El Pitiir is the newsletter of the
Society of Caribbean Ornithology.
El Pittirre es el boletfn informativo de
Ia Sociedd de la Omitologfa Caribelia.
EDITOR: James W. Wiley, Grambling
Cooperative Wildlife Project, P.O. Box
4290, Grambling State University,
Gmmbling, Louisiana 71245, U.SA.
News. comments, or requests should be
mailed to the editor for inclusion in the
Noticias, comentarios o peticiones
deben ser enviadas al editor para
inclusion en el boletnh.
Pitinr, Gray Kingbird, Pedgre. Petchary
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-Omitologfa
Caribefia, 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 Omitologfa Caribena es una organizacidn sin fines do Incr
cuyas melas son promover el estudio cientffico y la conservacidn do la avifanna
caribefia, auspiciar un simposio anual sobre ]a ornitologfa caribefla, publicar una
revista profesional lHamada Omitologfa Caribela (publicada en conjuito con la
Sociedad Omilol6gica de Puerto Rico), set una fuente do comunicacidn entre
ornitdlogos caribefios y en otras Areas y proveer ayuda ttcnica o datos a grupos de
conservaci6n en el caribe.
TRANSIT DEBOMBYCILLA CEDRORUM (AVES: BOMBYCILLIDAE) EN
LOCALIDADES DE LA CIUDAD DE LA HABANA. Etbalen GoIez
Jor de (a Cna.Sadn P. Sad y Santas Czrlba ................................... 2
LONCHURA MALACCA (AVES: ESTRIIDIDAE), NiEVA ESPECIE PARA LA
AVIFAUNA CUBANA. ArturoKi'rk onlt yOrkmGarridn ............... ....... 2
OBSERVATIONS OF THE RED-NECKED PHALAROPE (PHALAROPUSLOBATVS)
AND BAIRD'S SANDPIPER (CALIDRIS BAIRDII) IN PUERTO RICO. Alflo 1.
Begazo .................................................................. 3
REPRODUCTIVE ECOLOGY OP THE CUBAN PARROT (AMAZONA LEUCOCEPIIALA)
IN LOS INDIOS. ISLA DE LA JUVENTUD
L--NEST SELECTION. Arjandro liman Smsa, Roasnda Marnna Montero, and
Vimcenrte Berm Alvaren ............................................ 3
IL-POPULATION DYNAMICS. Vintne Be rider Alvare. Alerjar Ll.ansz Sasa. and
RmtendoManinezMonere --------.................. ................ 4
BOOK REVIEW: A GUIDE TO THE BIRDS OF TRINIDAD & TOBAGO. 2nd Editkt.
William L.U M phy ........................ ................... .. .... ......... 4
1992 MENETNG OF THE SCO IN PUERTO RICO ............................... 5
PSITTACINE WORKSHOP .................... ...... .......................... 6
1992 COLUMBID WORKING GROUP MEETING REPORT ........................... 6
DRAFTCONSTI-UTION FOR SOCIETY .......................................... 7
ALLAN KEITI STEPS DOWN AS SOCIETYSTREASURER ..................... 7
NEWS OF MEMBERS ................... ............... .................. 7
VOLUNTEERS NEEDED ............................................ 7
REQUEST FOR ASSISTANCE .............. .... ............................. 8
MEEIT~GS OF INTEREST .................... ............................,
TRANSITO DE BOMBYCILLA CEDRORUM
(AVES: BOMBYCILLIDAE) EN LOCALIDADES
DE LA CIUDAD DE LA HABANA
Esteban GodinezI, Jorge de la Cruz1. Juan P. Soi2
y Santos Cubillas2
lrinuoa de &abIia y Sislemnaica. La Habana. Cuba
2Parque Zoolgico Nacional. La Habaa Cuba
El Picotem del Cedro (Bombycilla cedrorum) es una especie
que arriba a erriTorio cubano en grandes bandadas (Garido y
Garcia Montana, Catalogo de las ayes de Cuba, Acad. Cienc.
Cuba, 1975).Observacionesrealizadas en diferentes localidades
de la Ciudad de La Habana y aproximadamente para un mismo
lapso (12 y 16 de maro de 1990) han evidenciado la existencda
de varios grapos de esta ave. En dfas consecutivos fueron
vistas dos bandadas en la zona perimetral de un centre escolar,
situado aproximadamente a 13 an al surueste de la Bahfa de la
Habana. Una de la misma estaba confornada por alrededor de
20 individuos, mientras que la otra por 25. A ambas
agrupaciones se les vid en vuelo y posadas en arboles del
lugar. incluidos dos cedros (Cedrela odorata). Por otra part, se
observe una bandada de esta especie do 24 aves en el arbolado
que conforma el Instituto de Ecologia y Sistemdtica, ubicado
swt 230 N y 830 25' W) mrs al sur que la localidad anterior.
Asimismo, en dreas aledaflas a este lugar (Parque Zool6gico
Nacional) se contaron alrederor de 20 aves, las que fonajeaban
en un dAbol de majagua (Hibiscus elatus).
El 14 de marzo de 1991, coincidiendo con el perfodo de
observacidn del afio anterior, fue vista una bandada de 8
individuos en el Instituto antes mencionado.
Estas observaciones demuestran la utilizacidn del territorio
de la Ciudad de La Habana por esta especie como zona de
descanso y transit temporal durante su migracid6n acia None
America. Bombycilla cedrorum, por lanto, debe scr un
transeune y es poco probable que resida en este territorio, lo
quaI sugiere la revision de su estatus en diferentes regiones de
Cuba, ya que O.H. Garrido la ha considered como residente de
paso irregular o invemanteraro (La migraci6n de las aves en
Cuia. Publicaciones de la Asociacidn de Amigos de Donana.
No. 0:7-47, 1988).
Los movimientos migratorios de esta especie y de otras
aves, determinan el corredor que ha sido precisado
recientemente a trav6s de la udlizacidn del radar (Godinez y
Martinez. Aves migratorias en vuelo detectadas por radar sobre
La Habana, Restimenes, II Simposio de Zoologfa. la Habana
LONCHURA MALACCA (AVES:
ESTRILDIDAE), NUEVA ESPECIE PARA LA
Artuo Kirkconnell y Orlando Garrido
Museo Nacional de Historia Natural
La Habana 2, Cuba
Duranme un viaje a Soplillar (Ci0naga de Zapata), en agosto
de 1991, Nelson Garcia (gula local de los grupos de
observadores de aves). entregd al autor senior un macho de
Lonchura mralacca que conservaba en congelaci6n. El ave, un
Lonchur malacva mz Cubcntined)
macho adult, depositado acualmente en la colectida na aves
del Museo Nacional d istoia Natural de Cuba
(MNHNCU-1387), fue colectado en las anoceras del Guanal
al nordeste de Bernejas, en el municipio de Aguada de
Pasajeros, provincia de Malanzas. Segdn su colecor, la espe ie
es may abundante en Ia zona, observAndose nmnerunm adnuios
y j6venes do ambos sexos. Evidentemenam, de acuerdo con su
abundancia. Ia especie debe flevar varies alios de establedda en
Indagando con varios "prarcros." o criadores de aves en
cautiverio, ningnno canoda tal espcie, to que eliminaba la
posibilidad do algdn "escapado de jaua." Par otro lado, dos
mess despaus de este hallazgo, el colega Rafael Quiniones, de
San Antonio de los Baflos, nos trajo una hembra adulta que
habfa muerto en cautiverio. Este ejemplar est depositado junto
al anterior (MNHNCUJ-1838). El ave habia sido capturada
viva en una jaala do trampa en las anoceras al sur de G iines y
Melena del Sur. en la provincia de La Habana, junto con varios
otros individuos, par Sergio Rodriguz, el 17 de noviembre de
1991. Posteriormeate, fue criado en cautiverio con oaos cinco
individuos hasta su macrt.
Segdn Quifiones (comun. pers.), son ya varios los
"pajareros" de San Antonio de los Baflos que se hallan criando
esta ave en cautiverio. So descubrimiento y eventual hallazgo
data de solo pocos mess, lo que indica que la especie, al vivir
en las arroceras de la costa sur. aparentemente ha extendido su
dispersi6n hacia el oeste. Con anterioridad a la localizaci6n de
estas poblaciones, tampoco ningdn criador local la conoca. Al
igual que en el sur de Matanzas, en detemnninados lugares de la
aroceras, se hallan poblaciones bien establecidas.
El ave se adapta perfectamente bien at cauiverio y, teniendo
en cuenta su establecimiento en aroceras, no es do dudar que su
dispersi6n se extienda proto a otras regions de la isaa, no solor
en aroceras, sino posiblemmeni en campos de caia.
LC6mo Ileg6 esia especie a Cuba? Esta es una pregunta de
especulaci6n, pero el echo de que no era conocida por aingfn
criador de aves en cautiverio, ni "pajareros," induce a pensar
que su arribo a Cuba fue fortuito y natural, tal vez, los
ciclones influyeron en so dispersion, transportando algunos
individuos desde Puerto Rico. El resultado es quo
aparentemente la especie se establecid en Cuba par medics
propios y no como producto de una introduccidn y, ya
establecida. constituye un nuevo elemento de la avifauna
Queermos agradecer la colaboracidn brindada por Nelson
Garcia y Rafael Quitlones por su interns en dar a conocer este
Rafface, FLA. 1983. A guide to the birds of Puerto Rico and
the Virgin Islands. Fondo Educativo Inteamericano, San
El Pirre Vol. 5, No. I
OBSERVATIONS OF THE RED-NECKED
PHALAROPE (PHLAL4ROPUS LOBATUS) AND
BAIRD'S SANDPIPER (CALtDRIS BAIRDII) IN
Alfedo J. Begazo
ArckbaldBiologicalStalion. P.O.Box 2057, Lake Placid, Florida
On 23 October 1990, 5 members of the Field Biology
Training Program of Manomet Bird Observatory observed an
adult Red-necked Phalarope (Phalaropus lobatus) in non-
breeding plumage at the southeastern lagoon at Cabo Rojo
Salt Flats, Puerto Rico. The salt flats are composed of several
ponds and shallow lagoons connected to the ocean by a culvert
system. Initially, the phalarope was seen foraging with Stilt
Sandpipers (Caldris himantopus). Its small size and persistent
swimming easily identified it as a phalarope.
Like the Red Phalarope (Phalaropus fulicarius) in winter
plumage, the bird had black through and behind the eyes, but
was easily distinguished from that species by its longer and
thinner bill, smaller size. and proportionally shorter wings
(Harrison 1983). The phalarope at Cabo Rojo also had white
lines along the outer edges of the mantle and scapulars, which
are absent in the Red Phalarope and Wilson's Phalarope
(Phalaropus tricolor)(Hayman et al. 1986).
The Red-necked Phalarope is normally a pelagic species,
except when breeding or storm-driven (Hayman et al. 1986).
New world populations breed in extreme northern America and
winter In the Pacific, with no major wintering areas known for
the Atlantic (American Ornithologists' Union 1983, Hayman
et aL 1986). Few records exist of migrating individuals in the
West Indies, and its appearance there is considered accidental.
Bond (1985) reported the species from New Providence (11
October). Cuba (20 May, 10 December), and Jamaica (21
January; years not given). Raffaele (1989) reported two earlier
records (30 December 1977, 24 April 1980) of Red-necked
Phalaropes in Puerto Rico.
In October 1990, several storms hit Puerto Rico. Following
one of the most severe of these storms (16 October), several
uncommon species were observed in good numbers, including
Hudsonian Godwits (Limosa haemastica), Lesser Golden-
Plovers (Pluvialis dominica), and Sanderlings (Calidris alba).
These migrating birds remained in the area for only one day,
perhaps recovering from the effects of the storm. I suggest that
the Red-necked Phalarope seen at Cabo Rojo had been storm-
driven to the region.
On 12 November 1991, I observed a juvenile Baird's
Sandpiper (Calidris bairdii) among a flock of Semipalmated
Sandpipers (Calidris pusilla) and Western Sandpipers (C.
maun) at one of the central ponds at the Cabo Rojo Salt Flats.
The Baird's Sandpiper vocalized constantly, giving a Krrrrt
Krrrrt, which was somewhat sharper than calls given by adults
of this species and different from those of the White-rumped
Sandpiper (C. fuscicollis),. a species common in the area. The
juvenile Baird's Sandpiper consistently flew separately and
landed 3-5 m apart from the flock. It maintained its distance
from the other birds on the ground.
In migration to and from North America, Baird's Sandpiper
overflies Central America and follows the Andean ridge. In the
El Pitirre Vol. 5. No. 1
Red-nrci lPhalarope and Bairds Sandiper in Pdrto Rico (condmied)
Caribbean, Baird's Sandpiper has been recorded from Trinidad
(2 September 1976; ffrench 1977), Barbados (specimen, 26
August, year not given; Bond 1962), SL Croix (27 August:
Fumriss 1983). and Puerto Rico (Perez-Rivcra 1987).
The Cabo Rojo Salt Flats represent one of the most
important stop-overs and wintering areas for shorebirds that
migrate to and from South America through the West Indies.
During my observations, Semipalmated Sandpipers, Weste=n
Sandpipers, and Black-necked Stilts (Himantopus mexicanus)
were present in high numbers. This area is a breeding ground
for Wilson's Plover (Charadrius wilsonia) and also has ihe
largest breeding population of the Caribbean race of the Snowy
Plover (C. alexandinus nivosus) in Puerto Rico (Gloria Lee.
American Ornithologists' Union. 1983. Check-list of North
American birds, 6th ed. Alien Press, Lawrence, Kansas.
Bond, J. 1962. Seventh Supplement to the Checklist of the
Birds of the West Indies (1956). Acad. Nat. Sci., Phila-
Bond, J. 1985. Birds of the West Indies. 5th ed., reprinted.
ffrench, R.P. 1977. Some interesting bird records from
Trinidad and Tobago. Living World (J. Trinidad Tobago
Field Nat. Club) 1977:5-11.
Harrison, P. 1983. Seabirds; an identification guide. Houghton
Mifflin Co., Boston.
Hayman. P., J. Marchant, annd T. Prater. 1986. Shorebirds: an
identification guide to the waders of the world. Houghton
Mifflin Co.. New York.
Norton, RL. 1983. Continental survey "The Autumn
Migration." Am. Birds 37:228-229.
Pdrez-Rivera, RA. 1987. Additional records and notes on
migratory water birds in Puerto Rico, West Indies. Carib. J.
Raffaele, HA. 1989. A guide to the birds of Puerto Rico and
the Virgin Islands. Second ed. Princeton Univ. Press,
Princeton, New Jersey.
ABSTRACTS OF CURRENT RESEARCH IN
REPRODUCTIVE ECOLOGY OF THE CUBAN
PARROT (AMAZONA LEUCOCEPHALA) IN LOS
INDIOS, ISLA DE LA JUVENTUD.
Alejandro LLanes Sosa, Rosendo Martinez Montero, and
Vincente Berovides Alvarez
La Habana. Cuba
Among the birds which use cavities for nesting, nest selection
appears to be a critical factor. The current investigation was
carried out to determine the structural components of the cavity
and vegetative environment that influence nest selection within
a natural population of Cuban Parrots (Amazona leucocepha-
AmaHns Irucacqtala Ecology (eCorianicd)
ia). Data were collected during 1988-1989 in the locality of
"Los Indios," Isla de la Juventud, which is characterized by
sandy savannas with palms (Colpohrinax wrightil). Parrots
used holes created by woodpeckers in the palms as nests. A
total of 242 nests were analyzed, some of which were in
planted palms. Eight variables were measured at each cavity in
natural or planted palms. Five variables were examined in the
surrounding vegetation. In 1988, 38.2% of the planted palms
were occupied by parrots versus 12.5% of the natural nest
trees. Similarly, in 1989 these values were 30.9% and 25%.
respectively. Parrots preferred planted palms for nesting
because those trees had cavities of greater depth, shorter
distance from the entrance to the ground, and the lower density
of other palms around the nest.
REPRODUCTIVE ECOLOGY OF THE CUBAN
PARROT (AMAZONA LEUCOCEPHALA) IN LOS
INDIOS, ISLA DE LA JUVENTUD.
Vincente Berovides Alvarez, Alejandro LLanes Sosa, and
Rosendo Martinez Montero
La Hlabwana, Cuba
The reproductive success of Cuban Parrots (Amazona
lertcocephala) was studied in Isla de la Juventud, Cuba. The
number of chicks fledged per nest was compared with the
limiting factor of nest cavity quality in planted palms
(Colpothrinax wrightii) and natural sites. Six variables of nest
structure and two of the surrounding vegetation were measured
for each nest cavity in natural and planted trees. We monitored
48 nests through fledging. A relationship was established
between nest number and the structural and vegetative factors
mentioned before, using a principal component analysis
(PCA). Examining the reproductive outcome of all parrot pairs
from 1982 to 1989 allowed us to analyze the population
dynamics of the species and to calculate the intrinsic rate of
natural increase. The structural component of the nest with the
greatest influence on the number of chicks fledged was cavity
depth. However, this relationship was significant only in nests
in planted palms, which generally showed a better reproductive
success than pairs using cavities in natural trees. Population
increase during a year was linear and was estimated as 0.195.
Abundance of the nest sites was examined, as well as the
reproductive chronology in our study area.
A Guide to the Birds of Trinidad & Tobago, 2nd
edition.-Richard ffrench. 1991. Ithaca, New York,
Comstock Publishing Associates, a division of Cornell
University Press. xvii + 426 pp.. plates and drawings by John
P. O'Neill. portraits by Don R. Eckelberry.-This publication
completely updates the first edition of this unique and
indispensable work, which was published in 1976 and last
revised in the early 1980s. Although that edition is still
A Guide to the Birds of Trindad & Tobao, 2nd etd, (confitad)
usable, the new edition contains many improvements and a
plethora of new infanmation.
Illustrations are the heart of a field guide. The original
paintings were very good, but I feel that an opportunity has
been lost to eliminate confusion due to crowding. All of the
color plates have been reprinted intact at the same size as in
the first edition, even though the new edition features a larger
page size. A better use of the larger page size would have been
to reposition male-female pairs and to provide more space
among species, especially on the plates of the hummingbirds,
manakins, and tanagers. Many plates now depict rather small
images of birds tightly clumped on pages with wide, unused
John O'Neill painted one new color plate for this edition,
illustrating such gorgeous, but unrelated, species as Channel-
billed Toucan (Ramphastos vitellnus) and Scarlet Ibis
(Eudocimus ruber). The exceptional whiteness of the paper on
which the plates are printed adds to the brilliance of the colors.
All of the portraits from the first edition have been
consolidated at the center of the book, following the plates,
which makes finding them much easier than before. The
portraits would have been even more accessible had they been
inserted in phylogenetic order among the plates rather than
being lumped after them. The present arrangement, however,
still is better than that in the first edition. As in the first
edition, 24 species are illustrated as line drawings. A dozen of
these drawings have been recast in far better detail than in the
As expected in a new edition, the information presented here
has been updated and expanded from that in the first edition.
The original introduction was so thorough that little could be
added here except for a few timely updates, such as the recovery
of certain species in Tobago. Several tables have been revised
to reflect new information on the occurrence of migratory
species in Trinidad and Tobago.
The body of the book consists of detailed accounts of more
than 400 species of birds. Suffice it to say that fftench has
done another masterful job of pulling together the old and the
new, and has added descriptions of several species new to
Trinidad and Tobago. Birders familiar with the first edition will
appreciate the large amount of new information that ffrench
has added to the existing species descriptions, drawing on
firsthand reports from competent birders, as well as the
literature base. When one considers the length of time required
to produce a book of this nature, it is amazing to find that it
includes records as current as February 1991, only 6 months
Among the other improvements, ffrench has incorporated the
latest American Ornithologists' Union names, substituting
whistling-duck for tree duck, Common Piping-Guan for
Trinidad Piping-Guan, Olivaceous Cormorant for Neotropic
Cormorant, etc. Such consistency should case the synonym
problem for users comparing species descriptions among field
guides. The titles of some of the plates have been changed to
more accurately reflect their content; e.g., 'Large Raptors
instead of "Hawks and Vulture," "Medium-sized and Small
Raptors" instead of "Kites and Falcons." and "Hermits and
Larger Hummingbirds" and "Smaller Hummingbirds" instead
El Pitirre Vol. 5, No. 1
A GuidE r the Bird of Triridad & Tobago. 2nd ed, (condnud)
of just "Hummingbits."
Welcome evidence of editorial generosity pervades the text.
The editor has been especially generous with eye-relieving
while space, such as blank lines between table of contents
items and between topics in the species accounts. Such breaks
are especially helpful in allowing the eye to quickly locate
section headings. In the same vein, almost all of the figures,
maps. and photographs have been printed larger than in the
first edition. Moreover, the resolution of the photographs has
been enhanced. Finally, the type is set more tightly than in the
first edition, which makes for easier reading.
Besides being technically accurate, the author has performed
a valuable service by pointing out, in the species accounts,
species that have been decimated by human disturbance and
hunting. He calls for additional protection for species that, as
everywhere, are being threatened by unrestricted clearing of
land and unenforced restrictions or bans on hunting.
All books described as "field guides" should be portable.
This edition meets that criterion, being midway in size
between the National Geographic Society's Field Guide to
Birds of North America and Stiles and Skutch's A Guide to the
Birds of Costa Rica. It fits comfortably into a belt-strap book
pouch. Those who balk at the weight of the hardcover version
(suggested list price US$72.50) will welcome the availability
of a rugged softback version (about US$35).-William L.
Murphy, 7202 Mathew Street, Greenbelt, Maryland 20770,
1992 MEETING OF THE SOCIETY OF
The Society of Caribbean Ornithology will hold its Fifth
Annual Meeting in San Juan, Puerto Rico. from 31 July to 5
August 1992. The meeting will take place at El Convento
Hotel, which offers exceptional accommodations for members'
and Society activities. El Convento Hotel is centrally located
for the scheduled field trips to the rain forest in the Sierra de
Luquillo and the Cambalache Forest. This year, the meeting
will feature two field trips, two workshops, meetings of the
working groups (pigeons and doves, parrots, conservation,
technical), as well as the scientific sessions. Forms for
advanced registration, room reservation, and abstracts for
papers to be presented will be mailed directly to members.
Others can obtain these forms from:
Dr. Rosemarie Gnam
23 Mount Vernon Ave.
Alexandria, Virginia 22301
Friday 31 July:
Saturday 1 August
El Pitinr Vol. 5, No. I
1992 SCO MeAMng (conidnuwd)
Satunlday 1 August (Continued):
10k00 A.M.-4:30 P.M. Paper sessions
Sunday 2 August:
Monday 3 August:
9:00 A.M.-4:30 P.M.
Tuesday 4 August
9:00 A.M.-4:30 P.M.
Wednesday 5 August:
Evening open for meetings
1. Sierra de Luqutllo, Caribbean National Forest-Trip to the
spectacular rain forest in eastern Puerto Rico. This 28,000 acre
montane forest (elevation to 1,000 m) is the home of the
endangered Puerto Rican Parrot (Amazona virtata), recently
discovered Elfin Woods Warbler (Dendroica angelae). and many
2. Cambalache Forest-The Cambalache Forest, near the north
coast of Puerto Rico, is one of the finest examples of tropical
karst in the world. The terrain appears as clusters of haystack
hills ("mogotes"), separated from one another by rounded
depressions. The 380 ha Forest, ranges from 5-50 m in
elevation, and contains 3 vegetation life zones. Approximately
45 bird species are common in the Forest. Among these. 8 are
endemic to Puerto Rico, 34 are breeding residents, and 11 are
1. Methods of Parrot Conservation, including surveying
methods, habitat management, captive management, and
veterinary aspects-Francisco Vilella and Ernesto Garcia, co-
leaders. [See additional information on page 6.]
2. Neotropical Migrant Land Birds of the Caribbean- Joe
The deadline for room reservations and advanced registration is
15 May 1992. Abstracts for papers should be sent by 15 June
Hope you can make idt
Coumbid Worwing Group Report (continued)
A workshop on methodology in psittacine conservation will
be conducted during the 1992 meeting of the Society of
Caribbean Ornithology. The workshop will be held in the
Caribbean National Forest, home of the endangered Puerto
Rican Parrot (Amazona viftata), and will consist of the
Day 1, Morning (August 4].-ESTIMATING PSITTACINE
1. Opening and Welcoming Remarks
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Field Supervisor
Caribbean National Forest District Ranger
2. Psillacine Census Methodology
(FJ. Vilella and J.M. Meyers)
a. Lowland areas (Meyers)
b. Montane areas (Vilella)
c. Ground level (Meyers)
d. Canopy level (Vilella)
e. Roost counts (Meyers)
f. Some possible differences between counting parrots
and parakeets (Vilella and Meyers)
Day 1, Aftemoon.-HABITAT MANAGEMENT
1. Management Support Structures
a. Observation blinds
b. General principles of climbing safety and
c. Observation platforms (canopy level)
2. Cavity Improvement
a. Cavity surveys
b. Cavity evaluation
c. Cavity improvement
Day 2. Morning [August 51.-PSITTACINE VETERINARY
MEDICINE (A.B. Arnizaut D.V.M., and J. Torres. D.V.M.)
Topics to be announced
PUBLIC EDUCATION (Paul Butler)
CLOSING REMARKS (Workshop scheduled to end by
CHAIRMAN'S REPORT OF THE 1992 MEETING
OF THE COLUMBID WORKING GROUP
Frank F. Rivemr-Milan
Scientific Research Area
Terrestrial Ecology Section
Department ofNatural Resources
Apartadoa 5887, Puerta de Tierra
Puerta de Tierra, Puerto Rico 0906
The 1992 meeting of the Working Group was held August
6. 1991, in St. Lucia. Frank F. Rivera-Milan was "elected" as
Chairman of the Working Group. The following people were
present at the meeting: Thomas Bancroft, Joanna Burger,
Alexander Cruz, Michael Gochfeld, Simone Guerrero.
Catherine Levy, Frank Rivera, Alexander Sprunt, and Jim
The main theme discussed at the meeting was the Special
Symposium on Columbids to be held during 1993, probably
in Cuba. The consensus reached by the members was the
1. The Symposium should be held at least two days before
the beginning of the 1993 meeting of the Society of
2. The presentations should include columbids in the
Caribbean region (Le.. as delineated by David Lack. 1976.
Island Biology; and James Bond. 1983. Birds of the West
3. If possible, the presentations will cover the following
a. Status, distribution, and abundance
b. Habitat use
c. Foraging and nesting ecology
d. Behavioral studies
e. Banding and telemetry studies
f. Taxonomy and ecomorphology
g. Captive breeding
h. Hunting statistics and regulation
L Conservation biology
4. The members of the Working Group will contact
agencies, universities, and local groups to encourage the
participation of people doing research in the Caribbean
5. The members of the Working Group will contact the
Chairman as soon as possible (say, early 1992) to help in
the integration of all the available information.
6. The announcement of the Symposium (and the informa-
tion received) will be published in newsletters, such as "El
Pitirre" early in 1992.
7. The Symposium agenda should be announced early in
1993 together with the agenda for the 1993 annual meeting
of the Society of Caribbean Ornithology.
A list of 41 active Working Group members was produced.
Problems and Constraints
Ann M. Haynes-Sutton (1991 Chairperson) correctly
identified the major problem faced by the Columbids Working
Group when she wrote that "The Columbids Working Group
itself seems to lack focus. There seems to be general
agreement that everyone would like to know more, but the
specific issues which need to be addressed have not been
The two most important human-induced environmental
problems affecting columbids in the Caribbean region are (1)
habitat loss and deterioration, and (2) legal and illegal hunting.
As a first step, the Working Group can initiate efforts to
standardize counts of columbids in several of the Caribbean
islands (using the sampling scheme developed in Puerto Rico
by the Department of Natural Resources as an example). These
basic data, although not without technical problems, are
probably the most cost-effective sampling alternative for the
long-term study of columbid populations over broad spatial
scales, such as life zones. This first step, however, is an
expensive one. Hence, the first issue that we must address is
related to funding. As a Working Group, we must identify and
El Pitirre VoL 5, No. I
Colmwnbd Workng Group Repor (conmimuaid
contact adequate funding sources. (Ideas for proposals are
welcomel, For example, PARTNERS IN FLIGHT and the
United States Bureau of Land Management might provide
partial funding, especially if we are willing to include non-
game migratory birds in this sampling scheme.
There is a need to conduct intensive and extensive long-term
studies in the Caribbean. Therefore, we must provide training
opportunities for the interested amateurs of the different
islands. It is good to know, for example, that the Gosse Bird
Club of Jamaica conducted a Christmas Bird Count in 1990.
Indeed, the exercise can be repeated during different seasons and
years on the same (and perhaps new) counting areas, especially
(although not necessarily) if the same interested volunteers are
available. Of course, all these efforts will be more productive
if a standard sampling scheme is developed, and the counts are
conducted by trained personnel The data, then. could be used
to generate sound management and research recommendations.
These data, or course, can be made available to interested
investigators, for example, in the study of long-term
population trends in the different islands, or the Caribbean as a
Funding is our first priority. But we must write the correct
words to the right people.
Thank you for your attention. Please contact me as soon as
DRAFT OF SOCIETY'S CONSTITUTION TO BE
SENT TO MEMBERS
A draft of the Constitution for the Society of Caribbean
Ornithology was completed by the Executive Committee
during a meeting in San Juan. Puerto Rico, 28-29 February
1992. The draft Constitution will be mailed to Society
members along with the 1992 Annual Meeting package.
Members are urged to respond by signed mail ballot to Dr.
Alexander Cruz by 15 May 1992.
ALLAN KEITH STEPS DOWN AS SOCIETY'S
Allan Keith has reluctantly left the position of Treasurer for
the Society of Caribbean Ornithology, citing the need to attend
to many other commitments and the demands of his
professional career. Allan provided the Society with four years
of outstanding service, and he will be missed.
Dr. Rosemarie Gnam has accepted the position as interim
Treasurer until the summer of 1993.
NEWS OF MEMBERS
As of I April 1992, Dr. Kelly Brock will begin a curatorial
internship at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. Her new
Department of Mammals
National Zoological Park
Washington, D.C. 20008
El Pitirr Vol. 5, No. I
News if Menbers continued )
Ms. Lourdes Mugica Valdes, of the Department of Biology,
Universidad de La Habana, Cuba, is working on her Master of
Science degree at Simon Fraser University. Lourdes expects to
complete her degree in 1993. Until then, she can be contacted
Department of Biological Sciences
Simon Fraser University
Burnaby, British Columbia V5A IS6
Dr. Josd A. Ottenwalder has received his doctoral degree from
the University of Florida, Gainesville. Congratulations Josdl
The Puerto Rican Parrot Field Office of the U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service is requesting volunteers to provide assistance
from June through August 1992. The project is in the rain
forests of eastern Puerto Rico. The field work will require
working long hours (16-18 hours maximum) in wet, steep,
and hazardous terrain. Ability to work with minimum
supervision is required.
Primary responsibilities include: monitoring Puerto Rican
Parrot (Amazona vittata) reproductive activity from
observation blinds, monitoring parrot activities and
movements from lookout platforms in the canopy of the rain
forest, collecting wild foods for the captive parrot population.
and providing assistance at the Field Office aviary, where the
captive flock of Puerto Rican Parrots is housed. At the aviary,
volunteers will assist in the construction of nest boxes,
preparation of parrot breeding cages, preparation of food for the
captives, and general aviary maintenance,
Airfare, transportation, lodging, and a small weekly stipend
will be provided by the Field Office. Volunteers with previous
tropical experience will be considered as first choice. Ability to
minimally communicate in Spanish, as well as basic
knowledge of avian biology and animal behavior, are required.
Applicants should send a resume and two letters of
Dr. Francisco J. Vilella
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Puerto Rican Parrot Field Office
P.O. Box 488
Palmer. Puerto Rico 00721
REQUEST FOR ASSISTANCE
PEWEES IN THE CARIBBEAN. Many thanks to
several members for study copies of their photographs or tapes
of Contopus caribacus. I would now greatly appreciate
receiving close-up photos or tape recordings of calls or songs,
particularly Dawn Songs, of the Lesser AntilIcan Pewee (C.
latirostris), especially from SL Lucia. I will be glad to pay for
them, or for tape, film. or postage costs.
George B. Reynard
105 Midway SL
Riverton, NJ 08077
MEETINGS OF INTEREST
9-12 April 1992 The Wilson Ornithological Society
will meet with the Florida Ornithological Society at the
Hilton Inn Gateway West. Kissimmee, Florida, U.S.A.
(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, 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;
10-15 May 1992 International Symposium on the
Preservation and Conservation of Natural History
Collections, Madrid. Spain. (Infomation available utm:
Cesar Romero-Senra, Department of Anatomy, Queen's
University, Kingston, Ontario K7L 3N6, Canada; or Julio
Gisbert & Fernando Palacios, Museo Nacional de Ciencias
Naturales, Jos6 Gutierrez Abascal 2,28006 Madrid, Spain).
10-17 May 1992 4th World Conference on Birds of
Prey and Owls, Berlin, Germany. (World Working Group
on Birds of Prey, 15b Bolton Garden. London SW5 OAL,
United Kingdom; or Wangenheimstr. 32, 1000 Berlin 33,
31 May-6 June 1992 Society of Wetland Scientists,
13th annual meeting, Clarion Hotel, New Orleans, Louisiana,
U.S.A. (Mary C. Landin, Program Chair, U.S. Army
Engineer Waterways Experiment Station, 3909 Halls Ferry
Road. Vicksburg, Mississippi 39180-6199; telephone: 800-
522-6937, exL 2942, or 601-634-2942; fax: 601-634-4016).
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 Committee Chair,
Nebraska State Museum, University of Nebraska, Lincoln,
Nebraska 68588, U.S.A.; 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
Forschungsinstitut Senckenberg in Frankfurt am Main,
Germany. Those who wish to participate and to receive the
next circular of information should notify D.S. Peters,
Senckenbcrg Museum, Senckenberg-Anlage 25, D-6000
22-26 June 1992 Cooper Ornithological Society,
62nd annual meeting, University of Washington, Seattle,
Washington. (David A. Manuwal [Local Arangements Chair],
Meetins ofltrst (condinmed)
Wildlife Science Group, College of Forest Resources,
University of 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 Ornithotogiss'
Union annual meeting, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa,
U.S.A. (Erwin E. Klans, Iowa Cooperative Wildlife Research
Unit, Science Hall 2, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa
50011, U.S.A.; for information on the program, contact James
Kushlan, AOU Program Coordinator, Department of Biology,
University of Mississippi, University, Mississippi 38677;
telephone: 601-232-7203; fax: 601-232-5144).
27 June-1 July 1992 Society for Conservation
Biology, 6th annual meeting, Virginia Polytechnic Institute
and State University, Blacksburg. Virginia, U.SA. (Gerald
Cross, Department of Fisheries and Wildlife. Virginia
Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg,
Virginia 24061-0321. U.S.A.; telephone: 703-231-8844; fax:
13-17 July 1992 International Symposium on
"Biodiversity in Managed Landscapes: Theory and
Practice," Capitol Plaza Holiday Inn, Sacramento,
California, USA. (Robert C. Szaro, USDA Forest Service,
Forest Environment Research, P.O. Box 96090, Washington,
D.C. 20090-6090; telephone: 202-205-1524: fax: 202-205-
31 July-5 August 1992 Society of Caribbean
Ornithology annual meeting, San Juan, Puerto Rico. (Dr.
Rosemarie Gnam. 23 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria,
Virginia 22301, U.SA).
8-11 August 1992 Association of Systematics
Collections, Honolulu, Hawaii, U.S.A. (ASC, 730 11th
SL. N.W., 2nd Floor, Washington. D.C. 20001. U.SA;
9-14 August 1992 Society for Ecological
Restoration, 4th annual conference. Waledoo, Ontario,
Canada. (Society for Ecological Restoration, 1207 Seminole
Highway, Madison, Wisconsin 53711, U.S.A.; telephone: 608-
17-22 August 1992 Fourth International Behavioral
Ecology Congress, Princeton University. Princeton. New
Jersey. (ISBE Committee, Daniel Rubenstein, Department of
Ecology and Ecolutionary Biology, Princeton University.
Princeton, New Jersey 08544-1003).
10-11 September 1992 'lThe Conservation and
Cultural Value of Tropical Forest Fragmentls
(Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center, National Zoological
Park, Washington, D.C. 20008, U.S.A.).
El Pitine Vol. 5. No. 1
Mearngs of [Ifrest (contrind)
22-25 September 1992 Neotropical Migratory Bird
Symposium and Workshop, Estes Park, Colorado.
(General information: Tom Martin, Arkansas Cooperative Fish
and Wildlife Research Unit. Department of Biological
Sciences, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Arkansas
72701, U.S.A: information on exhibiting: Deborah Finch,
USFS, 222 South 22nd St., Laramie. Wyoming 82070,
2-4 October 1992 Association of Field Ornitholo-
gists and American Birding Association, joint
meeting, Connecticut College, New London, Connecticut,
U.S.A. (Robert Askins, Box 5416. Department of Zoology,
270 Mohegan Ave., Connecticut College, New London.
Connecticut 06320, U.SA.).
14-18 October 1992 Colonial Waterbird Society,
University of Mississippi. Oxford, Mississippi, U.S.A.
(James Kushlan. Department of Biology, University of
Mississippi, Oxford, Mississippi 38677, U.S.A.; telephone:
601-232-7203; fax: 601-232-1006).
12-19 November 1992 Waterfowl and Wetlands
Conservation in the 1990s-a Global Perspective.
Tradewinds Hotel, SL Petersburg, Florida. (Simon Nash,
IWRB. Slimbridgc, Gloucester, GL2 7BX, United Kingdom).
19-24 April 1993 58th North American Wildlife and
Natural Resources Conference, Washington, D.C.,
U.S.A. (Wildlife Management Institute, Suite 725, 1101 14th
Street, N.W.. Washington, D.C. 20005, U.S.A.
15-17 April 1993 Second Conference on Orientation
and Navigation-Birds, Humans and other Ani-
mats, Wadham College, Oxford University, England.
(Abstracts of papers due by 1 July 1992; The Royal Institute
of Navigation, I Kensington Gore, London SW7 2AT,
21-27 August 1994 XXI International Ornithological
Congress, Vienna, Austria. (Interconvention, A-1450
El Pitine Vol. 5, No. 1
THE SOCIETY OF CARIBBEAN ORNITHOLOGY
President Catherine Levy, 2 Starlight Ave., Kingston 6,
Vice President; Dr. Joseph Wunderle, Jr.. Institute of Tropical
Forestry, Apartado 21390, Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico
Secretary: Ms. Patricia F. Bradley, Government House, Turks
and Caicos Islands, West Indies
Treasurer: Dr. Rosemarie Gnam. 23 Mount Vernon Ave.,
Alexandria. Virginia 22301, U.S.A.
From: Dr. James W. Wiley
Grambling Cooperative Wildlife Project
P.O. Box 4290
Grambling State University
Grambling, Louisiana 71245
El Pitirre Vol. 5. No. 1