Isolated and unspoiled with only 300 or so human residents, Mayaguana is one of the few places to see a rare rodent called the Hutia. Although the bird list is sparse compared to more northern and larger Bahama Islands, this little gem is relatively undisturbed and a good place for casual birdwatching.
Endemics: Bahama Woodstar
Bahamian specialties: American Flamingo, Magnificent Frigatebird, Brown Booby, Brown Pelican, White-cheeked Pintail, Wilson’s Plover, Willet, Mangrove Cuckoo, Smooth-billed Ani, Antillean Nighthawk, Bahama Mockingbird, American Kestrel, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Osprey, Yellow Warbler, Western Spindalis, Thick-billed Vireo, and the ubiquitous Bananaquit
The few roads on the island are mainly in the west section, connecting the two main areas of Pirate’s Well and Abraham’s Bay. This island is largely inaccessible and unexplored, so bird the roads, seashore and any ponds to see what is there. In spring and summer, White-tailed Tropicbirds can be seen on the cliffs at the northwest corner of the island and early in the day is best.
Brown Boobies and Magnificent Frigatebirds nest on Booby Cay and other small cays in the northeast corner of the island. Visiting these cays by small boat is recommended in the right season. There is reportedly a flamingo colony to be seen off Blackwood Point east of Pirate Well but accessibility is difficult. Good tidal flats can be explored at Curtis Creek half way along the north shore.
At the time of writing, there are only two flights a week from Nassau to Mayaguana, so expect to spend three or four days on the island. You will need to rent a car and there are no guides available. A recommended place to stay is Baycaner Beach Resort in Pirate Well, run by Earnel “Shorty” Brown (242-339-3726 or 463-0182). Shorty can take you out to the Booby Rocks offshore Pirate’s Well for seabirds in the nesting season, which is much easier than trying to get out to Booby Cay at the east end of the island.