Monday, 23 June 2014

The Birds of Barbados - Migrants: The White-crowned Pigeon by Dr John Webster

On Wednesday 9th April 2014, one more new species was added to the Avian species count for Barbados, when the owner of Moncrieffe plantation in St John, reported a White-crowned Pigeon, Columba leucpcephala, drinking at his birdbath. This adult male bird took the Avian species count for Barbados to 266!!

It took me more than 12 hours of patient observation over the next week and a half to be able to observe and photograph the Pigeon as seen in the attached photo album. The day I took these, Good Friday, it finally turned up, after waiting for it for about 2 hours and spent barely 2 minutes at the birdbath, taking a quick drink, before it was off again.

Other than one previous record of a bird in Bequia some time ago, this is apparently the furthest South that this species has traveled as it expands its range. It inhabits the northern and central Caribbean islands and some places on the North and Central American mainland. It is a resident breeder mainly in the Bahamas, Cuba, Jamaica and Antigua. It breeds in smaller numbers in Hispaniola, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Anguilla and other Caribbean islands. It also breeds along the Caribbean coast of Central America. In the United States it is found only in the Florida Keys and the southern tip of mainland Florida.