Meet the “Doctor Bird” Hummingbird- Jamaica’s Spectacular National Bird

Is the cold, dreary winter getting you down? Looking for a hotel vacation destination in the lush island beauty of Negril, Jamaica? Of course you can’t wait to sink your toes into the white sand beaches, enjoy the ocean air and feel the tropical sunshine. Sunset at the Palms in Negril gives you all that and much more. While you may be thinking of the beaches, many people don’t realize that Negril also has lush green rainforests and tropical gardens as well. In this tropical paradise lives Jamaica’s national bird, the “Doctor Bird,” or Swallow-Tail Hummingbird. Sunset at the Palms offers treehouse type resort accommodations amidst this lush, tropical vegetation. You may meet this unique “doctor” right from your balcony!

Of course not an actual doctor, the Swallow-Tail Hummingbird (Trochilus Polytmus) is also sometimes called the Steamer-Tail or Scissor Tail Hummingbird. It is one of the most spectacular amongst the hummingbird species. It is indigenous to the island and can only be found amongst the island’s lush island beauty. The Swallow-Tail Hummingbird is covered with shimmering green and black feathers. These colors are unique to this feathered creature and are not found among any other hummingbirds. Along with its spectacular, iridescent color, the male Swallow-Tail Hummingbird has two long black feathers that trail behind him while he flies around Negril. At Sunset at the Palms, you can live amongst these unique creatures in their own habitat.

The country’s lush beauty and unique hummingbird are a source of national pride. Scientists are unsure where the Swallow-Tail Hummingbird got its “Doctor” part of its nickname. It is said that it gets its name because the male’s long, black tail feathers and head coloring resemble and old fashioned doctor’s coat and hat. Other people believe the name stems from the hummingbird’s long bill that lances flowers like a doctor to retrieve nectar. Regardless of how it got its unique nickname, the Swallow-tail Hummingbird has a long and rich history in the country.

The Arawaks, native Indians of the island and its first inhabitants, believed the green hummingbird was magic. The stunning hummingbird was believed to be a reincarnation of dead souls. Songs and folklore were written surrounding it. Because the species is fast and hard to catch and kill, they believed it was a “God bird” that held souls of the dead. In rural parts of Jamaica, some people still believe that killing the Swallow-tail Hummingbird will result in bad luck.

Because this special hummingbird is awake during the day, you have a great chance of encountering one during your stay at Sunset at the Palms. If you are quiet, you will hear the humming sound that gives hummingbirds their name. Hummingbirds are able to fly backwards and you may hear the different humming noises their wings make when hovering, flying forwards or flying backwards! Be sure to admire the shimmering feathers, because you will not find them anywhere else on earth!

If you are searching vacation destinations and hotel accommodations, look to Sunset at the Palms in Negril. You can relax, restore your soul in the lush island beauty and meet the beautiful Swallow-tailed hummingbird, no doctor needed!


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