The Birds and Wildlife of El Yunque
Our Bed and Breakfast lies on the edge of the El Yunque Rainforest, a forest which got its name after the Indian spirit of Yuquiye, which translates as “Forest of Clouds”. The forest possesses a remarkable biological diversity. The total area of the rainforest is 11,270 ha and hosts 75% of Puerto Rico’s virgin forest with over 240 species (26 species are found nowhere else) of trees and plants. The El Yunque Rainforest resembles a large tropical greenhouse full of colourful plants and rare bird species.
Four habitat types are supported here, generally divided by altitude and exposure to climate (lower mountain rain forest, upper mountain rain forest, palm forest and elfin woodland) which provides extraordinary fauna and flora. With an elevation of 780 feet the Rainforest Inn belongs to the lower mountain rain forest. This forest is locally called the Tabonuco type. The Tabonuco is a tall tree, sometimes reaching 100 feet, which dominates the forests canopy.
Our Bed and Breakfast blends perfectly into this rainforest and offers a relaxing place to observe birds of the forest at a close distance. Two hundred and thirty-nine bird species occupy the island of Puerto Rico, 12 of which are endemic to Puerto Rico and 2 endemic to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. A variety of fruit trees, bromeliads, orchids and heliconias, found on our property, attract many species of birds including colourful humming birds, tame bananaquits and endemic lizard cuckoos.
The best chance to spot this buzzing birdlife is from daybreak to the first half of the morning (6am-9am). For those who are more active, a hike on our property which leads to a waterfall, is a good way to spot birds and enjoy the sounds of the jungle.
Every nature lover will appreciate the evening concert of coqui frogs (Eleutherodacty-lus coqui). These frogs are endemic to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands and make a distinct “wik-wik” sound throughout the night. The nearby nature walks, dense rainforest, colourful flowers and breathtaking waterfalls are inspiring elements for any artist or photographer and provide a unique holiday for any art or nature enthusiast.
The following list presents bird species which can be seen regularly from our accommodation.
ANTILLEAN EUPHONIA (Euphonia musica)
PUERTO RICAN LIZARD CUCKOO (Saurothera vieilloti)
RED-LEGGED THRUSH (Turdus plumbeus)
PUERTO RICAN WOODPECKER (Melanerpes portoricensis)
PUERTO RICAN BULLFINCH (Loxigilla portoricensis)
BLACK-WHISKERED VIREO (Vireo altiloquus)