Birding sites Jamaica

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Birding sites in Jamaica


Jamaica, the third largest island in the Caribbean, is dominated by an extensive cordillera (c.80% of the island is hilly or mountainous) which includes the John Crow Mountains (reaching more than 1,000 m in altitude) near the eastern coast, the Blue Mountains (with a highest point of 2,256 m), and a series of lower limestone hills (including the Cockpit Country) in the west.
The island was once almost entirely covered by forest, of which there are four main types whose distribution is determined by the rainfall pattern: dry (deciduous) limestone forest on southern lowlands and hills; intermediate limestone forest in the central uplands, wet and very wet limestone forest in the Cockpit Country and John Crow Mountains (mainly between 30 and 750 m); and rain forest (lowlands largely cleared, but montane forest remains in the higher parts of the Blue Mountains).
As well as being significant for restricted-range species, Jamaica is an important refuge for migratory birds. Thus, during the northern winter the native avifauna is almost doubled (to c.250 species) by long-distance migrants from North and Central America.Jamaica has the highest number of endemic species of any Caribbean island, and a very distinct avifauna with five endemic genera-Pseudoscops, Trochilus, Loxipasser, Euneornis and Nesopsar.
All the restricted-range species occur in forest (mostly in rain forest, although a few favour forest on limestone) and, although most species occur in both the lowlands and mountains, many are altitudinal migrants which breed only in the mid- to high-level forests. Most species, like Trochilus polytmus, Jamaica’s national bird, are quite widely distributed, but its congener T. scitulus (which is treated here as a separate species, following Schuchmann 1978) is one exception, being restricted to the eastern end of the island.
The subspecific status of Jamaican Parakeet Aratinga nana nana and Jamaican Tanager Spindalis zena nigricephala is questionable and both may prove to be full species (C. Levy in litt. 1993), although they have not been treated as such here.

Three restricted-range species have been identified as threatened, although five more are classified as Near Threatened. The three threatened species suffer from habitat loss (as do the other endemics) but additional dangers compound this effect. Thus, constant hunting pressure on Columba caribaea has contributed to the great reduction in its numbers and range over the past 150 years, and it is now judged to be Critical. Introduced rats and mongooses are the most likely cause of the disappearance of Siphonorhis americanus, also Critical; this bird was last recorded in 1863 and is so little known that its habitat preferences are still uncertain, but there are recent unconfirmed reports of caprimulgids that do not fit any other known species on the island, and it is therefore not treated as extinct.
Citation BirdLife International 2003

Bird Songs in Jamaica

Bird Songs in Jamaica

This sound guide identifies 119 species found in Jamaica, including such characteristic species as Chestnut-bellied Cuckoo, Jamaican Euphonia, Jamaican Oriole, Jamaican Owl, Ring-tailed Pigeon, Crested Quail-Dove, and White-eyed Thrush. It is designed as an audio companion to Jamaican field guides such as Birds of the West Indies by Herbert Raffaele et al.(below).
The guide includes recordings of all resident land birds, including more than two dozen endemic species, many never before available. This is a must-have guide for birders traveling to Jamaica. Indexed and announced.
Click here for ordering details.....

Birds of the West Indies

Birds of the West Indies

Raffaele Herbert et al
86 colour plates, maps distribution and status and locality checklist. Hardback;-512pp.
' This is far and away the best field guide for the area'...BIRD WATCHING
See this and other avifauna's for this area by clicking here

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