Puerto Rico’s Birds after Hurricane Maria

10,000 Birds

In September of 2017, Puerto Rico was hit by two powerful hurricanes: it was grazed by Irma and then clobbered by Maria, a Category 4 storm that cut a devastating swath across the island. territory of Puerto Rico, an American territory where researchers have numerous ongoing investigations, including many studies in El Yunque National Forest. Fajardo is in the northeastern corner of Puerto Rico and the count area includes parts of El Yunque National Forest.

Birding Guanica, Puerto Rico

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It was early afternoon when Mike and I arrived at Bosque Estatal de Guanica, the large dry forest reserve on the south coast of Puerto Rico. But the one we could find during daylight, the Puerto Rican Lizard-Cuckoo , was a bird we couldn’t miss if we wanted to get all of the endemics and Guanica is supposed to be the best place for them on the island. The Puerto Rican Screech Owl and the Puerto Rican Nightjar would have to wait until dark.)

Birding Culebra, Puerto Rico

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Culebra is the lesser known of the two major islands that lie off the eastern edge of Puerto Rico. Vieques is the island Americans tend to think of when they think of an island vacation destination off the coast of Puerto Rico, both because it is larger and because of the more recent and public fight to stop the American military from using it for bombing practice. A young Brown Booby buzzed the boat on our way back to Puerto Rico.

Birding Maricao, Puerto Rico

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Though it’s been over a month since Mike and I returned from Puerto Rico my blogging about the trip has been sadly lacking. Here, then, is coverage of the first half of our second day in Puerto Rico (16 January 2017), the day that our trip turned from near disaster to total victory thanks to a headache and a serendipitous stop on the side of the road. Puerto Rican Woodpecker. Yes, this is the best shot I got of a Puerto Rican Tanager.

Should Puerto Rico be Part of the ABA Area?

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territories in the Caribbean: Puerto Rico and the U.S. The American flag has flown over Puerto Rico since 1898 and over the Virgin Islands since 1917. This is all appropriate and necessary, as Puerto Ricans and U.S. Now that some of the immediate danger has passed and preliminary recovery is finally underway, it may be worth asking a comparatively trivial question: Why are Puerto Rico and the U.S. Perhaps Puerto Rico and the U.S

Birding Puerto Rico’s Humacao Nature Reserve

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On our first full day in Puerto Rico (Sunday, 15 January), Mike and I decided to start in the east of the island and work our way west. While neither is an endemic they are two of the five hummingbird species found in Puerto Rico and we wanted to make sure to see them, mostly for Mike’s sake as I had seen both in Culebra last year. In the event, neither of us was correct as a Puerto Rican Flycatcher ended up being the first endemic to cross our field of view.

Primate Breeding Facility Generates Controversy In Puerto Rico Itself

Critter News

I come down hard on Puerto Rico, ever since the scandal in which dogs were being thrown off bridges by an animal control company. Plus, the horrible pictures I've seen of strays in Puerto Rico. They've been planning to build a facility to breed research monkeys in Puerto Rico for some time. I'm glad this is sparking a dialogue in Puerto Rico. Tags: puerto rico animal research primates Good!

Three Workers Acquited of Animal Cruelty in Puerto Rico

Critter News

Remember this the next time you think about going to Puerto Rico. Tags: puerto rico animal cruelty These are the guys that allegedly threw 60 or so dogs off a bridge. The judge said there wasn't enough evidence. Baloney. Or better yet, don't think about going there. Disgusting.

Puerto Rico Plans Huge Primate Breeding Facility to Supply Researchers

Critter News

Less than one year ago, Puerto Rico enacted a landmark animal protection law, based in part on a set of model laws drafted by the Animal Legal Defense Fund. 2552) place Puerto Rico among the top tier of U.S. The proposed primate breeding facility would violate both the letter and the spirit of Puerto Rico’s progressive new law, which strictly limits the use of animals in experimentation.

Selena Gomez Auction For the Dogs of Puerto Rico

Critter News

We've blogged quite a bit here about the poor conditions for stray dogs in Puerto Rico. Tags: puerto rico dogs Here is a documentary on Youtube narrated by actress Selena Gomez. She is currently having an auction to benefit Island Dog Inc. I'm glad that this will get more publicity for the issue. This will not only get people involved, but may also force the govt. there to spend some resources to deal with the problem in a humane way. Here is Island Dog's site.

Puerto Rico Ships Monkey to.Baghdad?

Critter News

Puerto Rico is using it as a dumping ground for "nuisance" monkeys. Puerto Rico is eager to rid itself of the estimated 2,000 patas and rhesus monkeys that have taken a toll on wildlife and agriculture in the Lajas Valley since escaping from nearby research centers 30 years ago. "We The Baghdad Zoo rakes in some more animals.

Three Men Go on Trial in Puerto Rico for Dog Massacre

Critter News

Animal control workers in October took about 80 pets from the housing project in the northern Puerto Rican town of Barceloneta and allegedly tossed them off a bridge to their deaths. Tags: puerto rico These are the 3 that allegedly tossed animals off a bridge to kill them. If guilty, I hope they are punished severely. Somehow I doubt that will happen, but you never know.

Benicio del Toro Writes Letter Opposing Monkey Breeding Facility in Puerto Rico

Critter News

Actor Benicio del Toro has written a letter to the governor of Puerto Rico opposing a new monkey breeding facility. The Puerto Rican actor has penned a letter to the governor of Puerto Rico urging him to halt the construction plans for Bioculture's massive monkey-breeding facility.

The ABA Area and Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

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The third anniversary of Hurricane Maria barreling its way through Puerto Rico was a few weeks ago. In the aftermath of Maria, I had wondered why both Puerto Rico and the U.S. I later made the case for expansion of the ABA Area to include both Puerto Rico and the U.S.

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Support Island Dog Inc.

Critter News

Puerto Rico's animal welfare is pathetic. It's not that different from the rest of Latin America, but Puerto Rico is part of the United States. Tags: puerto rico animal rescue latin america us I really like this group and donate to them. There's no excuse for them not to be on par with at least the worst US state.

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The Case for Adding the U.S. Territories in the Caribbean to the ABA Area

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I recently asked whether Puerto Rico should be part of the American Birding Association’s ABA Area. I will suggest an answer to the question: this post makes the argument that both Puerto Rico and the U.S. Now that Hawaii is in the ABA Area , the next additions should be Puerto Rico and the U.S. Both Puerto Rico and the USVI have active birding communities that are currently excluded from full membership in the ABA family.

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Mangrove Cuckoos at Humacao Nature Reserve

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For example, on the first morning in Puerto Rico that Mike and I explored Humacao Nature Reserve we saw several Mangrove Cuckoos and these birds had no problem making their way in front of my camera. If you want cooperative and carefree cuckoos get yourself off the mainland and make your way to Puerto Rico. … Birds cuckoos Humacao Nature Reserve Mangrove Cuckoo Puerto Rico

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Searching for the Puerto Rican Parrot

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Way back in January Mike and I made a quick trip to Puerto Rico with the hope of cleaning up on all of the endemic species on the island. I’ve been lazy about blogging about our birding adventures there but the recent hurricanes and Jason’s excellent post on the idea of including Puerto Rico in the ABA Area have spurred me into action once again. We saw a Puerto Rican Parrot ! … Trips endemics parrots Puerto Rican Parrot Puerto Rico

Filling the Gap Left By DeBooy’s Rail

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During the legendary, lost ‘ Puerto Rico Month ‘ on this blog, a Puerto Rican endemic was mentioned that no 10,000 Birds reader, and in fact no living birder, will ever add to their life lists. It is now believed to have been a fairly common resident of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands until the arrival of the first humans when it went the way of most flightless easy to catch island birds immediately after the arrival of man.

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A Birder Attends a (Virtual) Ornithology Conference

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The location was going to be San Juan, Puerto Rico, and I have written a number of pieces on birds and birding in Puerto Rico , so I pondered attending. The North American Ornithological Conference (NAOC) is held every four years.

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A Birder Attends a (Virtual) Ornithology Conference – Part II

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Plenary Speaker Dr. Daniel Cadena — “The Origin and Future of a Tropical Diversity Hotspot” Beyond that, I primarily limited myself to the subject matter of hurricane impacts on birds and anything about Puerto Rico.

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Summer Books for Kids (and the rest of us)

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Parrots Over Puerto Rico is a wonderland of colors and shapes. The story of the Puerto Rican Amazon, also known as the Puerto Rico Parrot, Parrots Over Puerto Rico is illustrated with deeply hued collages created by Susan L. There are two stories here–the story of the parrots, and the story of the settlement of the island of Boriquén, which became the island of Puerto Rico.

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Where Are You Birding This Third Weekend of February 2016?

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Corey will be returning from Puerto Rico and may need several days to re-acclimate to New York winter conditions. Saint Augustine famously asserted, “The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page.” Sometimes I think the world is a field guide. Only through travel can you truly appreciate all the plates! I’m still in Israel, planning to cap off our adventure by exploring the Dead Sea and some live birds.

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Best Bird of the Weekend (Third of January 2017)

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Corey did not get out birding much this weekend after our trip to Puerto Rico last week. Mid-January offers some pretty bland birding in many parts of the Northern Hemisphere, or at least little you can’t see during the month before or after. Is that why millions of people seemed to crowd their nearest urban center on Saturday?

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How Many Birders are There, Really? (Addendum)

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Or at least most of the United States, as eBird erroneously considers Puerto Rico and several other U.S. I have previously written about the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s estimates regarding the number of birders in the United States.

Where Are You Birding This Second Weekend of January 2017?

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Good or bad, I’m hitting the road this weekend and dragging Corey with me as we blitz through Puerto Rico in an effort to vacuum up every endemic on that sunny Caribbean island. May I let you in on a little secret, just between you and me? A new calendar year doesn’t make common birds any more exciting to me.

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Listen Today on WALO Radio

Animal Person

Today, March 30th, at 3:00 East Coast time, Susan Soltero of Puerto Rico will interview me live on the air at WALO Radio about Responsible Policies for Animals' 10,000 Years Is Enough campaign to get our universities out of the meat industry! The University of Puerto Rico, an "1862" LGU founded in 1900, operates a slaughter facility killing small ruminants -- typically goats and sheep, cattle being large ruminants.

Welcome Jason Crotty, Our New Beat Writer

10,000 Birds

He has also written about birding in Puerto Rico, which he believes is criminally underappreciated as a destination for birders. We here at 10,000 Birds are excited to announce a new beat writer who will have his first post go live tomorrow. Please give a warm welcome to Jason Crotty, who will be writing about “General Birding and the Law” on the second Tuesday of each month.

2017 40

My Birding Goals for 2017

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That I have trips to Puerto Rico, Austria, and the Bahamas planned in the first two months of the year makes me a bit more confident than usual that I can make it again this year. It’s doable, but I might have to work at it and will really have to clean up in Puerto Rico. Thank all that is good and holy in the world that the abomination that was 2016 is finally in the books. Here’s hoping that 2017 is a much better year than 2016!

2017 52

Best Bird of the Weekend (Second of January 2017)

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Corey and I just spent our first day blitzing Puerto Rico and pulled some sweet sightings. Anyone who makes the effort will likely find–and fall for–the Puerto Rican Tody , a dazzling member of a charismatic Caribbean genus. But our toughest won victory had to be Puerto Rican Lizard-Cuckoo , which almost went down as heard-only until we worked our way into a highly satisfying sighting.

2017 40

From Today's New York Times

Animal Ethics

To the Editor: Thank you for publicizing the plight of satos—street dogs—in Puerto Rico in “ Scrutiny for Puerto Rico Over Animal Treatment ” (news article, March 9). Sadly, the situation in Puerto Rico is replicated in countries around the world where hundreds of millions of dogs live as strays, abandoned by the humans they have come to depend on for food, shelter and companionship.

Best Bird of the Weekend (Second of February 2016)

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That coupled with my preparations for a departure for Puerto Rico late on Sunday means that I didn’t get much birding done. Valentine’s Day has come and gone. Did you see any birds that you particularly loved this weekend? Here in New York City we suffered through our coldest period of the winter with wind chill values dipping well below zero degrees Fahrenheit.

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What is the National Bird of Venezuela?

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It was introduced to Puerto Rico and other island nations, and now flourishes. I remember the very first time I saw the national bird of Venezuela. Out of the corner of my eye, I caught sight of a flash of orange disappearing behind a thick layer of tree leaves. Peering upward, I marveled at the stark contrast between the inky black and bright orange feathers, white wing-bars glowing in the general shade of the canopy. There was no mistake: I was looking at a Venezuelan Troupial.

My eBird 10th Anniversary

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A pelagic out of Hatteras, North Carolina , the Biggest Week in American Birding in Ohio , and trip to Puerto Rico stand out as well. According to eBird , I have been an eBirder since December 23, 2009, so today is my 10th eBird anniversary.

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The Whistle Blowers

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They are found in the Bahamas, Cuba, the Cayman Islands, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, the Turks and Caicos, Antigua, Barbuda and Jamaica. Known breeding localities are now limited to only a few of the islands in the Caribbean including the Bahamas, Hispaniola, Puerto Rico, the Turks and Caicos, Jamaica, the Cayman Islands and Antigua/Barbuda.

I’m Not Hanging Noodles On Your Ears

4 The Love Of Animals

Like a dog in a canoe>to be very nervous (Spanish, Puerto Rico). National Geographic has published a book on idioms from around the world, and we got a chance to read it! It’s called I’m Not Hanging Noodles on Your Ears and Other Intriguing Idioms From Around the World and there are many that have to do with animals! And they are pretty funny! Here is a list of some animal related idioms. Like a perch in a chicken coop>insulted, pooped on (Spanish, Mexico).

My Top Ten Birds of 2016

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A fine February visit to Culebra, the little island off the eastern end of Puerto Rico, netted me some lifers as did my first ever trip to south Florida in late April. Antillean Crested Hummingbird , 17 February, Culebra, Puerto Rico. The year 2016 has been a pretty good year. I opened the year in California and even though I flew out in the evening on New Year’s Day I did see some species out there that I would otherwise not have seen for the year.

2016 62

Gray Kingbird: An Awesome Parking Lot Bird

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Populations in the eastern part of its range, including the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, and the Lesser Antilles are resident while those in the western part of its range such as Florida, Cuba, Jamaica, and the Bahamas are migratory. Parking lots in Miami-Dade county offer a mostly standard assortment of birds compared to the rest of the United States.

2014 82

Jamaica Birding Trip 2013 Part 1

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Many of the Caribbean islands (except Cuba and Hispaniola) make for ideal, quick birding trips where one can see all the endemics and Caribbean specialties at a leisurely pace — usually, with extra spare time to explore historic cities such as old San Juan in Puerto Rico or lounge on beautiful beaches such as Frenchman’s Cove in Jamaica.

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Birding Before Hurricane Irma

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Though we could breath a sigh of relief outside the famous “cone of uncertainty,” it has been heartbreaking to watch the devastation wrought in South Florida, the flooding up and down the eastern seaboard and Gulf Coast, and now Maria’s wrath in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean. I was lucky. Living so far west in the Panhandle, projections of Hurricane Irma’s path never crossed near Pensacola.

2017 50

eBird Profile Pages and the Power of Suggestion

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On eBird, the District of Columbia is part of the United States but Puerto Rico is not. According to eBird , I have been entering checklists since December 23, 2009, and I find it an incredibly useful way to maintain my lists, plan birding travel, and keep up on my favorite hotspots. eBird automatically organizes my observations by country, state, and county, and keeps running totals for my life and year lists. Indeed, without eBird, I would not have any lists at all.

2018 46

Welcome to Carlos Sanchez, Our New South Florida Beat Writer

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His passion has interwoven with his interest in travel, having birded extensively throughout the southeastern United States, eastern Australia, and Ecuador along with shorter jaunts to other locales such as Puerto Rico and Costa Rica. We would like everyone to give a warm welcome to the latest Beat Writer here on 10,000 Birds, Carlos Sanchez.

Twenty-Four Hours of Awesome Part Two: Mr. Wilson the Plover

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I’d only ever seen Wilson’s Plover four times previously: once in Florida, once on Trinidad, and twice in Puerto Rico (though those last two sightings were probably of the same bird on different days). After seeing the Burrowing Owl on Thursday night last week and talking to some other birders I realized that Friday was shaping up to be a good migration day, at least so far as we could divine from the weather forecast.

2019 52