"Rocklands Bird Sanctuary" Top 5 Page for this destination Negril Things to Do Tip by toonsarah

Negril Things to Do: 83 reviews and 170 photos

  Doctor bird
by toonsarah
 
  • Doctor bird - Negril
      Doctor bird
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  • Young doctor bird - Negril
      Young doctor bird
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  • Mango hummingbird - Negril
      Mango hummingbird
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  • Doctor bird - Negril
      Doctor bird
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  • Jamaican oriole - Negril
      Jamaican oriole
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This was easily our favourite of the various attractions we visited while we were at Negril! Rocklands is the former home of Lisa Salmon, the “Bird Lady of Anchovy” as she was known – a bird-lover and naturalist who lived here from 1958 until her death in 2000 and created the perfect garden to attract local birds, especially hummingbirds. This sanctuary has been maintained ever since by her family and opened to the public to introduce them to the birds that Lisa loved and looked after.

When we arrived here it was still quite early and we were apparently the first visitors of the day. We were given seats on the terrace of the house and small bottles of sugar water. The guide showed us how to hold them at just the right angle for the birds, and how to place a finger in the right place to provide them with a perch. Than we sat quietly, and in less than a minute the birds arrived. It was really a magical experience to have these beautiful creature perch on our fingers and drink the water, apparently without any fear. When we moved our fingers away, some even hovered to drink right under our gaze. With them so close to us we could appreciate their iridescent colours in a way that’s impossible under normal circumstances. They seemed so delicate and yet so strong as they beat their wings too quickly for us to see. We fed quite a few doctor birds (the Jamaican national bird) with their beautiful long streamer tails, some young ones too without the tails, and a couple of stunning purple and red mango hummingbirds.

We also saw various finches, Black-faced Grassquits, Yellow-faced Grassquits, Banaquits, doves, a Jamaican woodpecker and a beautiful Jamaican Oriole. The guide put some bird seed on our knees which attracted the finches in particular to perch on them to eat.

When we were able finally to tear ourselves away from the terrace the guide took us for a short walk in the garden, where he pointed out various plants and told us a bit about Lisa Salmon and her work here. Of course he expected a tip for his efforts, but we were happy to oblige as he’d given us over an hour of his time.

Admission is just US$10 and well worth it! I’ve seen websites which say that it’s only open in the afternoons; we visited before 10.00 AM and were admitted, but it might be best to call ahead if coming on your own rather than in a tour.

In addition to my photos here, I found this great little video on YouTube that gives a really good idea of this wonderful experience. And read more about Lisa Salmon here

Address: Near Anchovy
Directions: Turn off the main A1 road about 3 miles west of Montego Bay and continue for approx 2 miles until you see the "Rocklands Bird Sanctuary" sign; turn left and continue on this road for about 1/2 mile. Be warned – the road is very rough and steep!
Phone: %s3 %cb 876 952 2009

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Apr 14, 2008
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toonsarah

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