On September 15, 2013, two members of GrenBirders, the newly established bird club in Grenada, had themselves a “champagne” day when they spotted two Grenada Doves while birding at the Woburn/Clark’s Court Bay Marine Protected Area platform.
The Grenada Dove is endemic to the island and is listed as critically endangered by the International Union of Conservation. It is also the national bird of Grenada, and for all three reasons it is extremely special when one gets to see this bird.
What makes the sighting particularly intriguing is its being spotted at Woburn, a site outside of its customary range in Grenada. Since its abundance and distribution were first documented in 1987, the species has been limited to two isolated patches of secondary seasonal dry forest located at Beausejour/Grenville Vale on the west coast and Mount Hartman Estate in the southwest.
In a 2007 census conducted by Grenada Dove biologist Bonnie Rusk of the Grenada Dove Conservation Programme, it was reported that individuals were spotted in the Woburn area. Specifically the report stated:
Nine Grenada Doves were located during this census outside the census routes in locations previously searched with no birds detected in recent surveys. Seven doves were heard across from Clark’s Court bay calling in valleys leading from the road Woburn Bay and toward Lower Woburn. Upon following the call, 2 doves were located in the first 2 consecutive valleys and 3 in the 3rd valley above houses on the lower slopes. Two additional doves were heard in Calivigny, near a clearing on the lower part of the slope inland from the base of the peninsula.
The report goes on to state that these individuals are likely to have dispersed from the Mt Hartman population. But without more frequent censusing, it is difficult for scientists to know the prevalence of birds in the Woburn area.
It is for this reason that we are so pleased to have helped get additional trained eyes and ears on the ground in Grenada through our recent guide training program. These individuals now know the difference between Zenaida Doves, Eared Doves, and Grenada Doves and can help contribute to science with their observation data by sharing their lists with eBird Caribbean and the Grenada Dove Conservation Programme.
Good job Anne Campbell, Chris Alleyne and the rest of the Gren Birders group!