PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten — From our coastlines and mangroves, to ponds, lakes and rivers, waterbirds are an ever-present part of Caribbean landscapes. They include our majestic seabirds, gregarious ducks, elegant egrets and a host of wading birds that make these islands a seasonal home. Learning the remarkable stories of some of these birds is easy with the release of Caribbean Waterbirds, a free ebook produced by BirdsCaribbean.
The ebook contains pieces by six authors, each revealing something different about these birds and the wetlands that sustain them. Learn how clever herons use tools, how waterbirds are found where they are least expected and how birds survive a hurricane. The book, illustrated with gorgeous photos, is a free download at BirdsCaribbean.org.
The timing of the ebook’s release coincides with the beginning of the eighth-annual Caribbean Waterbird Census. This census includes waterbird counts in over 100 locations on over a dozen islands. Although many are conducted by scientists and conservation groups, the census is designed so that anyone can participate.
The Caribbean is home to a wide variety of waterbirds, including both year-round residents and birds that travel thousands of miles to spend their winter here. Projects like the Caribbean Waterbird Census tell us how these birds are faring and what areas are most important to their survival. New discoveries are made every year.
The Caribbean Waterbird Census takes place each year between January 14th and February 3rd. You can learn more about it on the BirdsCaribbean website, or contact a local conservation group to find census activities on your island. Caribbean Waterbirds is available for free download in English, Spanish and French at BirdsCaribbean.org.