Trinidad and Tobago Field Naturalists' Club         Southeastern Caribbean Bird Alert         Trinidad and Tobago Rare Bird Committee
Lesser Antillean Bullfinch (Loxigilla noctis)
One of two female at Red Hook, St. Thomas, 26 March 2003. Photo © by Floyd Hayes. First confirmed record for St. Thomas. In late February or early March 2003, Amanda Hall reported seeing a male and a female at Red Hook, where Floyd Hayes observed a female on 24 March.This species was considered an endemic of the Lesser Antilles until 1971, when small populations were discovered in southeastern St. John and in nearby Norman and Peter Islands (Raffaele, H. A., and D. Roby. 1977. The Lesser Antillean Bullfinch in the Virgin Islands. Wilson Bulletin 89:338-342). Because the populations were established in rural areas away from human population centers and a specimen collected was diagnosed as L. n. ridgwayi, the subspecies occurring in the northern Lesser Antilles, Raffaele and Roby (1977) suggested that the birds may have been transported naturally to the Virgin Islands by Hurricane Donna in 1960 or Hurricane Faith in 1966. Its range in St, John expanded rapidly, reaching the west coast by 1978  and the north coast by 1979. Although breeding has been reported in St. Croix, it has yet to colonize that island (D. B. McNair pers. comm.) or St. Thomas (two previous sight records by Mario Francis pers. comm.).