Movements of seabirds off Crown Point, Tobago

Richard ffrench

Abstract


Very little has been done to date in Trinidad and Tobago in the way of in-depth studies of seabirds, in spite of the fact that Tobago in particular possesses what are probably the most important seabird breeding colonies in the south Caribbean. Unfortunately such studies require plenty of time, since by their nature seabirds move about a lot in somewhat inaccessible areas, and in almost every case the researcher requires a boat. Since I have lacked both these essentials, I have had to content myself over the last 27 years with random observations, some banding at the colonies, and a study of moult that bogged me down in awesome statistics. But I have immensely enjoyed myself working with seabirds, especially on Tobago. Here I present some observations, based on some systematic coast watches at Crown Point, Tobago during 1979, 1980 and 1981. Sometimes one cannot immediately recognise the significance of certain statistics, so I include them in detail, at least partly in the hope that others may be stimulated to extend or develop future watches in a more meaningful way.

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