Thursday, 6 December 2012

The Watering Hole

To see the animals in the Serengeti, the best place to look are the watering holes.  Well it seems that if you want to see birds, you find their watering hole.  This is what I discovered while hiking and birding in the central parish of St. George.  I came across a tap, a dripping tap, where many passerine species came for a drink.  Here are a list of birds that visited the tap Bananaquit Coereba flaveola, Barbados Bullfinch Loxigilla barbadensis, Carib Grackle Quiscalus lugubris, Zenaida Dove Zenaida aurita and a pair of Yellow Warblers Setophaga petechia.

Bananaquit – This is a small bird about 3.5 to 5 inches in length, it has a yellow breast and belly, with a black back and a prominent white eye stripe.

Barbados Bullfinch – this bird is endemic to Barbados.  It was previously considered a subspecies of the Lesser Antillean Bullfinch Loxigilla noctis.  It is a small bird about 5 to 6 inches in length , dark olive-grey in the upper parts, the wings are mostly brown and under parts are grayish.  In Barbados the male and females are the same colour.

Carib Grackle a black bird with yellow eyes.  In Barbados unlike other Caribbean countries, the male and female has the same colour with the female being totally black like the male.

Zenaida Doves are very common on the island. This dove is approximately 11–12 inches in length. I was surprised to see it turn up for water, I can’t remember ever see them take water in this manner.  But not as surprised as seeing a pair of Yellow Warblers (a bright yellow bird which is now making a comeback on the island) known locally to frequent swamps and mangroves.

Below is a table of the birds seen and some of the photos.

Common Name
Scientific Name
Number
Bananaquit
Coereba flaveola
6
Barbados Bullfinch
Loxigilla barbadensis
3
Carib Grackle
Quiscalus lugubris
5
Zenaida Dove
Zenaida aurita
1
Yellow Warbler
Setophaga petechia
2
Gray King Bird
Tyrannus cubensis
3

Barbados Bullfinch

Bananaquit

Bananaquit and Yellow Warbler


Zenaida Dove

Zenaida Dove and Barbados Bullfinch

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Carib Grackle