Among the ruins of magnificent Castillo San Felipe del Morro, the fort that guarded the entrance to San Juan, Puerto Rico harbor, were a few avian residents.
Three tiers of 40 foot walls that rise from sea level made the fort impregnable for 350 years During Spanish domination of the Caribbean.
Pairs of Caribbean Martins nest in the drain spouts that emerge from the 18 foot thick walls of the fort. Each pair defended a different drain spout, flapping and chittering at each other to establish their dominance.
Caribbean Martins are Purple Martin sized birds and fill their niche on most of the Caribbean Islands.
This seems to be a stouter version of the Northern Mockingbird, with a thick, almost shrike-like bill. But it sings a wide variety of songs and hunts insects on the wing like a flycatcher.
White winged doves are native to the southwestern US, but are found in Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean islands as well. It’s a very distinctive looking bird with its red eye surrounded by blue skin and white wing stripe.
It was 100 degrees warmer in San Juan than in MN the day we left. Humid air, bright colors, and warm temperatures make the tropics a very inviting place to spend the winter months!
Pastel-colored houses line the narrow cobble-stone streets in old San Juan, P.R.