Zen and the Art of Bird Watching at Secret Bay

For a lot of us these days, life moves at a faster pace than, perhaps, we’d like it to. Because the fast-paced nature of our day-to-day lives may be inevitable, it’s important to carve out time to slow down and just be in the present moment. For some, that might look like meditation or yoga; for others, reading or journaling. And for a growing number of people—including guests at our resort—that is bird watching. Fortunately, no avian expertise is necessary to enjoy the art of bird watching at Secret Bay. Here’s a taste of this zen experience. 

Bird Watching at Secret Bay 

How your bird watching excursion will look is completely up to you. Some guests enjoy a stroll through the rainforest with an experienced guide, who can advise on where to go, what to listen and look out for, and provide info on the various species you’ll see. Our guide can mimic bird calls to help draw birds into view and will know where various birds may be feeding or nesting at any given time.

Birdwatching can be a sitting-down activity as well. We can arrange a boat tour with a river guide along the Indian River during your stay. You’ll glide through the water, surrounded by dense mangrove trees, which are home to many species of birds you might not see while walking through the forest.

While guided tours are great for learning and benefitting from a local’s expertise, you’re sure to spot these vibrant creatures during a walk on your own terms. Many of our guests prefer a less-structured, solo activity and set out on their own in search of birds. It’s sure to be a fruitful excursion, no matter how you go about it. You might even spot some native species without trying right from your villa’s private deck.

Benefits of Bird Watching 

First and foremost, bird watching forces you to slow down—to connect with the present moment, to connect with nature. Because it often requires patience and stillness, it’s a beautiful way to practice mindfulness: allowing yourself to let go of stress, of your to-do list, of anything other than the here and now.

Bird watching requires alertness and quick reflexes (for those blink-and-you’ll-miss-it sightings), making it a great form of mental exercise. Depending on your route, bird watching can be a great form of physical exercise as well.

Native Birds of Dominica 

Seasoned bird watchers will be happy to know that Dominica is home to two rare parrots found nowhere else in the world: the Sisserou (Amazona imperialis), which is critically endangered, and the Jaco (Amazona arausiaca), which is often spotted from the Syndicate Nature Trail near Secret Bay. Other sightings might include the Magnificent Frigate Bird (Fregata magnificens), Purple-throated Carib (Eulampis jugularis), Yellow-billed Cuckoo (Coccyzus americanus), or the Blue-headed Hummingbird (Cyanophaia bicolor).

Interest piqued? Explore other zen-promoting experiences at Secret Bay.

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