Contact us

If you need any information , feel free to contact us!
phone number: (758)468-5649/5645/5648/5635

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Meet More of our Visiting Friends - Migratory Birds

By Janice Mathurin-Poleon
Photos© Tseng Chiu-wen Hank and Jo Ann Mackenzie

As migratory birds make their journey from North America, through the Caribbean to South America they are faced with many threats on this perilous journey. It is estimated that more than 60 percent of some bird species never complete a full roundtrip migration, often due to threats such as:

  • Inadequate food and subsequent starvation
  • Collisions with windows, buildings and wind farms along migration routes
  • Stopover habitat loss from ongoing development or pollution
  • Predators, including wild animals, feral cats and loose dogs
  • Poor weather and storms that cause injury or disorientation
  • Light pollution in cities that disorients birds navigating by stars
  • Hunting, both legally regulated hunting as well as poaching
Migration is a dangerous but necessary journey for many birds. Fortunately, they are well equipped to survive the task.

Bird migration is a fascinating and inspiring phenomenon. In ancient Greece the bird of Athena represented the renewal of life. A dove, with an olive branch in its beak, returned to Noah's ark to announce the end of the deadly flood. To this day the dove has remained a symbol of peace and hope.

During the era of the Pharaohs in Egypt, the falcon had protective powers and was linked to royalty. For the Native Americans birds had different meanings, but always positive and linked to the concepts of unity, freedom, community, safe return, love and celebration of life. These birds have long affected the culture and thinking of many civilizations.

Common name: Great Egret
Scientific name: Ardea alba egretta
The Great Egret can be seen in wetlands at Vieux Fort and Cul de Sac.

Common name: Greater Yellowlegs
Scientific name: Tringa flavipes
Local name: Pied long
Pied long may be found in Vieux Fort, Cul de Sac and Bois D’orange wetlands.

 Common name: Barn Swallow
Scientific name: Hirundo rustica
Local name: Hirondelle Roux

The Barn Swallow can be seen on the island from September to October, and April to May. Habitat along the south coast over open areas such as fields and swamps, or perched on utility wires.

Common name: Blackpoll Warbler
Scientific name: Dendroica striata
Blackpoll Warbler is an uncommon migrant that occurs on the island during the months of October and November. Habitat includes mangroves, scrub forests, open areas with scattered trees and mixed woodlands.