to some of Jamaica’s most exquisite and beautiful bird life, Rocklands Bird Sanctuary is the place to be for bird and nature lovers. The sanctuary is situated at a charming little house, where the setting is tranquil and calming, a place where you can interact with the gorgeous birds and take in the lush vegetation.
In the early 1900’s, the original bird trainer moved to the remote area where the sanctuary is now located (in the hills of Jamaica). She fell in love with the region and spent her days walking through the hills, feeding and watching the different species of exotic birds in their natural environment.
About five years after she started taking these walks, the local birds began following her back to her house, where they decided was their favorite spot to be. Interestingly, on the day the lady passed away, all of the birds left her home. Many believed that they would never return, but oddly, on the day she was buried, the birds came back to the house again.
It has been decades since the original bird trainer has passed away, and the original birds are no longer around, but the new generations of birds have continued to inhabit her home, having been taught that it is a safe zone for them to enjoy, where they don’t have to be afraid of humans.
When you arrive, you will see that the birds are incredibly friendly, and you can interact with them in their natural space.
You will be given a bottle of sweetened water that you can use to attract and feed the birds – you may even have a hummingbird land on your finger.
There are so many different types of birds that frequent the sanctuary, including many that are endemic to Jamaica, meaning that they can’t be seen anywhere but on the island.
The endemic species include:
- Jamaican Mango Hummingbird
- Red-billed Streamertail Hummingbird
- Jamaican Vireo
- Jamaican Woodpecker
Some of the other types of birds you may see at the sanctuary include:
- Caribbean Doves
- Yellow-faced Grassquit
- Vervain Hummingbird
- Greater Antillean Bullfinch
- Jamaican Orioles
- White-chinned Thrush
- Jamaican Tody
- Rufous-tailed Flycatcher
The best time to visit the sanctuary if you want to feed the birds is between 6 am, and 9 am. The entrance fee is $20 (subject to change without notice, so check before you go), and this includes an hour long tour and coffee, tea, or juice. The Rocklands Bird Sanctuary is located just 20-minutes drive from Montego Bay, and an hour and a half from Negril.
Take note that the ride up the mountain to the sanctuary is very bumpy.
If you’re into nature or you’re just a lover of birds ensure you stop by. You’ll love starting your day off in this way.