Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Greater Antillean Bullfinch

As a matter of geographical reference, I had to go back and focus on terminology. The Greater Antilles are a grouping of larger islands in the Caribbean Sea, including Cuba, Hispaniola, Puerto Rico, Jamaica and the Cayman Islands. The Lesser Antilles are also a group of islands in the Caribbean Sea, most part of a volcanic island arc going, between the Greater Antilles to the north-west and the continent of South America which form the eastern boundary between the Caribbean Sea and Atlantic Ocean. Together, the Greater Antilles and the Lesser Antilles make up the Antilles. The Lucayan Archipelago, a name I'm not really familiar with, is the Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands, which are north of Cuba and the other Antilles and east and southeast of Florida. Although not part of the Caribbean, the Lucayan Archipelago, the Greater Antilles and the Lesser Antilles are collectively known as the West Indies. Those are distinctions I've never understood. 
With this terminology, the Greater Antillean bullfinch is a different species of bird than the Lesser Antillean bullfinch, which also exists. However, the Greater Antillean bullfinch is found in the Lucayan Archipelago countries of the Bahamas and Turks and Caicos Islands, but not found in Cuba or Puerto Rico which are part of the Greater Antilles. There are five subspecies, one of which is only found in Jamaica. 
I assume this is a female. 

The male Greater Antillean bullfinch has a dark gray to black body with orange-red eyebrows, throat and vent. The female is duller black or gray and duller red-orange. 

I saw one at the Rocklands Bird Sanctuary outside Montego Bay in Jamaica.

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