The West Indies offer so much more than sun, sand, and shopping. This sweeping arc of islands, which runs from Cuba to Grenada and includes the Virgin Islands, teems with a rich diversity of plant and animal life. Up to 40 percent of the plants in some forests are found nowhere else on earth, while the West Indian flyway is a critical link in the migratory routes of many birds.
In A Birder's West Indies, Roland Wauer takes you on an island-by-island journey of discovery. He describes the unique natural features of each island and recounts his often fascinating experiences in seeking out the nearly 400 species of birds known in the West Indies. His accounts give insight into the birds' habitats, status, and ecology and record some of the threats posed by human activities.
For readers planning trips to the West Indies, Wauer also includes helpful, up-to-date facts about the best times to travel, the kinds of entry and customs systems to expect, the money exchange services available, and general information about weather, food, and accommodations. Filling a unique niche among current guides, A Birder's West Indies offers both professional ornithologists and avocational bird watchers a chance to compare notes and experiences with an expert observer. And for readers who haven't yet visited the islands, Wauer's fluid prose and lovely color photographs will be the next-best thing to being there – and an irresistible invitation to go.
Foreword by Bradford C. Northrup
1. Jamaica, the Most Endemics
2. Cuba, Island of Contradictions
3. Dominican Republic, Land of Contrasts
4. Puerto Rico, North America's Only Tropical Forest
5. Tortola, Island of Doves
6. St. John and St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands
7. St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands
8. Saba, an Island Time Forgot
9. Anguilla, Tranquillity Wrapped in Blue
10. St. Martin, a Northeastern Gateway
11.. Antigua, Island in the Sun
12. Montserrat, the Emerald Isle
13. Guadeloupe, a Green Land with Beautiful Waters
14. Dominica, the Nature Island
15. Martinique, Island of Flowers
16. St. Lucia, Island ofMystery
17. St. Vincent, Poor but Wealthy
18. Grenada, the Isle of Spice
Afterword by Paul Butler
Appendix. Common and Scientific Plant Names
A retired National Park Service park interpreter, scientist, and resource specialist, Roland Wauer is now a freelance nature writer in Victoria, Texas.