Monday, April 2, 2012

Goodness, Jamaica is Full of Endemics!

Not even done with our second day of birding, and we've seen all but 2 of Jamaica's 27 AOU-recognized species. One of the most wanted showed itself extremely well this morning, the utterly charming Jamaican Tody.

We'll easily make the most out of the next four days though. Some people only got perfunctory views of some of those birds. I think only one person saw the Jamaican Elaenia well this morning, for example. But on our first afternoon yesterday, all got great views of this Crested Quail-Dove, perhaps the most "missable" endemic of all.

And besides those 27 AOU-recognized species are another dozen or so subspecies that you really should see while in Jamaica, as it only makes sense to consider them separate species – the Caribbean Dove, the Rufous-throated Solitaire, the Bahama Mockingbird, even the Common Ground-Dove – not to mention the obvious split of the Streamertail. I suspect in the future the AOU will slowly come to see the truth, and Jamaica will have around 40 recognized endemics.

In the meantime, I'm also enjoying reacquainting myself with the butterflies and bugs, and there's a lot here I haven't seen. Some new island birds surely await me as well. Northern Shoveler was new yesterday morning, my 174th species for the island.

This Marshall's Scrub-Hairstreak was at our Port Royal Hotel.

This Caribbean Scrub-Hairstreak was on the crotons at the Hector's River White-tailed Tropicbird spot, a nice diversion until the tropicbirds came in.

Does anyone know what this pentatomid stink bug is?


Gunnar Engblom said...

True! I always said: Taxonomy is slower than evolution. Looking forward to a Jamaica post on Birdingblogs, Rich.

Biggest Day coming along well.Seeing PromPeru next week.

sarah said...

Very interesting bird species in Jamaica. Such colorful birds.