Complete Checklist of the Birds of the West Indies


This article from BirdsCaribbean describes an excellent resource—Complete Checklist of the Birds of the West Indies (2019) along with a PDF of the checklist. It also provides a complete list of Caribbean endemics.

The Caribbean is home to over 700 species of bird, including 171 species that are endemic to the region and found nowhere else in the world. In fact, there are over 110 bird species in the Caribbean that only live on one island. Overall, half of the resident birds—the ones that don’t migrate—in the region are endemic. The abundance of endemic species is one reason why the region is considered a biodiversity hotspot, and why conservation in the region is so important.

The region is also the seasonal home for over 150 migratory species that winter in the region after breeding in North America during the summer or travel through the region on their way to South America. As a stopover or wintering ground, the Caribbean is a vital resource for these migrants as they make their astounding journeys—thousands of miles each year!

The Complete Checklist of the Birds of the West Indies aims to document all of the species of birds observed in the West Indies along with the species status in a number of different categories, including abundance, seasonality, breeding status, endemism and establishment.  The Checklist provides a source of information on the abundance and diversity of West Indian avifauna. Its goal is to provide consistent, accurate and up-to-date information for use by researchers, conservationists and policy makers.  The checklist can be downloaded below and consists of two different documents.

The first document includes the introduction and explanatory text, definitions used and a summarized version of the species list as a pdf. The second is a more detailed checklist in an excel spreadsheet.  Providing the checklist as a spreadsheet enables you to easily sort and summarize the checklist by the columns you are most interested in, such as ‘Endemic Region’ or ‘Abundance’.

Before reviewing the checklist, please read through the Checklist introduction as there are several nuances surrounding the various categorizations. When you are birding, remember to record all your observations in eBird Caribbean as those records will be used to keep this checklist up to date. Read more about the checklist and how to use it here.

[Photo above by Dax Roman (cropped): Antillean Euphonia, endemic to the Caribbean islands.]


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