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Newsletter July 2006 Vol. 1, No. 2
From the President &eqque0
The SCSCB Board met in Mandeville, Jamaica 6-9 July in order to develop a new strategic plan for
the Society for the next 5 years. Nearly all board members were present and we were also joined by
Ian Davidson, Head of BirdLife International's America's Secretariat; Veronica Anad6n, BirdLife's
Caribbean Program Coordinator, and Steve Latta, from the Point Reyes Bird Observatory,
California, and Chair of SCSCB's
Monitoring Working Group. Hosted by
board members Ann Sutton and Brandon
Hay at the historic Marshall's Pen estate -
the abundant endemic bird species were
more of a distraction than the World Cup!
We met local conservationists and members
of local bird groups for an early evening
social reception in Kingston on the 6th July.
It provided me with the opportunity to
present an illustrated talk on the workings of
the SCSCB. Board member Jeremy
Madeiros then gave a fascinating talk on the
Cahow (Bermuda Petrel) recovery program SCSCB Board Meeting at Marshall's Pen. From L to R: Andrew
(see the July 'Bird of the Month' at Dobson, Brandon Hay, Eric Carey, Lisa Sorenson, Ian Davidson, Ann
Sutton, Floyd Hayes, Lourdes Mugica, Veronica Anad6n, Steve Latta,
www.scscb.org). Rosemarie Gnam, Carolyn Wardle, Jeremy Madeiros
The following three days provided the opportunity for much discussion, brain-storming of ideas,
and the development of an exciting and ambitious new strategic plan for the Society. The plan will
provide the society with a clear direction for the next few years and will also assist us in our fund
raising efforts. We invited Ian and Veronica in order to consider a more formal partnership with
BirdLife. We are fully supportive of BirdLife's efforts in the region, and BirdLife has been very
supportive of many of our programs in recent years. Under the present constitution of BirdLife,
partners are NGOs from individual countries. There would need to be special consideration for
SCSCB (which is itself a partnership) to become a 'regional partner' of BirdLife. It is therefore
proposed that the first step should be the creation of a Memorandum of Understanding between
SCSCB and BirdLife outlining how the two organizations will work together on shared bird
Most of the group stayed an additional day for a fieldtrip to the Cockpit Country a forested karst
region with a wealth of birds. However, the highlight was perhaps seeing the Giant Swallowtail
(Papilio homerus)-the largest swallowtail in the western hemisphere and endemic to Jamaica
(having already seen the one of the world's smallest butterfly at Marshall's Pen, the Pygmy Blue,
SCSCB Newsletter No. 2
I would like to offer my thanks to the USFWS for helping to fund the meeting, Ann Sutton and
Brandon Hay for their kind hospitality at Marshall's Pen, and to individual board members for
contributing to the costs.
Birds Caribbean Newsletter
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This newsletter has grown over the past two years,
especially as there are so many exciting bird
conservation efforts taking place in the region. In
consultation with SCSCB and the BirdLife partners,
the "BirdLife" newsletter has been renamed Birds
Caribbean and is now a publication of the SCSCB, in
association with BirdLife International. Members have
hopefully seen the 4th newsletter published in May
2006 and the next will be December 2006. SCSCB is
most grateful for BirdLife's help with this newsletter.
It can be downloaded from our website at
www.scscb.org (click on News) or at
www.birdlife.org/regional/caribbean. Any comments,
suggestions and news items are welcomed by David Wege email@example.com
SCSCB Website (www.scscb.orq) New Content!
We hope all members have had the opportunity to view our new website, which we are gradually
building up. The Board welcomes your comments with regard to content (send email to
LSoren@bu.edu). We are presently working towards making the site bilingual (English and
Spanish) and eventually also French. Have a look at the latest 'Bird of the Month' for August, the
Red-billed Streamertail (thanks to Leo Douglas for writing this up). We are looking for
contributions for future months and know that many of you have loads of knowledge about the
wonderful birds on your island. If you would like to contribute to this feature (see guidelines
below), please send your submission to Lisa Sorenson (LSoren@bu.edu). All contributors will be
acknowledged on the webpage.
New Local Field Guide: Dominica's Birds
We are pleased to announce the publication of Dominica's Birds, by
Arlington James, Stephen Durand and Bertrand Jno Baptiste.
Publisher: Forestry, Wildlife & Parks Division, Dominica,
Publication Date: 2005. This fully illustrated book describes local and
Caribbean endemic species found on Dominica, as well as several
neo-tropical migrant species. The first section describes interactions
between birds with humans, followed by a brief overview of
Dominica's bird life. The next section examines local laws as they
pertain to birds on the island, as well as the protection of the
country's bird life. The following section, "Birds in Our Everyday
Lives" presents examples of Dominican mountains, place names and
establishments, sports and cultural groups, fruits, plants, etc. that
have been named after local birds. Two other sections are devoted to the "avian heritage" of
SCSCB Newsletter No. 2
Dominica, with local proverbs and metaphors (in the native Kweyol language) centred around birds.
The most important section, which describes 65 species of birds, also presents local folklore
associated with some of the species such as the story of the Mangrove Cuckoo, the origin of the
"little cap" of the Antillean Crested Hummingbird, the fidgety movements of a perched Scaly-naped
Pigeon, and the reason why the Broad-winged Hawk allegedly "steals" chickens, among many other
The production of Dominica's Birds was made possible with the kind assistance of the Division of
International Conservation of the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the involvement of several
members of staff of USFWS, and the SCSCB. The book was officially launched in Dominica on
July 11, 2006.
To order your copy of Dominica's Birds:
To addresses in the USA US $16.00. To addresses in the Caribbean US $14.00. Payment
preferably by money order or postal order; to be made to: Forestry & Wildlife Division -
Dominica. Send to: Director of Forestry, Wildlife & Parks. Forestry, Wildlife & Parks Division,
Botanic Gardens, Roseau, DOMINICA, West Indies. E-mail address: forestryv(@cwdom.dm
For more information on this book and others produced in association with SCSCB, go to the
Programs/Local Bird Field Guide Program at www.scscb.org
Caribbean Endemic Bird Festival 2006 ea
"As the fifth celebration of the CEBF concludes, we can say it has been very Endemc Bird
successful! Thanks to BirdLife, UNEP-GEF funds were available for small grants Festival
that helped 7 countries celebrate their activities. We also had materials from the International
Migratory Bird Day (IMBD) of Partners in Flight. They donated more than $1000 in materials to 10
countries for this festival. We are still waiting for reports from everyone, but so far, a total of 11
countries participated this year, carrying out 108 activities throughout the Caribbean with over
16,000 participants! Final results and some photographs will be posted on the website soon.
S-We are very grateful to everybody who helped make this CEBF
another success. This translates into major outreach and education
-' of our birds, why they are important and should be enjoyed by all.
This seed will hopefully bear its fruit over time by encouraging
adults and children alike to appreciate and conserve their local bird
Sheylda Diaz Mendez, CEBF Coordinator
The CEBF tookplace 22 April to 22 May 2006 and thefollowing
countries took part: Anguilla, Bahamas, Bermuda, Cayman
g 'Islands, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Guadeloupe,
.'... |i ..Jamaica, Puerto Rico, St. Thomas, St. Vincent and the Grenadines,
Rare Bird Club visits Bermuda
Members of BirdLife International's Rare Bird Club have just departed after a week's stay in
Bermuda. As part of their visit, members were invited to see the bluebird trail in the grounds of
SCSCB Newsletter No. 2
Government House and plant an endemic cedar tree in the Audubon Grove. SCSCB President
Andrew Dobson helped organise the trip and was keen that Bermuda should be show-cased for its
unique birds and the opportunity for eco-tourism. He commented, "The visitors had a great
Bermuda experience. They were particularly impressed with the Nonsuch restoration project and
Cahow recovery programme. They had the chance to see nature reserves such as Spittal Pond and
Walsingham as well as Cooper's Island, recently declared a national park." BirdLife International is
the largest bird conservation organisation in the world, formed from member organizations in more
than 100 countries. The Rare Bird Club (RBC) is dedicated to saving 1,200 globally threatened bird
species and their habitats. The RBC brings together an international group of individuals including
environmentalists, keen birdwatchers, conservationists, artists and nature lovers. Authors Margaret
Atwood and Graeme Gibson have just been appointed joint Honorary Presidents of the RBC. Queen
Noor of Jordan, an RBC member and Honorary President of BirdLife International was also in
Bermuda recently. At present there are more than 400 members in 40 different countries. The aim is
to recruit one member for each of the 1,200 threatened birds. Anyone interested in joining the RBC
can visit www.rarebirdclub.org for more information.
Journal of Caribbean Ornithology Update
If you renewed your membership, you should have received Vol 18.1. If not, please let us know. If
you have not renewed your membership and/or would like to join the Society go to
www.scscb.org for details. We would welcome your support so that we can all work together for the
benefit of Caribbean Birds.
Journal Webpages: Detailed instructions for authors and other information about JCO (e.g.
previous volumes, advertising, etc.) has now been added to SCSCB's website (from the home page
at www.scscb.org, click on Publications).
SCSCB Member Receives Prestigious Award
Kate Wallace, active SCSCB member,
coordinator of SCSCB's West Indian
Whistling-Duck and Wetlands Conservation
Project in the Dominican Republic and Vice
President of the Hispaniolan Ornithological
Society, received this year's Outstanding
Civic Service Recognition Award from the
United States Mission in the Dominican
Republic. Awarded as part of its annual
Independence Day celebration, the award
recognizes U.S. citizens living in the
Dominican Republic who have dedicated their
time, energy, and personal resources to
assisting or improving the lives of the Kate Wallace receiving Outstanding Civic Service Recognition
Dominican people. Kate has dedicated her life Award from Ambassador Hans Hertel and his wife on July 4th
in the DR to raising the level of awareness of 2006.
the importance of local birds and contributing
to the conservation of their habitat. Among her many activities, Kate has organized and led
numerous wetlands education training workshops for teachers, community leaders, environmental
educators, and institutional technical staff, given talks about birds in schools and community
SCSCB Newsletter No. 2
groups, encouraged avi-tourism, led birding field trips, and developed educational materials about
the importance of the island's birds, especially the endemics. We are proud of Kate and congratulate
her on this award.
CALL FOR NOMINATIONS 2006
The Society for the Conservation and Study of Caribbean Birds is governed by an elected Board of
Directors including the President, Vice-president, Secretary, Treasurer and up to five at-large
members. In addition the Board includes the Past-president and the editor of Journal of Caribbean
Ornithology (who is selected by the Board of Directors). The President may serve only for two
consecutive terms, after which a two-year break must occur before he/she may run for office again.
The officers serve for two years and there is no limit to the number of times they can stand for
The present board of directors, which was elected in 2004 to hold office for 2005 and 2006, consists
of Andrew Dobson (President, first term), Lisa Sorenson (Vice-president), Rosemarie Gnam
(Treasurer), Ann Sutton (Secretary), Eric Carey (Immediate Past-president), Floyd Hayes (editor of
Journal of Caribbean Ornithology), and directors at large Adrianne Tossas, Carolyn Wardle,
Brandon Hay, Lourdes Mugica and Jeremy Madeiros.
Under the by-laws the society must hold elections every two years. The next election is due to be
completed by December 15t, 2006. The main steps are set out below:
By 17th August All Nominations must have been received by the nominating committee
By 30th October Nominating committee must announce the slate of candidates
By 1st November Eligible members should have received ballots
On 15th December Secretary will open and count ballots.
On 1st January Terms of office will begin.
ELIGIBILITY FOR NOMINATION
Any individual or honorary member who has paid dues for the current year is eligible for
nomination. For at-large members: The nominating committee will not nominate more than one
candidate from a single political unit (a territory, colony commonwealth, state or nation).
Candidates must be citizens of their respective political unit, or resident for a minimum of three
months per year for five continuous years or have applied for permanent or resident status.
ELIGIBILITY TO MAKE NOMINATIONS
Nominations may be made by any full member in good standing and by the nominating committee.
NOMINATIONS MUST INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING:
1. Name of the candidate
2. Address of the candidate (including telephone, fax and email, where applicable)
3. Country or countries of citizenship
4. Political unit of residence (n.b. For at-large members the candidate should demonstrate that
he/she is eligible if he/she is not a citizen of the island that he/she is representing)
5. Written or e-mailed statement of the candidate's willingness to stand for election, and a brief
biography including a short statement of how the candidate proposes to work for the society
if elected (200 words).
SCSCB Newsletter No. 2
6. Names and addresses, telephone numbers and email addresses of nominator and seconder.
Nominations should be sent to: the Nominating Committee: Eric Carey (Chair, firstname.lastname@example.org),
Ann Sutton (Asutton@cwjamaica.com), Carolyn Wardle (email@example.com) and Leo Douglas
(firstname.lastname@example.org), or by airmail to the secretary, Ann Sutton (see address below) to be
received no later than August 18. Please note that regular mail to Jamaica can take 2-3 weeks.
Please address any queries about the election process to:
Ann Sutton, Secretary, Society for the Conservation and Study of Caribbean Birds, PO Box 58,
Tel. 876 877 7335 OR 876 904 5454 OR email@example.com
Guidelines for "Bird of the Month" on SCSCB's website
Here are some guidelines for writing up a "Bird of the Month" featured on SCSCB's homepage
(www.scscb.org). Feel free to share this with your colleagues; we are looking for contributions!!
It's a great opportunity to share information, raise awareness and show off your local birds. All
contributions will be acknowledged.
As you can see from the months that are already up, the
format is fairly simple and easy to write up since it is mainly
bulleted text. The following section headings are suggested,
but feel free to modify these as needed, depending on your
Other local names
Brief introductory paragraph
Characteristics (physical description, voice, natural/life
history traits such as diet, breeding season, # eggs
laid, care of young, etc.)
Range and Habitat Needs
Interesting Fact try to find one "wow" or "cool" fact
about the bird, something unique to the species
What Can Be Done or Conservation Measures
Where to find more information (e.g., key papers,
2-3 good photos are needed (include photo credits and
captions if necessary).
Red-billed Streamertail Bird of the
Month, August 2006. Photo by
Species choice: Preference for now is to feature Caribbean endemic and/or threatened species and
Caribbean residents and specialists (e.g., Kirtland's Warbler).
Resources: Birds of the West Indies (hardcover) by Raffaele et al. and other bird field guides
(especially local ones) and books (e.g., Handbook of the Birds of the World, Threatened Birds of the
Americas: The ICBP/IUCN Red Data Book). Consult with scientists, local experts and NGOs for
SCSCB Newsletter No. 2
detailed information; obtain reprints of scientific papers. Check also for resources and information
on the internet (e.g., http://www.birdlife.org/datazone/index.html).
Caribbean Wildlife Art Working Group
This group, under the direction of Nils Navarro, has been hard at work this past year. In addition to
creating the design of our beautiful new website, the group has also worked on other projects
dedicated to raising awareness about birds and biodiversity such as a new poster on bird
conservation for Cuba, a Community Bird Festival "Protegiendo las Aves" 2006 during the CEBF,
including more than 30 activities with the children and local people of rural communities, and the
creation of art items and products to help raise funds for SCSCB (e.g., t-shirts, lithographic prints,
etc.). Nils and his group are also working on a "Field Guide to the Endemic Birds of Cuba and other
Caribbean Endemics" stay tuned for more exciting news from the Caribbean Wildlife Art
The 4th North American Ornithological Conference, Veracruz, Mexico Oct 3-7 2006. Go to the
website to check for the call for papers, schedule of events and registration details.
The 8th Neotropical Ornithological Congress, together with the Uni6n Venezolana de Ornitologos
will be held in Maturin, Mongas, Venezuela 13-19 May 2007. Go to the website to check for the
call for papers, schedule of events and registration details. www.neotropicalornithology.org/
The 16th Regional Meeting of the Society for the Conservation and Study of Caribbean Birds,
July 18-25 2007, San Juan, Puerto Rico. The Local Organizing Committee is hard at work
making arrangements for the meeting. Please let us know of particular training workshops you
would like to have at the next meeting. Mark your calendars and plan to attend. More information to
We hope everyone is having a good summer. By now, all of you should have received a renewal
notice for your 2006 membership in the society. If you have not yet renewed your membership,
please due so, we need your support! Please send US$20 (check or money order) to the Treasurer,
Rosemarie Gnam, P.O. Box 863208, Ridgewood NY 11386-3208. PLEASE INCLUDE YOUR
EMAIL ADDRESS. If you're willing to sponsor a Caribbean national who may be unable to pay a
subscription, we thank you in advance for your multiples of $20. You're welcome to name the
persons) you would like to sponsor, or we will assign one and let you know who that person is.
Institutional membership is $120 for US institutions and $50 for Caribbean based institutions. Life
membership is $300 which may be paid in three annual installments of $100.
This edition of the newsletter edited by Lisa Sorenson (LSoren@bu.edu) and Andrew Dobson
(ADobson(warwickacad.bm). Contributions for the next newsletter should reach the editor,
Carolyn Wardle (firstname.lastname@example.org) by 31 December 2006.
Thanks in advance for your support!