Group Title: Pitirre (Camarillo, Calif.)
Title: El Pitirre
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 Material Information
Title: El Pitirre
Uniform Title: Pitirre (Camarillo, Calif.)
Abbreviated Title: Pitirre (Camarillo Calif.)
Physical Description: v. : ill. ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Wiley, James W
Wiley, James W
Society of Caribbean Ornithology
Society for the Study of Caribbean Ornithology
Publisher: Society for the Study of Caribbean Ornithology
Place of Publication: Camarillo Calif
Camarillo, Calif
Publication Date: 1991
Frequency: bimonthly
Subject: Ornithology -- Periodicals -- Caribbean Area   ( lcsh )
Birds -- Periodicals -- Caribbean Area   ( lcsh )
Genre: periodical   ( marcgt )
Language: In English, with some Spanish.
Dates or Sequential Designation: Vol. 1, no. 1 (Jan.-Feb. 1988)-
Dates or Sequential Designation: Ceased in 2002.
Numbering Peculiarities: Vol. 1, no. 3 covers the period May-Aug. 1988.
Issuing Body: Newsletter of the Society for the Study of Caribbean Ornithology, Jan/Feb.-Mar./Apr. 1988; the Society of Caribbean Ornithology, May/Aug. 1988-
General Note: Editor, 1988- James W. Wiley.
General Note: Latest issue consulted: Vol. 15, no. 1 (spring 2002) (Surrogate)
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00100143
Volume ID: VID00014
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 23284416
lccn - sn 99004863
issn - 1527-7151
 Related Items
Succeeded by: Journal of Caribbean Ornithology


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El Pitirre is the newsletter of the
Society of Caribbean Ornithology.

El Pitirre es el boletin informative de la
Sociedad de la Omitologfa CaribeIna

EDITOR: James W. Wiley, Grambling
Cooperative Wildlife Project, P.O. Box
4290, Grambling Stale University,
Grambling, Louisiana 71245, U.S.A.

News, comments or requests should be
mailed to the editor for inclusion in the

Noticias, comentarios o peticiones
deben ser enviadas al editor para
inclusi6n en el boletfn.

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 (refereedjournal-Ornitologia
Caribefla, published in conjunction with the Puerto Rico Ornithological Society)
and to provide dala or technical aid to conservation groups in the Caribbean.

La Sociedad de la Ornitologfa Caribefia es una organizaci6n sin fines de lucr
cuyas metas son promover el estudio cientifico y la conservaci6n de la avifauna
caribena, auspiciar un simposio anual sobre la omitologfa caribefla. publicar una
revista profesional lamnada Omitologia Caribella (publicada en conjunto con la
Sociedad Omitol6gica de Puerto Rico), ser una fuente de comunicacidn entire
omitdlogos caribeftos y en otras dreas y proveer ayuda t6cnica o datos a grupos de
conservaci6n en el caribe.


(COULIBRI DELPHINAE). ..............................
PUERTO RICO. Ra6d A. PFrez-Rivera y Manuel Soto Singala

M. Kelly Brock
ORNITHOLOGY, ST. LUCIA. ................................
MEETING, ST. LUCIA. ................................ .........
NOTICES ........ ............ ........................................
OPPORTUNITIES ....................................................
MEETINGS OF INTEREST ........... ........................
IN THE UNITED STATES .............................



William L. Murphy
7202 Madtew Street
Greenbeb, Maryland 20770. USA.

The White-tailed Sabrewing (Campylopterus ensipennis) is.
found only on the island of Tobago and in the Venezuelan
mountains west of Trinidad (Sucre, northeastern Anzoategui,
and Monagas) (de Schauensee and Phelps 1978). On Tobago, it
is now an extremely rare resident, but historically the species
was more numerous. For example, on 24 June 1934, Belcher
saw about 6 "Blue-throated Sabrewings" (an old name for the
White-tailed Sabrewing) at various points of the forest track on
the main ridge between Parlaruvier and Roxburgh [now
Roxborough] (Belcher and Smooker 1936). The species
became very rare in Tobago after Hurricane Flora in September
1963 (ffrench 1980, Murphy 1987). Regarding the widespread
devastation of the rainforest by the hurricane, ffrench (1981)
wondered whether the species had been able to withstand the
effects of the desiccating blast of the wind, which would have
removed for a time all the blossoms and other sources of nectar
in the area. He noted that not until 1974 were sabrewings seen
again, in very small numbers, at one locality on the Main
Seven years later, ffrench (1988) noted, "After the 1963
hurricane it was feared that this beautiful hummingbird had
been extirpated on Tobago. and certainly no records came in for
more than a decade. But in the last 14 years small groups have
been increasingly located in isolated pockets on the Main
Ridge [ffrench 1981], where however the species remains
extremely rare."
JungeandMees (1958) declared that White-tailed Sabrewings
on Tobago bred in February. Thus, in February 1988, Benton
Basham. Olga Clarke, Adolphus James, and I searched for the
species in the area mentioned by Belcher and Smooker (1936).
The "forest track on the main ridge between Parlatuvier and
Roxburgh" has been widened and paved, and is now called the
Roxborough-Bloody Bay Road. No suitable habitat for the
hummingbird remains anywhere near the road. Nevertheless,
access to the proper habitat can be gained via a muddy trail
called Gilpin Trace (trace: an unpaved 4th-class road, such as a
horse trail). This trail forks off the Roxborough-Bloody Bay
Road almost at the crest of the Main Ridge and follows a fast
flowing stream for several kilometers through a virgin
montane rainforest. It traverses a deep, steep-sided ravine cut
through a relatively high elevation section of the Main Ridge.
Apparently, the depth and narrowness of the ravine sheltered
the closed-canopy rainforest from the full force of Hurricane
Flora. Large mature trees remain, whereas other nearby and
more exposed areas support only second growth forest. We
confined our search to the area through which Gilpin Trace
On our visit, we located two White-tailed Sabrewings at one
spot along Gilpin Trace, which indicated that the habitat in the
immediate area remains attractive to the species. We observed
the first bird about 2 km from the Roxborough-side trailhead.
The hummingbird approached us closely, hovered at eye level
about 2 m from us, then landed nearby on a bamboo twig and
studied us with apparent agitation. We noted all of its
Pug c2

characteristic field marks, especially its iridescent blue throat
and conspicuous white-edged tail, which it frequently fanned. It
flew farther away to a low perch and preened until another
sabrewing flew into the area. The first bird pursued the second
bird, following a short distance behind while Continuously
fanning its white tail. It then perched while the other bird, in a
series of brief vertical climbs, arose to a nest about 5 m above
us in a bamboo overhanging the trail. The hummingbird
briefly perched on the rim of the nest and manipulated the
contents with its bill, then settled in and remained there until
we left about 10 min later. The next afternoon, one of the
White-tailed Sabrewings remained on the nest as we observed
it for about 10 min.
Although White-tailed Sabrewings on the island must have
reproduced since 1963, this is the first confirmed nesting of the
species there in at least 30 years (ffrench 1980). We later
learned from David Rooks, a Tobago naturalist, that the
sabrewings had begun building the nest in late January. Only
one complete nest had been recorded hitherto from Tobago
(Junge and Mees 1958).
By examining the nest through a Questar telescope at 65x,
we were able to determine that it was composed of bits of
green moss with hair-sized rootlets and bamboo leaves woven
into the rim and matrix. The nest was woven across a fork near
the end of a bamboo twig, far enough out on the branch to
make it inaccessible to most predators. The nest was oblong in
shape and large in relation to the size of the hummingbird,
with a diameter of ca. 8 cm and a depth of ca. 10 cm. Despite
being constructed of green moss, the nest was conspicuous
among the bamboo twigs because of its large size and its
location near the end of a branch. We were able to locate it
easily on subsequent visits.
Since 1988, Adolphus James and David Rooks have taken
many nature groups along Gilpin Trace to view the White-
tailed Sabrewings. The species often porches quietly for
extended periods of time. prefers to feed and perch low. and is
often silenL It thus is inconspicuous unless the nest is
approached during the breeding season, at which time the
adults become aggressive, flaring white-tipped tails and closely
approaching the intruder.
Away from Gilpin Trace the species is still exceedingly rare,
being recorded at long intervals from other locations, all in the
heights of the Main Ridge, especially where the canopy is
closed. My personal high count for the species is 6seen in one
day (early March 1990), and local guides report having seen as
many as 10, all along the same 2-km stretch of Gilpin Trace,
Although no attempt has been made to census the population
elsewhere on Tobago. I would speculate that no more than 30
individuals remain.
On the same day that we found the White-tailed Sabrewing.
we observed a flurry of bird activity in the crown of a fruiting
Ficus tree. Several hummingbirds were among the avian
crowd, mostly Copper-rumped Hummingbirds (Amazilia
tobact). Examination of the tree through the telescope yielded
ElPitirre Vol, 4, No. 3

Tobago Humningbins (condtued)
views of an adult Brown Violet-ear (Colibri delphinae) with a
fledgling. We watched for several minutes as the adult
hummingbird fed at nearby flowers and attended the young
violet-ear. The fledgling retained protruding tufts of down,
especially on the head and neck. Efforts by other observers to
relocate the birds on subsequent days were unsuccessful, and I
know of no further sightings of this species from Tobago.
This discovery marks the first sighting, as well as the first
probable nesting, of the Brown Violet-ear on Tobago. Else-
where the species ranges from Guatemala to western Ecuador.
northern and eastern Bolivia, northeastern and eastern Brazil,
the Guianas, and Trinidad (rarely) in tropical and subtropical
zones (de Schauensee and Phelps 1978, Stiles and Skutch
Any additional information on sightings of either of these
hummingbird species on Tobago would be appreciated.
Especially welcome would be a photograph of a White-tailed
Sabrowing, of which none seem to exist

References Cited

Belcher, C., and GD. Smooker. 1936. Birds of the colony of
Trinidad and Tobago. Ibis, Series 13. 6(1):30.
de Schauensee, R.M., and W.H. Phelps. Jr. 1978. A guide to
the birds of Venezuela. Princeton Univ. Press, Princeton,
New Jersey.
ffrench, R.P. 1980. A guide to the birds of Trinidad and
Tobago. Hardwood Books, Newtown Square, Penn-
ffrench, R.P. 1981. Brief notes on birds. Living World 1981-
Ifrench, R.P. 1988. Supplement to A guide to the birds of
Trinidad and Tobago. Published by the author.
Junge, G.C.A., and G.F. Mees. 1958. The avifauna of
Trinidad and Tobago. Zool. Verbh. 37.
Murphy, W.L. 1987. A birder's guide to Trinidad and Tobago.
Peregrine Enterprises, College Park, Maryland.
Stiles, FG., and A.F Skutch. 1989. A guide to the birds of
Costa Rica. Comell Univ. Press. Ithaca.


Ratil A. P&rez-Rivera
Departimento de B iologa, Recinto de Humacao, Universidad de
Puerto Rico, Humacao, Puerto Rico 00661. y

Manuel Soto Singala
Asociacidn de Aves del Centro. Baranquifas, Puerto Rico

En mazzo 17 de 1985, mientras me encontraba en el Basque de
Carite (Cayey), en companfa de mis estudiantes del curso de
ornitologfa, observ- un ave posada sobre una hoja de palma
real (Roystonea borinquena) que con la ayuda de una guta de
campo identifiqud como un Zorzal Gato (Dumetella
carolinensis). Varias semanas despuds le comment la
observacidn al colega Jos6 Col6n, y este me indic6 que

Dwaneria awo nmis (rcond wd

semanas antes, hablan atrapado en una red a una do esas aves
en el bosque de GuAnica, cl cual se encucntra a 85 km dc
Carite. Aparentemente. esta es la misma ave. que indica
Raffadle (1989) que se captured el 25 de feblero de 1985.
El II de abril de 1991, mi colega Manuel Soto, me indic6
que habia observado en su propiedad, que esta localizada en el
Bo. Las Lomas, sector Tres Caminos de Bananquitas. un
pAjaro gris obscuro, de cabeza negra, aproximadamente del
tamalo de un Pilirre (Tyrannus dominicensis) que no habia
podido identificar. Le mencionr una serie de species, como la
presunta ave, con las cuales Soto no qued6 conforme, Al
asunto no le dimos mayor importancia y lo olvidamos. El 3 de
mayo de 1991, mientras observaba las actividades de an nido de
Jilguero (Euphonia musica), cerca de la klocalidad antes
mencionada, comenc6 a ofr el sonido de uan ave, que no pude
identificar. Mientras trataba de buscar el origen del sonido, el
ave void al r-bol en donde estaban anidando los Jilgaers. Pude
observarla cuidadosamente, mientras se movfa de una mtaa a
otra, parando la cola entre saltos. Esta vez par la coloracidn
gris obscuro, la corona negra y el patrdn de conducta, pude
identificara sin ningdn problema como an Zarzal Galo.
Cuando mi compafero de trabajo regres6 a buscarme, le
indiqu6 de mi avistamiento y le ensefie un dibujo del ave en la
gufa de campo de Peterson (1980). Soto inmediaamente me
indicd que era el ave que el habfa observado en su finca el 11 de
abril. Estas avistamientos resulan ser el tercer inforne del
Zcrzal Gatlo en Puerto Rico, y los mas tardes para la especie en
la Isla.

Literature Ciata

Peterson, R.T. 1980. A field guide to the birds of eastern and
central North America. Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston.
RaffaeIe, HA. 1989. Birds of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Is-
lands. 2nd ed. Princeton Univ. Press, Princeton. New

Research Report

M. Kelly Brock
Department ofBiology, Queen's University. Kingson, Ontario
K7L3N6, Canada

The Puerto Rican Parrot (Amazona vit$ata) is one of the
world's most critically endangered species of birds. Currently,
less than 30 wild birds and approximately 65 captive birds
survive. The captive breeding program was established to
prevent extinction of the species and to bolster the wild
population through releases of captive-produced parrots. In
addition to the Puerto Rican Parrots, a captive breeding
program for the less threatened and taxonomically related
Hispaniolan Parrot (A. ventralis) was established. These
Hispaniolan Parots serve as surrogate incubators for Puerto
Rican Parrot eggs, surrogate parents for Puerto Rican Parrot
chicks, and a models for testing new or different avicullural

ElPitirre Vol. 4, No.3


Parrot DNA Fingerprints (continued)

Each captive flock of parrots was essentially founded by four
individuals. However, differences between the two species in
reproductive success (e.g.. the average annual productivity rate
from 1980 to 1990 was 12.2 for the Hispaniolan Parrot flock
and 5.8 for the Puerto Rican Parrots) suggested that inbreeding
may be a limiting factor in Puerto Rican Parrot productivity.
Anecdotal evidence of inbreeding in the wild population of
Puerto Rican Parrots further suggested that productivity
differences in captivity may not have been just species
differences. Therefore, DNA fingerprints were used to estimate
the degree of relatedness among the parrots. Two minisatellite
probes, human 33.6 and the mouse periodicity gene, Per, were
used to generate DNA fingerprints from A/lu digested genomic
DNA extracted from whole blood. Standard techniques were
used for restriction enzyme digests, gel electrophoresis,
southern blotting, and autoradiography.
Segregation analyses of bands in the DNA fingerprints were
conducted between parents and offspring in the largest pedigree
of each species. Bands that were shared by both parents were
excluded from the analysis. All other bands in the 2 to 21
kilobase size range of each parent were given a unique
designation, and the presence or absence of each band was
noted in each offspring. Bands that always co-migrated were
considered linked, and bands that never co-migrated were
considered allelic.
In a Hispaniolan Parrot family of 2 parents and 13 offspring,
the Per probe identified a minimum of 13 maternal loci, and a
minimum of 14 paternal loci. One "odd" band (a new length
variant) was identified in one of the offspring, suggesting a
mutation rate in these loci similar to other species. In the
same family, the 33.6 probe identified a minimum of 17
maternal loci, and a minimum of 7 paternal loci.
In a Puerto Rican Parrot family of two parents and nine
offspring, the Per probe identified a minimum of seven
maternal loci and a minimum of eight paternal loci. In the
same family, the 33.6 probe identified a minimum of 10
maternal loci and a minimum of 7 paternal loci.
Band-sharing coefficients (B SC), defined as twice the number
of bands shared between a pair of individuals divided by the
total number of bands scored in the 2 to 21 kilobase size range
for both individuals, were estimated for Hispaniolan Parrots
with confirmed pedigrees. Because Per gave faster and clearer
autoradiographic signals, it was selected for the following
The average BSC for unrelated Puerto Rican Parrots, 0.41
(CV = 29%), was greater than the BSC for unrelated
Hispaniolan Parrots, 0.19 (CV = 37%; P > 0.05). From 1979
to 1990. 35% of mated Puerto Rican Parrot pairs (5/13)
successfully fledged offspring. Of mated pairs with BSC from
0,21-0.30, 2 of 3 were successful; 2 of 2 pairs with BSC from
0.31-0.40 were successful; 1 of 4 pairs with BSC from
0.41-0.50 was successful; and none of 4 pairs with BSC from
0.51-0.60 were successful. Of 10 mated pairs of Hispaniolan
Parrots, 9 successfully produced fledglings. The majority of
the successful pairs (6/9) had BSC lower than 0.30, and 3 of 9
mated pairs had BSC from 0.31-0.40 One pair that failed to
breed had a BSC between 0.31 and 0.41. Therefore, the
probability of successful breeding increased as the BSC of a

Parrol DNA Fingerpints continuedd)

mated pair ranged from approximately 0.21 to approximately
0.40, but there was little chance of successful breeding when
the BSC of a mated pair was greater than 0.41. Unfortunately,
8 of the 13 mated pairs of Puerto Rican Parrots had BSC
greater than 0.41, and only one of the pairs was successful.
The results of this study indicate that "unrelated" Puerto
Rican Parrots may be as genetically similar to each other as
second degree relatives. Consequently, poor reproductive
success of the captive parrots may be due to inbreeding. To
increase the probability of success in the captive breeding
program, pairs of Puerto Rican Parrots should, have BSC
(Alul/Per) lower than 0.4A1. Where behavioral problems or
physical handicaps of the birds interfere adth breeding
performance, techniques such as artificial insemination may be
used to breed genetically desirable pairs.


The Society of Caribbean Ornithology met at the St. Lucian
Hotel in StL Lucia, 4-7 August 1991. Participating in the
meetings, field trips, and festivities were 45 persons
representing 17 countries, including St Lucia, Martinique,
Guadeloupe. Dominica, Montserat, SL Vincent, Barbados,
Saba, U.S. Virgin Islands, Bahama Islands, Puerto Rico,
Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Turks and Caicos Islands,
Cayman Islands, United States, and United Kingdom. New
officers were elected, including Ms. Catherine Levy, who
succeeds the founding President Jorge Moreno, and Ms.
Particia F."Biadley, who takes the Secretary position formerly
held by Dr. Alexander Cruz. Dr. Joseph Wunderle, Jr.. was
elected to the newly created office of Vice President. Allan
Keith will remain as Treasurer through the end of 1991.
The next meeting of the Society will be in Puerto Rico in
August 1992,


Determination of Hematology and Serum
Chemistry Values for Captive Puerto Rican Plain
Pigeons (Columba inowrnata wetmorei)

A.B. Amizaut
Department ofNatural Resources, San Juan, Pufrto Rico 00906 and
University of Puerno Rico. luncao.Perto Rico 00661.
Data generated from hematology and serum chemistry analysis
are often used in conjunction with clinical signs and history to
access the diagnostic. In addition, these two parameters can be
used to evaluate the physical condition of normal birds. Serum
samples were randomly collected from 30 captive Puerto Rican

EPitirre VoL 4. No. 3

Abmenci (coinufadj
Plain Pigeons [PRPP] and evaluated for the following:
glucose, creatinine, calcium, glutamic oxaloacetic
trasamninase (SGOT), uric acid, alkaline phosphatase, total
protein, cholesterol, and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH).
Differential white blood cell (WBC) counts, red blood cell
(RBC) counts, WBC and hemoglobin estimaLes and packed cell
volume (PCV) were also determined. The present study intends
to establish reference values that are not available for wild and
captive PRPP. Hemogram and blood chemistry profiles of
other avian species are discussed.

Immediate Post-fedging Dispersal of White-
crowned Pigeons from Florida Bay

G. Thomas Bancroft, AM. Strong, and RJ. Sawicki
National Audubon Society. Research Department, 115 Indian
Mound Trail, Tavernier, Florida 33070, U.S.A.

We radio-tagged 58 White-crowned Pigeon (Columba
leucoceplmda) nestlings on Bottle and Middle Butternut Keys in
Florida Bay from 1988-1990. Twenty-seven birds survived to
leave the nesting key, 12 died before leaving the key, and the
fate of the remaining 19 could not be determined. Mean age at
dispersal was 34.1 days (range = 28-40 days). Young appeared
to disperse an an earlier age in 1988 (x = 28.5 days) when an
abundant fruit crop was available compared to 1989 (x = 33
days) and 1990 (x = 35.5 days) when fruit crops were poor. Of
the 27 birds that survived to disperse, 17 flew to the mainline
keys, 5 flew to other keys in Florida Bay, and 5 dispersed to
the Florida mainland. We followed birds from initial dispersal
until transmitter batteries failed to operate or we could no
longer locate the birds in south Florida (< 58 days following
initial dispersal). Mean distance from the nesting key on the
first day of dispersal was 6.6 km. Four days following initial
dispersal, birds averaged 21.7 km from the nesting key and by
12 days following initial dispersal, average distance from the
nesting key stabilized at approximately 30 km. Immature
White-crowned Pigeons dispersing to the mainline keys
selected hammock fragments > 5 ha and birds dispersing to the
mainland and Florida Bay used natural habitats nearly
exclusively. Protection of forest fragments larger than 5 ha
along the mainline keys will be critical for successful
reproduction by White-crowned Pigeons.

BLM Strategy for Neotropical Migratory Birds

J. Dave Almand
Division of Wildlife and Fisheries, Bureau of Land Management,
18th & C Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20006, U.SA.

In 1987. the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) embarked on
a new era of habitat management with a strategic plan entitled
FUTURE." This Plan recognized the need for improved
management of fish and wildlife on the more than 270 million
acres of BLM-managed land. It calls for the development and
execution of national strategy plans that identify specific goals

Absracts (coarined)

and objectives to assist in ensuring natural abundance and
diversity of wildlife by improving management of wildlife;
fisheries; riparian-wetland areas: threatened, endangered, and
candidate species; and certain habitats of special concern. The
Nongame (Neotropical Migratory) Bird Habitat Conservation
Strategy Plan is a national strategy plan prepared in response
to a growing concern about the precipitous declines of many
nongame bird populations. This Plan will focus on a large
subgroup of nongame species commonly known as
"neotropical migratory birds." This Plan is an integral element
of BLM strategies for avifauna and completes the FISH AND
WILDLIFE 2000 strategy package. Additionally, this Plan
assists in achieving national objectives for bird protection
identified in two historic conservation acts. The first is the
Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 that responded to severe
over-shooting of several bird species. The second act embraced
is the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act of 1980, whereby
Congress asserted that the improved management of non-game
wildlife will assure ".-a productive and more aesthetically
pleasing environment for all citizens." Through the
implementation of this Plan, the BLM and its partners in
nongame bird habitat conservation will increase public and
resource manager awareness of the socio-economic importance
of these birds to the recreative public. The overall intent is to
reverse the decline of some bird populations and to implement
this proactive program for other species.

Breeding Biology and Ecology of the Lesser
Antillean Bullfinch

Alexander Cruz, TIC Nakamura, and W. Post
Biology Department, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado
80309-0334, U.SA.

The Lesser Antillean Bullfinch (Loxigilla noctis) is widely
distributed in the West Indian region, occurring from St John
and St. Croix through the Lesser Antilles. with the exception
of the Grenadines. Despite its wide distribution, little is
known about the life history of the species. During the
summers of 1984 and 1985, we undertook a study on the
ecology and breeding biology of this species in dry coastal
lowlands and coastal hills in southern St. Lucia. The bullfinch
was among the most common species, with an estimated
density of 85.6 birds per km2. In its feeding habits, it is a
generalist, with insects and fruits predominating in the dieL
Mean clutch size was 2.75 eggs and mean number of nestlings
per nest was 1.41. Young were produced from 21.2% of the
eggs laid.

U.SJ).A. Forest Service Role in the Neotropical
Migratory Bird Conservation Program

Deborah M. Finch
Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station, 222 South
22nd Street, Laramie, W)yoming 82070, USA.. and

ElPitirre Vol. 4, No.3

Page 5

AbsrvactS coainfud)

T. Ramlt
US.D A._ Forsl Service, P.O. Bax 96090, Washington, D.C.
20090-6090, USA.

The Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, has been
instrumental in helping to establish a new initiative to
conserve neotropical migratory landbirds,affectionately known
as "Partners in Flight Aves de las Americas." About 30
research scientists, distributed among 8 Forest Service
Experiment Stations, are addressing this conservation program
through ongoing and planned studies on cause and effect
relationships, migrant habitat use. monitoring methodology,
sensitive species, avian productivity and survival, bird
responses to land use practices, avian productivity, and
landscape ecology. Studies of migrant populations on the
wintering grounds are underway at the Forest Service's
Institute of Tropical Forestry in Puerto Rico. Several technical
assistance and training projects targeting neotropical migrants,
tropical deforestation, and biological diversity problems were
sponsored in 1991 through International Forestry's Tropical
Forestry Program. In the management arena, action plans
stressing habitat evaluation and improvements, bird population
monitoring, training for resource professionals, and public
awareness were developed by the nine Regions of the National
Forest System. The Forest Service is aggressively supporting
the Partners in Flight through internal activities, as well as
through new partnerships with non-traditional cooperators like
the International Council for Bird Preservation and World
Wildlife Fund and through cooperative agreements with
university researchers.

Diet, Foraging Behavior, and Nutrition of the
Bahama Parrot (Amazona leucocephala
bahamensis) on Abaco Island, Bahama Islands

Rosemarie Gnamn
Department of Ornithology. American Museum ofNatural History,
New York. New York 10024, USA.,, and

Robert F. Rockwell
CUNW, New York.New York 10024, USA.

The endangered Bahama Parrot (Airazona leucocephala
bahamensis) is restricted to only two islands in its formerly
extensive range Abaco and Great Inagua. As part of a larger
study into its breeding biology on Abaco Island, we collected
data on the parrot's feeding behavior during the breeding season
(May-September). From 1985 to 1988, we recorded 686
feeding observations in ihe nest area. The nest area was in
Caribbean pine (Pinus caribaea) forest, characterized by a shrub
understory of 31 species and herbacious growth dominated by
Bahamian holly {Xylosma bwudfolium) and common cmodtca
(Ernndoa littoralis). Bahama Parrots fed on IS plant species in
the nest area. Caribbean pine, wild guava (Terraxygia bicolor),
and poison wood (Metopinm ro.xiferum) accounted for 76% of
all feeding records. The nutrient composition was determined
for 16 food items, which accounted for 97% of the feeding
records. Seeds provided major dietary protein and lipids,
whereas flowers and fruits provided primarily carbohydrates.

Caribbean pine seeds were a major staple and provided 91 % of
the proteins and lipids in the total diet.

Desarrollo Morfologico y Conductual en la
Paloma Coronita (Columba lencocephala) en

Simon Guerrero
Sociedad Pro Conservacidn de las Aves, Caltle 29 Este #6,
Ens iche Luper6n, Santo Domingo, Rep~tblica Dotnicana

En esto studio se presentan datos sobre el :desanrollo
morfol6gico y conductual en polluelos de Paloma Coronita
(Columba leucocephala) en cautiverio, durante las cuatro
primeras semanas de vida. Los datos corresponden a
observaciones sobre el aumento de peso, aparici6n y desarrollo
de las plumas primarias y caudales, apertura de los ojos y los
ofdos, cambios en la coloraci6n de la piel y el iris y aparici6n
de la conducta de miedo. Se describen, ademrs, algunas
experiencias en condiciones de semicauriverio.

The History of the Ivory-billed Woodpecker in

Jerome A. Jackson
DeparTimen of Biological Sciences, Mississippi Stare University,
Mississippi State, Mississippi39762, USA.

The Ivory-billed Woodpecker (Campephilus principals) is
endemic to the southeastern United States and Cuba and in
both areas it has been known as a bird of extensive mature
pine or hardwood forests. A separate subspecies (C. p. bairdi)
is recognized-from Cuba, but geographic variation in the
species is slight and predictable under well-known eco-
geographic rules. The ivory-bill almost certainly arrived in
Cuba during a peak in Pleistocene glaciation, when sea levels
were lower and distance between Florida and Cuba was
minimal Both mainland and Cuban populations were
drastically fragmented and brought to the brink of extinction as
a result of habitat destruction and hunting. The mainland
population survived into the twentieth century in bottomland
hardwood forests, the pines being more accessible and heavily
exploited. In Cuba, however, montane pine forests in the east
provided the last refuge for the species.

Exotics in Jamaica Past and Present

Catherine Levy
Gosse Bird Club, P.O. Bar 1002, Kingston 5.IJawaica

In the last two years, three species of introduced granivorous
birds have been discovered living in the wild in Jamaica. Since
the release and establishment in the wild of the Green-rumped
Parrotlet (Forpus passerinus) over 80 years ago, these are the
first exotics known to survive outside of captivity. An
examination of records from the seventeenth century to the
present indicates that many exotic birds have been introduced
into Jamaica for various reasons through the ages, Some have
been released, some have escaped, but up to recently the

Page 6

ElPitirre Vol, 4, No. 3

Aat continuedm)

Absiract fcoWninud)
number of successful survivals in the wild has been limited.
As yet unconfirmed reports indicate the possibility of another
three species at large. A new trend seems to be emerging, and
this reflects developments due to a dramatic increase in the
cage bird trade in the 1980s, to the onslaught of Hurricane
Gilbert (the first hurricane to hit Jamaica directly in over 30
years), and a certain shift to apartment or townhouse dwelling.

Patterns or Morphological Variation in Introduced
and Native Populations or Lonchara cuculatta

Jorge A. Moreno
Saentific Research Area. Department of Naturat Resources, P.O.
Box5887, Puerta de Tierra, Puerto Rico 00906

The Bronze Mannikin (Lonchura cuculatta), an African estrildid
introduced to Puerto Rico at least 200 years ago, is
morphologically distinct both within Puerto Rico and between
Puerto Rico and Africa. Here, I describe observed patterns of
variation and suggest possible causal mechanisms.

The Taxonomic Position of the Greater Antillean
Pewee (Contopus caribaeus)

George B. Reynard
105 Midway, Riverton, New Jersey 08077. USA.,

Orlando H. Garrido
Museo Nacional de Historia Natural, CapilolioNacional, La
Hlabana, Cuba, and

Robert L. Sutton
Marshall's Pen. P.O. Box 58. Mandeville, Jamaica

Bond gives the distribution of the Greater Antillean Pewee
(Contopus caribaeus) as Jamaica, Hispaniola, Gonave Island,
Cuba and adjacent islands, and the Bahama Islands. Contopus,
as well as many other genera in the Tyrannidae, have Species-
Specific Dawn Songs! These are stereotyped, repetitive, and
given in a predictable pattern at a fast rate. Parts, or all, of the
song may be given during other, daylight hours, but then at a
much slower pace. Our tape recordings revealed three distinctly
different Dawn Songs, from Jamaica, Hispaniola, and the third
from Cuba and the Bahamas. Tape recordings will be
presented, and also spectograms, of the three performances,
plus several secondary calls. The last also varied from island to
island. Recent close-up photographs will be shown, showing
similarities and differences among populations. One
outstanding difference is a large, whitish quarter moon-shaped
spot at the back of the eye in birds from Cuba and the
Bahamas. This character had been shown in two books, both
entitled "Birds of the Bahamas," by Patterson (1972), and by
Brudencll-Bruce (1975), and more recently by Kaufman (1984,
Birding, June) from a trip to Grand Cayman. We reviewed and
will comment on measurements from

Abstmracu cowuwmed)
published accounts. from over 337 specimens, plus some of
our own unpublished information. We conclude that we are
dealing with three species (as a superspecies with three
allospecies). The suggested classification is, 1st, Jamaican
Pewee (C. pallidus), 2nd, Hispaniolan Pcwee (C.
hispardolensis), and. 3rd, C. caribaeus, for which we coin a
range-descriptive new name, the Cubahaman Pewee.

Standardized Call and Sight Counts of Columbids
in Puerto Rico: A Comparison of Density and
Relative Abundance Estimates

Frank F. Rivera-Milan
Department of Natural Resources, Scientific Research Area, P.O.
Box 5887. Puerta de Tierra, Puerto Rico 00906

From July 1986 to September 1988, standardized call and sight
counts were conducted to seasonally estimate the density and
relative abundance of 10 native species of pigeons and doves in
3 major life zones of Puerto Rico. Relative abundance
estimates based on aural and visual detections are commonly
assumed to be valid indicators of population density changes at
multiple spatial and temporal scales of sampling. However,
seasonal estimates of relative abundance need to be adjusted for
effective area of detection, especially when comparisons of
different species in heterogeneous habitats are of interest.
Density estimates were derived from circular plots (CPs) and
fixed-radius point counts (FRPCs) with a radius of 60 m, and
were compared on a seasonal basis with call and sight counts
unadjusted for area of detection. CPs and FRPCs ranked the
species in the expected order of abundance. Overall, density and
relative abundance estimates derived from CPs and unadjusted
counts were satisfactorily correlated (mean r = 0.733, P =
0.020, n = 6) at calling peaks (March-June) in the life zones.
However, CPs and FRPCs were not satisfactorily correlated
with total detections (call + sight) (mean r = 0.550, P = 0.296,
and mean r = 0.240, P = 0.562, n = 6, respectively). Density
estimates derived from CPs can be used as auxiliary variables
to calibrate call counts via double sampling. The use of CPs
facilitated comparisons of species abundances at different
spatial (habitats, routes, life zones) and temporal (months,
seasons, years) scales of resolution. Moreover, at calling peaks
the variance of CPs compared favorably with the variance of
unadjusted call counts.

"Partners in Flight Aves de Las Americas," the
Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Program

Peter W. Stangel
NationaIFish and Wildlife Foundaion, I18th and C Street. NW,
Room 2556, Washington, D.C. 20240, USA.

Results from long-term monitoring programs indicate that
some populations of neotropical migratory birds declined
during the period 1978-1987. Conservation programs for these
species are complex, given that over 150 species breeding in,
migrating through, or wintering in more than a dozen

El Pitirre VoL 4, No. 3

Page 7

AMrtmcat (cnt'i'ued)

countries are involved. The National Fish and Wildlife
Foundation has catalyzed the formation of a comprehensive and
coordinated program for conservation of neotropical migrants.
The program builds on the strengths of federal and state
agencies, non-governmen conservation organizations, and
private sectors in both North and Latin America. Federal
agencies in North America have responded with development
of strategic plans for conservation of neotropical migrants, and
increased funding to implement current and new programs.
State agencies in North America have instituted new
monitoring programs to document population changes on the
local level and to identify areas of high species richness. The
non-government conservation community has stimulated
formation of new partnerships with federal and state agencies
that benefit both groups, A strategic plan for conservation of
neotropical migrants on the wintering grounds is being
developed. This talk will include a discussion of the problem
background, development of the "Partners in Flight" program,
and specific information about agency and non-government

Puerto Rican Plain Pigeon (Columba inornata
wetmorei): is it Monomorphic?

Carlos R. Ruiz Lebr6n
Department of Natural Resources, P.O. Box 5887. San Juan, Puerto
Rico 00908

Literature on the Puerto Rican avifauna states that the sexes of
the Plain Pigeon (Columba inornata wetorei) differ in color
and size. According to Biaggi (1983), males are brighter and
larger than females. However, all available information is
based on field observations. The first goal of the captive
program for the Plain Pigeon was to determine the
morphological differences between the sexes. Initially, the
captive pigeons were observed for any external differences, but
none were found. After that, morphological measurements
were taken, including wing chord, bill length from feathers and
nares, bill height and width, size of head from bill, tarsus,
length of primary feather number nine and retrices, and body
mass. A Student's t test was performed to compare both sex
measurements on known male and female captives. Body mass
and wing chord showed a significant difference between sexes.
For body mass, I found a t1 (0.745). which was less than
the tt (2.021) at the 0.05 alpha level (d.f. = 40). For lhat
reason, I accept my null hypothesis (H,:x1 = x2). Wing chord
also was significantly different between the sexes. For this
measurement. the ty, (2.021) was greater than the twc
(1.059) at the 0.05 alpha level (d.f. = 40). Those two
measurements could be used to sex this species in captivity
and particularly the wild population of the Plain Pigeon. No
significant difference was found between the sexes in the other
measurements tested. Another sexing method thal is accurate is
karyolyping, using blood samples or feather pulp of wild

Abtmract (c-tainued)

Aspects of the Breeding Biology of Roseate Terns
in Puerto Rico

Jorge E, Saliva
US. Fish and Widlife Service. P,O, Bax 49, Boqur6n. Puerto
Rico 00622. and

David A. Shealer
Department ofBiology, Rutgers University, Piscataway, Nei
Jersey 08855, USA.

We studied two colonies of Roseate Terms (Sterna dougalfiiO
breeding in Puerto Rico to explain the year to year variability
in reproductive success and colony site tenacity. In the Culebra
archipelago, Roseate Terns exhibit unpredictable nesting
behavior, shifting colony sites up to four times within a
breeding season, and low reproductive success. In the keys off
La Parguera, Roseate Terns exhibit a more predictable nesting
behavior, with little shifting once a breeding colony has been
established, and higher reproductive success. We discuss how
differences in the number and type of predators at each colony
may affect the breeding behavior and survival of eggs, young,
and adult terns. We suggest that intercolony movement may be
occurring among colonies in Puerto Rico and the Virgin

Some Aspects of the Breeding Biology and Growth
Patterns of the Puerto Rican Flycatcher
(Myiarchtus antillarum) at Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico

Pablo Torres Bdez
US. Fish and Wildlife Service, Caribbean Field Office, P.O. Box
491, Boquer6n, Puerto Rico 00622

The breeding biology and growth patterns of the Puerto Rican
Flycatcher (Myiarchus andillarum) were studied at the Cabo
Rojo National Wildlife Refuge from 1987 to 1991.
Throughout the study, a total of 50 nests built in wooden nest
structures were monitored. The breeding season extended from
February through June. Mean clutch size was 4.38. Average
number of young per successful nest was 3.3, with 79% of
monitored nests fledging at least one young. Mean
morphometric dimensions for fledglings were 92 mm for
culmen. 22.9 mm for tarsus, and 58.7 mm for wing length.
The mean weight of fledglings was 223 g, which was
significantly lower than the weight of adults. Wing length and
weight were used to generate a regression equation to estimate
age of nestlings. Nestling growth pattern was logistic, with
rapid growth occurring between 5-13 days post-hatch. Growth
rates of young originating from broods of three to five were
not significantly different. Preliminary data suggest that nest
location could be an important factor allowing for similar
growth rates amongdiffering brood sizes. However, other
factors that might yield similar results and questions regarding
adult activity budgets will be discussed. Censuses were
conducted in 1991 to determine population numbers.

ElPitirre VoL 4, No.3

Pagp 8

ib&actz f(cainuiwd)

The Yellow-shouldered Blackbird (Agelaius
xanthmomu) Recovery Project

Eduardo A. Ventosa Febles
Department ofNatural Resources. Scientific Research Area. P.O.
Box 5887, Purta de Tierra, Puerto Rico 0006

A recovery effort for the Yellow-shouldered Blackbird has been
conducted in southwestern Puerto Rico since 1982, A history
of the project, including results and host-parasite interactions
with the Shiny Cowbird (Molothrus bonarienais), are
presented. The current status of this population, as well as
short- and long-term projections of the recovery effort, are
also discussed.

Post-hurricane Management and Conservation
Strategies for the Wild Puerto Rican Parrot
Population: An Overview

Francisco J. Vilella
US. Fish and Wildlife Service, Caribbean Field Office, P.O. Baox
488, Palmer, Puerto Rico 00721

The Puerto Rican Parrot (Amazona vittata vittata) is the last
endemic psittacine found in the islands of the Puerto Rican
Bank. Once abundant and widely distributed, the species
declined largely due to deforestation and habitat destruction
Conservation efforts began in 1968, when a relict population
of approximately 24 wild parrots was found restricted to the
rainforest area of the Luquillo Mountains within the Caribbean
National Forest (CNF). Captive breeding efforts were initiated
in 1972. Progress in the project was slow, yet consistent, over
the years. By August 1989, there were 5 active nesting areas
and an estimated total wild parrot population of 45-47
individuals. On 18 September 1989, Hurricane Hugo hit CNF
with sustained winds in excess of 150 miles per hour. Damage
to the tabonuco (Dacryodes excelsa) and palo colorado (Cyrilla
racemiflora) forest types, the main parrot habitat at CNF, was
severe over large sections of the forest Conservation and
management efforts since the passage of Hugo include newly
designed observation blinds, the re-implementation of a
discarded parrot census method, modified canopy level
platforms, and the use of colored metal leg bands for marking
parrot chicks.

Impact of Shiny Cowbird Parasitism on the
Reproductive Success of the Puerto Rican Vireo in
Gfianica Forest, Puerto Rico

B.L Woodworth
Department of Ecology. Evolution, and Behavior, University of
Minnesota. Minneapois, Minnesota 55455, USA.

The Puerto Rican Vireo (Vireo ladmen) is a single island
endemic which may decline in numbers because of brood
parasitism by the Shiny Cowbird (Molothrus bonariensis), In
1990, 1 began an ongoing project to document the chronology,
etient, and effects of cowbird parasitism on this species in the

Gdanica Commonwealth Forest Reserve, a mature subtropical
dry forest in southwestern Puerto Rico. This research has
shown that the Puerto Rican Vireo is a frequent cowbird host
in the study area, and that parasitized nests arc not successful
in fledging virco young. The decrease in reproductive success
of parasitized nests is due to two factors. First, cowbirds
frequently remove host eggs from the nest (partial or entire
clutch). Second, hatching success of vireo eggs decreases
because of the larger size of cowbird eggs. The implications of
these data for the population status of the Puerto Rican Vireo
will be discussed. Research is currently underway to
investigate the distribution and abundance of Shiny Cowbirds
in Gdanica Forest, and the effects of forest openings on
parasitism rates there.

The Effect of Hurricane Hugo on Bird Populations
in a Puerto Rican Rain Forest: The First Year and
a Half

Joseph M. Wunderle
Insitute of Tropical Forestry, P.O. Box B, Palmer. Puerto Rico

Bird populations in the El Verde rain forest were sampled at
2-3 week intervals by mist nets, starting 2 weeks after the
passage of Hurricane Hugo and continuing for 1-1/2 years. The
results were compared with a baseline netting study completed
before the hurricane. Bird captures were initially higher after
than before the hurricane, but then declined to a low level 50
days after the storm. Bird captures reached their highest levels
at 100 days after the storm, corresponding with fruit
production in old treefall gaps. By 200 days after the storm.
bird captures had returned to pre-hurricane baseline levels.
However, the pattern of population change differed among
species. For example, a major decline was observed in one
species (Ruddy Quail-Dove Geotrygon montana); four species
increased (Pearly-eyed ThInsher Margarops fiscatus, Black-
faced Grassquit 7Taris bicolor, Puerto Rican Bullfinch
Loxigilla portoricensis, Red-legged Thrush Turdus plumbeus):
five species showed an initial increase, followed by a decline to
previous population levels (Puerto Rican Tanager Nesospingus
speculiferus, Puerto Rican Tody Todus mexicanus, Black-
whiskered Vireo Vireo altiloquus, Northern Pandla Panda
americana. Black-throated Blue Warbler Dendroica caerules-
cens); and the remaining species showed no consistent pattern.
Thus, most hurricane-induced wandering or nomadism occurred
within 200 days following the storm, after which birds
appeared to respond to successional changes in the plant

Additional papers presented at the meeting, for which no
abstracts were received, included:

Monitoring Trends in Annual Abundance of
Migratory Birds Humted in Barbados
Debbie Riven-Ramsey, Barbados

El Piirre Vol.4, No.3

Page 9

Abrtmets {cozntwd)

Abrrrmct (continued)

Abstraftl (coftlinua)

New Conservation Initiatives in the Cayman
Dace Ground and James Wiley
National Trust for the Cayman Islands

Local Captive Breeding Programme of the St
Vincent Amazon
Lennox Quammie
St, Vincent

The Montserrat Oriole: Its Present Status
Gerard Grey

Brief Notes on Dominica's Ornithological Efforts
Adolphus Christian
Forestry Department, Ministry ofAgriculture, Rossea, Dominica

Update on the West Indies Field Guide
Herbert Raffaele
US. Fish and Wildlife Serice, Washington, D.C.

Amazona versicolor The Environmental
Education Aspect
Lyndon John
Forestry Departmcna, Alinisry ofAgriculture, St. Lucia

The following abstracts were submitted, although the authors
were uawble to attend the meeting:

Resultados Preliminares del Proyecto Nacional
para la Conservacion de la Colorra Cubana
(Amazona leucocephala)

Xiomrrara Gdlvez Aguilem,. Vicente Berovides Alvarez,
Alejandro LUdnes Sosa, and Rosendo Martinez Montero
La llabana, Cuba

En el prescnte trabajo se exponen los primeros Tesultados del
proyecto nacional para la conservaci6n de la colorra cubana
(ADjma:ona i. leucoccphala) que comenzd a desarrollarse en 1988
y que abarca el estudio en II localidades del pais. manejo y crfa
en cautiverio dc la misma. Se presenwan en detalle los
resultados dul trabajo efectuado cnot- 1988 y 1990 en la
localidad de Los Indios, Isla de la Juventud que es in irea
formada por sabanas arenosas con palmas barrigonas
(Colpothrinoa wrighti) dnico sustrato que utiliza la colorra
para wnidar. A 6stos, junto con palmas sembradas para
aumentar los sitios de nidificaci6n, se le midieron ocho
variables dcl propio nido y cinco dc la vegcltacin circundante.
Las colrrn-as preficren los nidos sembrados para anidar por la
mayor profundidad de Ia cavidad, menor allura de la entrada y
me nor densidud de otras palmas barrigonas. Con cste mdlodo do
srcmbra. la poblaci6n se incremont6 a una tasa
1.21/ind[v./anif. La profundidad del nido fue cl components
estruclural quo influyd en el nimero de pichones que
volaron. Sc cxpoten ad;emds los datos pmlitminarcs relatives a
aluOdancia y datos reproductivos cn las localidades de Mil

Cumbres, Cayo Potrero, Halo MiliAn y Loma de Cunagua.
Por tiltimo se presentan datos relatives a la cria en cautiverio
de 15 pichones y el disefto elaborado para el establecimiento de
criaderos artificiales.

Nesting Habits of the Village Weaver (Ploceus
cacullasus) in Haiti

J.O. Keith
USDA. Box25266, Denver, Colorado. USA., and

M. Rimpel
Ministry ofAgriculture, Darien, Haiti

Features of Village Weaver (Ploccus cicullatus) nesting
biology in Haiti were studied from 1981 to 1984. In 1981 and
1983, location, size, and status of colonies were noted for
those found between Cap Hatien in the north and Los Caves
and Jacmel in the south (>600 km of road). Of 100 colonies
found in the 2 years. most were active in May and June. some
in August and September, and a few during both periods. In 62
colonies where nests were counted, numbers varied from 8 to
200 and averaged 75. In 1983 and 1984. observations were
made weekly from May to September at 10 nesting colonies
near Damien. Numbers of new nests, total nests, adult males,
adult females, and fledglings were counted during each visit.
We recorded activities, such as chasing, fighting, male
displays, nest building, foraging, and loafing. In 1983. the
greatest number of nests occurred in June (7 early colonies) and
September (3 late colonies), and averaged 195 nests per colony
(range 37-468). The greatest number of males seen in colonies
averaged 35, indicating that each male built about 5.6 nests. In
1984, birds-nested at only 5 of the 10 colonies. The
reproductive' effort was also much lower in other ways; the
greatest number of males and nests in the 5 colonies averaged
only 19 and 81, respectively. The aging and disappearance of
old nests was monitored during the winter of 1983-84. The
Village Weaver was introduced into Haiti over 200 years ago.
Possible adaptations to Haitian environments were considered
by comparing our findings with those of recent African nesting


A meeting of the Society's Psittacinc Working Group was
held on 6 August, during the 1991 annual meeting in St.
Lucia. Present were Rosemarie Gnam, Martha Walsh, Sara
Cross, Martin Kelsey. Michael Marsden, Dace Ground,
Francisco Vilella, Wylie Barrow, and Jim Wiley. Because the
Group had rot met since the 1989 Society meeting and none
of the objectives agreed on then had been attained, the Group
decided on the following, rather than developing additional

ElPitirre VoL 4. No.3

Page 10

Psitlac.~ Woraing Group (contuwd


1. Francisco J. Vilella was named Chairperson of the Group.
2. The Group agreed to produce a document on West Indian
psittacids, to be published through the Society of Caribbean
Ornithology. This publication will be organized by sections
for each island having parrot populations, with each section
prepared by resident Group members. It will be compiled and
edited by the Chairperson. with assistance from other Group
members. For each island, three topics will be covered: present
status of the native psittacines (Amazona and Aratinga), major
recent (last 4-5 years) accomplishments, and present
conservation and research needs. This document will serve not
only as a source of information for persons interested in
Caribbean psittacines, but will also help to identify needs that
can be presented to government and non-government
organizations for funding. The document will be published in
early 1992.
3. A three-day workshop will be held next year following
the annual meeting of the Society of Caribbean Ornithology,
which will be held in Puerto Rico, The workshop will be
conducted in the Caribbean National Forest and will be
sponsored by the Society of Caribbean Ornithology, the U.S.
Fish and Wildlife Service, and the U.S. Forest Service. The
workshop will cover the following:
a. Psittacine census methodology
b. Habitat management techniques
c. Psittacine veterinary medicine
d. Public education
More detailed information on the workshop will be provided at
a later date.


Dr. Joe Wunderle has assumed the duties of the Editor of the
Society's journal, Ornitologia Caribefia. Jorge Moreno
and Joe are now putting together an edition of the journal. If
not contacted by Joe, all authors who have submitted
manuscripts to Ornitologia Caribefia should contact him
Dr. Joseph Wunderle, Jr.
Institute of Tropical Forestry
P.O. Box B
Palmer, Puerto Rico 00721
[telephone: 809-887-2875]


At the 1989 annual meeting of the Society of Caribbean
Ornithology, several members pre-paid for copies of Herb
Raffaele's "A guide to the birds of Puerto Rico and the Virgin
Islands" at a special rate. Unfortunately, the list of those who
purchased the books has been lost. If you paid for the Guide at
the Santo Domingo meeting, please advise Ms. Catherine
Levy at:
Society of Caribbean Ornithology
2 Starlight Ave.
Kingston 6, Jamaica

Ei Pirre Vot 4, No.3

Field Assistants (1-2) needed from March 1-July 15, 1992, at
the El Verde Field Station in Puerto Rico. Successful
candidates will participate in long-term banding studies in
mature forest and second growth and will also assist in a study
of the reproductive biology of the Puerto Rican Tody (Todus
madcanus). Salary is $500/month plus free housing.
Applicants should demonstrate previous field experience,
including the use of mist nets. To apply, send a letter of
interest detailing experience and the names and telephone
numbers of three references to Robert B. Waide. GPO Box
363682. San Juan, Puerto Rico 00936.


4-18 January 1992 American Birding Association
Conference. McAllen Airport Hilton Inn. McAllen. Texas.
Attendance limited to ABA members and accompanying
spouses. (American Birding Association Lower Rio Grande
Conference, P.O. Box 6599, Colorado Springs, Colorado
80934-6599, U.S.A.).

2-5 March 1992 Fifteenth Vertebrate Pest Confer-
ence, Newport Inn. Newport Beach, California. (Terrell
Salmon. Business Manager, c/o DANR-North Region,
Research Park Facility. University of California, Davis,
Califdrnia 95616, U.S.A.. Telephone: 916-757-8623; fax: 916-

27 March 1 April 1992 57th North American Wild-
life and Natural Resources Conference, Charolete.
North Carolina. U.S.A.

27-29 March 1992 Eastern Bird Banding Associa-
tion, annual meeting, Keller Conference Center, Pennsylvania
State University, State College, Pennsylvania, US.A. (Janet
Shaffen 814-356-3553).

9-12 April 1992 The Wilson Ornithological Society
will meet with The Florida Ornithological Society at
the Hilton Inn Gateway West, Kissimmee, Flokida, U.SA.
(Roberta Geanangel and Herbert W. Kale will co-chair the
Local Committee. Keith L. Bildstein, Department of Biology,
Winthrop Collecge, Rock Hill, South Carolina 29733,
U.SA. will chair the Scientific Program Committee).

20-26 April 1992 American Birding Association
Convention, Mobile, Alabama. (ABA Convention '92,
P.O. Box 6599, Colorado Springs, Colorado 80934-6599,
U.SA. telephone: 800-835-2473).

10-15 May 1992 International Symposium on the
Preservation and Conservation of Natural History
Collections, Madrid, Spain. (Information available from:
Cesar Romero-Serra, Department of Analomy. Queen's
University, Kingston, Ontario K7L 3N6, Canada; or Julio
Gisbert & Fernando Palacios, Museo Nacional de Ciencias
Naturales, Jos Gutierrez Abascal 2, 28006 Madrid, Spain).

Page 11

Af.reings continued)

10-17 May 1992 4th World Conference on Birds of 21-27 August 1994 XXI International Ornithological
Prey and Owls. Berlin, Germany. (World Working Group Congress, Vienna, Austria, (Inlerconvention, A-1450
on Birds of Prey, 15b Bolton Gardens, London SW5 OAL, Vienna. Austria).
United Kingdom; or Wangenheimstr. 32, 1000 Berlin 33,

1-6 June 1992 Society for the Preservation of
Natural History Collections, 7th annual meeting,
Nebraska State Museum. Conservation workshop on pest
management. (Charlie Messenger. Local Commiuce Chair,
Nebraska Suitle Museum, University or Nebraska. Lincoln.
Nebraska 68588, U.SA; telephone: 402-472-8366).

13-18 June 1992 The Animal Behavior Society,
Queen's University. Kingston, Ontario, Canada. (L, Ratcliffe
or K. Wynne-Edwards. Department of Biology, Queen's
University. Kingston. Ontario K7L 3N6 Canada).

22-25 June 1992 Society of Avian Paleontology and
Evolution (SAPE) will hold its third symposium at the
Forschungsinstilut Senckenberg in Frankfurt am Main,
Germany. Those who wish to participate and to receive the
next circular of information should notify D.S. Peters,
Scnckcnbcrg Museum. Scnckenberg-Anlage 25, D-6000
Frankfur tNL Germany.

22-26 June 1992 Cooper Ornithological Society.
62ntd a:riua:! ni 'Lin. Lnivcrsily of Washington, Seattle,
Washiintin, i D.ivid A, ..:mnuwal [Local Arangnements Chair],
Wildiite Science Group, College of Forest Resources.
University ol Washington. Seattle, Washington 98195,
U.S.A.; Dennis Martin [Scientific Program Committee],
Biology Department. Pacific Lutheran College, Tacoma,
Washington 98447, U.S.A.).

24-27 June 1992 The American Ornithologists'
Union annual meeting, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa,
U.S.A. (Erwin E. Klaas. Iowa Cooperative Wildlife Research
Unit. Science Hall 2, Iowa State University. Ames. Iowa
50011, U.S.A.).

17-22 August 1992 Fourth International Behavioral
Ecolo'y Congress. Princeton University, Princeton, New
Jersey. (ISBE Committee, Daniel Rubenstein. Department of
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Princeton University,
Princeton. New Jersey 0854--1003).

22-25 September 1992 Neotropical Migratory Bird
Symposium and Workshop. Estes Park, Colorado. (Tom
lMartin. Arkansas Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research
Unit. Department of Biological Sciences, University of
Arkanss., Fayetteville. Arkansas 72701. U.SA).

12-19 November 1992 Waterfowl and Wetlands
Conservation in the 1990s--a Global Perspective.
Tnidcwind-s Hotel, St. Petersburg, Florida. (Simon Nash,
IWRB. Slimbridge. Gloucester, GL2 7BX, United Kingdom).

ElPitirre Vul. 4, No.3

Meft-ings (kc- Md)

l-'age 12


The Environmental Investigation Agency (1506 Nineteenth Street, NW. Washington, D.C. 20036) has prepared the following
information on two pending wild bird bills in the United SitS.&

Wild Bird Protection Act
Senate 1219/House or Representatives 2540

Importation Ban on Wild-caught Birds
Requires an immediate ban on the importation of wild-caught
birds for sale as pets.
*Though required by CITES, wild populations are not being
monitored to ensure that they can sustain the great numbers of
birds being legally captured for the trade. The result- many
species of birds are becoming rare and even endangered because
of their popularity as pets.
*The presence of a legal trade facilitates smuggling of an
estimated 150,000 birds into the United States each year.
*Limiting the market to domestically bred birds will promote
the efforts of American aviculturalists, who at the present time
have a difficult time competing with cheap imports on the

Exotic Bird Conservation Act
Senate 1218/House of Representatives 2541

Importation Ban on WiVd-caught Birds
Requires a five year "phase-out" of the importation of wild-
caught birds for the pet trade.
-Importation of wild birds in the first year of the "phase-out"
could actually increase from present levels, further threatening
wild populations.
-The importation of wild-caught birds during a "phase-out"
period will discourage captive breeding because the cost of
domestically bred birds cannot compete with the low prices of
*The necessary biological data to establish accurate import
quotas during a "phase-out" do not exist
*By petition, the Secretary of the Interior may choose to allow
importation of avian species previously not exploited for the
pet trade.

Exempt Species Exempt Species
Exempts from the import ban and marking requirements: Exempts from the "phase-out": the importation ban and
common canaries, cockatiels, and budgerigars. Exempts other marking requirements, species commonly bred in captivity
species commonly bred in captivity after a finding is made by after a finding is made by the Secretary of the Interior.
the Secretary of the Interior.

Pet Bird Imports Pet Bird Imports
Allows the importation of personal pet birds. Allows the importation of personal pet birds.

Importation of Wild Birds for Captive Breeding Importation of Wild Birds for Captive Breeding
Allows for the importation of wild-caught birds for captive The importation of any number or species of wild-caught birds
breeding purposes, if the importer can demonstrate that the is permitted upon submittal of a name, address, and photo of
importation will have no detrimental effect on wild facilities.
populations and that the species being imported is not -Will allow the importation of excessive numbers of wild birds
reasonably available in the United States. to the detriment of wild populations.
*The "no detrimental effect" requirement restates criteria already
in place for all avian species on CITES Appendix f--criteria
which are rarely enforced.
*To guard against excessive importation of avian species which
have already been brought into the United States in large
numbers, imports must be limited to those species not already
reasonably available.

Importation of Wild Birds for Zoos and Scientific Importation of Wild Birds for Zoos and Scientfic
Research Research
Allows for the importation of wild-caught birds only if the No timitiation.
importer has demonstrated the importation will benefit the
conservation of the species.

Importation of Foreign Captive-Bred Birds
Allows the importation of captive-bred birds from facilities in
foreign countries. Requires the Secretary to determine that the
facility has the ability of producing the birds to be exported
and is being operated in a humane manner,

ElPitirre Vol.4, No. 3

Importation of Foreign Captive-bred Birds
Allows dthe importation of captive-bred birds from facilities in
foreign countries. Requires the Secretary to make a finding that
the facility has the capability of producing the birds to be
exported and is operated in a humane manner. The
determination, however, need only be made on "the best
information available," which relieves the Secretary from
acquiring the information necessary to ensure that the facility
is indeed breeding the birds.
Page 13

Bird leistation (conrlinuel)

Wild Bird Protection Act
Senate 1219/House of Representatives 2540

Importation of Ranched Birds
Not permitted
-There is no existing ranching of birds to model a system on.
-The biological data and controls to ensure populations are not
damaged and that the birds are treated humanely does not exist.
-"Ranching" is potentially an easy method of laundering wild-
caught birds.

Marking Requirements
Requires comprehensive marking and record keeping for all
birds in trade, except common canaries, budgerigars,
cockatiels, and any other species commonly bred in captivity
exempt by the Secretary.
-Comprehensive marking requirements will enable American
consumers and enforcement officials to distinguish captive bred
from wild-caught birds,
*Will promote means of marking birds already being practiced:
banding of wild-caught birds by the federal government and
marking of captive-bred birds by private means.

Reporting Requirements
Requires any individual importing birds or transferring wild
birds imported after enactment to submit annual reports to the
Secretary. Such individuals must keep records regarding
transfer of all birds except those exempt as species commonly
bred in captivity.

Licensing Requirements
Requires a license for any individual importing birds into the
United States or any person transferring a wild bird.
Regulations governing licensing will include slanlards of
husbandry and humane care. Allows the Fish and Wildlife
Service to confirm the accuracy of numbers of wild-caught
birds within the United States by comparing information in
annual reports against information on licensed individuals.

Exotic Bird Conservation Act
Senate 1218/House of Representatives 2541


Importation of Ranched Birds
Allows the importation of ranched birds if the Secretary
determines that the operation is beneficial to the species and to
the local community, and that the operation is carried out in a
humane manner, Yet, the determination need only be made on
" lle best information available".
*"The best information available" may be very little
information indeed; certainly little or no information exists at


Marking Requirements
Only requires marking of imported wild-caught birds five years
after enactment.
*Lack of comprehensive marking of birds will facilitate the
laundering of smuggled birds.
*Enforcement officials and consumers will have no means of
positively identifying captive-bred from illegally obtained


Reporting Requirements
Requires any individual importing birds or holding wild birds
imported after enactment to submit annual reports to the
Secretary. Such individuals must keep records regarding
transfer of all birds except those exempt as species commonly
bred in captivity, pre-Act birds, and those bred in captivity.

Licensing Requirements
Requires a license for any individual importing birds into the
United States which are not for their personal use. Regulations
governing licensing will include standards of husbandry and
humane care, experience, and inspection by an accredited
veterinarian: license valid for a period of two years.
Requires registration with the Secretary of the Interior for any
individual importing any bird one year after enactment for their
personal use or transferring a wild bird five years after
enactment. Registration automatic when an individual submits
a name, address, and a photograph of facilities for registration.
Registration valid for a period of two years.

Cituien Suit Citizen Suit
Stronger citizen suit provision Citizen suit provision.

Sritr Preemption State Preemption
Does not pre-empt stronger stale laws. Pre-empis stronger state laws, such as the New York Statle
Wild Bird Act enacted in 1984. This removes the right of
states to take stronger measures to protect birds. The wild bird
trade will reopen, disrupting the captive-bred bird industry.

Page 14

ElPixirrc Vol.4, No. 3

t I -


President: Ms. Catherine Levy, 2 Starlight Ave.. Kingston 6.

Vice President: Dr. Joseph Wunderle, Jr., Institute of Tropical
Forestry, Apartado 21390, Rio Piedms. Puerto
Rico 00928

Secretary: Ms. Patricia F. Bradley, Government House, Turks
and Caicos Islands, West Indies

Treasurer. Mr. Allan Keith, P.O. Box 325, New Vernon, New
Jersey 07976

From: Dr. James W. Wiley
Grambling Cooperative Wildlife Project
P.O. Box 4290
Grambling State University
Grambling, Louisiana 71245


ElPitirre Vol.4. No. 3

Page 15

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