Birding with the Trust
The Trust contributes to public education via bird walks, talks, and student programs. We contribute to science by conducting annual bird surveys such as breeding birds, shorebirds, waterbird surveys, and the Christmas Bird Count.
Black-Throated Blue Warbler nano-tagged and tracked by Motus receivers
The VCHT supports the
MOTUS Wild Life Tracking System
The MOTUS Wildlife Tracking System is a powerful collaborative research network developed by Birds Canada. Named after the Latin word for movement, MOTUS uses automated radio telemetry arrays on towers to study the movements and behavior of flying animals (birds, bats, and insects) that are nano-tagged and tracked by Motus receivers.
At the moment the Caribbean has very few Motus towers, creating a void in the network. Vieques is an ideal location for one to three towers.
Motus’ main objective is to enable conservation and ecological research by tracking the movement of animals. Data from this network have already expanded our understanding of bird movements, including pinpointing migration routes and key stopover sites, as well as movements, habitat use, and behavior during breeding and non-breeding seasons--critical information for bird conservation.
We are just beginning to tap into the enormous potential of this new technology and growing network of partnerships and data sharing for conservation.
Puerto Rican Flycatcher
Upcoming Bird Walks
Bird Walk Reports
Bird Notes From Daphne Gemmill
After a two-year covid hiatus, Daphne Gemmill, the Trust’s bird expert, returned in late November for three weeks. Interesting observations from her bird notes follow.
Vieques is one of the few places in the world where Key West Quail-Dove, Bridled Quail-Dove, and Ruddy Quail-Dove co-exist. As these species are denizens of forests, they suffered when Hurricane Maria destroyed their forests along with their food.
March 11, 2020
Citizen Science Activity
This is a Citizen Science activity and all observations are reported on eBird. We are happy to share this eBird list with any participant who provides an eBird account name and email address.
The number of birds is as accurate as possible.
Dale and Priscilla Doucette, Jeff Mendoza and Chuck Sklar
Marjorie Bloom, Jane Hackenburg, Joyce Joffa, Justin John, Danial Lombardo, Cynthia Nicholson and Barbara Toll
February 3, 2019
The highlight was an American Wigeon on the fresh water pond off route 977 at 4.7 km. This sighting was the first winter record for this duck and the fourth record for Vieques. Also on the same pond was a Pied-billed Grebe, which also rare on the island but not as rare as the wigeon.
The first bird of the morning was a Eurasian Collared Dove on a tree behind the Trust building. This species was first reported on Vieques in December 2014 in Isabel Segunda. It has since spread to Esperanza.
May 9, 2018
Bird Notes From Vieques
Daphne Gemmill, otherwise known as the bird lady of Vieques and Trust member since 1985, set out to raise money for the Trust and to establish a Big Day record; both firsts for Vieques.
Her goal was 40 species for this time of year. She ended the day at 39. She raised over $2,000 for the Trust. Her report follows. As the alarm was ringing at 4:30 am, a Pearly-eyed Thrasher was already singing. Of the Vieques birds this bird is the first to wake up and the last to go to bed. As dawn broke Gray Kingbirds started to sing followed by Zenaida and White-winged Doves.