Features

Island Neighbours – Let’s Go Birdwatching

National Bird of Dominica
National Bird of Dominica

WHAT inspires nationalism in an era when cultural penetration seeks to drown patriotism in the waters of globalization? Answer: National Symbols.

Throughout the Caribbean Region, nations arm themselves with symbols to defend their nationhood. The National Bird is one such symbol. The timid, multi-coloured Sisserou Parrot is Dominica’s National Bird. This feathered treasure is prominently featured on the Coat of Arms, the National Flag, the Public Seal and The Mace of the House of Assembly.

Martinique is home to 180 species of birds – 38 of which occur in the Lesser Antilles Endemic Bird Area. Elsewhere, French sister Guadeloupe has been hailed as a birder’s paradise. Numerous migratory birds call Guadeloupe home – making Guadeloupe a favourite getaway of nature lovers. Is your island a haven for your National Bird?

What are you doing to help make it into a bird paradise? Tell us on Facebook: Island Neighbours.

Happenings
On Wednesday, Dr. Irving Andre will launch his new book which celebrates cricket in the region. This event, which is open to the public, takes place at the Fort Young Hotel. The book is entitled “A Century of Dominican Cricket”. If you’re in Dominica during that time, join this momentous event.

Neighbourly GetAways
Looking for a close encounter with the Caribbean’s Patriotic Plumage? Caravelle Peninsula in Martinique is home to numerous species of birds. These birds live in swampy mangrove areas, rocky coasts and near the white beaches of the peninsula. The Northern Forest Reserve of Dominica is the perfect place to spot the island’s two indigenous species of parrot, the Sisserou and the Jacquot. This bird sanctuary which was opened in 1977, encompasses some 22 000 acres of land. Parc National de Guadeloupe is the place to be listening to the hoarse cries of the “Toto Bwa” or le pic de Guadeloupe: the Guadeloupe Woodpecker. Endemic to Guadeloupe, this bird has colonized several of the forests on the island; over 7000 couples can be found in Basse Terre. Bird watching in Guadeloupe is not only observing but a study of bird species on the island and bird watchers are welcomed all year round on the island.

History
Historical note! In Guadeloupe, there are over 250 species of birds recorded. Martinique was once known as “the islands of Amazons”. Did you know that the Sisserou Parrot is also known as “the Pride of Dominica”?
Get to know your neighbours!
A bit of the French for the Visitor
Les oiseaux: The birds
La colombe: dove
Le pigeon: pigeon
La Plume: feather
La Serre : claw
Le nid: nest
L’aile (F): The wing (F)
Le bec: beak
Le hibou: owl
Le faucon: falcon
Le canard: duck
Le vautour: vulture
Le colibri: hummingbird
Le pingouin: Penguin
L’autruche : ostrich (F)
Le perroquet: parrot
Le corbeau: Raven
Le flamant rose: Pink Flamingo
La cage á oiseau: A bird’s cage
La dinde : Turkey (F)
Le dindon : Turkey (M)
Le paon: peacock

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