BAHAMAS ENDEMIC BIRDS
Abaco is fortunate to be home to 4 of the 5 endemic Bahamas species. The fifth, the beautiful BAHAMA ORIOLE Icterus northropi, was found on both Abaco and Andros until as recently as the 1990s, when it sadly became extirpated from Abaco. Now found only on Andros, there are thought to be fewer than 300 Orioles left – a barely sustainable number. The species is unsurprisingly IUCN listed as critically endangered. Here’s a picture of one as a reminder of what Abaco is now missing…
ADDITION An Oriole photographed on Andros by Howard Brewer was emailed to Peter Mantle
ABACO’S FOUR ENDEMIC SPECIES are the tiny Bahama Woodstar hummingbird, the Bahama Yellowthroat, the Bahama Warbler (since 2011), and the Bahama Swallow. All are of course permanent breeding residents on Abaco and its outer Cays. None is exclusive to Abaco; all are relatively plentiful. The Woodstar is perhaps the hardest to find, not least because it competes territorially with the Cuban Emerald hummingbird. Even Woodstars can be found easily in some areas – Man-o-War Cay is a good place for them, for example. Here are some striking images of these four endemic bird species taken from the archives for “The Birds of Abaco” published in March 2014.
BAHAMA WOODSTAR Calliphlox evelynae
BAHAMA YELLOWTHROAT Geothlypis rostrata
BAHAMA WARBLER Setophaga flavescens
BAHAMA SWALLOW Tachycineta cyaneoviridis
“The Delphi Club Guide to the Birds of Abaco” was published as limited edition of 500 and is for sale exclusively through the Delphi Club. Complimentary copies have been donated to every school and relevant education department on Abaco to tie in with the excellent policy of teaching children from an early age the value of the natural world around them, the importance of its ecology, and the need for its conservation. The cover bird for the book was easy to choose – it just had to be a male Woodstar in all his glory with his splendid purple ‘gorget’.
BNT INFO CARDS
Image credits as shown; otherwise, ‘cover bird’ by Tom Sheley, Bahama Oriole from Wiki, also Howard Brewer; and flyers from the Bahamas National Trust