NATURE WALKS & BIRDWATCHING
Andros Island is a naturalist’s wonderland thanks to numerous deserted beaches, “blue holes” (fresh- and salt-water-filled caves found inland and in the ocean), mangrove marsh, pine forests, and the carefully protected freshwater reservoir. A great way to start is to tour Forfar Field Station in Blanket Sound. This international research facility for studies in tropical ecology and marine biology offers inland nature hikes and offshore expeditions. A nature hiking trail explores the island’s flora and fauna and medicinal plants. Guided nature walks, kayaking and bird-watching tours can be arranged through a number of hotels.
Andros Island is about 2,300 square miles and maybe the largest tract of unexplored land in the Western Hemisphere. Andros is dominated by thick, impenetrable bush, sliced in pieces by inland waterways and edged by mangrove swamp. To the north are hardwood and pine forests — including Andros Pine, Mahogany (Madeira), Horseflesh and Lignum Vitae, making this a challenging and exciting island to hike and explore.
Bahamian Pine Forest
Andros is home to several endemic species, including the rebounding Bahama Oriole
Bahamian Oriole – image courtesy of Bahama Oriole Project
Yellow-crowned night heron
Coereba flaveola – Bananaquilt, Andros, Bahamas
Small Hope Bay Lodge, also on Andros Island, hosts several bird-watching groups and nature hiking to a variety of locations in North and Central Andros throughout the year guided by Dr. Mike Baltz of the Nature Conservancy.
On birdwatching hikes, you may see birds such as the yellow-crowned night heron, Bananaquit, and brown lizard cuckoo as well as wild orchids, bromeliads, and more.