Rockland's Bird Sanctuary

Saint James - Wiltshire  >  Jamaica

The Rocklands Bird Sanctuary is a great place to see many species endemic to Jamaica, especially the Streamertail.

Added* by Piet Grasmaijer
Most recent update 14 July 2022


Rockland's Bird Sanctuary is home to some of Jamaica’s most exquisite species of bird. The Sanctuary was opened in the early 1950's by Lisa Salmon, the first lady of Jamaican Ornithology. During her lifetime, Lisa's passion for birds made her a national figure, and her independent style, spunk and humor in everything she said and did were a hallmark of The Lisa Experience. She was best known for her home, Rockland's Bird Sanctuary and Feeding Station. Here Lisa patiently trained wild birds to feed them by hand, much to the delight of crowds who came from far and wide. Miss Lisa was an avian ecologist of no mean order.

In her younger days, she spent extensive periods roaming western Jamaica observing, photographing, and taking de-tailed notes on all aspects of bird biology. She cared for abandoned nestlings and injured birds with the patience of a saint. But Lisa was much more than a researcher and bird lover. She was an educator, who invested much time and resources in using the print media, her artwork, and photographs to do bird education. In addition to giving slide shows at local schools and libraries, along with guided field trips, Lisa was a strong be-liever in teacher training. To Lisa bird shooters/hunters were the worst. Lisa’s campaign against the hunting of birds was “fought” both on the local and international front, from the neighborhood young boys with their sling shots to as far afield as a letter to the Pope protesting the Italian practice of eating lark’s tongues.

Lisa sadly passed away in 2000 when she was 92. Her life's work is continued today by Fritz Beckford. It is still possible for visitors to the Bird Sanctuary to hand-feed wild birds. The Streamertail is the most appealing example of this. In addition, the birdfeeding stations have a great attraction for many species of birds such as the Caribbean Dove , Chestnut-bellied Cuckoo , Jamaican Mango , Jamaican Woodpecker , Jamaican Oriole , Orangequit and Jamaican Tody.

An entrance fee is charged for access to the Sanctuary and the hand-feeding of the birds. In case you prefer to explore the area around the Bird Sanctuary on your own, it is possible to remain outside the sanctuary, walk along the unpaved site road and trails, and find most of the same species. From the road, when facing the entrance to the Rocklands property, to the left is a track into the woods that can be productive (See map).



Rockland's Bird Sanctuary is a 20-minute drive (10 km) from downtown Montego Bay. From Montego Bay, head south on Bogue Road, which becomes Route A1, the highway to Negril. After passing the water treatment plant ponds, Bogue Road turns west, following the shoreline. About 2 km past this point, turn south (= left; B8) onto Long Hill Road toward Savanna la Mar and Black River. 3.5 km later watch for a sign indicating the left turn toward Rockland's Bird Sanctuary. This unpaved side road proceeds uphill for approximately 1 km, becoming steep and rough. Shortly after cresting the ridge, the entrance to Rocklands is on the right.

Terrain and Habitat

Forest , Mountain


Mountainous , Rocky

Circular trail


Is a telescope useful?


Good birding season

All year round

Best time to visit

Winter , Summer , Spring , Autumn


Unpaved road

Difficulty walking trail


Accessible by


Birdwatching hide / platform



View other birding spots in the area that are published on Birdingplaces


Top 5 birds

Jamaican Mango
2. Jamaican Mango
(Anthracothorax mango)
Jamaican Tody
3. Jamaican Tody
(Todus todus)
Jamaican Woodpecker
4. Jamaican Woodpecker
(Melanerpes radiolatus)
Caribbean Dove
5. Caribbean Dove
(Leptotila jamaicensis)

Other birds you can see here

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