A first in the bird species records of Curacao. On May 2 2019, colleague birder Curacao Backyard Birding (aka Rob Wellens) sent in a Facebook Message with 4 words; ‘Eastern Kingbird at BB’. A first for us and a first for Curacao, as this flycatcher has never before been recorded for our island. There are records for sister islands Aruba and Bonaire, but none for Curacao. So we can include this fantastic new species on the migratory bird list and can only hope to see it more often in the future.
Eastern Kingbird vs Fork-tailed flycatcher
Eastern Kingbirds (Tyrannus tyrannus) have a black back, a black half hood and a white tip on the tail. In the field they can easily be interchanged with fork-tailed flycatcher individuals without the characteristic long tails. These are regular migratory species on the island. However fork-tailed flycatchers have a grey back and no white tip on the tail.
Eastern Kingbirds breed from southern Canada trough most of US except the Southwest and winter in eastern South America and Argentina. (Birds of Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao – Jeff & Allison Wells)
Growing LIFER list
Our personal LIFER bird species list for Curacao is continuously growing and up till know 2019 is a very good year indeed. The most exciting news is that we are including more and more bird species on the bird records list for our island, a feat which deserves mentioning. The continuous monitoring work of colleague Rob Wellens and many other enthusiastic bird lovers make sure that birding hotspots are closely monitored for new additions, besides the observations of new behaviour. And as we are focussing on recording with photos and video as well, the database is getting more interesting by the day.
2019 has had its surprises already with Indigo Buntings in January ( see blogpost: Indigo Bunting), Common Yellowthroat in early April (see blogpost: Common Yellowthroat) and Cape May warbler later in April (see blogpost: Cape May warbler).