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Tuesday, October 4, 2011


Janice Mathurin-Poleon

Hey folks, for the past few weeks we have been sharing information with you the public on our endemic birds such as the St.Lucia Oriole and St.Lucia Pewee as well as the endemic sub-species like Black-bird and Lesser Antillean Bullfinch.  This time around we will be educating you on Migratory Birds.

St. Lucia is visited by many birds between July and November on their long journey from as far as North America and travel through the Caribbean to winter in South America.  Those birds are referred to as migratory birds. They travel from the different poles in pursuit of food, suitable breeding sites and or to escape bad weather or other environmental conditions.

They are such amazing creatures to journey thousands of miles and not get lost. I wish I had such a great internal compass.

The Caribbean Islands including St. Lucia form important resting places where the birds can feed up before continuing their long journey south.  From January to April, those birds return home, although many tend to spend less time in the Caribbean during their journey some of the migratory birds remain in the Caribbean throughout the winter rather than going to South America.

Migratory birds are of great ecological and economic value to our country. They contribute to biological diversity and bring tremendous enjoyment to St. Lucians as well as tourists who study and watch them. They add an interesting and mysterious element to our wildlife since they are only here for part of the year.

Some of the breeding sites for the migrant birds in St. Lucia are Grande Anse Ponds, Esperance mangrove, Bois D’orange swamp, Auberge Seraphine swamp in the north, Praslin mangrove, Fregate Islands on the east and Maria Islands and Point Sable in the south.

Migratory birds should not be considered as a foreign element but as an indigenous part of our wildlife. Birds such as the masked duck (Nomonyx dominica), tricoloured heron (Egretta tricolour ruficollis) and many others visit our shores annually.

We hope you look forward to meeting more of our migratory friends in our successive articles!

Enjoy nature, go bird watching today!!