Sociedad de la Omitologfa Caribefia
SSociety of Caribbean Orithology
VU-LUME 21N, NUMllER 3
El Pitirre is the newsletter of the
Society of Caribbean Ornithology.
El Pitirre es el boletin informative de
la Sociedad de la Omitologfa Caribena.
EDITOR: James W. Wiley, 1863
Ciprian Avenue, Camarillo, California
News, comments or requests should be
mailed to the editor for inclusion in the
Noticias, comentarios o peticiones
deben ser envfadas al editor para
inclusion en el boletfn.
--------- -- ---- -- I *1
The Society of Caribbean Ornithology is a non-profit organization whose goals
are to promote the scientific study and conservation of Caribbean birds and their
habitats, to provide a link among island ornithologists and those elsewhere, to
provide a written forum for researchers in the region (rcferedjournal-Ornitologfa
Caribena, published in conjunction with the Puerto Rico Ornithological Society)
and to provide data or technical aid to conservation groups in the Caribbean.
La Sociedad de la Omitologia Caribefia es una organizacidn sin lines de lucro
cuyas metas son promoter cl studio cientifico y la conscrvacidn de la avifauna
caribena, auspiciar un simposio annual sobre la omitologfa caribeia, publicar una
revista professional 11amada Omitologfa Caribefia (publicada en conjunto con la
Sociedad Omitoldgica de Puerto Rico), ser una fuente de comunicacidn entire
omitdlogos caribefios y en otras ireas y proveer ayuda ticnica o datos a grupos de
conservacidn en el canbe.
HURRICANE HUGO AND COLUMBID POPULATIONS
IN PUERTO RICO ............... Frank F. Rivera Milin
REQUEST FROM SOCIETY'S COLUMBID
SUBCOMMITEE ................. Frank F. Rivera Milan
WORLDWIDE SURVEY REFLECTS CONCERN FOR
BOOK REVIEW AY-AY: AN ISLAND ALMANAC by
GEORGE A. SEAMAN ......... Reviewed by Ro Wauer
NEW BOOK ON WEST INDIAN BIOGEOGRAPHY ......
ABSTRACTS OF SELECTED PAPERS FROM SCO
MEETING (Concluded) ....................................
OPPORTUNITIES .................................. ....
OPPORTUNITY WANTED .............................
GRANTS AND AWARDS ......... .............
NEWS OF SOCIETY MEMBERS .....................
MEETINGS OF INTEREST ..............................
i ,,,,----- ------ ---1----- -------i-r;h-u-u-*F~`i- -c+~i.-i-~r: - ------~
Preliminary Assessment of the Impact of
Hurricane Hugo to Columbid Populations in
Puerto Rico and Offshore Satellite Islands
Frank F. Rivera Milin
Terrestrial Ecology Section
Department of Natural Resources
Stop #3 Puerta de Tierra
San Juan, Puerto Rico 00906
Biologists of the Puerto Rico Department of
Natural Resources conducted standardized roadside
counts to evaluate the immediate effect of Hurricane
Hugo on columbid populations in Puerto Rico.
Counts were conducted in eight five-mile principal
sampling units (=replicates) that covered the
following municipalities: Aibonito, Arecibo,
Barceloneta, Barranquitas, Cayey, Guayama, and
Luquillo. Sampling units were divided according to
life zone (wet versus moist) and estimated impact to
vegetation (low versus high). Post-hurricane counts
(October 1989) were compared to pre-hurricane
counts (October 1986 and 1987) with the use of three-
way analysis of variance with repeated measurements
at one factor (years). Total counts of columbids
were pooled and log-transformed (log + 0.5) prior to
the analysis. P-values were considered significant at
As expected for this time of the year, counts of
columbids were significantly higher in the moist zone
(F = 46.629; df = 1,4; P = 0.002); but, counts in the
moist zone were significantly higher for replicates
showing low impact to the vegetation (F = 19.020;
df = 1,4; P = 0.012). When counts were pooled (n
= 8), there were no significant differences among
years (F = 2.627; df = 2,8; P = 0.133). That is,
counts of October 1989 on average were not
significantly different from counts of October 1986
(paired I-test, P = 0.793) and October 1987 (paired t-
test, P = 0.107).
Post-hurricane counts could have been positively
biased because of an increase in visibility along
sampling units, and/or because of significant changes
in the flocking behavior of columbids related to the
availability of food at areas of low impact.
Therefore, it is necessary to be cautious about the
results obtained from counts unadjusted for effective
area of detection (Rivera-Milan, in prep.).
Assessment of the impact of Hurricane Hugo to
columbid populations requires further intensive
observations of nesting activity and success during
the following season (February-July 1990).
Columbid populations in Vieques and Culebra
islands were severely impacted by Hurricane Hugo.
In Culebra Island, for example, scaly-naped pigeons
(Cohtmba squamosa) were detected forming foraging
aggregations on the ground at patches of defoliated
Hurricne Hugo (Continued)
Coccoloba uvifera. We also.observed flocks of scaly-
naped pigeons flying high from Culebra in the
direction of eastern Puerto Rico. Food is expected to
be a significant limiting factor during the next months
at Culebra and Vieques islands. Columbid pop-
ulations will be sampled during next season wivth
nesting habitat to determine how the reproductive
renewability of the resource has been affected.
Banding studies of zenaida doves (Zenaida aurita)
will be continued at Culebra's offshore keys. In July
and August 1989, 237 zenaida doves were banded at
Culebra's Cayo del Agua. Surprisingly, the age
(adult vs. juvenile) ratio was close to one (0.975).
Our future studies will address survival of adults
versus juveniles after the hurricane.
It will be of invaluable benefit if investigators
exchange information about studies of the effects of
hurricanes on the flora and fauna of the Caribbean
islands. Therefore, I propose the creation of an
accessible bank of information regarding the results
of studies about the effects of hurricanes to the flora
and fauna of the Caribbean. For example, as a
starting point, abstracts can be presented as posters at
the next meeting of the Society of Caribbean
Ornithology at Jamaica in 1990.
Request for Information from the Society's
Subcommittee on Columbid Game and
Submitted by Frank F. Rivera Milan
Project W-11 of the Department of Natural
Resources of Puerto Rico, Terrestrial Ecology
Section, is compiling information about hunting
regulations of pigeons and doves in the Greater and
Lesser Antilles. The purpose of this task is to
present the information (probably as a poster) during
the next annual meeting of the Society of Caribbean
Ornithology at Jamaica (1990) as part of the
achievements of the recently formed Columbid Game
and Non-game Species Subcommittee of the Society.
Please send such information to:
Frank F. River Milan
Department of Natural Resources
Terrestrial Ecology Section
Stop #3 Puerta de Tierra
San Juan, Puerto Rico 00906
El Pitirre Vol. 2, No. 3
Survey Reflects Worldwide Concern for the
On June 20, 1989, Lou Harris of Lou Harris and
Associates reported on the first worldwide survey of
public opinion and leadership attitudes on the
environment at a briefing sponsored by the Energy
and Environment Study Committee and Americans
for the Environment. The survey, conducted for the
United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP),
clearly shows that people are alarmed at the state of
their environment. Although not yet fully complete,
the survey is already the most comprehensive global
environmental opinion survey to date.
The study, "The Rising Tide: Public Opinion,
Policy and Politics," notes that industrially developed
countries and developing countries are equally
concerned over the present and future state of their
environment. Most people surveyed are pessimistic
about future progress, but feel the negative trend
could be reversed if environmental protection were to
become a national and an international priority.
Harris predicted that governments will fall simply
because they fail to control environmental
degradation. He concluded that next to war and
peace, the environment may be the most important
global issue that we face today.
For more information, contact Joan Martin-Brown
at UNEP, 1889 F St., N.W., Washington, D.C.
20006, U.S.A. (202-289-8456). A copy of the
report may be obtained by sending U.S.$5.00 to
Americans for the Environment, 1400 Sixteenth St.,
N.W., Washington, D.C 20036, U.SA.
From The Ecological Society of America Newsletter
No. 11, September 5, 1989. Submitted by Fred
Ay-Ay: an Island Almanac, by George A.
Seaman. Macmillan Publ., Ltd., London, Novem-
ber 1989. U.S.$8.00, paper.
Hurricane Hugo and the tiny Caribbean island of
St. Croix will forevermore be linked together. The
U.S. island of St. Croix took a direct hit from that
September 1989 storm, which may go down in the
history of hurricanes as being the fiercest on record.
Seemingly rising out of that disaster comes a
wonderful 155-page book Ay-Ay: an Island
Almanac that describes in a beautiful style the
natural character of that tiny speck of land in the vast
Book Review (Continued)
Atlantic/Caribbean ocean. Author George Seaman, a
St. Croix native, paints a word picture of St Croix
the way it was before Hugo, from a perspective of
one who explored and understands that island's
every nook and cranny. "Within her borders," he
writes, "dwelt all the beauty and magic a man could
Rarely does a book appeal to me as does Seaman's
Ay-Ay. It has the same character as Aldo Leopold's
Sand County Almanac, Louis Halle's Spring in
Washington, and Sally Carrighar's Wild Heritage.
All are chuck-full of information, but written in a
style that makes them special. These books must be
part of one's personal library, so that favorite
sections can be read time and again.
Ay-Ay is more than a word picture of a Caribbean
island. It contains a treasurehouse of morsels that is
a must read for anyone who loves nature and its
infinite diversity. Ay-Ay blends the tropical
Caribbean climate with the great whales and the tiny
bananaquit, the African tulip tree and the kalaloo
crab, the spring arrival of zenaida doves and fall
arrival of shorebirds, and the native trees Cruzans
use at Christmastime. Its 12 chapters describe the
fascinating changes that occur duringthe 12 months
of the year.
Seaman describes January as the end of a "great
pivotal journey." He writes that, "the entire earth
and the heavens are making tentative and quivering
resolutions against the new galactic voyage ahead. It
is the celestial cycle's primordial moment It is the
Alpha of the planet's roster of exquisitely precise
decisions. It is our home's bugle call to march. It is
the zero hour for a diminutive, insular press to roll
out its bulletin. It is January."
February is described as the driest month,
the"month ofpurification...of the earth by the winds
and the sun." Seaman points out, "There are many
'firsts' in this month previews and songs of
glories. A hesitant and isolated John Phillip (black-
whiskered vireo) reaches the careful ear, hardly to be
credited as the song which will dominate the woods
and hills of July. A shining white cap of a hurtling
blue javelin announces the vanguard of the white-
crowned pigeon legions which will later seek our
mangrove swamps in which to breed. And weirdest
and most beautiful of all, that onomatopoeic first call
of the chuck-will's-widow out of the evening's
In April, Seaman describes the spring migration of
zenaida doves. "In apparent endless numbers, pairs
and groups come in from the west. This vernal
migration of our 'mountain dove' does not, of
course, always coincide with the celebration of
Easter, but since it occurs annually after the vemal
El Pitirre VoL 2, No. 3
I - -
Book Review (Continued)
equinox, the birds are referred to in the Spanish
islands as the 'doves of St. John'."
"As April is the month of promise, May is the
month of fulfilment. Along the roads there are fallen
flowers, the chartreuse of genep and the pink of dog
almond." Later, he writes, "The lyrical fecundity of
May is not alone in the vibrating boom of red-necked
pigeons but emanates from all living things in one
way or another and covers the entire island,
appearing to reach even to the stars. Now on a clear
rught Crux, the Southern Cross, appears early and
hangs straight and bright above our south coast I
have always liked to believe that here was where this
symbolic constellation appeared brightest to
Columbus and so inspired him to name the island
Sancta Cruz, or Holy Cross."
Describing July, he writes, "Summer stilts are
yapping, more nervous and watchful than ever since
some have youngsters with no power of flight.
Martins [our swallows] trill from the skies above Mt.
Eagle, their nests no doubt still safe in the draft holes
of Lower Love chimney."
The common bird song for October "is the rasping
but cheerful zee-e-e-te of our little yellow-breast,
Coereba flaveola. There is no better known bird on
our island or one with more common names: sugar
bird, bananquit, honey creeper, etc. This pretty and
lively little creature is our national bird, and maybe
rightly so, since it is found abundantly throughout
the island and has a history closely associated with
us as a once great sugar producing island."
For December, Seaman writes, "The sea has
become alive again after the sultry calms of October.
Along our north coast, particularly, an incessant low
roar marks the seasonal change. It is a sound sweet
to the islander and one always remembered.
Sometimes one awakes in the absence of this ancient
sonance in fear that it has been lost. It is an island
decibel, first and last, describing in a hundred voices
the moods of our encircling mother. It is always
there, from birth to death, in calm and beauty, in rage
and doom. It is one of the pulsing nuances that
divide an island world from any other. It is a
primordial throb in the saline blood of living man. It
is the susurrus; it is thunder; it is the sea laving all
Few people know that Alexander Hamilton, that
historic signer of the American Constitution, grew up
on St. Croix. Young Alexander was an apprentice
clerk in a Christiansted store in September 1772,
when St. Croix experienced a devastating hurricane.
His letter to his father, describing that hurricane, is
included in full by Seaman. "Our distressed helpless
condition taught us humility and a contempt of
ourselves," he wrote. "The horror of the night the
prospect of immediate cruel death or, as one may
say, of being crushed by the Almighty in his anger -
Book Review (Continued)
- filled us with terror."
I have not read another book that gives me a better
sense of the natural character of a small island and
man's existence there as does Seaman's Ay-Ay. It is
biologically and historically accurate, and contains a
smorgasbord of readable facts. It is worth the 4.95
or approximately U.S.$8.00 price. Ro Wauer.
New Book on West Indian Biogeography
"Biogeography of the West Indies: Past, Present,
and Future," edited by Charles A. Woods. 1989.
896 pp. U.S.$125.00 + $2.00 postage and
handling. Sandhill Crane Press, Inc., 2406 NW
47th Terrace, Gainesville, Florida 32606, U.S.A.
Abstracts of Selected Papers Presented at the
Third Annual Meeting of the Society of
Caribbean Ornithology, Dominican Republic,
August 1989 [Concluded from El Pitirre VoL 2(2)]
Use of Agricultural Habitat by Avian Migrants in
Puerto Rico. Jamaica. and Belize. C.S. Robbins,
B.A. Dowell, RL. Sutton, A.H. Sutton, and D.D.
Weyer. During January-February of 1987-89 we
conducted systematic surveys (mist netting and point
counts) of bird populations in citrus, cacao, coffee,
mango, rice, and pine plantations to determine
comparative use by migrants and to compare use of
agricultural habitats with use of native forests.
Results for Belize and the Greater Antilles are
discussed. Mature citrus and cacao (under a canopy
of Erythrina) attracted large numbers of migrants.
Shade coffee was much favored over sun coffee.
Pine plantations had low densities of both migrants
and residents. Fallow rice had huge numbers of
indigo buntings and good numbers of common
yellowthroats, but poor diversity of migrants.
Heavily sprayed habitats contained little animal food
and had low to extremely low bird populations.
Some species, such as least flycatcher, gray catbird,
and Tennessee, magnolia, and black-and-white
warblers use certain agricultural habitats in large
numbers. Others, such as spotted thrushes, vireos,
Louisiana waterthrushes, and Kentucky warblers,
were found only rarely in agricultural habitats.
Morphological Development on Captive Puerto Rican
Plain Pigeon (Columba inornata wermorei). Carlos
El Pitirre Vol. 2, No. 3
R. Ruiz. A morphological study in the captive
program of the Puerto Rican plain pigeon was made
from August 1987 to May 1989 at the Humacao
University College (UPR), Humacao, Puerto Rico.
I present the development of fostered plain pigeon
squabs in this study, including weight increase, wing
cord, culmen, ulna, tarsus, 9th primary, tail, and
body size of squabs for the first two months of life.
Other body characteristics are presented, such as:
changes in skin, eye, and claw color, eye opening;
feather development; and other behavioral patterns
related to development. I propose making a guide of
measurements to determine age of squabs. This
aging table will be useful for later studies in the wild
population and/or to determine differences between
captive and wild pigeons. Also, those measurements
could be compared with other columbids, setting
correlations among them. Behavioral and
morphological characteristics are useful for
management of the species in captivity.
Studies of Resident Columbid Game Species in
Puerto Rico. Frank F. Rivera Milan. Columbids are
severely hunted in the Caribbean. It is unfortunate to
find a lack of significant (integrated) biological and
ecological evidence on which to base critical
management decisions in the majority of the
Caribbean islands. Results of studies conducted in
Puerto Rico are presented. With some exceptions
(e.g., Cohumba inornata in Puerto Rico), columbid
populations are considered to be highly resilient.
Columbids are capable of faculative feeding and
multiple nesting. In Puerto Rico, for example,
Zenaida aurita is capable of raising up to four broods
per year; over 100 plant species are listed as probable
food sources; nesting activity peaks between April
and June, but active nests are detectable year-round.
Columbids successfully inhabit a wide variety of
habitats dominated by xeric and/or mesic
environments. Many species are ecologically
ecotonal, inhabit edges, and exploit urban and
agricultural landscapes. Therefore, rapid population
turnover rate is a dominant characteristic of
Regulation of Food Provisioning Patterns of White-
tailed Tropicbirds. Fred C. Schaffner. Observations
of the food provisioning patterns of individually
identified white-tailed tropicbird (Phaethon lepturus)
parents indicated that the food delivery intervals of
adults to their chicks were more variable than food
payload mass and that there was no day-to-day
relationship between the feeding interval and feed
mass. Energetic considerations suggest that there is
strong selection for parents to decrease the feeding
frequency and increase feed mass, to some limit
imposed by either the limits of the parents' delivery
capabilities, or the limits of the chick's food
receiving (swallowing) capabilities (the volume a
chick can ingest in one feeding bout). In fact, the
limits of the chick's swallowing capabilities occur
well before the parents' delivery limits are reached,
and thereby set the feed mass at both a weight and
volume which is easily within the adults' lifting and
transporting capabilities. The mean feed mass is
viewed as reflecting a particular "target" payload
mass which parents strive to collect as quickly as
conditions, and their own individual foraging
abilities will allow, and is a practical compromise
between the short term interest of the chick and those
of the adult.
Radio-tracking of White-tailed Tropicbirds Over the
Caribbean Sea. F.C. Schaffner, M.R. Fuller, C.J.
Pennycuick, H.H. Obrecht III, and J. Gonzalez-
Martinez. Sixteen white-tailed tropicbirds (Phaethon
lepturus) (body mass = 370 g) were radiomarked in
June 1987 and May 1988 at the Culebra National
Wildlife Refuge, Puerto Rico. Transmitters were
attached to birds using harnesses to hold 9-11 g
packages on the birds' backs, or with glue and thread
to tie 6 or 8 g packages ventrally on retrices. The tail-
mounted transmitters proved most useful. Birds
were tracked over the open sea from a Cessna 182
aircraft equipped with side-ways mounted four-
element Yagi antennas, arranged in a null-peak
configuration, and connected to a scanning receiver.
Locations were determined by recording bearing and
distance from at least one of three VOR/DME
aeronautical navigation beacons at the San Juan
(SJU), St. Thomas (STI), and St. Croix (STX)
international airports. In 1987, one bird was tracked
as far as 155 km north of San Juan at the close of the
nesting season, and in 1988 a foraging parent was
tracked as far as 116 km south of the nesting colony.
Individuals were tracked from 1-4 days in 1988,
when we obtained an average of 2.6 locations per
radiomarking effort. While there were no statistically
significant differences between the chick
provisioning performance of radio marked versus
unencumbered parents, doubly labeled water
(D218O) analysis indicated that the radio marked
parents consumed markedly more energy in their
The Role of Aviculture in the Captive Propagation of
the Puerto Rican Parrot (Amazona vitata). Ted
Sorenson. The following topics in Puerto Rican
parrot aviculture will be presented and discussed
briefly: cage and aviary design, nest box design and
placement, adult breeder diet, artificial incubation
techniques, hand-rearing diet techniques, and
El Pitirre Vol. 2, No. 3
t ( d A
problems of low production and their possible causes
Algunos Asnectos d~ la Ecologia Reproductiva del
Jui de Puerto Rico (Mvriarchus antillarumr en cl
Refugio Nacional de Vida Silvestre de Cabo Roio.
Puerto Rico. Pablo Torres Baez and Jaime A.
Collazo. El jui de Puerto Rico es end6mico de la
Gran Region de Puerto Rico. Previo a este trabajo
no existen studios sobre su ecologfa reproductive.
Mediante este studio se determine la cronologia de
anidaje, el 6xito reproductive, y patr6n de
crecimiento de los juveniles de JuL Se estudiaron 24
nidos, 14 en 1987 y 10 en 1989. El dxito
reproductive obtenido fue sobre un 80%. La
variable morfomdtricas mis significativas fueron
largo del ala, culmen y largo del tarso.
History of Introduced Species of Birds in Jamaica.
Robert Sutton and A. Haynes-Sutton. The historical
pattern of introduction of bird species to Jamaica is
described, and the effects discussed with reference to
ecology and survival.
Population Responses of the Puerto Rican Nightjar
to Forest Clear Cutting. Francisco J. Vilella. From
1985 to 1987, we used call count surveys to
investigate the effects of forest clear cutting on the
local distribution and density of the Puerto Rican
nightjar (Caprimulgus noctitherus). This species is
the only endemic caprimulgid of the islands in the
Puerto Rican Bank and is presently limited to the
southwestern region of Puerto Rico where it mostly
inhabits coastal dry limestone forest. It is listed on
the IUCN Red Data Book and the U.S. Fish &
Wildlife Service's Endangered Species list. The
easternmost populations inhabit a privately owned
limestone forest region known as the Guayanilla
Hills. Within this region, there is an area of
approximately 600 ha on which we selected 5 survey
routes covering 322 ha. During the first survey,
when the area was completely forested, we heard 25
nightjar males on our routes. Starting on July 1985,
clearing of the area for pasture using slash and bur
practices began. Between July 1985 and July 1986,
approximately 20% of the study area was cleared,
with clearings ranging from 50 to 100 ha. Call count
surveys indicated that the total number of nightjars
remained similar to numbers before clearing started.
However, the number of nightjars per route changed
considerably (i.e., the number of birds remained
constant, but their distribution changed). During the
following year, clearing activities increased.
History of an Unsuccessful Colonization of an Island
bv a Psittacine. James W. Wiley. Aratin' a pertinax
is native to Panama, northern South America, and the
islands off the northern coast of Venezuela- The
parakeet is widely considered to have been brought
to St Thomas from Curacao before the mid-19th
century, although no records exist of when or how it
was introduced. The parakeet was not recorded from
Vieques or Ctlebra islands, or from mainland Puerto
Rico before 1975. However, in that year perinax
underwent an apparent natural range expansion from
St. Thomas to each of these islands. The April 1975
population in eastern Puerto Rico consisted of 5
individuals. That population made 5 breeding
attempts, produced a total of 11 chicks, and grew to
a maximum size of 10 birds in June 1979. The
population declined to 1 bird by July 1980, and was
extinct by the beginning of the 1982 breeding
season. The Culebra and Vieques islands
populations were apparently extinct by 1976.
Habitat use, general behavior, breeding ecology, and
competitors of the colonizing population in eastern
Puerto Rico are described. Biogeographic,
evolutionary, and conservation implications of these
observations are discussed.
The Effect of Hurricane Gilbert on Terrestrial Bird
Populations in Jamaica. Joseph M. Wunderle,
Robert B. Waide, and D. Jean Dodge. Hurricane
Gilbert struck Jamaica on 12-13 September 1988
with sustained winds of 126 mph which swept
through our 10 sites established before the storm in
December 1987. We returned to these 10 sites 4
months after the storm (January 1989) and replicated
our baseline methods (mist netting, fixed radius point
counts, vegetation measurements). The storm's
short-term impact on terrestrial bird populations was
complex, depending upon elevation, habitat type,
and diet. Three montane sites (cloud forest, pine,
coffee) showed significant declines in total number
of individuals and species, while two lowland sites
showed no change. In the montane habitats, the bird
species most dependent upon plants for food (nectar,
fruit, or seeds) showed significant declines, while
insectivores (residents or migrants) showed no
change. Within the 10 sites, 8 bird species showed
significant declines, 7 species showed significant
increases, and 3 species showed both significant
increases in some habitats and decreases in others.
These results suggest that some species moved from
badly damaged habitats to less damaged habitats.
Dynamics in the plackbid
Oisc6alus lugthris. A. Worrel, J.A Horrocks, and
E. Krebs. The relationship between individual
pecking rate and group size in birds is often assumed
to be bell-shaped since vigilance rates per bird is
expected to be higher at smaller group sizes, and
chase frequencies are expected to be higher at larger,
group sizes. The assumption is that less time will
El Pitirre Vol. 2, No. 3
Abstracts (Continued) Abstracts (Continued)
therefore be available for pecking at small and large
group sizes. Relationships between pecking rate,
vigilance rate, aggression and group size at
controlled food densities were investigated in groups
of grackles (Quiscalus lugubris) in Barbados. The
relationship between pecking rate and group size was
not bell-shaped. Vigilance rate per bird was higher at
smaller group sizes as expected, suggesting that one
function of vigilance may be predator detection; but
vigilance rate was positively correlated with pecking
rate. This may suggest that a second function of
vigilance is observation ofconspecific foraging rates.
Aggression rate was positively correlated with group
size as expected, but pecking rate was not correlated
with aggression rate. The results suggest that
foraging behaviours are not time-budgeted so tightly
that increases in one behaviour necessarily lead to
decreases in others. The absence of time trade-offs
is consistent with the observation that the relationship
between pecking rate and group size is not bell-
shaped for grackles in Barbados.
Evidencias Citogeneticas en Tomo al Status
Taxonomico de la Cigua Palmera. Dulus dominicus
(Passeriformes: Dulidae). Celeste Mir. La cigua
palmer es un ave end6mica de la isla Hispaniola e
islas adyacentes. Es un ave gregaria que construye
nidos comunales donde anidan varias parejas. Es el
inico miembro de la familiar Dulidae. Se consideran
como families mis cercanas a ella a Bombycillidae y
Ptilogonatidae, aunque las relaciones entire estas tres
families son adn muy controversiales. Este studio
realize una comparaci6n de los cromosomas de esta
especie con un miembro de la familiar Bombycillidae,
utilizando c6lulas de la m6dula 6sea. Se encontr6
que coinciden en 4 de los 8 cromosomas mayores, en
el nimero diploide y en el tamafio de los
cromosomas sexuales. Se propone que Dulidae sea
incluida en Bombycillidae, aunque la falta de
studios con otras species de esta familiar con las
cuales comparar impide que la evidencia sea mis
Indices de Densidad de las Comunidades de Aves en
el Parque Nacional de los Haitises, Reptblica
Dominicana. Carlos Cano Corcuera and Domingo
Si.r Son importantes los studios que abordan los
indices de densidad en comunidades animals ya que
dan una vision bastante aproximada de como fluctuan
dichas poblaciones en el tempo. En este trabajo se
dan los resultados obtenidos en los censos realizados
en dos comunidades de aves en las areas de Pilanc6n
y Trepada Alta, localizadas dentro del Parque
Nacional de los Haitises, asi como del status de cada
grupo de residents, end6micos, migratorios, etc.,
dentro de cada comunidad.
Habitos Alimentarios de la Madam SaZg (Ploces
cucidlams) en Zona Aericola Cercana a Santo
Domingo. Reptblica Domnimcana. Tomis A. Vargas
Mora. La madam saga o chichiguao fue introducida
en la Hispaniola durante el siglo XVIII Desde
entonces se ha dispersado por toda la Isla
conviridndoes en una de las species mas abundance,
particularmente en habitats Aridos y alterados, y en
una de las peores plagas de la agriculture. En los
perfodos de enero ajulio de 1979 y 1980 realizamos
trabajos de campo para investigar las preferencias
alimentarias de esta ave en un Area done cultivan
arroz situada a unos 15 km al noroeste de Santo
Domingo. Colectamos y analizamos una muestra de
236 est6magos durante este studio. Los resultados
de nuestra investigaci6n indican que, en el Area del
studio, el arroz fue la material alimentaria preferida,
con un 77.5% del total del volume consumido.
Semillas de plants silvestres, principalmente
cebadilla (Rottboellia exaltata L), cabeza de indio
(Panicum fasciculatum Sw.), y una especie
desconocida (Graminea?), constituyeron un 12.8%
de los contenidos estomacales. Los insects
representaron practicamente el 100% de la material
animal y un 2.4% del volume totaL De la material
animal, los cole6pteros constituyeron el 53.9% del
ndmero total de press ingeridas, mientras que los
lepid6pteros e hymen6pteros representaron un
124% cada uno. Piedrecitas, principalmente calizas,
formaron un 1.4% del total de los contenidos
Algunos Aspectos Sobre la Composicion Estructual
de una Comunidad Omitica en el Parue Nacional de
los Haitises. Repiblica Dominicana. Carlos Cano
Corcuera and Domingo Sirf. Son pocos los trabajos
publicados en la Republica Dominicana acerca de la
composici6n y estructura de las comunidades de
aves. Parametros bAsicos que nos pueden dar una
idea de en que condiciones se encuentran dichas
comunidades y que pueden ser la base para studios
posteriores mis puntuales. En este trabajo se
expresan los datos de diversidad, equitabilidad y
riqueza de las comunidades de aves que se
encuentran en el Parque Nacional de los Haitises, de
naturaleza karstica, localizado en el noreste de la
Estudio Preliminar de la Avifauna en las Laiunas
Lirn6n v R edonctu Michet Rrni'hlrn fnmh;rnn
Tammy G. Dominguez Montand6n and Domingo
Sirf Nufiez. Un studio comparative entire dos
comunidades de aves fue realizado en las lagunas
Lim6n y Redonda, Miches, Prov. El Seibo, durante
los dias 20-21 de Mayo 1989. Se hizo un recorrido
en bote a remos en cada laguna durante las primeras
El Pitire Vo. 2, No. 3
horas de la mariana. En la laguna Lim6n el recorrido
fue de 8.65 km, en el cual se observaron 388
individuos correspondientes a 21 species, siendo las
mns abundantes el Podilymbus podiceps, Ploceus
cucullatus, Oxyura amaicensis y Fulica americana;
mientras que en la laguna Redonda el recorrido fue
de 11.25 km en donde se detectaron 196 ejemplares
distribuidos en 22 species, resultando ser las mais
abundates el Quiscalus niger, Fulica americana,
Gallinula chloropus y Fregata magnificens. Se
determinaron la diversidad, riqueza, equidad y
predominio en ambos cuerpos de agua. Los valores
mis altos para estos parametros excepturando el
predominio se obtuvieron en la laguna Redonda.
Supplements to the "Checklist of the Birds of the
West Indies." by James Bond are available on
Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia
19th and the Parkway
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19103 U.S.A.
The Academy normally charges a fee of $1.00 per
Supplement, but will waive the fee for Caribbean
workers. Questions can be directed to Christine
Bush, Department Assistant, at telephone 215-299-
The American Ornithologists' Union has published
"Latin American Research Libraries in Natural
History: A Survey", compiled by Tristan Davis. It
surveys 112 libraries in 27 South and Central
American countries, including information on library
size, services provided, and kinds of researchers
who use their holdings. The report is designed to
encourage and assist individuals, organizations, and
institutions interested in donating publications. It
may be ordered for U.S.$5.50 + $2.00 postage and
handling from Max C. Thompson, Assistant to AOU
Treasurer, Biology Department, Southwestern
College, 100 College St., Winfield, Kansas 67156,
Manomet Bird Observatory announces its 1990-91
Field Biology Training Program. Upperclass and
beginning graduate students are given a thorough and
intense experience in field biology, and work closely
with staff biologists in continuing research. For
detailed information, write Katherine C. Parsons,
Manomet Bird Observatory, Box 936, Monomet,
Massachusetts 02345, U.S.A.
The Peregrine Fund offers a position as a Reseach
Scientist, available 1 January 1990, for a Ph.D. level
scientist with a strong background and proven
scientific ability in ornithology, preferably with
raptors. Experience in tropical environments and at
least conversational ability in Spanish and/or French
desirable. Excellent spoken and written skill in
English is mandatory. Non U.S. citizens will be
considered. Must be willing to relocate to Boise,
Idaho, U.S.A., spend several months a year in the
field, design and direct research, supervise student
workers, write proposals, synthesize data and
prepare publications, and answer correspondence or
other activities the job may require. Salary will
depend, in part, on qualifications. Benefits include
health, dental, life and disability insurance,
retirement, and workman's compensation. Send
letter and resume to William B urnham, The Peregrine
Fund, World Center for Birds of Prey, 5666 West
Flying Hawk Lane, Boise, Idaho 83709, U.S.A.
Deadline 31 December 1989.
Post-Doctoral Opportunity in the Brazilian Amazon.
Money is being sought to support a full-time
biologist to manage the ornithological research of the
Biological Dynamics of Forest Fragments Project in
Manaus, Brazil Responsibilities include training
and supervision of field interns who will continue the
ongoing banding study of birds in forest islands and
management of the associated data base. It is
expected that the candidate chosen will take
advantage of the ample opportunities to develop
independent research into some aspect of the local
avifauna, particularly, but not exclusively, in the
context of the forest islands being studied by the
project. Those interested should contact Rob
Bierregaard, NHB-106, Smithsonian Institution,
Washington, D.C. 20560, U.S.A.
The Peregrine Fund and Boise State University are
offering a scholarship for a Master of Science degree
in raptor biology to a qualified Latin American
citizen. To qualify, the individual must have a
Bachelor of Science degree in biology or a related
field, be fluent in Spanish and English, and have an
intense interest in birds of prey and making a career
in conservation in Latin America. The degree is
based on a 2-year program that requires course work
and research. The research must be accomplished in
Latin America in conjunction with The Peregrine
Fund. The scholarship will include tuition and fees,
books, 12 months living stipend, and 2 round trip
tickets from Latin America annually. Send resume
and explanation of interest in conservation and birds
of prey in Latin America (in English) to William
El Pitirre Vol. 2, No. 3
II . ~~T ~ I ---
Oporunde (Cnlud rnsadAad
Burnham, The Peregrine Fund, World Center for
Birds of Prey, 5666 West Flying Hawk Lane, Boise,
Idaho 83709, U.S.A. Deadline 31 December 1989.
Field Assistant.needed for 2 studies in avian biology
in Monteverde, Costa Rica, 1 March to 30 June
1990. Will alternate time between (1) study of
foraging ecology of euphonias eating mistletoe and
(2) study of evolution of cutch size in tropical house
wrens. Job involves field observations of foraging
birds, nest checks, nest observations, and surveys of
fledgling birds. Previous field experience, ability to
climb trees and to follow small birds with binoculars
a must; ability to speak Spanish desirable. Some or
all travel expenses and all living expenses provided.
Send letter of interest, resume, and names and phone
numbers of 2-3 references as soon as possible
(certainly before 1 February 1990) to Bruce E.
Young, Department of Zoology, NJ-15, University
of Washington, Seattle, Washington 98195, U.S.A.
Field Assistant(s) needed for study of male-male
cooperation, demography and delayed plumage
maturation in long-tailed mannakins in Monteverde,
Costa Rica (see Animal Behavior 37:1007-1022).
Duties include behavioral observations, plumage
experiments and coordinating EarthWatch vol-
unteers. Long hours. Relevant experience, Spanish
and an interview are desirable, but not necessary. I
will provide air fare, room and board, a small
stipend; you will have a fascinating system to explore
in a fabulous location. In return, I expect you to be
diligent, enthusiastic, and of good humor. Must be
able to commit for the period 1 March to 30 June
1990. For further information, contact David
McDonald, Department of Zoology, 223 Bartram
Hall, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida
I am an 18-year old student in the United Kingdom.
Between July 1990 and October 1991, I intend to
study birds in North and possibly Latin America,
after which I intend to do a degree in zoology and
work as an ornithologist I am interested in doing
work connected with ornithological research in the
Americas. I would require a subsistence grant or
other funding, but would consider volunteer work. I
have birding experience in Europe, China, Fiji,
Borneo, and Australia. References available. Ian
Tomlinson, Ghyll House, Blindcrake, Cumbria
CA13 OQP, United Kingdom.
The Cooper Orithological Society is offering a
limited number of 2-year student membership awards
through support from the Western Foundation of
Vertebrate Zoology. Applicants should submit. a
curriculum vitae and a letter of recommendation from
their major professor by 31 December 1989 to Lloyd
F. Kiff, Suite 1400, 1100 Glendon Ave., Los
Angeles, California 90024, U.S.A.
The American Ornithologists' Union will offer
several Marcia Brady Tucker Travel Awards to help
defray expenses of outstanding students wishing to
present a lecture or poster paper at the Stated Meeting
in Los Angeles in 1990. The paper may have
multiple authors, but the student's name must be the
first and the student must present the paper.
Application materials must reach Robert M. Zink,
Museum of Natural Science, Louisiana State
University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70803, U.SA.,
by 2 April 1990.
News of Society Members
David Blockstein has recently accepted a position
with the American Institute of Biological Sciences.
However, he will be continuing his field research on
the endangered Grenada dove and Grenada hook-
billed kite. Dr. Blockstein can be reached on
Grenada c/o George Vincent, Manager of National
Parks, Ministry of Agriculture, Archibald Ave., St.
Georges, Grenada, West Indies.
After 1 January 1990, Don Buden can be reached at
Division of Natural Sciences, College of the
Bahamas, Nassau, Bahamas.
Meetings of Interest
23-27 January 1990 First Pan American Congress
on Conservation of Wildlife through Education,
Caracas, Venezuela. Sponsored by the New York
Zoological Society and International Association of
Zoo Educators. (Annette Berkovits, Pan American
Congress Chair, Education Department, New York
Zoological Society, Bronx Zoo, New York, NY
15-18 March 1990 National Wildlife Federation
Annual Meeting, Denver, Colorado, U.S.A.
El Pitirre Vol. 2, No. 3
Grants and Awards
16-20 March 1990 The Wildlife Society Annual
Meeting, Sheraton Denver Tech Center Hotel,
Denver, Colorado, U.S.A. (Harry E. Hodgdon,
Executive Director, TWS, 5410 Grosvenor Lane,
Bethesda, Maryland 20814, U.SA. Telephone: 301-
17-22 March 1990 55th North American Wildlife
and Natural Resources Conference, Sheraton
Denver Tech Center Hotel, Denver, Colorado,
U.S.A. (L.L. Williamson, Wildlife Management
Institute, Suite 725, 1101 14th St. N.W.,
Washington, D.C. 20005, U.S.A. Telephone: 202-
29 April 3 May 1990 Society for Ecological
Restoration. 2nd Annual Conference, Chicago,
Illinois. Abstracts due by 15 January. (William R
Jordan II, University of Wisconsin Arboretum,
1207 Seminole Highway, Madison, Wisconsin
7-11 May 1990 Society for the Preservation of
Natural History Collections. 5th annual meeting,
Chicago, Illinois. (David Willard, Bird Division,
Field Museum of Natural History, Roosevelt Road at
Lakeshore Dr., Chicago, Illinois 60605, U.S.A.
Telephone: 312-922-9410, ext 269)
31 May-3 June 1990 The Wilson Ornithological
Society and The Association of Field Ornithologists.
joint meeting, Wheaton College, Norton,
Massachusets, U.S.A. (John Kricher, Chair of
Local Committee; Richard Conner and Edward H.
Burtt, Jr.; Co-Chairs of Scientific Program
4-8 June 1990 Association for Biology Laboratory
Education (ABLE), Southwest Missouri State
University. Includes 12-15 innovative interactive
workshops suitable for undergraduate biology lab
courses. (John Glase, Section of Neurobiology and
Behavior, 1130 Comstock Hall, Cornell University,
Ithaca, New York 14853, U.S.A. Telephone: 607-
10-15 June 1990 Animal Behavior Society, State
University of New York, Binghamton, New York,
U.S.A. (Stim Wilcox, Department of Biology,
SUNY Binghamton, New York 13901, U.S.A.)
12-16 June 1990 Malaysia Tnternational Conference
on Conservation of Tropical Biodiversity, "In
Harmony with Nature," Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
(Ministry of Science, Technology & Environment,
50662 Kuala, Lumpur, Malaysia).
18-24 June 1990 American Birding Association.
Fort Collins Marriott Hotel, Fort Collins, Colorado,
U.S.A. (Bob Berman, ABA, P.O. Box 6599,
Colorado Springs, Colorado 80934-6599.
25 June-1 July 1990 Joint meeting of the American
Ornitholoists' Union and the Cooper Omithologial
Society, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A. (Lloyd F.
Kiff, Western Foundation of Vertebrate Zoology,
1100 Glendon Ave., Suite 1400, Los Angeles,
California 90024; Bryan Obst, Department of
Biology, University of California, Los Angeles,
California 90024, U.S.A.)
1-7 July 1990 ICSEB-IV. International Congress
on Systematics and Evolutionary Biology,
University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland,
U.S.A. Theme: "The Unity of Evolutionary
Biology." (Congress Secretary, ICSEB-IV, Dept. of
Microbiology, University of Maryland, College
Park, MD 20742, U.S.A.).
5-8 August 1990 Association of Systematic
Collections, joint meeting with AIBS, Richmond,
Virginia, U.S.A. (ASC, 730 11th St. N.W., 2nd
Floor, Washington, D.C. 20001-4584, U.S.A.)
15-17 August 1990 Managing Predation to Increase
Production of Wetland Birds Symposium.
Jamestown, North Dakota, U.S.A. (Alan B.
Sargeant, Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center,
P.O. Box 2096, Jamestown, North Dakota 58402,
U.S.A. Telephone: 701-252-5363).
22-26 August 1990 -Third International Conference
of Behavioural Ecologv and Foraging Behaviour
Uppsala, Sweden. (Steffan Ulfstand, Department of
Zoology, Box 561, S-751, 22 Uppsala, Sweden)
22-30 August 1990 "Granivorous Birds as Pests of
Agriculture and Epidemiological Vectors," a
symposium within the 5th International Congress of
Ecology, Yokohama, Japan. (Jan Pinowski,
Department of Vertebrate Sciences, Dziekanow
Lesny, 05-092 Lomianki, Poland)
29 August-4 September 1990 llth International
Symposium on Biotelemetry, Yokohama
International Conference Center, Yokohama, Japan.
(Dr. Akihiko Uchiyama, School of Science &
Engineering, Waseda University, 3-4-1, Ohkubo,
Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 169, Japan. Telephone: 03-203-
13-4141, extension 73-3413)
13-16 September 1990 The Second Internaional
ElPitirre Vol. 2, No. 3
Parrot Convention, Tenerife (Canary Islands). The
theme of the convention will be "Captive Breeding
for Conservation." The primary language of the
Convention will be English, with simultaneous
translations into Spanish and German. The cost of
the Convention is U.S.$175, which includes
participation in all conferences, excursions, some
meals, and a guided tour of Loro Parque. Hotel and
meal packages are available. (Loro Parque, 38400
Puerto de la Cruz, Tenerife, Spain. Telephones:
3422-38 30 12 or 3422-38 30 90. Fax: 3422-38 73
21; Telex: 92398 LORO)
11-14 November 1990 National Symposium on
Urban Wildlife, Stouffer Five Seasons Hotel, Cedar
Rapids, Iowa, U.S.A. (Dr. Lowell Adams,
Symposium Program Chairman, National Institute
for Urban Wildlife, 10921 Trotting Ridge Way,
Columbia, Maryland 21044. U.S.A. Telephone: 301-
21-27 November 1990 20th World Conference of
the International Council for Bird Preservation.
Hamilton, New Zealand.
2-9 December 1990 XX International Ornitho-
logical Conpress/XX World Conference ICBP.
Christchurch, New Zealand. The general theme is
"The World of Birds a Southern Perspective."
The scientific program will consist of 8 events,
including 4 plenary addresses and 6 symposia. (Dr.
Ben D. Bell, Secretary-General, XX Congressus
Internationalis Omithologicus, Department of
Zoology, Victoria University, Private Bag,
Wellington, New Zealand; and Dr. Charles G.
Sibley, President, XXth International Ornithological
Congress, Tiburon Center for Environmental
Studies, San Francisco State University, Box 855,
Tiburon, California 94920, U.S.A. Telephone: 415-
22-27 March 1991. 56th North American Wildlife &
Natural Resources Conference, Edmonton
Convention Centre, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
(L.L. Williamson, Wildlife Management Institute,
Suite 725, 1101 14th St. N.W., Washington, D.C.
20005, U.S.A. Telephone: 202-371-1808)
15-19 May 1991 Joint annual meetings of the
Cooper and Wilso Ornithological Societies,
University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma,
13-17 August 1991 109th Stated Meeting of the
American Ornitholoists' Union. Montreal, Quebec,
24-30 November 1991 IV Neotropical Orithology
Congress, Quito, Ecuador. (Humberto Alvarez-
Lopez, President; Nancy Hilgert de Benavides, Local
Arrangements Committee, Corporaci6n Omitol6gia
del Ecuador, Casilla 9068 S-7, Quito, Ecuador.
THE SOCIETY OF CARIBBEAN
President: Jorge A. Moreno, Department ofEPO
Biology, University of Colorado, Campus
Box B-334, Boulder, Colorado 80309
Secretary: Alexander Cruz, Department of EPO
Biology, University of Colorado, Campus
Box B-334, Boulder, Colorado 80309
Treasurer. Allan Keith, P.O. Box 325, New
Vernon, New Jersey 07976
Board of Governors:
James Wiley, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service,
Southwest Research Group, 2140 Eastman
Ave., Suite 100, Ventura, CA 93003
Fred Sladen, P.O. Box 4106, Christiansted, St.
Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands 00820
Ronald Wauer, P.O. Box 2145, Kingshill St.
Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands 00850
Tomnis Vargas Mora, Secretarfa de Agricultura,
Secci6n de Vida Silvesre, Santo Domingo,
Anne Haynes-Sutton, Marshall's Pen, P.O. Box 58,
Josd Col6n, P.O. Box 23163, UPR Station, Rfo
Piedras, Puerto Rico 00931
Paul Butler, P.O. Box 1277, Kingstown, St
Vincent, West Indies
El Pitirre Vol 2, No. 3
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