The Hummingbirds of Dominica

Dominica the most northerly of the Windward Islands, situated in the Lesser Antilles, has four species of hummingbirds, slightly above the expected number, two to three, for a Caribbean island in the Lesser Antilles. The hummingbird species are the Antillean crested hummingbird, green-throated carib, purple-throated carib, and the blue-headed hummingbird. The purple-throated carib and the green-throated carib belong to the mongos clade whilst the blue-headed hummingbird and the Antillean crested hummingbirds are from the emeralds clade.

Note, the Antillean crested hummingbird has four sub species, O.c. exilis, O.c. cristatus, O.c. ornatus, and O.c. emigrans. O.c. exilis, found in Dominica, has a range from Puerto Rico to St. Lucia in the Lesser Antilles. Subspecies O.c. cristatus is found on Barbados, O.c. ornatus on St. Vincent, and O.c. emigrans in Grenada and the Grenadines[1].

The blue-headed hummingbird is endemic to the island/region, i.e., Dominica and Martinique, which is 40km to its south. But is absent on Guadeloupe, which is nearer, only 28km to Dominica's north. The Antillean crested hummingbird ranges from Puerto Rico to the Lesser Antilles, inclusive of Dominica, Barbados, and Saint. Vincent and the Grenadines in the south. The known range of the green-throated carib is from Puerto Rico to the Lesser Antilles, including Trinidad and Tobago, where it is an itinerant visitor. The purple-throated carib's natural range is the Lesser Antilles, from Anguilla in the north to Saint Vincent in the south and as a vagrant on Grenada, and the Virgin Islands.

Several birding spots in Dominica are productive for spotting hummingbirds. Amongst them, Morne Dablotin, Morne Macaque and Segment-7 (Hatton Garden to First Camp) of Waitukubuli National Trail (WNT) present more opportunities to observe all four species. The Botanical Gardens is fruitful for the Antillean crested hummingbird, green-throated hummingbird, and the purple-throated hummingbird. Middleham trails likely contributions are the blue-headed hummingbird and the purple-throated hummingbird. Whilst, Segment-10 (Colihaut Heights to Syndicate) of Waitukubuli National Trail WNT, Syndicate Nature Trail, and Boeri Lake Trek are likely to offer the blue-headed hummingbird and the purple-throated hummingbird.

Dominica Hummingbirds/caption>
Antillean Crested Hummingbird
Blue-headed Hummingbird
Green-throated Carib
Imperial Parrot
Purple-throated Carib
Red-necked Parrot

The Waitukubuli National Trail

Works Cited

1LACK, David. The Numbers of species of humminbirds in the West Indies. Eastern Caribbean Flora, University of the West Indies Cave Hill Campus. [Online] 1972. [Cited: November 23, 2016.]