Sunday, December 16, 2012

2012 Christmas Bird Count

Wilson's Plover.
We had a successful Christmas Bird Count yesterday around Les Cayes.  This 3rd annual event started with a talk Friday by the Haiti Audubon Society, lead by AUC graduate Anderson Jean.  Saturday four groups and about 18 participants saw  63 species in our 15 mile circle.  See the 2013 posting for results.

Anderson Jean and Sean Christensen organized this year's count.  (Photos by Debbie Baker and Sean Christensen). 
The Les Cayes bird count circle.

Seminar by the Haiti Audubon Society.
At mangroves east of Les Cayes.

Birding at 300m at Picot.

At sea level at Gelee Beach.

Counting the shore birds at Gelee Beach.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Student and teacher seminars

A teacher demonstrating visual aids.
Last week James and I held two bird conservation seminars at the school MEBSH de Simon.  Twenty-five high school students from 4 local schools attended the Friday afternoon seminar.  Saturday afternoon, 16 primary school teachers from 9 schools came to learn about the importance of birds.  One came from a school 1 hour away.  An AUC student assisted us that day.  We gave each teacher 2 posters donated by the Audubon Society of Haiti.  Several invited us to their schools to teach their students.  Stay tuned for an upcoming post about teaching in these schools with AUC student volunteers.

MEBSH de Simon

James teaching the high schoolers.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Bird identification training with IFTA

We had our last Institution Formation en Technique Agronomie (IFTA) lecture on Monday in which I spoke about conservation.  The finale was today in which we took the class birding west of Torbeck.  Thanks to the teacher Decossard for making the arrangements, and James for translating.  I taught the students about which features to pay attention to on the birds to help them more quickly identify birds.  We also talked about the logistics of being a bird guide.  We saw only about 7 species, and it was overcast and rainy.  But it was still a great teaching experience. 

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Talk at AUC Wednesday 3pm

At 3pm on Wednesday Nov. 14 ecology Professor Debbie Baker will speak about the goals of the Audubon Center.  The forum will take place in the chapel on the 3rd floor of the American University of the Caribbean in Les Cayes.  Please join us if you would like to find out more about the environmental education we can bring to your organization!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Warblers at AUC

This morning I saw 3 warbler (ti tchit) species in the same clump of trees next to the pavilion.  It was raining, so the pavilion made excellent cover.
  • Black-and-white Warbler (Mniotilta varia)
  • Black-throated Blue Warbler (Dendroica caerulescens) – male
  • American Redstart (Setophaga ruticilla) – immature male

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Ornithology seminar at IFTA

This month the Audubon Center is presenting a series of ornithology talks for the agronomy class at Institut de Formation Technique en Agronomie (IFTA) in Les Cayes.  Sean Christensen and Debbie Baker are giving four talks covering endemic and migratory birds of Haiti, how to identify birds, bird habitats in Haiti, and the causes of the decline of Haiti birds.  Thanks to IFTA director Decossard Guemy for inviting us.  For attending this 4-week series, his students will receive a certificate from the Audubon Center.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Christmas Bird Counts 2009-2011

Since 1900, the Christmas Bird Count (CBC) has brought together volunteers to survey birds throughout the Americas.  The Cayes CBC, like all CBCs, covers a 15 miles diameter circle.  Sean Christensen, Anderson Jean, and Enold Louis-Jean coordinated the surveys. The count area runs north-south from Marcellin (above Camp Perrin and below the "ramp" toward Jeremie) to the Cayes coastline and east-west from Chantal to La Porte.

The first count was provisional, in that it isn't entered into Audubon's official records, so year 2010 is officially the first Cayes CBC.

We have not had enough participants to cover the entire count area, so we have focused our efforts on the most profitable habitats, including:  Gelee Beach, La Toutrelle, Etang Laborde, Etang Ladwat, Etang Lachaux, Faugasse Rice Fields, Torbeck, Beraud and Picot. 

If you are interested in participating this year, please contact Sean Christensen (seanchr at  We need more team members who can cover other important areas, such as:  the hills of Bergaud to Morne Sicard, Islet Massey and Wharf Massey, Ducis, Toro, Caprau toward Camp Perrin, the entire area from Miserne to LaBeille.  We will train you to identify the birds and do this survey.

30-Dec-09 27-Dec-10 17-Dec-11

 # of Field Observers: 10 13 21
Nom anglais Nom latin
Canard / Oie
West Indian Whistling Duck Dendrocygna arborea
Gadwall Anas strepera
Eurasian Wigeon Anas penelope 1
American Wigeon Anas americana 49 8 138
Blue-winged Teal Anas discors 5 386
Northern Shoveler Anas clypeata
White-cheeked Pintail Anas bahamensis 6
Green-winged Common Teal Anas crecca 50
Canvasback Aythya valisineria
Redhead Aythya americana
Ring-necked Duck Aythya collaris 21 3 26
Lesser Scaup Aythya affinis 7
Ruddy Duck Oxyura jamaicensis 56 14 12
Least Grebe Tachybaptus dominicus
Pied-billed Grebe Podilymbus podiceps 66 63 55
Les Oiseaux du marécage
White Ibis Eudocimus albus
Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus 100 90
Yellow-crowned Night Heron Nyctanassa violacea 1 17
Green Heron Butorides virescens 3 16 13
Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis 194 311 763
Great Blue Heron Ardea herodias 26 2 12
Great Egret Ardea alba 18 23 7
Tricolored or Louisiana Heron Egretta tricolor 3
Little Blue Heron Egretta caerulea 16 21 12
Snowy Egret Egretta thula 9 20 8
Black-necked Stilt Himantopus mexicanus 38 32 296
Les Oiseaux de la mer
Red-billed Tropicbird Phaethon aethereus
White-tailed Tropicbird Phaethon lepturus
Magnificent Frigatebird Fregata magnificens
Brown Pelican Pelecanus occidentalis 2
Neotropical Cormorant Phalacrocorax brasilianus
Double-crested Cormorant Phalacrocorax auritus
Turkey-Vulture Cathartes aura 12 6 30
American Kestrel Falco sparverius 17 8 17
Merlin Falco columbarius
Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus
Osprey Pandion haliaetus 2 3 2
Red-tailed Hawk Buteo jamaicensis 3 2
Poul de l'eau
Purple Gallinule Porphyrio martinica
Common Moorhen Gallinule Gallinula chloropus/galeata 32 9 48
American Coot Fulica americana 10 35 5
Caribbean Coot Fulica caribaea 63 71 57
Northern Jacana Jacana spinosa 7 14 16
American Golden Plover Pluvialis dominica
Black-bellied Plover Pluvialis squatarola 40 11 37
Semipalmated Plover Charadrius semipalmatus
Wilson's Plover Charadrius wilsonia
Killdeer Ardea alba 4 5
Piping Plover Charadrius melodus
Kentish Plover Charadrius alexandrinus
Common Snipe Gallinago gallinago
Short-billed Dowitcher Limnodromus griseus 5
Long-billed Dowitcher Limnodromus scolopaceus
Hudsonian Godwit Limosa haemastica
Marbled Godwit Limosa fedoa
Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus
Upland Sandpiper Bartramia longicauda
Greater Yellowlegs Tringa melanoleuca 1 7 2
Lesser Yellowlegs Tringa flavipes 1 57
Solitary Sandpiper Tringa solitaria
Spotted Sandpiper Actitis macularius 24 1 7
Willet Catoptrophorus semipalmatus 3 8
Ruddy Turnstone Arenaria interpres 14 8 38
Red Knot Calidris canutus
Sanderling Calidris alba 33 46
Semipalmated Sandpiper Calidris pusilla 2
Western Sandpiper Calidris mauri
Least Sandpiper Calidris minutilla 1
White-rumped Sandpiper Calidris fuscicollis
Baird's Sandpiper Calidris bairdii
Pectoral Sandpiper Calidris melanotos
Dunlin Calidris alpina
Stilt-Sandpiper Calidris himantopus 15
Buff-breasted Sandpiper Tryngites subruficollis
Ruff Philomachus pugnax
Wilson's Phalarope Phalaropus tricolor
Red-necked Phalarope Phalaropus lobatus
Goéland / Sterne
Ring-billed Gull Larus delawarensis 1 1
Great Black-backed Gull Larus marinus 2
Herring Gull Larus argentatus
Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus
Bonaparte's Gull Larus philadelphia
Laughing Gull Larus atricilla 52 14 7
Franklin's Gull Larus pipixcan
Black-legged Kittiwake Rissa tridactyla
Gull-billed Tern Sterna nilotica
Caspian Tern Sterna caspia
Sandwich Tern Sterna sandvicensis 3 2
Royal Tern Sterna maxima 5 13 4
Roseate Tern Sterna dougallii 20
Common Tern Sterna hirundo 68
Forster's Tern Sterna forsteri
Least Tern Sterna antillarum 5 1
Bridled Tern Sterna anaethetus
Sooty Tern Sterna fuscata
Black Tern Chlidonias niger
Brown Noddy Anous stolidus
Black Skimmer Rynchops niger
Pigeon / Ramier
Rock Pigeon Columba livia
White-crowned Pigeon Columba leucocephala
Scaly-naped Pigeon Columba squamosa 5
Plain Pigeon Columba inornata
Mourning Dove Zenaida macroura 8 17 17
Zenaida Dove Zenaida aurita 4
White-winged Dove Zenaida asiatica 9
Common Ground Dove Columbina passerina 5 14 22
Gray-headed Quail-Dove Geotrygon caniceps
Key West Quail-Dove Geotrygon chrysia
Ruddy Quail-Dove Geotrygon montana
Black-billed Cuckoo Coccyzus erythropthalmus
Yellow-billed Cuckoo Coccyzus americanus
Mangrove Cuckoo Coccyzus minor
Hispaniolan Lizard Cuckoo Saurothera longirostris 4 1 12
Smooth-billed Ani Crotophaga ani 17 4 48
Barn Owl Tyto alba 1
Ashy-faced Owl Tyto glaucops
Burrowing Owl Athene cunicularia
Stygian Owl Asio stygius
Short-eared Owl Asio flammeus
Northern Potoo Nyctibius jamaicensis
Common Nighthawk Chordeiles minor
Antillean Nighthawk Chordeiles gundlachii
Least Pauraque Siphonorhis brewsteri
Chuck-will's Widow Caprimulgus carolinensis
Greater Antillean Nightjar Caprimulgus cubanensis
Black Swift Cypseloides niger 4
White-collared Swift Streptoprocne zonaris 1
Chimney Swift Chaetura pelagica
Antillean Palm Swift Tachornis phoenicobia 7 27
Ouanga Négresse
Antillean Mango Anthracothorax dominicus x 6 11
Hispaniolan Emerald Chlorostilbon swainsonii 1 1 4
Vervain Hummingbird Mellisuga minima 7 3
Pipirit Rivye
Belted Kingfisher Megaceryle alcyon 3 7 6
Broad-billed Tody Todus subulatus 3 4
Narrow-billed Tody Todus angustirostris 1 5
Antillean Piculet Nesoctites micromegas
Hispaniolan Woodpecker Melanerpes striatus 16 24 40
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker Sphyrapicus varius
Greater Antillean Elaenia Elaenia fallax
Hispaniolan Pewee Contopus hispaniolensis 1 1
Gray Kingbird Tyrannus dominicensis 14 8 22
Loggerhead Kingbird Tyrannus caudifasciatus
Great Crested Flycatcher Myiarchus crinitus
Stolid Flycatcher Myiarchus stolidus
White-eyed Vireo Vireo griseus
Thick-billed Vireo Vireo crassirostris
Flat-billed Vireo Vireo nanus
Yellow-throated Vireo Vireo flavifrons
Red-eyed Vireo Vireo olivaceus
Black-whiskered Vireo Vireo altiloquus
Palm Crow Corvus palmarum 29 5
White-necked Crow Corvus leucognaphalus 17 2 26
Zwazo maske
Cedar Waxwing Bombycilla cedrorum
Zwazo palmis
Palmchat Dulus dominicus 9 x 59
Bank Swallow Riparia riparia
Tree Swallow Tachycineta bicolor
Golden Swallow Tachycineta euchrysea
Purple Martin Progne subis
Caribbean Martin Progne dominicensis
No. Rough-winged Swallow Stelgidopteryx serripennis
Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica
Cliff Swallow Petrochelidon pyrrhonota
Cave Swallow Petrochelidon fulva
Ti zwazo
Bananaquit Coereba flaveola 20 21 47
Moqueur / Grive
Northern Mockingbird Mimus polyglottos 3 2 4
Red-legged Thrush Turdus plumbeus 3
Madan Sara
Village Weaver Ploceus cucullatus 3 12 11
Nutmeg Mannikin Lonchura punctulata 2
Black-headed Munia Lonchura malacca
Antillean Siskin Carduelis dominicensis
White-winged Crossbill Loxia leucoptera
Ti Kikit / Paruline
Golden-winged Warbler Vermivora chrysoptera
Blue-winged Warbler Vermivora pinus
Tennessee Warbler Vermivora peregrina
Nashville Warbler Vermivora ruficapilla
Northern Parula Parula americana 4 x 4
Chestnut-sided Warbler Dendroica pensylvanica
Yellow Warbler Dendroica petechia 2
Blackpoll Warbler Dendroica striata
Bay-breasted Warbler Dendroica castanea
Blackburnian Warbler Dendroica fusca
Magnolia Warbler Dendroica magnolia
Cape May Warbler Dendroica tigrina 5 1 11
Black-throated Blue Warbler Dendroica caerulescens 2 3 9
Yellow-rumped Warbler Dendroica coronata
Black-throated Green Warbler Dendroica virens
Yellow-throated Warbler Dendroica dominica
Prairie Warbler Dendroica discolor 1 2
Pine Warbler Dendroica pinus
Kirtland's Warbler Dendroica kirtlandii
Palm Warbler Dendroica palmarum 1
Black-and-white Warbler Mniotilta varia x x 5
American Redstart Setophaga ruticilla 8 5 13
Prothonotary Warbler Protonotaria citrea
Worm-eating Warbler Helmitheros vermivorum
Swainson's Warbler Limnothlypis swainsonii
Ovenbird Seiurus aurocapilla 3 x 3
Northern Waterthrush Seiurus noveboracensis
Louisiana Waterthrush Seiurus motacilla 7
Kentucky Warbler Oporornis formosus
Connecticut Warbler Oporornis agilis
Mourning Warbler Oporornis philadelphia
Common Yellowthroat Geothlypis trichas 1
Green-tailed Warbler Microligea palustris
Hooded Warbler Wilsonia citrina
Wilson's Warbler Wilsonia pusilla
Canada Warbler Wilsonia canadensis
Yellow-breasted Chat Icteria virens
White-winged Warbler Xenoligea montana
Greater Antillean Oriole Icterus dominicensis 1
Shiny Cowbird Molothrus bonariensis
Tawny-shouldered Blackbird Agelaius humeralis
Greater Antillean Grackle Quiscalus niger 7
Zwazo kann / Bruant
Yellow-faced Grassquit Tiaris olivaceus x 14
Black-faced Grassquit Tiaris bicolor 3
Greater Antillean Bullfinch Loxigilla violacea
House Sparrow Passer domesticus 3 8 1
Summer Tanager Piranga rubra
Scarlet Tanager Piranga olivacea
Western Tanager Piranga ludoviciana
Gray-crowned Palm Tanager Phaenicophilus poliocephalus 4 5 2
Western Chat-Tanager Calyptophilus tertius
Eastern Chat-Tanager Calyptophilus frugivorus
Hispaniolan Spindalis Spindalis dominicensis
Antillean Euphonia Euphonia musica
total species 68 64 72