Abaco Island - the Bahamas, April 8-11, 2010

Published by Chris Burney (anttanager AT gmail.com)

Participants: Chris Burney and Adam Kent


Our plan originally was to go to the Dry Tortugas to see the seabird colonies and catch the beginning of spring migration. However, that didn’t work out since there was no room left on the ferry, so we decided to make last minute plans to go to Abaco in the Bahamas. For me, this was plan A anyway since I had been hoping to go to Abaco for many years and there were at least nine Caribbean endemics I had never seen. While this was Adam’s third trip to the Bahamas, his previous visits were both during fall or winter (including the first Abaco Christmas Bird Count), so this was a chance to see and hear birds during the nesting season.

According to Adam, visiting in April made a big difference- the birds were much more vocal and visible, and we had no problem getting exceptional views of the birds on our wish list- which included Cuban Parrot, Bahama Swallow, Bahama Yellowthroat, Olive-capped Warbler, Bahama Mockingbird,Bahama Woodstar, Cuban Emerald, West Indian Woodpecker, Hairy Woodpecker (Bahamas supspecies), Yellow-throated Warbler (Bahamas subspecies), Cuban Pewee, La Sagra’s Flycatcher, Loggerhead Kingbird, Western Spindalis, Thick-billed Vireo, Red-legged Thrush, and White-tailed Tropicbird. However, for a few species, namely neotropical migrants that nest on the island (e.g. Black-whiskered Vireo, Antillean Nighthawk, and Mangrove Cuckoo), we were a little too early. Native doves(White-crowned pigeon, Zeneida Dove, and Key West Quail-dove) were also conspicuously absent, though we didn’t make any special effort to find these species. Hunting may be a problem for these species as we did run into many piles of spent shells at several sites and even sawsome hunters in Abaco National Park.

For a detailed trip report with photos and maps, go to my blog- "All Wings Considered" or get it directly, by going to Google docs. For better quality download the pdf. version.

Species Lists

82 Species seen, list includes number of individuals seen/heard.

1 Blue-winged Teal Anas discors 11
2 White-cheeked Pintail Anas bahamensis 78

3 Audubon's Shearwater Puffinus lherminieri 2

4 Least Grebe Tachybaptus dominicus 1

5 White Ibis Eudocimus albus 3

6 Green Heron Butorides virescens 1
7 Great Blue Heron Ardea herodias 2
8 Great Egret Ardea alba 1
9 Reddish Egret Egretta rufescens 1
10 Little Blue Heron Egretta caerulea 1
11 Snowy Egret Egretta thula 1

12 White-tailed Tropicbird Phaethon lepturus 8

13 Magnificent Frigatebird Fregata magnificens 4

14 Brown Pelican Pelecanus occidentalis 1

15 Double-crested Cormorant Phalacrocorax auritus 2

16 Turkey-Vulture Cathartes aura 17

17 American Kestrel Falco sparverius 2
18 Merlin Falco columbarius 1

19 Red-tailed Hawk Buteo jamaicensis 2

20 Sora Rail Porzana carolina 2
21 Common Moorhen Gallinula chloropus 6
22 American Coot Fulica americana 4

23 American Oystercatcher Haematopus palliatus 3

24 Black-necked Stilt Himantopus himantopus 12

25 Grey Plover/Black-bellied Plover Pluvialis squatarola 3
26 Semipalmated Plover Charadrius semipalmatus 3
27 Piping Plover Charadrius melodus 20

28 Ruddy Turnstone Arenaria interpres 12
29 Sanderling Calidris alba 1
30 Least Sandpiper Calidris minuta 1
31 White-rumped Sandpiper Calidris fuscicollis 3
32 Lesser Yellowlegs Tringa flavipes 5

33 Herring Gull Larus argentatus 1
34 Laughing Gull Larus atricilla 51
35 Royal Tern Sterna maxima 4

36 Rock Dove Columba livia 10
37 Eurasian Collared Dove Streptopelia decaocto 26
38 Mourning Dove Zenaida macroura 1
39 Common Ground-Dove Columbina passerina 18

40 Cuban Parrot Amazona leucocephala 118

41 Smooth-billed Ani Crotophaga ani 38

42 Cuban Emerald Chlorostilbon ricordii 23
43 Bahama Woodstar Calliphlox evelynae 3

44 Belted Kingfisher Megaceryle alcyon 1

45 West Indian Woodpecker Melanerpes superciliaris 6
46 Hairy Woodpecker Picoides villosus 11

47 Cuban Pewee Contopus caribaeus 7
48 Gray Kingbird Tyrannus dominicensis 1
49 Loggerhead Kingbird Tyrannus caudifasciatus 5
50 La Sagra's Flycatcher Myiarchus sagrae 8

51 White-eyed Vireo Vireo griseus 1
52 Thick-billed Vireo Vireo crassirostris 53
53 Bahama Swallow Tachycineta cyaneoviridis 26
54 Northern Rough-winged Swallow Stelgidopteryx serripennis 1
55 Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica 5

56 Blue-gray Gnatcatcher Polioptila caerulea 4

57 Gray Catbird Dumetella carolinensis 61
58 Northern Mockingbird Mimus polyglottos 23
59 Bahama Mockingbird Mimus gundlachii 16

60 European Starling Sturnus vulgaris 1

61 Red-legged Thrush Turdus plumbeus 4

62 House Sparrow Passer domesticus 2

63 Northern Parula Parula americana 3
64 Yellow Warbler Dendroica petechia 2
65 Cape May Warbler Dendroica tigrina 13
66 Yellow-rumped Warbler Dendroica coronata 1
67 Yellow-throated Warbler Dendroica dominica 5
68 Olive-capped Warbler Dendroica pityophila 43
69 Pine Warbler Dendroica pinus 16
70 Palm Warbler Dendroica palmarum 2
71 Black-and-white Warbler Mniotilta varia 2
72 American Redstart Setophaga ruticilla 1
73 Ovenbird Seiurus aurocapilla 1
74 Northern Waterthrush Seiurus noveboracensis 4
75 Common Yellowthroat Geothlypis trichas 2
76 Bahama Yellowthroat Geothlypis rostrata 14

77 Red-winged Blackbird Agelaius phoeniceus 40

78 Bananaquit Coereba flaveola 19

79 Black-faced Grassquit Tiaris bicolor 46
80 Greater Antillean Bullfinch Loxigilla violacea 7

Genera Incertae Sedis
81 Western Spindalis Spindalis zena 77

82 Painted Bunting Passerina ciris 1