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Status and Conservation of the Raptors in the West Indies: A Review
Julio C. Gallardo and Russell Thorstrom

Caribbean Naturalist, Special Issue No. 2 (2019):90–134

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Caribbean Naturalist J.C. Gallardo and R. Thorstrom 2019 Special Issue No. 2 90 Status and Conservation of the Raptors in the West Indies: A Review Julio C. Gallardo1,* and Russell Thorstrom2 Abstract - The West Indies host a diverse community of raptors whose origins can be traced to North, Central, and South America. In the region, 37 raptor species have been reported, 27 of which are diurnal (Cathartidae, Accipitridae, and Falconidae) and 10 are nocturnal (Tytonidae and Strigidae). Nine species are regional endemics, 6 are non-endemic permanent residents, 6 are migratory, 8 have resident and migratory populations, and 2 are accidental Eurasian species. Three species are considered by BirdLife International as globally threatened. Two are critically endangered (Buteo ridgwayi [Ridgway’s Hawk] and Chondrohierax wilsonii [Cuban Kite]), and 1 is endangered (Accipiter gundlachi [Gundlach’s Hawk]). Here, we provide updates on the status and conservation of all raptors in the West Indies following the work of the indefatigable James Wiley. Introduction Islands represent about 7% of the Earth’s surface, but are known for supporting a high number of unique species and for being critical to the conservation of global biodiversity (Donald et al. 2013, Kreft et al. 2008, Myers et al. 2000). Geographical and ecological isolation make island biodiversity rich in endemism and make island environments highly vulnerable to perturbation, rendering them particularly important for conservation (Blackburn et al. 2004, Donald et al. 2013). Not only are islands a source of biodiversity, they experience higher levels of extinctions than their mainland counterparts. Since the1600s, more than 75% of the world’s animal extinctions have occurred on islands; ~90% of known extinct species and subspecies of birds in the last 5 centuries have been island endemics, 6 of which were birds of prey (Donald et al. 2013, White and Kiff 2000, World Conservation Monitoring Centre 1992). Insular populations of species have developed a series of characteristics as adaptations to island conditions (e.g., stable and high densities, small home-ranges, reduced dispersion, low productivity, and stable age structure) that allow them to thrive in such environments (Adler and Levins 1994, Gliwicz 1980). These adaptations may facilitate long-term survivorship of populations on islands but can also make them vulnerable to stochastic events (e.g., hurricanes, genetic bottlenecks). Intrinsic island population traits, such as low population size and small range size, are associated with a higher extinction risk in raptors and other tropical birds (Krüger and Radford 2008). However, the ecological processes that drive 1Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Aquaculture, Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, MS 39762 USA.2The Peregrine Fund, 5668 West Flying Hawk Lane, Boise, ID 83705 USA. *Corresponding author - jcgallardodelangel@gmail.com. Manuscript Editor: Joseph Wunderle Endangered and Threatened Species of the Caribbean Region 2019 CARIBBEAN NATURALIST Special Issue No. 2:90–134 Caribbean Naturalist 91 J.C. Gallardo and R. Thorstrom 2019 Special Issue No. 2 population dynamics of island species are still poorly understood, limiting efficiency of management and conservation measures. Excluding Australia, almost 30% of the world’s raptor species are insular endemics (Dickson and Remsen 2013). Among diurnal raptors (Accipitridae, Cathartidae, Falconidae, Pandionidae), owls (Strigiformes) show a high island endemism (38% of species), and one quarter of the insular populations of hawks, eagles, and kites (Accipitriformes) are endemic (Ferguson-Lees and Christi 2001, White and Kiff 2000). The isolation of the West Indies combined with its juxtaposition and proximity to North, Central, and South America has resulted in a diverse biota rich in endemism, where ~35% of the species of birds are unique to the archipelago (Hedges 2001, Woods and Sergile 2009). The origin of the avian taxa in the Antilles is primarily represented by separate events of colonization from the nearby continental landmasses and by long-distance colonization (Bond 1948; Ricklefs and Bermingham 2001, 2007). Overwater dispersal is suggested as the primary mechanism of arrival for the West Indies’ vertebrates, and island hopping was probably the main means of island colonization by birds, such as long-distance migratory raptors (Bildstein 2006). The unique geographical history of the West Indies favored an incredible number of endemic species; however, our understanding and knowledge of this diverse archipelago is far from complete, limiting our capacity to protect it. The main objective of this review is to update the distribution and conservation status of West Indian raptor species and their populations. Field-site Description The West Indies represent a large chain of heterogeneous islands that extend over 3200 km from 27° to 11° of latitude and -84° to -59° of longitude (Woods and Sergile 2009). The West Indies originated by volcanism, continental drift, changes in sea level, and uplifted island arcs, resulting in over 7000 cays, exposed offshore banks, rocks, and islands of different sizes (Hedges 2001, Newton 2003, Woods and Sergile 2009). The combined area of the West Indies is ~230,000 km2, with a wide variety in size among islands, from 110,860 km2 for the main island of Cuba to less than 0.2 km2 for some of the Grenadines (Woods and Sergile 2009). The habitat composition of the West Indies varies from relatively simple vegetation associations on smaller islands to diverse and complex ones on larger islands such as Cuba and Hispaniola (81,000 km2) (Wiley et al. 2004). Elevation also has a great effect on local climate and vegetation. For example, Puerto Rico (8740 km2), with a maximum elevation of 1338 m, displays a wide variety of vegetation communities, from cactus scrublands on the dry southern coast to cloud and elfin woods forests at the tops of the mountains (Daly et al. 2003, Gould et al. 2008, Wiley et al. 2004). We follow the geographical definition of the West Indies proposed by Woods and Sergile (2009), who separated the islands into 3 main groups: the Bahamas Archipelago (BAH), which includes the Bahamas islands of Grand Bahama, Great Abaco, New Providence, Andros, Eleuthera, Cat, Rum, Salvador, Exuma, Long, Acklin, Mayaguana, Great Iguana, and the islands of Turks and Caicos; the Greater Antilles (GRA), which includes the main island of Cuba, Isle of Pines (Cuba), Grand Caribbean Naturalist J.C. Gallardo and R. Thorstrom 2019 Special Issue No. 2 92 Cayman (Cayman Islands), Little Cayman ( Cayman Islands), Cayman Brac (Cayman Islands), Jamaica, Hispaniola (Haiti and the Dominican Republic), Gonâve (Haiti), Turtle (Haiti), Mona (Puerto Rico), Puerto Rico, Vieques (Puerto Rico), St. Croix (US Virgin Islands), St. Thomas (US Virgin Islands), St. John (US Virgin Islands), Tortola (British Virgin Islands), and Virgin Gorda (British Virgin Islands); and the Lesser Antilles (LEA), which includes the islands of Anguilla, St. Martin/ Sint Maarten, St. Barthélemy, Saba, St. Eustatius, St. Kitts and Nevis, Barbuda (Antigua and Barbuda), Antigua (Antigua and Barbuda), Monserrat, Guadeloupe, Marie-Galante, Guadeloupe), Dominica, Martinique, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Barbados, Grenadines Islands, Carricaou, and Grenada (Fig. 1). Methods To locate relevant literature about raptors in the West Indies, we searched Google Scholar (https://scholar.google.com/) using combinations of the following keywords: Antilles, Caribbean islands, checklist, conservation of, falcon, hawk, owl, raptors, vulture, West Indies, and species’ scientific names and common names in English and the name of individual islands or group of islands. Our sources included books, research reports (e.g., Bulletin of the Smithsonian Institution), regional field guides, theses, and dissertations in English, French, and Spanish with titles that suggested the distribution and conservation status of raptors in the Caribbean. We also analyzed photographic records in the eBird database (Sullivan et al. 2009) of species that might have occurred in our study area. We acknowledge that we cannot claim to have found all relevant literature of raptors in our study area. We followed the American Ornithological Society (AOS 2017) for the taxonomical arrangement of species, and adopted the classification of subspecies proposed by Clements et al. (2017) for polytypic species. However, we have incorporated taxonomical changes proposed in the relevant literature. We defined Caribbean endemic species and subspecies as those that breed exclusively in the West Indies. This endemism can be labeled as limited to a country or to a group of islands. Nearendemic species or subspecies are those that may have established populations on the mainland or on islands and keys in proximity (e.g., Trinidad and Tobago) to the mainland. Due to its geographical location, the West Indies has a raptor community composed of several mainland species with migratory and resident populations and some vagrant visitors from other continents (e.g., fewer than 5 reports in the area) (Bildstein 2006, Ferguson-Lees and Christie 2001, Zalles and Bildstein 2000). Results and Discussion Distribution and status In total, 37 raptor species have been reported in the West Indies: 27 are diurnal and 10 are nocturnal (Appendix 1); 19 are hawks and kites (Accipitridae, 4 endemics), 5 are falcons and caracaras (Falconidae), 2 are New World vultures (Cathartidae), 1 is Pandion halieatus (Osprey; Pandionidae), 8 are true owls (Strigidae, 4 endemics), and 2 are barn-owls (Tytonidae, 1 endemic). The endemic species are restricted to the Greater Antilles, with 5 in Cuba, 2 in the Dominican Republic, and 1 in Jamaica Caribbean Naturalist 93 J.C. Gallardo and R. Thorstrom 2019 Special Issue No. 2 and Puerto Rico (Appendix 1). The group of Caribbean islands with the most raptor species is the Greater Antilles, where Cuba has the most diverse raptor community, comprised of 30 species, followed by Hispaniola (18 spp.), Puerto Rico (18 spp.), Jamaica (12 spp.), and the Cayman Islands (9 spp.). The Bahamas archipelago has 14 raptor species, all of which have been reported on Grand Bahama, which is also the only island where Coragyps atratus (Bechstein) (Black Vulture) has been reported regularly from 2015 to 2017 (D. Mullis, local bird expert, Grand Bahama, Bahamas, Figure 1. Map of the West Indies and it major island chains. Bahamas Archipelago (BAH) includes the islands of Grand Bahama (1), Great Abaco (2), New Providence (3), Andros (4), Eleuthera (5), Cat (6), Rum (7), Salvador (8), Exuma (9), Long (10), Acklin (11), Mayayuana (12), Great Iguana (13), and the islands of Turks (14) and Caicos (15); the Greater Antilles (GRA) includes the main island of Cuba (16), Isle of Pines (17, Cuba), Grand Cayman (18, Cayman Islands), Little Cayman (19, Cayman Islands), Cayman Brac (20, Cayman Islands), Jamaica (21), Hispaniola (22, Haiti and the Dominican Republic), Gonâve (23, Haiti), Turtle (24, Haiti), Mona (25, Puerto Rico), Puerto Rico (26, main island), Vieques (27, Puerto Rico), St. Croix (28, US Virgin Islands), St. Thomas (29, US Virgin Islands), St. John (30, US Virgin Islands), Tortola (31, British Virgin Islands), Virgin Gorda (32, British Virgin Islands); and the Lesser Antilles (LEA) that include the islands of Anguilla (33), Saint-Martin/Sint Maarten (34), St. Barthélemy (35), Saba (36), St. Eustatius (37), St. Kitts and Nevis (38), Barbuda (39, Antigua and Barbuda), Antigua (40, Antigua and Barbuda), Monserrat (41), Guadeloupe (42), Marie-Galante (43, Guadeloupe), Dominica (44), Martinique (45), St. Lucia (46), St. Vincent (47), Barbados (48), Grenadines Islands (49), Carricaou (50), Grenada (51). Caribbean Naturalist J.C. Gallardo and R. Thorstrom 2019 Special Issue No. 2 94 pers. comm.). The Lesser Antilles has 12 raptor species; the most diverse islands within that group are Grenada and St. Vincent, with 9 and 8 species, respectively. According to the BirdLife International (2000), 3 species of Caribbean raptors are globally threatened, 2 are critically endangered (Buteo ridgwayi Cory [Ridgway’s Hawk; Hispaniola] and Chondrohierax wilsonii Cassin [Cuban Kite; Cuba]), and 1 is endangered (Accipiter gundlachi [Gundlach’s Hawk; Cuba]). In the West Indies, 10 species of raptors (including accidentals and vagrants) have been reported exclusively during migration (October to May)—8 are migrants from North America and 2 are vagrants from Europe (Appendix 1). Seven species of continental raptors are migratory and have at least 1 resident population in the West Indies. Notably, all subspecies of Buteo platypterus Vieillot (Broad-winged Hawk) are present in the West Indies, where the nominal subspecies is a regular migrant in Cuba and potentially in Hispaniola, and 5 subspecies are endemic to the archipelago. A total of 26 subspecies of 9 continental species are endemic to the West Indies, of which 2 subspecies of Athene cunicularia (Burrowing Owl) are presumably extinct in their respective islands (Ridgway 1914). Two subspecies are near-endemic to the West Indies: Buteo p. antillarum (Antillean Broad-winged Hawk), which breeds from St. Vincent to Tobago, and Pandion halieatus ridgwayi (Caribbean Osprey) which breeds in the Bahamas, keys and coastal areas of Cuba, Belize, and the state of Quintana Roo in the Yucatan Peninsula (Mexico) (Friedmann 1950, Howell and Webb 1995, Ridgway 1914). Eight species of North American raptors spend the boreal winter in or migrate through the West Indies; however, the migration pattern and corridors in the archipelago are still not well known (Zalles and Bildstein 2000). What is known about trans-Caribbean migrants comes from satellite studies of species such as Elanoides forficatus (Swallow-tailed Kite) and Pandion h. carolinensis (American Osprey). Swallow-tailed Kites migrate over the peninsula of Florida and cross eastern Cuba and Jamaica to reach the Yucatan Peninsula, while American Ospreys move from the central-east and east of North America to cross to South America via the Greater Antilles (Martell et al. 2014, Meyer 2004, Zalles and Bildstein 2000). However, some American Ospreys spend the winter in the West Indies, and there are increasing records of Swallow-tailed Kites in the Lesser Antilles during its migration, suggesting that this species can also be found throughout the entire archipelago (Bierregaard et al. 2016, Raffaele et al. 1998, Sullivan et al. 2009). Other migrants, such as Falco peregrinus tundrius (Tundra Peregrine Falcon) and Falco c. columbarius (Taiga Merlin) are apparently island-hopping through the entire West Indies to reach central and southeast Brazil (Bildstein 2004, Clark 1985, Cohn 1999, Zalles and Bildstein 2000). Species accounts and taxonomy Cathartiformes Coragyps atratus Bechstein (Black Vulture; Cathartidae) Although considered a vagrant, 2 subspecies of the Black Vulture are present in the West Indies: the North American subspecies, Coragyps a. atratus Bechstein Caribbean Naturalist 95 J.C. Gallardo and R. Thorstrom 2019 Special Issue No. 2 (American Black Vulture), and Coragyps a. brasiliensis Bonaparte (South American Black Vulture) (Ferguson-Lees and Christie 2001, Raffaele et al. 1998). The Black Vulture in the West Indies was first known to occur as a vagrant in Cuba, with 10 records of Coragyps a. atratus from 1928 to 1996 in the western and central parts of the island, a record of a dead bird in Bimini (Bahamas) in the mid-1980s, and a doubtful report from Jamaica (Friedmann 1950, Garrido and Kirkconnell 2000, Jackson 1988a). Solitary birds have been reported and photographed on Grand Bahama during the springs of 2015, 2016, and 2017 (D. Mullis, pers. comm.). In Cuba, a single bird was photographed southwest of Matanzas Province (Garret et al. 2008). On 6 July 2017, we recorded a group of 5 individuals mixed with a group of Cathartes aura (Turkey Vulture) south of Autopista Nacional No. 1 near the town of Torriente in Matanzas Province. In Grenada, 4 individuals were observed near the Perseverance garbage dump in 2003 (R. Thorstrom, pers. observ.). A group of 4 individuals was observed in April 2005 on the central west side of Grenada (near Halifax harbor), and 5 individuals were observed in the same location in the spring of 2006 (J. Vandergaast, Field Guides Birding Tours, Autin, TX, pers. comm.). The migration patterns and movements of Black Vultures are poorly understood; nevertheless, the species is experiencing a northerly range expansion in eastern North America and an increasing population in Florida, including the Keys (Avery 2004, Buckley 1999, Hoffman and Darrow 1992, Kiff 2004, Lott 2006). The current status of the Black Vulture in the West Indies is still poorly known, and we are unaware of nesting records here. Its populations are increasing on the mainland; thus, it is possible that the Black Vulture may increase its presence in the West Indies. It may already be a rare year-round resident, at least on the main island of Cuba and on Grenada. Cathartes aura (L.) (Turkey Vulture; Cathartidae) The Turkey Vulture has the widest distribution of all members of the family Cathartidae, from Southern Canada to the Falkland Islands, with sedentary and longdistance migratory populations (Ferguson-Lee and Christie 2001). The taxonomy of the Turkey Vulture at the subspecific level is poorly understood, but is considered polytypic (Kirk and Mossman 1998). In the West Indies, Cathartes a. aura (L.) is a common and widespread year-round resident on the larger islands of the Bahamas (Grand Bahama, Abaco, and Andros) and the Great Antilles west of the main island of Puerto Rico. It is a non-breeding resident on the island of Cayman Brac, and it is considered a vagrant in the east Virgin Islands (1972 on St. Croix) (Kirk and Mossman 1998, Nellis 1979, Raffaele et al. 1998). In the Bahamas and Cuba, the number of Turkey Vultures may potentially increase in winter with the arrival of migratory individuals from Florida and perhaps individuals of Cathartes a. septentrionalis (Wied) (Eastern Turkey Vulture) from eastern North America (Hoffman and Darrow 1992, Lott 2006, Raffaele et al. 1998). In Cuba, the Turkey Vulture is common and widespread on the main island and the Isle of Pines (Garrido and Kirkconnell 2000, Raffaele et al. 1998). Latta et al. (2006) and Jackson (1988b) proposed that the Turkey Vulture dispersed to Hispaniola from Cuba in the early 1900s, where it is Caribbean Naturalist J.C. Gallardo and R. Thorstrom 2019 Special Issue No. 2 96 currently common and primarily found in the coastal lowlands around the channels of La Gonâve and Saint-Marc; from the Tiburón Peninsula (Massif de la Hotte) in Haiti; and from the Cordillera Central though the eastern half of the Dominican Republic. On the other hand, Danforth (1935) suggested that this species was intentionally introduced to southwest Puerto Rico from Cuba to eat livestock carcasses. Currently, the Turkey Vulture in Puerto Rico is locally common at all elevations in the western half of the island, and apparently its numbers are increasing in the eastern half. The population of Turkey Vultures in Puerto Rico could have originated by natural colonization from individuals from eastern Hispaniola, where it is locally abundant. However, further research is needed to determine the potential movement between island populations. Accipitriformes Pandion halieatus (L.) (Osprey; Pandionidae) In the Americas, the Osprey is represented by Pandion h. carolinensis (Gmelin) (American Osprey) and the Pandion h. ridgwayi Maynard (Caribbean Osprey). The former breeds mainly in Canada, the US, and northwest Mexico, while the latter breeds in the Bahamas, keys and coastal areas of Cuba (rare in Isle of Pines), the coast of Belize, and the Mexican state of Quintana Roo (Bierregaard et al. 2016, Ferguson-Lees and Christie 2001, Wiley et al. 2014). The American Osprey overwinters in the Bahamas and the Greater Antilles and is rare in the Lesser Antilles east of the Virgin Islands (Bierregaard et al. 2016, Raffaele et al. 1998). During autumn migration, several individuals from central and eastern North America migrated across the peninsula of Florida through Cuba, Jamaica, and the eastern and central part of the Hispaniola to cross the Caribbean Sea to reach South America (Bierregaard et al. 2016, Martell et al. 2001, 2014). Based on satellite data, the major threat that the American Osprey faces while crossing the West Indies is deliberate shooting, especially in Cuba and the Dominican Republic (Bierregaard et al. 2016). In the West Indies, the breeding distribution of the Caribbean Osprey is patchy and mostly restricted to the Bahamas Archipelago and the coastal areas and keys of the main island of Cuba and the Isle of Pines. It is apparently a regular non-breeding visitor to the coastal areas of Hispaniola and northern Puerto Rico (J. Salgado, Sociedad Puertoriqueña de Ornitología, Barceloneta, PR, USA, pers. comm.) and a vagrant in the Cayman Islands, perhaps in the Virgin Islands as well (Bradley 2000, Latta et al. 2006, Wiley et al. 2014). The American Osprey is known to breed in Cuba, potentially displacing and interbreeding with the Caribbean Osprey (Garrido and Kirkconnell 2000, Wiley et al. 2014, Wotzkow 1985). Ospreys have been observed building nest platforms in the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, and St. Croix and on some islands of the Lesser Antilles; however, Wiley et al. (2014) suggested that the birds were likely juvenile American Ospreys. In 2006, one unsuccessful nesting attempt at Laguna Cartagena National Wildlife Refuge, PR, was identified as American Osprey (M. Morel, local bird expert, Cabo Rojo, PR USA, pers. comm.). In 2017, an American Osprey nested and successfully fledged a young near Las Palmas in southwest Puerto Rico (Cabo Rojo Municipality; A. Caribbean Naturalist 97 J.C. Gallardo and R. Thorstrom 2019 Special Issue No. 2 Sabat, local bird expert, PR, USA; pers. comm. 2018). Wiley et al. (2014) made an extensive review of the status of the Caribbean Osprey, highlighting the lack of information about the basic biology of the species as well as its conservation status throughout the species’ range, proposing that this near-endemic subspecies may be at risk. Further research is needed to fill the information gap on its life history and to assess the conservation status and threats of the Caribbean Osprey in the region. Chondrohierax uncinatus Temminck (Hook-billed Kite; Accipitridae) The Hook-billed Kite is a neotropical kite that specializes on arboreal snails. This species has only one subspecies in the Caribbean: Chondrohierax uncinatus mirus Friedmann (Grenada Hook-billed Kite), which is restricted to the island of Grenada (Ferguson-Lees and Christie 2001). The Grenada Hook-billed Kite was considered extinct until the1980s, when Smith and Temple found ~8 individuals in the tropical dry forest located in the southern part of the island (King 1981, Smith and Temple 1982). This species is well known in the drier forests of the island, with few records throughout Grenada in the montane forests, except for 1 bird observed in wet forests north of Grand Etang and another near Morne Fedon, at 600 m elevation, in 1971 (O.M. Buchanan, local bird expert, Grenada; pers. comm., in Smith and Temple 1982). In July 1987, Blockstein (1988) estimated a total population of between 15 and 30 Hook-billed Kites in the drier southwestern part of the island but later observed approximately half as many kites in December 1989 and January 1990 during the same time of the year (Blockstein 1991). During surveys in 2000 and 2004, a minimum of 15 individuals and a maximum of 39 were observed, respectively (Thorstrom and McQueen 2008, Thorstrom et al. 2001). Based on the number of territorial pairs, non-breeding adults, and juveniles, Thorstrom and McQueen (2008) estimated the total population of Grenada Hook-billed Kites to be ~50–70 birds. After hurricanes Ivan (2004) and Emily (2005) destroyed nearly 50% of the forested habitats and impacted the breeding activities of the kites, the estimated population dropped 33% (Thorstrom and McQueen 2008). The current status and population estimates of the Grenada Hook-billed Kite are unknown but presumably very small. Chondrohierax wilsonii (Cassin) (Cuban Kite; Accipitridae) Endemic to the main island of Cuba, the critically endangered Cuban Kite was discovered in the early 1900s in montane and lowland moist forests in the eastern provinces of Guantanamo, Holguín, and Santiago de Cuba; it was also observed by Gundlach in the Zapata swamp in the south of the Zapata Province (BirdLife International 2000; González et al. 2012; Gundlach 1876; Johnson et al. 2007; Smith and Temple 1982; Wiley 1985, 1986b). The current distribution of the Cuban Kite is suggested to be restricted to the montane and submontane forests of the Sagua- Baracoa mountain range in the provinces of Santiago de Cuba, Guantanamo, and potentially Holguín (Garrido 1985; Garrido and Kirkconnell 2000; Kirkconnell 2012; Wiley 1985, 1986b). Cuban Kite records in the last 30 y have been in Guantanamo Province, near the Duaba river by the city of Baracoa in the mid-1970s (single individual), and near the village of San Rafael in the municipality of Yateras Caribbean Naturalist J.C. Gallardo and R. Thorstrom 2019 Special Issue No. 2 98 (Kirkconnell 2012). In 2004, E. Reyes Muriño (Matanzas, Cuba) took a photo of a Cuban Kite (apparently an adult female), near the village of Río Frío in the Humboldt National Park in Guantanamo Province (we examined the photo); this is potentially the only known photo of a living individual of this species. In the last decade, Cuban ornithologists and naturalists have been searching for this species in historical localities in Guantanamo and Santiago de Cuba. They have been unable to detect it in the lowland moist forest but found it in the submontane forest of Zapote del Mal Nombre, Las Cabezas de los Lirios, and los Llanos east and southeast of Humboldt National Park and that was an unconfirmed sighting near the city of Moa (Kirkconnell 2012; N. Navarro Pacheco, BirdCaribbean, Havana, Cuba, pers. comm.; G. Bugué, Unidad Presupuestaria de Servicios Ambientales, Guantanamo, Cuba, pers. comm.). In the last 20 years, the habitat of the Cuban Kite has been reduced by deforestation, intensive human harvesting of some species of Polymita tree snails has limited its likely main prey item, and persecution as a result of its real or perceived depredations on domestic chickens (or by confusion with Accipiter gundlachi [Gundlach’s Hawk]) can partially explain the species’ rarity (G. Bugué, pers. comm.; Espinosa and Ortega 2009; Kirkconnell 2012; Raffaele et al. 1998). Other activities such as mining near Humboldt National Park may also impact the habitat of the species. Based on museum specimens, Rodríguez-Santana (2009) estimated a potential distribution of 573 km2 restricted to the northeastern Guantanamo and southeastern Holguin Provinces. The current distribution of the Cuban Kite and its population status or trends, are unknown; however, it is certainly considered the rarest raptor of Cuba and perhaps of the West Indies (Kirkconnell 2012, Rodríguez- Santana 2009, Wiley 1986a). A recent mitochondrial DNA analysis suggested that the Cuban Kite diverged 1.8% to 2.0% (400,000–1.25 million years ago) relative to the populations of Hook-billed Kite from Central and South America; however, the American Ornithologist’s Union has not granted it full species status (Banks et al. 2008, Johnson et al. 2007). Elanoides forficatus (L.) (Swallow-tailed Kite; Accipitridae) The Swallow-tailed Kite has 2 subspecies: Elanoides f. forficatus (L.) (Northern Swallow-tailed Kite), which is a long-distance migrant that breeds in the southeastern US, and Elanoides f. yetapa (Vieillot) (Southern Swallow-tailed Kite), which breeds from southern Mexico to central South America with partial migrant populations in the northern part of its distribution (Ferguson and Lees 2001, Meyer 1995). In the West Indies, the nominal subspecies migrates in small flocks from Florida through western and eastern Cuba and Jamaica to reach the Yucatan Peninsula and Central America (Bildstein et al. 2002, Haynes-Sutton et al. 2009, Latta et al. 2006, Meyer 2004, Rodríguez-Santana 2010). However, the Northern Swallow-tailed Kite is considered a rare transit migrant though the West Indies, with records from Abaco (2002, 2015, 2017), Grand Bahama (2002, 2016), Hispaniola (1999, 2006), St. Croix (2012), Saba (2016), Grand Cayman (2002, 2003, 2015, 2017), Jamaica (2002), and in Caño Tiburones in northern Puerto Rico after hurricane Maria (2017) Caribbean Naturalist 99 J.C. Gallardo and R. Thorstrom 2019 Special Issue No. 2 (Bracey 2017; S. Colón and J. Salgado, Sociedad Puertoriqueña de Ornitología, Barceloneta, PR, USA, pers. comm.; Davey 2017a; Johnson 2016; Kerr et al. 2016; Latta et al. 2006; Norton et al. 2004b; Norton et al. 2004d; Raffaele et al. 1998; Watters 2016; Yntema 2012). Circus hudsonius (L.) (Northern Harrier; Accipitridae) The Northern Harrier is a North American migratory species that was recently split from Circus cyaneus (L.) (Hen Harrier) from Eurasia (Chesser et al. 2017, Ferguson-Lees and Christie 2001). The Northern Harrier is a common winter resident and transit migrant in the Bahamas (Abaco), Cuba, and Isle of Pines, an uncommon winter resident in Hispaniola and Puerto Rico, and a rare transit migrant in the Virgin Islands and Lesser Antilles (Beatty 1941, Garrido and Kirkconnell 2000, Latta et al. 2006, Norton et al. 2016a, Raffaele 1989, Raffaele et al. 1998). In Cuba, Northern Harriers are known to use marsh grasslands and are especially abundant in active pastures and some agricultural areas. The species has a high probability of occurrence in an estimated area of 26,918 km2 of habitat (Ferrer-Sánchez and Rodríguez-Estrella 2015, Rodríguez-Santana 2009). The status of the Northern Harrier on other islands is unknown and information is very limited. For the last 2 decades, a handful of Northern Harriers have been reported annually in Puerto Rico (M. Morel, J. Salgado, S. Colón, pers. comm.). We have seen at least 1 individual each winter from 2011 to 2017 in the rice fields and pastures of southwestern Puerto Rico. Circus aeruginosus (L.) (Western Marsh Harrier; Accipitridae) The Western Marsh Harrier is a long-distance migrant with a nominal subspecies in Western Europe that migrates south, crossing the Gibraltar Strait to reach the species’ wintering grounds south of the Sahara (Ferguson-Lees and Christie 2001). The status of this species in the West Indies is still unknown; however, it has been reported in Puerto Rico and in the Lesser Antilles. There are 3 photographic records from southwestern Puerto Rico at Laguna Cartagena National Refuge in 2004 (from January to March) and 2006 (from January to February) and at La Pargera in December of 2004 (S. Colón, pers. comm.; Merkord et al. 2006). This species has been reported in several of the Lesser Antilles, but the only known photographic records are from the Parish of Saint Lucy in Barbados in 2015 and in the Grand Cul-de-Sac Marin at the Arrondissement of Basse-Terre in Guadeloupe (Levesque and Malglaive 2004, Moore 2015). Puerto Rico and the Lesser Antilles form an arch of islandswith a span in latitude of ~1000 km from 11°98'N to 18°74'W that may facilitate catching vagrants from West Europe and Africa. For that reason, we believe that this species may be a rare but regular winter visitor in the eastern most islands of the West Indies. Accipiter striatus Vieillot (Sharp-shinned Hawk; Accipitridae) The Sharp-shinned Hawk is a common and widespread forest raptor with yearround and migratory populations in North America and sedentary populations in Mexico, Central America, South America, and the Greater Antilles (Bildstein and Caribbean Naturalist J.C. Gallardo and R. Thorstrom 2019 Special Issue No. 2 100 Meyer 2000, Ferguson-Lees and Christie 2001). The Sharp-shinned Hawks in the West Indies are represented by the migratory mainland species, Accipiter s. velox Wilson (Eastern Sharp-shinned Hawk), and 3 island endemic subspecies, Accipiter s. striatus (Vieillot) (Haitian Sharp-shinned Hawk), Accipiter s. fringilloides Vigors (Cuban Sharp-shinned Hawk), and Accipiter s. venator Wetmore (Puerto Rican Sharp-shinned Hawk) (Bildstein and Meyer 2000, Ferguson-Lees and Christie 2001, Friedmann 1950). Eastern Sharp-shinned Hawks migrate in small numbers through the Bahamas, Cuba, and Jamaica, are vagrants in the Virgin Islands, and are common transit migrants and winter residents in the lowlands of Cuba (Bildstein and Meyer 2000, Latta et al. 1998, Rodríguez-Santana 2004). During the fall migration of 2017, Rodríguez-Santana (2010) reported 695 Eastern Sharp-shinned Hawks (from 21 July to 1 October) at Cape San Antonio, the westernmost tip of Cuba. The presence of Eastern Sharp-shinned Hawks can result in an overestimation of the populations of endemic subspecies in Cuba, and perhaps in Hispaniola and Puerto Rico as well (Norton et al. 2016a, Rodríguez-Santana 2009). The Sharpshinned Hawk is reported as a vagrant in the Virgin Islands (St. Croix) and on Mona Island (Puerto Rico) by Delannoy (1997) and Terborgh and Faaborg (1973); however, we could not find details to assign those records to a specific subspecies. Barbour (1923) mentioned that, in the late 19th century and early 20th centuries, some specimens of the Cuban Sharp-shinned Hawk were collected near San Antonio de los Baños in western Cuba (Sierra de Órganos, Pinar del Río Province) and from the mountains around Pico Turquino National Park (Sierra Maestra, Granma and Santiago de Cuba Provinces) by R.H. Beck and by J. Gundlach, respectively. Barbour (1923) mentioned he had seen several individuals but did not provide specific locations. We located 3 specimens deposited at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC, USA: 2 without specific location information collected in 1901 by B.S. Bowdish and in 1914 by O. Tollin, and 1 collected by J. Gundlach in Guantanamo without a specific locality. Wiley (1986b) considered this subspecies increasingly rare and declining throughout Cuba. Rodríguez-Santana (2009) modeled a potential area of occurrence of 21,011 km2, including moist lowland and montane forests in the national parks of Pico Turquino, Humboldt, Topes de Collantes (Cien Fuegos, Santa Clara, and Santci Spíritus provinces), Parque Marino Punta Frances, Punta Pedernales (Isle of Pines), Peninsula de Guanahacabibes, the karst forest of Sierra de Órganos, and a tract of lowland forest northeast of the Zapata Peninsula (south of Matanzas Province). The current conservation status and distribution of the Cuban Sharp-shinned Hawk is still poorly known. According to O. Garrido (National Museum of Natural History, Havana, Cuba, pers. comm.) and J. Wiley (Western Foundation of Vertebrate Zoology, Camarillo, CA, USA, pers. comm.), the Cuban Sharp-shinned Hawk has been observed in Sierra de Órganos and the montane forest of the eastern provinces of Guantanamo, Granma, and Santiago de Cuba . In July of 2017, we visited the southwestern sector of Humboldt National Park, where locals mentioned there were at least 2 platform-shaped nests that belonged to a hawk commonly described as a small version of Accipiter gundlachi (Gundlach’s Hawk) that feeds on small birds and not on chickens, but Caribbean Naturalist 101 J.C. Gallardo and R. Thorstrom 2019 Special Issue No. 2 we were unable to confirm the nest. Wotzkow and Garrido (1991) analyzed eggs from 2 nests collected near Sagua La Grande (northern Santa Clara Province), in the vicinity of Topes de Collantes National Park. These were initially identified as Cuban Sharp-shinned Hawk’s eggs, but the 1991 analysis determined that the eggs belonged to the resident subspecies of Falco sparverius sparveroides (American Kestrel). The eggs and nest of the Cuban Sharp-shinned Hawk are still to be discovered and described. Together with the Cuban Kite, the Cuban Sharp-shinned Hawk is considered one of the rarest and least known raptors in Cuba and perhaps one of the most endangered (Garrido 1985; O. Garrido, pers. comm.; Rodríguez-Santana 2004; Wotzkow and Garrido 1991). Considered an endangered species by Garrido and Kirkconnell (2000), the Cuban Sharp-shinned Hawk is not yet included in the Red Book of Threatened Vertebrates of Cuba (González et al. 2012). The lack of recent sightings and information about its natural history makes it difficult to assess the current conservation status, distribution, and threats to this endemic subspecies in Cuba. The Haitian Sharp-shinned Hawk inhabits shade-coffee plantations as well as Pinus (pine) and mature montane broadleaf forests at elevations above 300 m (Raffaele et al. 1998). Uncommon and increasingly local, the Haitian Sharp-shinned Hawk is known from scattered sightings along all mountain ranges on the island, including the karst mountains of the Cordillera Oriental (Hato Mayor, El Seibo, and La Altagracia provinces) and from some lowland records on the Atlantic and Caribbean coasts (Latta et al. 2006, Raffaele et al. 1998, Sullivan et al. 2009). The breeding biology of the Haitian Sharp-shinned Hawk is poorly known and is assumed to be similar to endemic subspecies of the Puerto Rican Sharp-shinned Hawk (Stockton Dod 1978). Latta et al. (2006) mentioned only 2 known records for the Dominican Republic from the Cordillera Central and near Sierra de Bahoruco National Park. While searching for Ridgway’s Hawk nesting activity, Eladio Fernández, guided by locals, found an occupied nest of a Haitian Sharp-shinned Hawk in Sierra de Bahoruco National Park in 2004. T. Hayes (The Peregrine Fund, Boise, ID, USA, pers. comm.) found 2 occupied nests in 2016 near the town of Arroyazo south of the Ebano Verde Scientific Reserve (La Vega Province) in the Cordillera Central. We examined 14 Haitian Sharp-shinned Hawk specimens collected in the Dominican Republic and 6 collected between 1917 and 1978 in Haiti. In the Dominican Republic, 4 specimens were collected near Constanza (La Vega Province) and 2 were collected from the southeast of Jarabacoa near Ebano Verde Scientific Reserve; both localities are over 1000 m in elevation. Wetmore and Swales (1931) reported additional specimens collected in the Dominican Republic in 1917 in the Cordillera Central: 1 at Loma Rucilla (near Pico Duarte, Armando Bermudez National Park, Santiago Province) and another at Loma Tina (south of Valle Nuevo National Park, La Vega Province), locations that are both over 2000 m in elevation. In Haiti, 4 specimens were collected in the northwest at the Massif du Nord, near the localities of Moustique and Bobbardopolis (Nord-Ouest Department) at what is believed to be an elevation of around 400–600 m, and 2 were collected in the southwest Massif de la Hotte near or at Pic de Macaya (Sud and Grand’Anse Caribbean Naturalist J.C. Gallardo and R. Thorstrom 2019 Special Issue No. 2 102 Departments), where elevations reach 2340 m. Wetmore and Swales (1931) saw an individual chasing a hummingbird in Morne Cabaio (La Visite National Park, Ouest Department) at Massif de La Salle in 1927. Based on the available information, this subspecies apparently is more abundant than the one in Cuba, but is still poorly known, and its conservation status is unknown. The Puerto Rican Sharp-shinned Hawk is an endangered subspecies restricted to shade-coffee plantations and mature and old secondary montane forest (Delannoy 1997, USFWS 1997). Historically, breeding territories of the Puerto Rican Sharpshinned Hawk have been reported in montane forest of the island at the Cordillera Central (central west), in the Cayey Mountains (southeast), and on the easternmost side of the island in the Luquillo Mountains at elevations above 400 m. Individuals have been reported at lower elevations in the northern karst forest of Guajataca and Rio Abajo (Danforth 1936; Delannoy 1984, 1997; Miranda-Castro et al. 2000; Perez-Rivera and Cotté-Santana 1977; Rolle 1961; Snyder and Wiley 1976). On public lands, the population of the Puerto Rican Sharp-shinned Hawk was reported to have declined from a conservative estimate of 240–250 individuals in 1983 to 150 in 1991, which represents a 40% population decline over an 8-y period (Delannoy 1992, 1997). Recent field work and censuses suggest that the Puerto Rican Sharp-shinned Hawk has been virtually extirpated in their historic stronghold of Maricao Forest, and it is now probably isolated to a few montane forest reserves across the rest of the historic range (Gallardo and Vilella 2014). The causes of population decline are still unknown; however, it may have resulted from combined factors such as habitat loss (e.g., urban sprawl), forest fragmentation (e.g., agricultural activities), changes in forest composition and structure by natural disturbances (e.g., hurricanes), the high rate of nestling mortality caused by a parasitic Philornis sp. (botfly; Diptera, Muscidae), and nest predation by Margarops fuscatus (Vieillot) (Pearly-eyed Thrasher; Mimidae) (Delannoy and Cruz 1988, Wiley 1986a,). Delannoy (1984) reported that botfly parasitism caused over a third of nest failures (~37%) and over half of the mortality in chicks (~61%) in Maricao Forest. Predation of Sharp-shinned Hawk eggs and nestlings by Pearly-eyed Thrashers accounted for almost a third (~29%) of nest failures in El Yunque National Forest (Snyder and Wiley 1976, Wiley 1986a). Gallardo and Vilella (2017) modeled the potential distribution of the Puerto Rican Sharp-shinned Hawk and found the greatest probability of occurrence (>60%) to be at elevations above 900 m; only 0.6% of the island’s surface lies that high above sea level. Similarly, R. Thorstrom and J.C. Gallardo (unpubl. data) found that the elevation of nesting territories of the Puerto Rican Sharp-shinned Hawk averaged 994 m (n = 38), which is close to the altitudinal limit of Maricao, Carite, and Guilarte forests, where historical breeding territories were found between 1978 to 1991(Delannoy 1984, 1992, 1997). It is hard to determine the causes of this possible elevational range contraction, but possible explanations are that the abundance of Pearly-eyed Thrashers and infestation rates by botfly may decrease with elevation (Arendt 2006, Young 1993). Delannoy (1997) suggested that the greatest population decrease in early the 1990s occurred in the eastern side of the island, in El Yunque National Forest (93%) and Caribbean Naturalist 103 J.C. Gallardo and R. Thorstrom 2019 Special Issue No. 2 Carite Forest (59%) in the Cayey Mountains. It is hard to assess the extent of hurricanes’ effects on the decline of the Puerto Rican Sharp-shinned Hawk. However, hurricanes are the most important natural perturbation in the West Indies and can affect Sharp-shinned Hawks and other bird populations directly and indirectly by modifying forest structure (e.g., losing tree branches to support nesting structures), potentially diminishing prey availability, and opening the canopy, which then favors a thick under- and midstory, resulting in a greater isolation of suitable habitat (Flynn et al. 2010, White et al. 2005, Wiley and Wunderle 1994, Wunderle and Arendt 2011). Despite legal protection, information about the status of Sharpshinned Hawk populations in Puerto Rico has not been updated since 1992, and no meaningful conservation efforts have been implemented. Accipiter cooperii (Bonaparte) (Cooper’s Hawk; Accipitridae) The Cooper’s Hawk is a widespread North American forest raptor with migratory populations that spends the boreal winter in Mexico and northern Central America (Ferguson-Lee and Christie 2001, Rosenfield and Bielefeldt 1993). In the West Indies, Garrido (1985) examined 2 Cooper’s Hawk specimens collected in Cuba: 1 collected by J. de la Vara near Gibara (northern Holguín Province) and the other by Gundlach (no location information provided). In 2007, Rodríguez-Santana (2010) reported 4 Cooper’s Hawks during the fall migration at Cape San Antonio in western Cuba. Cooper’s Hawks are regular migrants in the Florida Keys, where Lott (2006) estimated an annual average of 545 birds between 1999 and 2004. Cooper’s Hawks can potentially be regular migrants or winter residents at least in Cuba, but they are probably overlooked and misidentified as Gundlach’s Hawk, a widespread Cuban endemic that has a similar size and shape. Accipiter gundlachi Lawrence (Gundlach’s Hawk; Accipitridae) The Gundlach’s Hawk is a rare but widespread endangered, forest raptor endemic to and reported in all provinces of Cuba (BirdLife International 2017, Ferguson-Lees and Christie 2001, Gozález et al. 2012). The Gundlach’s Hawk can be found at all elevations and inhabits several types of plant communities, including mangroves, pine, and montane cloud forests, and coastal xerophytic bushlands (Rodríguez-Santana and Viña 2012a, Wotzkow 1986). Two subspecies have been recognized: Accipiter g. gundlachi (Lawrence) with a west-central distribution (from Sancti Spíritus Province to the provinces of Habana and Pinar del Río) and Accipiter g. wileyi (Wotzkow), which is found from the northern Cays (from Cayo Coco east in the Ciego de Ávila Province) and in all eastern provinces (Rodríguez-Santana and Viña 2012a, Wotzkow 1991). Three population centers have been identified for Gundlach’s Hawk: Sierra del Rosario (Habana Province), Zapata Swamp (south of Matanzas Province), and Guanuhaya Mountains (Cienguegos, Sancti Spíritus, and Santa Clara provinces). Five population centers have been identified for Accipiter g. wileyi: Cierra de Najasa (Camagüey Province), Delta del Cuatro (Granma Province), the mountains of the Grupo Maniabón (Holguín Province), the mountain chains of Nipe-Sagua-Baracoa (Guantanamo, Holguín, and Santiago de Cuba provinces), and Sierra Maestra (Granma and Caribbean Naturalist J.C. Gallardo and R. Thorstrom 2019 Special Issue No. 2 104 Santiago de Cuba provinces) (Rodríguez-Santana and Viña 2012a). The traditional super-species Accipiter cooperii comprises the Cooper’s Hawk, Accipiter bicolor Vieillot (Bicolored Hawk), Accipiter chilensis Landbeck (Chilean Hawk), and Gundlach’s Hawk (del Hoyo et al. 1994). However, Garrido (1985) suggested that the Gundlach’s Hawk could be a subspecies of Cooper’s Hawk. Breman et al. (2013) found that Cooper’s Hawk and Gundlach’s Hawk share the same haplotype, suggesting thatthe former is the ancestral species of the latter, and that both hawks are potentially the same species or an old colonization was followed by successive hybridization events. However, the authors of the study highlighted the need for more data to clarify this taxonomic relationship. To the best of our knowledge, no studies have been done on the genetic differentiation, range overlap, or interbreeding of both subspecies of Gundlach’s Hawk. The major threats for the Gundlach’s Hawk are human persecution and habitat loss and fragmentation. The Gundlach’s Hawk’s habitat has shrunk by ~80% in the last century, with a current potential area of distribution of 22,620 km2, of which less than a half is legally protected (Rodríguez-Santana and Viña 2012a). Human persecution is a constant threat whenever the Gundlach’s hawks are near villages; it is most likely the most persecuted raptor on the island. After interviews in 44 localities in eastern Cuba, Rodríguez-Santana (2009) identified 438 cases of hawks killed by farmers, where ~88% were probably Gundlach’s Hawks. The status of this species outside of protected areas, where the habitat is more fragmented, is unknown. Milvus migrans (Boddaert) (Black Kite; Accipitridae) The Black Kite is a wide-ranging species with resident and migratory populations in Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia, and some Pacific islands (Ferguson-Lee and Christie 2001). This species is polytypic, but its taxonomy is complicated and a center of debate between experts (Orta et al. 2018, Schenider et al. 2004). The non-migratory “yellow-billed” populations found south of the Sahara are proposed to be granted full species recognition (Global Raptor Information Network 2018, Johnson et al. 2005). However, in the West Indies, all records are of black-billed individuals, which suggests that the subspecies recorded in the region is the nominal subspecies Milvus m. migrans (Boddaert). Populations of this subspecies in Western Europe are almost entirely migratory (Ferguson-Lees and Christie 2001). In the Iberian Peninsula (Spain and Portugal), more than 100,000 Black Kites fly south crossing the Gibraltar Strait to reach northwest Africa (Onrubia et al. 2011). Periods of Levante winds (warm easterly winds) can blow migrant raptors west, pushing them off the coast of the Gibraltar Strait (Spain–Morocco); this is especially true for light wing-loaded species such as Black Kites (Bildstein 2006). The combination of the migratory behavior of the Black Kite and the wind conditions of the Gibraltar Strait can favor vagrancy of this species in the West Indies. The Black Kite is considered accidental in the Lesser Antilles; there are 2 reports in 1999 in Dominica (April) and British Virgin Islands (October), 1 from Barbados (2008), 3 photographic records from 2002, 2008, and 2016 in Guadeloupe, and 1 in Barbados in 2017 (Delcroix 2016, Lavesque and Malglaive 2004, Levesque Caribbean Naturalist 105 J.C. Gallardo and R. Thorstrom 2019 Special Issue No. 2 2008, Mazar Barnett and Kirwan 2002, Moore 2017). Buckley (1999) considered this species a vagrant in Guadeloupe, Dominica, and Barbados. An individual was observed between 12 and 22 October 2008 at Hall, Barbados (H. Raffaele, Division of International Conservation, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Washington DC, USA; pers. comm.). The great concentration of Black Kites, the flight conditions over the Gibraltar Strait during migration, and the location of the West Indies may favor an increasing number of reports of this species in the region. Haliaeetus leucocephalus washingtoniensis (Audubon). (Bald Eagle; Accipitridae) The Bald Eagle is a widespread species in North America with a partially migratory population from Alaska to Northern Mexico (Ferguson-Lees and Christie 2001). Two subspecies have been recognized, but the eastern subspecies, Haliaeetus l. washingtoniensis, is the most likely to occur in the Caribbean (Buehler 2000, Ferguson-Lees and Christie 2001). The status of this species in the Caribbean is still poorly known, with only 4 confirmed records: in December of 2002, a single individual was observed in eastern Cuba (Las Terrazas, Artemisa Province); there were 2 sightings in Abaco Island, Bahamas, in January of 2002 and March of 2002 (Norton et al. 2003a, Norton et al. 2003c); and Raffaele (1989) reported 1 individual in Puerto Rico in August of 1975 and 1 in St. John (US Virgin Islands) in February of 1977. One might expect sporadic records of this species in the region, at least in the islands close to mainland North America. Ictinia mississippiensis (Wilson) (Mississippi Kite; Accipitridae) This monotypic species performs long migrations from its breeding grounds in the south-central plains and southeastern US to central South America (Ferguson- Lees and Christie 2001, Parker 1999). The Mississippi Kite is found in the West Indies, migrating in small numbers through eastern Cuba and with single records in Jamaica (1991), eastern Dominican Republic (2013), eastern Puerto Rico (2014), and the Grand Cayman (2003, 2017) (Arendt 1992; Davey 2017b; Hayes and Thorstrom 2014; Norton et al. 2003b; Rodríguez-Santana 2010; J. Salgado, pers. comm). The Mississippi Kite is still one of the rarest migratory raptors in the West Indies; however, with migratory routes and behaviors similar to the Northern Swallowtailed Kite, more records of this species in the region can be expected in the future. Rostrhamus sociabilis (Vieillot) (Snail Kite; Accipitridae) Feeding almost exclusively on Pomacea spp. (apple snails), the Snail Kite is one of the world’s most specialized raptors, whose distribution overlaps with the geographic range of the apple snails in the Americas (Ferguson-Lees and Christie 2001, Sykes et al. 1995). In the West Indies, Rostrhamus s. plumbeus Ridgway (Everglade Snail Kite) is known to occur in Cuba and the Isle of Pines (Garrido and Kirkconnell 2000, Raffaele et al. 1998). Friedmann (1950) and Ferguson-Lees and Christie (2001) consider the population in Cuba as an endemic subspecies, Rostrhamus s. lewis Friedmann (Cuban Snail Kite); however, Hass et al. (2009) found no significant genetic differences between Snail Kites in Cuba and those in Florida. In Cuba, the Snail Kite is considered common and widespread in lagoons, marshes, and Caribbean Naturalist J.C. Gallardo and R. Thorstrom 2019 Special Issue No. 2 106 rice fields, and apparently is always less frequent on the Isle of Pines (Barbour 1923, Ferrer-Sánchez and Rodríguez-Estrella 2015, Garrido and Kirkconnell 2000, Raffaele et al. 1998, Todd 1916). The Everglade Snail Kite shows nomadic movements in response to prey availability and water levels. It is sometimes reported outside of its documented range and, in some cases, is able to move long distances (e.g., ~350 km) to colonize areas where suitable habitat and its main prey item occur (Angehr 1999, Hernández et al. 2013, Sykes et al. 1995). Due to its nomadic habits, the Everglade Snail Kite can be expected to appear as a vagrant on other islands nearby Cuba where populations of apple snails exist, such as in Jamaica and the Hispaniola (Hayes et al. 2012). The current status of the species in Cuba is uncertain, but Garrido (1985) believed that the Cuban Snail Kite was recovering and increasing in numbers after a population decline in the beginning of the last century. Buteogallus anthracinus (Deppe) (Common Black Hawk; Accipitridae) The Common Black Hawk is found in a variety of forested habitats from the southwestern US to the coastal forests of Colombia and Ecuador and northern South America west of the Orinoco River (rare in Surinam and Guyana). The species is also found on the islands of Trinidad and Tobago (Ferguson-Lees and Christie 2001, Schnell 1994). There is a small population of the nominal subspecies, Buteogallus a. anthracinus Deppe, in the West Indies. The population size of this species in St. Vincent is unknown, but it is apparently common in the mountains and foothills of the southern half of the island. It is a vagrant on the neighboring Grenadines islands, Trinidad, and Puerto Rico (Evans 1990, Raffaele et al. 1998). Buteogallus gundlachii (Cabanis) (Cuban Black Hawk; Accipitridae) Formerly considered a subspecies of Common Black Hawk, the Cuban Black Hawk is an endemic Cuban raptor found in coastal swamps, mangroves, and occasionally palm savannas of the main island of Cuba, Isle of Pines, and several of the larger cays (Banks et al. 2007, Garrido and Kirkconnell 2000, Rodríguez-Santana 2004, Wiley and Garrido 2005). The current extent of potential Cuban distribution of the Black Hawk is estimated at 7576 km2 and is restricted to narrow coastal forests in Pinar del Río, Cienfuegos, Camagüey, and Ciego de Ávila provinces; Zapata Swamp (Matanzas Province); the northern cays of Sabana-Camagüey archipelago; the cays of Jardines de la Reina archipelago (offshore Camagüey Province); Isle of Pines; and the cays of Los Canarreos archipelago (east of Isle of Pines) (Ferrer- Sánchez and Rodríguez-Estrella 2015, Rodríguez-Santana 2009, Rodríguez- Santana and Viña 2012b). Rodríguez-Santana and Viña (2012b) suggested that this species is absent from the eastern coastal areas of Holguín, Granma, Guantanamo, and Santiago de Cuba. However, on 9 July 2017, we observed an adult near Playa Uvero, east of Guantanamo Bay (Guantanamo Province). The population size of this species is unknown, but it could be declining due to habitat loss. Rodríguez- Santana (2009 estimated a potential reduction of the species’ range of 75% in the last century due to habitat loss and fragmentation caused by an increase in tourism and development in coastal areas. Caribbean Naturalist 107 J.C. Gallardo and R. Thorstrom 2019 Special Issue No. 2 Buteo ridgwayi (Cory) (Ridgway’s Hawk); Accipitridae) The Ridgway’s Hawk is endemic to Hispaniola and its satellite islands. The species inhabits a variety of habitats but seems to prefer mature subtropical wet forests, woodlands, and forest edges from sea level to ~2000 m (Wiley 1986a, Wiley and Wiley 1981). During the first half of the last century, this species was considered to be common on the eastern side of the Dominican Republic and uncommon to rare in Haiti and the larger of its satellite islands (e.g., La Gonâve and Les Cayemites) (Christy 1897, Wetmore and Lincoln 1934, Wetmore and Swales 1931, Wiley and Wiley 1981). Presently, this species has not been documented in Haiti in the last 20 y and is believed to be extinct there. It is extremely restricted in the eastern Dominican Republic (Keith et al. 2003). Considered critically endangered (BirdLife International 2018), currently the Ridgway’s Hawk’s last stronghold is in Los Haitises National Park in the northern provinces of Hato Mayor, Monte Plata, and Samaná with an estimated global population of less than 500 individuals (BirdLife International 2000; T. Hayes and R. Thorstrom, unpubl. data; Thorstrom et al. 2005). Principle threats to this species appear to be human persecution, high rates of parasitism by botflies, and habitat loss (T. Hayes and R. Thorstrom, unpubl. data; Woolaver 2011). In Los Haitises, this species breeds in a highly fragmented and modified mosaic of forest patches alternating with small agricultural plots (conucos), with a high incidence of forest-edge ecotones (Thorstrom et al. 2007, Woolaver 2011). Currently the species is the focus of an intensive conservation effort including monitoring of more than 100 nesting pairs (The Peregrine Fund, Boise, ID, USA, unpubl. data). Active management includes improving nestling survival by protecting young from botfly parasitism, helping with environmental education, and establishing a second population in Punta Cana, in the eastern province of Alta Gracia (T. Hayes and R. Thorstrom, unpubl. data). In 2016, after 8 years and the translocation of 104 birds, there are 12 known breeding pairs of Ridgway’s Hawk in Punta Cana that have produced 8 fledglings (T. Hayes and R. Thorstrom, unpubl. data). The success of the translocation program shows that there is a higher rate of juvenile recruitment into the breeding population (without compromising individual survival) in Punta Cana than into the wild populations in Los Haitises National Park (McClure et al. 2017). However, it is necessary to establish a selfsustaining population in Punta Cana and other areas and to keep up conservation efforts in Los Haitises to ensure the future of this endangered endemic raptor. Buteo platypterus (Vieillot) (Broad-winged Hawk; Accipitridae) The Broad-winged Hawk is a polymorphic forest buteo with 6 recognized subspecies: Buteo p. platypterus (Vieillot) (North American Broad-winged Hawk), Buteo p. cubanensis Burns (Cuban Broad-winged Hawk), Buteo p. brunnescens Danforth and Smyth (Puerto Rican Broad-winged Hawk), Buteo p. insulicola Riley (Antigua Broad-winged Hawk), Buteo p. rivierei Verrill (Dominica Broad-winged Hawk), and Buteo p. antillarum Clark (Antillean Broad-winged Hawk). All subspecies are present in the West Indies (Ferguson-Lees and Christie 2001, Goodrich et al. 1996). The North American Broad-winged Hawk is a long-distance migrant that Caribbean Naturalist J.C. Gallardo and R. Thorstrom 2019 Special Issue No. 2 108 spends winter in southern Florida, and from southwest Mexico to central South America (Ferguson-Lees and Christie 2001, Goodrich et al. 1996). In the West Indies, this subspecies is an uncommon winter resident and/or a transit migrant, with records in eastern and western Cuba. It is accidental in Jamaica and Hispaniola (Raffaele et al. 1998; Rodríguez-Santana 2009, 2010; Wetmore and Swales 1931). The endemic Cuban Broad-winged Hawk has a wide distribution throughout the main island of Cuba, the cays of the Sabana-Camagüey archipelago, and the Isle of Pines (rare), where it is found in a variety of forests, woodlands, and forest edges at virtually all elevations (Garrido and Kirkconnell 2000, Rodríguez-Santana 2009). There is no information about population estimates; however, Barbour (1923) suggested that the Cuban Broad-winged Hawk is more abundant than the widespread B. jamaicensis solitudinus (Cuban Red-tailed Hawk). Our own anecdotal observations were similar to those of Barbour. In December 2001, we recorded 5 Broad-winged Hawks and only 2 Red-tailed Hawks along 15 km of Road #116 from Playa Larga to Highway No. 1 (Zapata Swamp, Matanzas Province). Similarly, in July 2017, along approximately the same section of Road #116, we recorded 3 Broad-winged Hawks and only 1 Red-tailed Hawk. In July 2017, we also recorded 23 Broad-winged Hawks and 3 Red-tailed Hawks in ~8 h of observation along a section of Via Mulata from Palenque de Yateras to Sector Municiones that varied in elevation from 400 m to 800 m (Humboldt National Park, Guantanamo Province). Rodríguez-Santana (2009) estimated a potential distribution area of 21,086 km2 for Cuban Broad-winged Hawks located principally in the karst forest of Sierra del Rosario-Sierra de Organos massif (Habana and Pinar del Río Province), Zapata Swamp (south of Matanzas Province), Guanuhaya Mountains (Cienguegos, Sancti Spíritus, and Santa Clara Provinces), the Nipe-Sagua-Baracoa mountain chain (Guantanamo, Holguín, and Santiago de Cuba Provinces), Sierra Maestra (Granma and Santiago de Cuba provinces), Parque Marino Punta Frances Punta Pedernales (Isle of Pines), and Peninsula de Guanahacabibes. Puerto Rican Broad-winged Hawk is restricted to upper montane forest in the Luquillo Mountains (eastern side of the island) and Cayey Mountains (southeast side of the island) and is locally common in northern moist karst forest around Río Abajo (Arecibo and Utuado municipalities) in Puerto Rico. It is increasingly rare in the central part of the Cordillera Central in Guilarte Forest (Adjuntas, Guayanilla, Peñuelas, and Yauco municipalities; Delannoy 1992, 1997). There are 2 records of the Puerto Rican Broad-winged Hawk in the eastern half of the Cordillera Central: a pair observed by G. Hernánzez (Department of Environmental and Natural Resources of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras, PR, USA, pers. comm.) near Lago Matrullas at ~800 m (Toro Negro Commonwealth Forest, Orocovis Municipality) in spring of 2014 and a single adult observed by T. Hudson (The Peregrine Fund, Boise, ID, USA, pers. comm.), in Cerro Punta at ~1300 m (Toro Negro Forest, Jayuya Municipality) in May 2017. Populations of this species are declining in the Guilarte Forest, Cayey Mountains, and Luquillo Mountains (Delannoy 1997). Hengstenberg (2003) estimated a total of 53 (min–max = 33–73) Broad-winged Hawks in Río Abajo Forest, with an estimated abundance of 2.1 individuals/km2. Regardless, it Caribbean Naturalist 109 J.C. Gallardo and R. Thorstrom 2019 Special Issue No. 2 is listed as endangered by the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS 1997), but information on its abundance and distribution outside protected areas is limited, and there has been no updated information from public lands in over a decade (Delannoy 1997, Hengstenberg 2003, Vilella and Hengstenberg 2006). On Vieques Island, this species is considered a rare visitor, with 4 records: 2 sightings of single adult individuals at Monte Pirata in October 2005 and February 2005, a sighting of a single immature at El Pilón on October of 2017 and another at Punta Vaca in May of 2015 (Gemmill 2015, Norton et al. 2016a). However, we could not find details to assign Vieques’ records as the migratory or resident subspecies. The Lesser Antilles have 2 endemic subspecies of Broad-winged Hawks: Antigua Broad-winged Hawk, which is endemic to the island of Antigua, and the Dominica Broad-winged Hawk, which is endemic to St. Lucia, Dominica, Barbados, and Martinique. The Antillean Broad-winged Hawk is the subspecies with the largest continuous distribution; it is found in Grenada, St. Vincent, the Grenadines, Barbados (rare), and the islands of Trinidad, Tobago, and Little Tobago (Evans 1990, Ferguson-Lees and Christie 2001, Friedmann 1950, Goodrich et al. 1996). Little is known about the biology and population status of these 3 subspecies; however, most of what we know is anecdotal and dated, information about their distribution (e.g., Lack et al. 1973a, 1973b). Based on size and plumage differences, Riley (1908) described the Antigua Broad-winged Hawk subspecies, which is restricted to Antigua and is potentially the most isolated of the Lesser Antilles populations. On the other hand, the Antillean and Dominican Broad-winged Hawks could perhaps be connected and represent a continuous distribution from Trinidad to Dominica. Lack of information about the degree of genetic isolation and gene flow between the mainland and islands may limit conservation approaches and recommendations. Buteo brachyurus Vieillot (Short-tailed Hawk; Accipitridae) The Short-tailed Hawk is found in humid forests and forest edges from Southern Arizona and the Florida Peninsula in the US, to northern Argentina (Ferguson-Lees and Christie 2001). Generally sedentary, northern populations are partial migrants; for example, birds from northern Florida spend the winter in the southern third of the peninsula (Bildstein 2006, Ferguson-Lees and Christie 2001, Miller and Meyer 2002). Because of this movement pattern, Buteo b. fuliginosus Sclater (Florida Shorttailed Hawk) has been recorded as a rare migrant in Key West (Hoffman and Darrow 1992, Lott 2006). In the West Indies, the Short-tailed Hawk is known only from 2 individuals (potentially coming from the Florida population) observed in Cape San Antonio, western Cuba (Pinar del Río Province), during the fall migration of 2007 (Rodríguez-Santana 2010). As a partial migrant, the Short-tailed Hawk could be a regular winter and/or transit migrant in small numbers, at least in eastern Cuba. Buteo swainsoni Bonaparte (Swainson’s Hawk; Accipitridae) The Swainson’s Hawk is a long-distance migrant that breeds in open areas of western North America, from Alaska to northern Mexico, and although nearly the Caribbean Naturalist J.C. Gallardo and R. Thorstrom 2019 Special Issue No. 2 110 whole population migrates to the pampas grasslands in central Argentina, a small but regularly occurring population winters in southern Florida, principally in the Florida Keys (Bechard et al. 2010, Ferguson-Lees and Christie 2001, Stevenson and Anderson 1994). Lott (2006) reported an annual average of 84 Swainson’s Hawks during fall migration (1999–2004) in the Florida Keys. Rodríguez-Santana (2010) reported 31 individuals during the fall migration of 2007 in Cape San Antonio, western Cuba (Pinar del Río Province). A single record from the northwestern side of the Dominican Republic (Monte-Cristi Province) was reported during spring migration of 1996 (Latta et al. 2006). Owing to its long-distance migration behavior, we believe that the Swainson’s Hawk could be at least a regular migrant and/or winter resident in Cuba. Buteo jamaicensis (Gmelin) (Red-tailed Hawk; Accipitridae) The Red-tailed Hawk is the most common and widespread buteo in North America, and there are 2 recognized endemic subspecies in the West Indies: Buteo j. solitudinus Barbour (Cuban Red-tailed Hawk), which is endemic to Cuba and the Bahamas, and Buteo j. jamaicensis (Gmelin) (Jamaican Red-tailed Hawk), which is endemic to Jamaica, Hispaniola, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands (Ferguson- Lees and Christie 2001, Preston and Beane 1993). Common and widespread in its range, the Red-tailed Hawk in the West Indies is found in practically all habitat types from open grasslands and pastures to closed-canopy forests at all elevations (Latta et al. 2006, Llerandi 2006, Nimitz 2005, Raffaele 1989, Raffaele et al. 1998, Rodríguez-Santana 2004). In Puerto Rico, this species occurs in all life zones of the island and has extensive home-range overlap and greater abundance than its mainland conspecifics (1.3 individuals/km2) (Boal et al. 2003, Llerandi 2006, Nimitz 2005). Contrary to continental populations that nest in open areas and in the absence of competition from other similar raptors, Red-tailed Hawks in Puerto Rico nest across all elevations, including closed-canopy montane forests, but are tightly associated with openings and roadside habitats and forests that exhibit a high degree of patchiness with abundant openings and edge habitats (Nimitz 2005, Santana and Temple 1988, Santana et al. 1986, Vilella and Nimitz 2012). Information about the population status of the neotropical populations of the Red-tailed Hawk outside of Puerto Rico is limited or nonexistent. Strigiformes Tyto alba (Scopoli) (Barn Owl; Tytonidae) The Barn Owl is a species with a global distribution, including several tropical and insular populations (Clements et al. 2017). The taxonomy of the Barn Owl is a center of debate for taxonomists and owl experts. The most commonly proposed taxonomical arrangement splits the Old-world or western Barn Owl group from Tyto furcata (Temminck) (American Barn Owl), where Tyto insularis (Pelzein) (Lesser Antilles Barn Owl) is proposed to be a separate species (König and Weick 2008, Mikkola 2014). However, Clements et al. (2017) and the AOS (2017) do not recognize this taxonomic treatment. According to Clements et al. (2017) and AOS (2017), the Barn Owl in the West Indies is represented by 4 recognized subspecies: Caribbean Naturalist 111 J.C. Gallardo and R. Thorstrom 2019 Special Issue No. 2 Tyto a. furcata (Temminck) (White-winged Barn Owl), Tyto a. pranticola (Bonaparte) (American Barn Owl), Tyto a. nigrescens (Lawrence) (Dominican Barn Owl), and Tyto a. insularis von Pelzeln (St. Vincent Barn Owl). The White-winged Barn Owl is endemic to the Bahamas, Cuba, the Isle of Pines, and the Cayman Islands, where it is uncommon but widespread (Gundlach 1876, Marti et al. 2005, Raffaele et al. 1998). Arriving from North America or the Bahamas, Tyto a. pranticola may be a relatively recent colonist to Hispaniola, and it has been speculated that it became established in the mid-1900s (König and Weick 2008, Latta et al. 2006). In 2015, J. Salgado and S. Colón reported the first confirmed nesting record for Tyto a. pranticola near Aguada, PR, in the northwest part of the island (Thorstrom and Gallardo 2017). Formerly considered a subspecies of Tyto glaucops (Kaup) (Ashyfaced Owl), which is endemic to the Hispaniola, Tyto a. nigrescens is endemic to Dominica, where it is common and widespread (Raffaele et al. 1998). On the other hand, Lesser Antilles Barn Owl is an uncommon resident, known only from St. Vincent, the Grenadines, and Grenada. The Barn Owl is one of the most studied owls in the Northern Hemisphere, but tropical and insular populations and their taxonomy are poorly known, which compromises its conservation (König and Weick 2008, Latta et al. 2006, Weindensaul 2015). Tyto glaucops (Kaup) (Ashy-faced Owl; Tytonidae) Formerly considered an insular form of Tyto alba, full species status was granted in 1983 after determining that the 2 species did not interbreed (AOU 1983, Bruce 1999, König and Weick 2008). In the Dominican Republic, Ashy-faced Owl is common around Santo Domingo, the northern provinces of Samaná, Monte Plata, Hato Mayor, and Duarte, and from the southeastern region to the Barahona Peninsula (Pedernales and Barahona provinces). It is especially common in coastal forests south of the town of Barahona near limestone cliffs (Latta et al. 2006). In Haiti, its distribution is poorly documented and basically unknown, but it has been reported on the island of Tortue (8 km off the northwest coast of Haiti) and on the northern international border between Monte-Cristi (Dominican Republic) and Cap-Haitien (Haiti) in the Puerto Plata and Pedernales provinces (Bruce 1999, Latta et al. 2006, Wetmore and Swales 1931). The Ashy-faced Owl is fairly widespread and locally common in Hispaniola, but little is known about the status of its populations and, because of native habitat loss and direct persecution, this species may be in decline (Weidensaul 2015). Research and studies of Ashy-faced Owl are urgently needed to better understand its population status to ensure the conservation of this endemic owl (Bruce 1999, König and Weick 2008). Megascops nudipes (Daudin) (Puerto Rican Screech Owl; Strigidae) The Puerto Rican Screech Owl is an endemic species restricted to the island of Puerto Rico and its satellite islands of Culebra, Vieques, and the British and US Virgin Islands (König and Weick 2008). This species is represented by Megascop n. nudipes (Daudin) (Puerto Rican Screech Owl), which is common and widespread on the main island of Puerto Rico, and Megascop n. newtoni (Lawrence) (Newton Screech-Owl), which was formerly known from the islands of Vieques and Culebra Caribbean Naturalist J.C. Gallardo and R. Thorstrom 2019 Special Issue No. 2 112 (PR); St. Thomas and St. Johns, US Virgin Islands; and Virgin Gorda, Tortola, and Guana, British Virgin Islands, where it is now presumably extinct (König and Weick 2008, Moreno 1998, Raffaele 1998, Robertson 1962, Weindensaul 2015, Wiley 1986b). The Puerto Rican Screech Owl is considered one of the most abundant and widespread raptors in Puerto Rico in moist and wet forests, along with the Redtailed Hawk and Lesser Antillean American Kestrel. The Puerto Rican Screech Owl is fairly common in dry woodlands and scrublands, but has not been recorded in dry grasslands (Arendt et al. 2015, Rivera-Milán 1995). Apparently, this species is tolerant of fragmentation, and is frequently recorded in agricultural areas with scattered trees (e.g., shade-coffee plantations) and urban and suburban areas with some woody vegetation (Pardieck et al. 1996, Raffaele 1998, Thorstrom and Gallardo 2017, Weidensaul 2015). Nellis (1979) observed this species in 1971 and 1972 on the western side of St. Croix (US Virgin Islands), but no further detail was provided to identify the individual(s) to subspecies level. On 1 January 2015, one individual was heard along the King Hill Road (bear Coral Bay) in St. John Island (U.S. Virgin Islands), but subsequent efforts to locate any signs of it failed (Norton et al. 2016b). Margarobyas lawrencii (Sclater and Salvin) (Bare-legged Owl; Strigidae) The Bare-legged Owl is endemic to both the main island of Cuba and the Isle of Pines, where it is considered common and widespread (König and Weick 2008, Raffaele et al. 1998, Weindensaul 2015). Based on plumage differentiations, Bangs (1913) described the subspecies Margarobyas l. exul, known from the Isle of Pines and the Guanahacabibes Peninsula. Upon review of the taxonomy of the family Strigidae, Garrido (2002) did not find evidence to support the form exul as a valid subspecies, but it is recognized by Clements et al. (2017). Little is known about the population status or abundance of the Bare-legged Owl; however, it is less abundant in the northern cays of Sabana-Camagüey Archipelago (Raffaele et al. 1998). Wiley (1986b) suggested that small owls may not be as negatively impacted as larger species by deforestation, since smaller cavities are more common and potentially available in several habitat types. Glaucidium siju (d’Orbigny) (Cuban Pygmy-Owl; Strigidae) The Cuban Pygmy-Owl is probably the most common and widespread owl in Cuba, found in a variety of semi-open wooded habitats at all elevations (Garrido and Kirkconnell 2000, Raffaele et al. 1998). Two subspecies have been recognized by Clements et al (2017): Glaucidium s. siju (d’Orbigny), found on the main island of Cuba and the northern cays of Sabana-Camagüey archipelago (rare), and Glaucidium s. vittatum Ridgway, known from the Isle of Pines (Todd 1916, Weindensaul 2015). Based on plumage differences, Garrido (2002) described a darker subspecies Glaucidium s. turquinense Garrido that is found on Pico Turquino (Santiago de Cuba Province) in cloud forests at elevations over 1600 m. However, this subspecies is not yet recognized by Clements et al. (2017). Little is known about the biology or population status of this species, but it is apparently stable (König and Weick 2008, Weindensaul 2015, Wiley 1986b). Caribbean Naturalist 113 J.C. Gallardo and R. Thorstrom 2019 Special Issue No. 2 Athene cunicularia (Molina) (Burrowing Owl; Strigidae) The Burrowing Owl is a breeding resident in most of the Bahamas archipelago, Cuba, and Hispaniola. It inhabits grasslands, pastures, and savannas (Latta et al. 2006, Raffaele et al. 1998, Weindensaul 2015). Five subspecies of Burrowing Owl were present in the West Indies: Athene c. floridana (Ridgway) (Florida Burrowing Owl), found in the Bahamas and western Cuba (Pinar del Río Province); Athene c. guantanamensis (Garrido) (Guantanamo Burrowing Owl), endemic to lowland grasslands in eastern Cuba (Guantanamo Province and potentially Santiago de Cuba); Athene c. troglodytes (Wetmore and Swales) (Haitian Burrowing Owl), endemic to Hispaniola and some satellite islands (e.g., Gonâve and Beata islands); Athene c. amaura (Lawrence) (Antigua Burrowing Owl), endemic to Antigua, Nevis, and possibly St. Kitts; and Athene c. guadeloupensis (Ridgway) (Guadaloupe Burrowing Owl), endemic to Maria-Galante island (potentially Guadeloupe Island). The last 2 subspecies have been extinct since the 1900s (Raffaele et al. 1998, Wiley 1986b). Athene c. floridana is uncommon but local in the Bahamas and it is rare in Cuba, where it has only been recorded in Lafé and Cortés (Pinar del Río Province), near Itabo (north Matanzas Province), Los Indios (Isle of Pines), and rarely on some of the larger cays of the Sabana-Camagüey archipelago (Ciego de Ávila and Camagüey Provinces) (Garrido and Kirkconnell 2000, Raffaele et al. 1998, Todd 1916). The subspecies Athene c. guantanamensis appears to be locally common in some grasslands and pastures in the lowlands of Guantanamo Province (Garrido and Kirkconnell 2000, Weindensaul 2015, Wiley 1986a). In Hispaniola, Athene c. troglodytes is found from below sea level to 2200 m asl throughout much of Haiti, as well as in the western half of the Dominican Republic (Latta et al. 2006, Thorstrom and Gallardo 2017), but there have been recent observations in the east, near Parque del Este and Punta Cana in La Alta Gracia Provinceon Samaná Peninsula (Samaná Province) (J. Brocca, Ornithological Society of Hispaniola, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, pers. comm.), suggesting that the species may be found throughout the island in suitable habitat. The Burrowing Owl apparently is more common along the sides of the Neiba Valley (Baoruco Province, Dominican Republic) and extending west into Haiti, the Cul de Sac Plain (Ouest Department), and in parts of Barahona and Pedernales provinces of the Dominican Republic. The species is also found on Île de la Gonâve (Haiti) and Isla Beata (Dominican Republic) (Bruce 1999, Latta et al. 2006, Thorstrom and Gallardo 2017). Little is known about the causes of extinction of the Lesser Antilles populations Athene c. amaura and Athene c. guadeloupensis, but is very likely due to a synergistic combination of factors like habitat loss, human persecution, and predation by the Herpestes auropunctatus (Hodgson) (Small Indian Mongoose), Rattus rattus (L.) (Black Rat), and R. norvegicus (Berkenhout) (Brown Rat) (Bond 1956, Wiley 1986a). Asio otus wilsonianus (Lesson) (Long-eared Owl; Strigidae) The Long-eared Owl breeds in the Northern Hemisphere from Canada to Northern Mexico, Northern Africa, and the Middle East to Southeastern China (König and Weick 2008). The status of the Long-eared Owl in the Caribbean is uncertain Caribbean Naturalist J.C. Gallardo and R. Thorstrom 2019 Special Issue No. 2 114 and is only known from a specimen collected in Havana, Cuba (Garrido 1992). This specimen is deposited at the ornithological collection of the University of Havana, but no further details about age, sex, or collecting date were provided by Garrido (1992). This species could be a rare migratory visitor in the Caribbean (at least on the island close to the mainland) but overlooked due it secretive habits and misidentified as a Asio stygius (Sygian Owl), which is a rare but widely distributed in Cuba and Hispaniola (Garrido 1992). Asio stygius (Wagler) (Stygian Owl; Strigidae) The Stygian Owl is rare and is a poorly known breeding resident with a patchy distribution in the lowlands and mountains of Hispaniola, the main island of Cuba, and the Isle of Pines (Garrido and Kirkconnell 2000, Raffaele et al. 1998, Todd 1916). This species is found in woodland savannas, and tropical deciduous, tropical lowland evergreen, montane evergreen, pine–Quercus (oak), and pine forests, from sea level to 3100 m asl (Garrido and Kirkconnell 2000, Kirkconnell et al. 1999, Latta et al. 2006, Thorstrom and Gallardo 2017, Weindensaul 2015, Wiley 1986a). In Cuba, the endemic Asio s. siguapa (d’Orbigny) (Cuban Stygian Owl) is reported from several localities in Sierra de Anafe (Habana Province), Sierra del Rosario (Pinar del Rio Province), Los Indios and La Vega (Isle of Pines), Zapata Swamp (Matanzas Province), Aguada de Pasajeros (Cienfuegos Province), Guanuhaya Mountains (Cienguegos, Sancti Spíritus, and Santa Clara provinces), Vertientes (Camagüey Province), near Moa (Holguín Province), along the Nipe- Sagua-Baracoa mountain chain (Guantanamo, Holguín, and Santiago de Cuba provinces), and near Pico Turquino (Santiago de Cuba Province) (Kirkconnell et al. 1999). In Hispaniola, the endemic Asio s. noctipetens Riley (Hispaniolan Stygian Owl) has been found infrequently in the pine forests of the Cordillera Central in Armando Bermúdez National Park (Samaná Peninsula), Los Haitises National Park (Hato Mayor, Monte Plata, and Samaná provinces), the Sierra de Bahoruco (Independencia Province), and on the eastern end of the Dominican Republic (Keith et al. 2003, Raffaele et al. 1998, Stockton Dod 1983, Thorstrom and Gallardo 2017). In Haiti, this species has been reported on Île de la Gonâve and in the mountains of the southwest in 1953 (Keith et al. 2003, Latta et al. 2006). The population status of the Stygian Owl in the West Indies is poorly known, but deforestation and human persecution represent major threats to this rare owl. Asio flammeus (Pontoppidan) (Short-eared Owl; Strigidae) Considered one of the most widely distributed owls in the world, the Shorteared Owl is known to have several tropical and endemic island populations (Holt and Leasure 1993, König and Weick 2008, Mikkola 2014). Clements et al. (2017) recognized 2 endemic subspecies in the West Indies: Asio f. dominguensis (Statius Müller), endemic to Hispaniola and Cuba, and Asio f. portoricensis (Ridwayi), endemic to Puerto Rico. The taxonomy of this species is still unclear; some authors consider all Caribbean populations a single subspecies in the synonymy of Asio f. dominguensis (König and Weick 2008, Mikkola 2014, Weindensaul 2015) or Asio f. portoricensis (Holt and Leasure 1993). On the other hand, Garrido (2007) Caribbean Naturalist 115 J.C. Gallardo and R. Thorstrom 2019 Special Issue No. 2 proposed full species recognition for the Caribbean Short-eared Owl, under the name of A. domingensis with 3 endemic species—Asio d. domingensis (Hispaniola), Asio d. cubensis Garrido (Cuba), and A. d. portoricensis (Puerto Rico)—but his proposal has not been accepted by Clements et al. (2017) or the American Ornithological Society (AOS 2017). In Hispaniola, Asio f. dominguensis is more abundant in the eastern half of the Dominican Republic at Laguna Redonda and Laguna Limón (Seibo Province), Sabana de la Mar (Hato Mayor Province), and San Pedro de Macorís and Santo Domingo (Pedro de Macorís Province), and has additional records farther west in Moca (Espaillat Province), Jarabacoa (La Vega Province), San Juan de la Maguana (San Juan Province), and Cabral (Barahona Province) (Latta et al. 2006, Thorstrom and Gallardo 2017). In Haiti, the present status of this species is unknown, with the only documented record of a specimen collected in 1928 in the grasslands of the Central Plateau near Saint-Michel de L’Attalaye in the Artibonite Department (Keith et al. 2003). Asio f. dominguensis is apparently a regular visitor (potentially a breeder) in the Cayman Islands. In Puerto Rico, Asio f. portoricensis is found in open and semi-open habitats in lowlands and lower montane open areas and pastures, and is most abundant in the lowlands in the southwestern corner of the island and the grasslands of Salinas and Guayama along the southeast coast (Raffaele 1989, Thorstrom and Gallardo 2017). The Short-eared Owl has been also reported on the islands of Mona, Vieques, and Culebra in Puerto Rico, and on the island of Saint Thomas in the US Virgin Islands (Raffaele 1989). In January of 1961, Schwartz and Klinikowski (1963) collected 1 individual of the migratory Asio. f. flammeus (Pontoppidan) (Common Short-eared Owl) and observed a second individual on Grand Turk (Bahamas Archipelago). No information exists about the population status of any of the West Indian populations or the migratory subspecies; however, the Caribbean subspecies are apparently increasing in range, especially in the lowlands due to forest clearing and the abandonment of sugar plantations since the 1960s (Raffaele 1989, Raffaele et al. 2006, Thorstrom and Gallardo 2017, Wiley 1986b). Pseudoscops grammicus (Gosse) (Jamaican Owl; Strigidae) One of the least-known owls of the West Indies, the elusive Jamaican Owl, is quite common in a variety of open and semi-open habitats, forest edges, dense forests, and urban and suburban areas with woody vegetation (Haynes-Sutton et al. 2009, König and Weick 2008, Raffaele et al. 1998, Mikkola 2014). The Jamaican Owl is widespread throughout the island but apparently significantly less abundant in the highlands (Weindensaul 2015). The size and status of its populations are unknown, but it likely has a slightly declining population trend (Weindensaul 2015). Falconiformes Caracara cheriway (von Jacquin) (Crested Caracara; Falconidae) The Caracara is a common resident found from southeastern Texas, southern Arizona, and southern to western Panama. It is also a resident in the central part of the Florida peninsula (Ferguson-Lees and Christie 2001, Morrison 1996). In Cuba, this species is an uncommon breeding resident found in a variety of open habitats Caribbean Naturalist J.C. Gallardo and R. Thorstrom 2019 Special Issue No. 2 116 on the main island, on the Isle of Pines, and on the cays of the Sabana-Camagüey archipelago, where it is apparently more abundant (Friedmann 1950, Gundlach 1876, Rodríguez-Santana 2004, Todd 1916). In Cuba, this species is poorly known, and the information about the status and distribution of its population is limited to habitat-suitability models (Rodríguez-Santana 2004). Rodríguez-Santana (2010) estimated a potential distribution area of 26,944 km2, which represents most of the lowland grasslands, cultivated areas, pastures, and savannas. Falco sparverius L. (American Kestrel; Falconidae) The American Kestrel is a widespread, polymorphic small falcon with as many as 17 recognized subspecies (Ferguson-Lees and Christie 2001, Smallwood and Bird 2002). In the West Indies, the American Kestrel is present throughout nearly the whole archipelago, with 3 endemic subspecies—Falco s. sparveroides Vigors (Cuban American Kestrel; Bahamas, Cuba, Jamaica), Falco s. dominicensis (Gmelin) (Hispaniola American Kestrel; Hispaniola and Jamaica), and Falco s. caribaearum (Gmelin) (Lesser Antillean American Kestrel; Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and the Lesser Antilles)—and a North American migratory subspecies, Falco s. sparverius (L.), which is an uncommon migrant in the Bahamas and Cuba (Evans 1990, Ferguson-Lees and Christie 2001, Raffaele et al. 1998, Rodríguez-Santana 2010, Smallwood and Bird 2002). Despite its wide distribution, the biology and status of this species is little known in the West Indies. The migratory subspecies Falco s. sparverius is an uncommon transit migrant and/or winter resident on the larger islands of the Bahamas Archipelago, and it is reported in eastern and western Cuba (Rodríguez-Santana 2009, 2010). The Cuban American Kestrel is common and widespread throughout the Bahamas Archipelago, Cuba and its cays, the Isle of Pines, and Jamaica (Ferguson-Lee and Christie 2001, Raffaele et al. 1998, Rodríguez- Santana 2010, Smallwood and Bird 2002). The Hispaniola American Kestrel is locally common but widespread in Hispaniola. and in recent times, this subspecies has been reported in Jamaica (where it is probably stable) and on Mona Island in Puerto Rico (Latta et al. 2006; J. Salgado and M. Morel, pers. comm.; Wetmore and Swales 1931;). The Lesser Antillean American Kestrel is common and inhabits a variety of open habitats at all elevations, from Puerto Rico to St. Lucia, and is rare farther south (Evans 1990; Raffaele 1989; Raffaele et al. 1998; J.C. Gallardo and R. Thorstrum, pers. observ.). Several continental populations of American Kestrels are showing declining tendencies; there is no information about the status of the West Indies populations, but they are presumably stable (Bird 2009, Smallwood and Bird 2002, Wiley 1986b). Falco columbarius L. (Merlin; Falconidae) The Merlin is a widespread falcon in the Northern Hemisphere, with 3 subspecies in the Americas: Falco c. suckleyi Ridgway (Black Merlin), found in the Pacific Northwest of North America; Falco c. richardsonii Ridgway (Prairie Merlin), which breeds in the northwest grasslands of North America; and Falco c. columbarius L. (Taiga Merlin), which breeds in the northern arctic tundra from Alaska to Maine and in the states of Washington and Oregon (Ferguson-Lees and Caribbean Naturalist 117 J.C. Gallardo and R. Thorstrom 2019 Special Issue No. 2 Christie 2001, Sodhi et al. 1993). In the Caribbean, the Taiga Merlin is an uncommon but regular winter resident, and some individuals travel throughout the West Indies to reach the Yucatan Peninsula and Central and South America (Evans 1990, Raffaele et al. 1998, Rodríguez-Santana 2010). Falco femoralis Temminck (Aplomado Falcon; Falconidae) The Aplomado Falcon is considered a non-migratory species with 3 subspecies: Falco f. septentrionalis, which is found in open habitats from the southern US (rare), Mexico, and northern Central America; Falco f. pichinchae (Chapman), in the Andean regions from southern Colombia to central Argentina and Chile; and Falco f. femoralis Temminck, which inhabits tropical grasslands, savannas, pastures, and forest openings from Costa Rica (rare) to Colombia and the lowlands of South America (rare in the Amazon basin) (Ferguson-Lees and Christie 2001, Keddy-Hector et al. 2017). In January 2008, Mathys (2011) observed an Aplomado Falcon at Laguna Cartagena National Wildlife Refuge, in southwestern Puerto Rico, which represents the only record for that species in the West Indies. Falco peregrinus Tunstall (Peregrine Falcon; Falconidae) The Peregrine Falcon has a worldwide distribution with 3 subspecies in the Americas north of the equator: the complete migrant Falco p. tundrius White (Tundra Peregrine Falcon) and 2 partial migrants, Falco p. pealei Ridgway (Peale’s Peregrine Falcon) (northwest coast of North America) and Falco p. anatum Bonaparte (American Peregrine Falcon), which breed from Canada south of the arctic tundra to central Mexico (Ferguson-Lees and Christie 2001, White et al. 2002). In the Caribbean, White Tundra Peregrine Falcon is uncommon but a regular winter resident, and some individuals travel through all the West Indies to reach the Yucatan Peninsula and Central and South America (Evans 1990, Raffaele et al. 1998, Rodríguez-Santana 2010). In May 1990, two adult American Peregrine Falcons with a juvenile were observed at Jagua Rafael Freyre Municipality, Holguín Province, and in April 1994 a pair with 4 nestling was located at the same nest situated over a cliff of Loma Guayabo at the mountains of Grupo Maniabón near the village Los Almácigos (Holguín Province), Cuba (Regalado and Cable 2000). The authors observed that the female had a metallic band on her leg, suggesting that this falcon was hatched in North America. Potentially, American Peregrine Falcons can be rare breeders in other provinces of Cuba and other islands in the West Indies. In January of 1998, Wardman and Aspinall (1999) observed a pair of Peregrine Falcons hunting together and prey delivery by the male at the seafront of Havana. Regalado and Cable (2000) mentioned that local villagers described what appeared to be resident Peregrine Falcons in Las Tunas Province. Wardman and Aspinall (1999) suggested that several areas in Cuba and Jamaica are suitable habitat where the species can breed. Raffaele et al. (1998) mentioned 2 breeding records for the West Indies, 1 for Cuba and 1 for Dominica, but no further details were provided. The current breeding status of Peregrine Falcons in the West Indies is unknown, and no further nesting pairs have been found in Cuba, perhaps due to inadequate survey effort (P. Regalado, Camaguey, Cuba, pers. comm.). Caribbean Naturalist J.C. Gallardo and R. Thorstrom 2019 Special Issue No. 2 118 Conclusions The assemblage of the raptors of the West Indies shows a typical pattern described by MacArthur and Wilson (1967) in their island biogeography theory, where a greater diversity is observed on larger islands (e.g., Cuba) and on smaller islands (e.g., Abaco, Bahamas) that are closer to sources of species (e.g., continental landmass or larger island) than islands farther away from source populations (e.g., Grenada). Under this concept, the position of the West Indian archipelago between South America, the southeastern US, and the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico, represents a land bridge that connects those landmasses that help to explain the origin, composition, diversity, and speciation of their taxa (Joseph et al. 2004, Ricklefs and Bermingham 1999, Terborgh et al. 1978). For example, Cuba, as the largest of the West Indies islands, supports the most diverse community of raptors in the archipelago (30 species) and a greater number of the endemic species (4 species) than the rest of the islands in the region. The 1250 km of Cuba’s length from 84°55'W to 74°07'W longitude represents the first large island target after migratory birds leave Key West in Florida, USA. Cuba’s length, position, and its relative proximity to the Key West (~154 km), the Yucatan Peninsula (state of Quintana Roo, Mexico; ~200 km), and Hispaniola (Nord-Ouest Department, Haiti; ~90 km) may facilitate the connectivity between the continental landmasses and the rest of the islands of the archipelago. The position and inter-island distance of the West Indies favors stepping-stone migration through the region, especially for those species that winter in South America, such as the American Osprey, Northern Swallow-tailed Kite, and Tundra Peregrine Falcon (Bierregaard et al. 2016; Bildstein 2006; Martell et al. 2001, 2014). Migratory movements in the region may partially explain the speciation of multiple endemic subspecies of continental species in the archipelago; for example, the 5 Caribbean subspecies of Broad-winged Hawk (4 endemic to the region). The patterns of colonization and speciation in the West Indies are still far from being completely understood. However, the composition of the raptor assemblage in the West Indies shows affinities primarily from South America, Central America, and North America, probably by successive events of colonization as seen in other birds (e.g., Myiachus flycatchers; Joshep et al. 2006). In addition, the Lesser Antilles form an arch of islands that can intercept vagrant species coming from Europe and Africa such as the Western Marsh Harrier and the Black Kite, a pattern also observed in other species such as Egretta gularis (Bosc) (Western Reef-Heron) and Egretta garzetta L. (Little Egret) (Murphy 1992, Paice 2006). The community of raptors of the West Indies is very diverse and dynamic, but most of the insular species are experiencing continuing population declines, as noted by Wiley (1986b) over 30 y ago. Populations of the 2 critically endangered species found in this region, the Ridgway’s Hawk and the Cuban Kite, are heading in opposite conservation-status directions; the former is increasing, and the latter is virtually unknown and possibly extinct. The Cuban Kite has had no confirmable sightings in over a decade, and its unknown population status is of great of concern, whereas the ongoing intensive conservation action and management activities for Caribbean Naturalist 119 J.C. Gallardo and R. Thorstrom 2019 Special Issue No. 2 Ridgway’s Hawk has increased the population to ~500 birds found in 2 separate populations. In 2000, the Ridgway’s Hawk was listed as critically endangered, but its current status should be considered as endangered based on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List criteria of threatened species (BirdLife International 2000). Unfortunately, several other species are at extremely low population levels (e.g., Puerto Rican and Cuban Sharp-shinned Hawks, Puerto Rican Broad-winged Hawk, Grenada Hook-billed Kite), and any catastrophic event (e.g., hurricane, fire, disease) could impact their survival and lead to their extinction, especially on the smaller Caribbean Islands (e.g., Grenada), with extremely limited habitat and increasing human pressure and/or direct persecution. For example, the forest cover of Puerto Rico increased from 6% in the beginning of the 1900s to 51% to date, but most of the forest is still in early successional stages and probably unsuitable for forest species (Gould et al. 2008). On the other hand, in the last 60 y in Puerto Rico, an economic shift triggered an increase in human sprawl around protected areas, increasing isolation of forest tracts (Castro-Prieto et al. 2017). This economic shift or agricultural expansion in some growing economies in the regions may limit the dispersion capabilities of forest species such as the endemic subspecies of Sharp-shinned Hawk. Many of the species and populations listed in this paper are poorly known and there is a need to learn more about their population statuses and conservation needs so that, if needed, management actions can be identified to reduce risk of declines or extinctions. Our knowledge of island species has increased significantly in the last decades, but many taxa are still declining. The process of extinction is not always random; several island populations’ traits are linked with a high extinction risk such as restricted ranges, reduced dispersion, and small vital rates (Donald et al. 2013, Krüger and Radford 2008, Purvis et al. 2000). Since the 1600s, 6 species of raptors have become extinct worldwide, all of them island endemics (Hume 2017). Two of the 3 bird species that have gone extinct since 2000 were island endemics: Corvus hawaiiensis Peale (Hawaiian Crow), now extinct in the wild, and Melamposops phaeosoma Casey and Jacobi (Po’ouli) (BirdLife International 2010, Sodhi et al. 2011). This extinction of island endemincs highlights that we still have much to learn about species traits and how they are linked to the extinction process. For example, the Puerto Rican Sharp-shinned Hawk was listed as an endangered species in 1997, and even though 51% of Puerto Rico is forested, the species has shown signs of ongoing temporal and spatial population decline for the last 30 y (Delannoy 1997, Gallardo and Vilella 2017, USFWS 1997). Increasing forest cover on a portion of the islands in the region might not necessarily provide suitable habitat for some species, and affording legal protection without conservation actions does not guarantee species persistence (Gallardo and Vilella 2017). Efforts to quantify the effect of environmental variables, life-history parameters, and population dynamics of Caribbean raptors should be a priority to better understand the limiting factors behind the current status and to design and apply conservation schemes (Gallardo and Vilella 2017, Jachowski et al. 2015). An important component of conservation actions is education of local people and working with local communities to inspire Caribbean Naturalist J.C. Gallardo and R. Thorstrom 2019 Special Issue No. 2 120 interest in biodiversity conservation; this approach has been successfully applied with other species in the region (e.g., parrots; Butler 1992) and should be considered in order to save these unique raptors of the West Indies for the future. Acknowledgments We are extremely grateful to Carlos Delannoy, Orlando Garrido, Herbert Raffaele and James Wiley for sharing with us their knowledge, experience, and passion for bird and raptor conservation in the West Indies. 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Turkey Vulture Cathartes. a. aura B BAH, GRA Cathartes a. septentrionalis M BHA, 16 Accipitriformes Pandionidae (1) Pandion halieatus Osprey Pandion h. carolinensis M/BC BAH, GRA, LEA Pandion h. ridgwayi B BAH, 16, 22, 26B Accipitridae (19) Chondrohierax uncinatus mirus Hook-billed Kite E 51 Chondrohierax wilsonii Cuban Kite E (CE) 16 Elanoides f. forficatus Swallow-tailed Kite M BAH, GRA, LEAB Circus hudsonius Northern Harrier M 3, 16, 22, 26, 28 Circus a. aeruginosus Western Marsh Harrier M 26B, 42 Accipiter striatus Sharp-shinned Hawk Accipiter s. velox M BAH, 16 Accipiter s. fringiloides E 16 Accipiter s. striatus E 22 Accipiter s. venator E 16 Accipiter cooperii Cooper’s Hawk M 16B Accipiter gundlachi Gundlach’s Hawk Accipiter g. gundlachi E 16 (West) Accipiter g. wileyi E 16 (East) Milvus m. migrans Black Kite M 42, 48B Haliaeetus leucocephalus Bald Eagle M 2, 16, 26, 30 washingtoniensis Ictinia mississippiensis Mississippi Kite M 16, 18, 21B, 22B, 26B Rostrhamus sociabilis plumbeus Snail Kite B 16, 21B Buteogallus a. anthracinus Common Black Hawk U 47, 26 Buteogallus gundlachii Cuban Black-Hawk E 16 Buteo ridgwayi Ridgway’s Hawk E (CE) 22, 23C Buteo platypterus Broad-winged Hawk Buteo p. platypterus M 16, 22 Buteo p. cubanensis E 16 Buteo p. brunnescens E 26, 27B Buteo p. insulicola E 40 Buteo p. rivierei E 44, 45, 46 Buteo p. antillarum N-e 47, 49, 50, 51 Buteo brachyurus fuliginosus Short-tailed Hawk M 16B Buteo swainsoni Swainson’s Hawk M 16B,21B, 22B Buteo jamacensis Red-tailed Hawk Buteo j. solitudinus E BAH, 16, 17 Buteo j. jamaicensis E 21, 22, 26, 27–32B, 42B, 46 Caribbean Naturalist 133 J.C. Gallardo and R. Thorstrom 2019 Special Issue No. 2 Order/family/species/ssp. Common name Status DistributionA Strigiformes Tytonidae (2) Tyto alba Barn Owl Tyto a. pranticola B BAH, 22, 26B Tyto a. furcata E 16, 18,19, 20, 21 Tyto a. niveicauda E 17 Tyto a. nigrescens E 44 Tyto a. insularis E 47, 49, 50, 51 Tyto glaucops Ashy-faced Owl E 22 Strigidae (8) Megascops nudipes Puerto Rican Screech-Owl Megascops n. nudipes E 26 Megascops n. newtoni (extinct) E 27 to 32 Margarobyas lawrencii Bare-legged Owl E 16 Glaucidium siju Cuban Pygmy-Owl E 16 Athene cunicularia Burrowing Owl Athene c. floridana B BAH, 16 Athene c. guantanamensis E 16 Athene c. troglodytes E 22 Athene c. amaura (extinct) E 38, 40 Athene c. gudeloupensis (extinct) E 42 Asio otus wilsonianus Long-eared Owl M 16 Asio stygius Stygian Owl B Asio s. noctipetens E 22, 23 Asio s. siguapa E 16, 17 Asio flammeus Short-eared Owl Asio f. dominguensis E 16, 22 Asio f. portoricensis E 26 Asio f. flammeus M 14, 18 Pseudoscops grammicus Jamaican Owl E 21 Falconiformes Falconidae (5) Caracara cheriway Crested Caracara B 16 Falco sparverius American Kestrel Falco s. sparverius M 16, BAH Falco s. sparveroides E BAH, 16, 21 Falco s. dominicensis E 22, 21, 25 Falco s. caribaearum E 26, LEAD Falco c. columbarius Merlin M GRA, LEA Falco femoralis Aplomado Falcon A 26 Falco peregrinus Peregrine Falcon Falco p. tundrius M GRA, LEA Falco p. anatum B 16 ABahamas Archipelago (BAH) includes the islands of Grand Bahama (1), Great Abaco (2), New Providence (3), Andros (4), Eleuthera (5), Cat (6), Rum (7), Salvador (8), Exuma (9), Long (10), Acklin (11), Mayayuana (12), Great Iguana (13), and the islands of Turks (14) and Caicos (15); the Greater Antilles (GRA) includes the main island of Cuba (16), Isle of Pines (17, Cuba), Grand Cayman (18, Cayman Islands), Little Cayman (19, Cayman Islands), Cayman Brac (20, Cayman Islands), Jamaica (21), Hispaniola (22, Haiti and the Dominican Republic), Gonâve (23, Haiti), Turtle (24, Haiti), Mona (25, Puerto Rico), Puerto Rico (26, main island), Vieques (27, Puerto Rico), St. Croix (28, US Virgin Islands), St. Thomas (29, US Virgin Islands), St. John (30, US Virgin Islands), Tortola (31, Caribbean Naturalist J.C. Gallardo and R. Thorstrom 2019 Special Issue No. 2 134 British Virgin Islands), Virgin Gorda (32, British Virgin Islands); and the Lesser Antilles (LEA) that include the islands of Anguilla (33), Saint-Martin/Sint Maarten (34), St. Barthélemy (35), Saba (36), St. Eustatius (37), St. Kitts and Nevis (38), Barbuda (39, Antigua and Barbuda), Antigua (40, Antigua and Barbuda), Monserrat (41), Guadeloupe (42), Marie-Galante (43, Guadeloupe), Dominica (44), Martinique (45), St. Lucia (46), St. Vincent (47), Barbados (48), Grenadines Islands (49), Carricaou (50), Grenada (51). BAccidental. CBreeding pairs reported regularly in Cuba and one breeding record in Puerto Rico (see text). DUncommon south of St. Vincent.