Caribbean Elaenia (Elaenia martinica riisii) 28 January 2012. Cabo Rojo NWR, Cabo Rojo Municipality, Puerto Rico

Elaenias are a diverse group of neotropical flycatchers. Most have a concealed white patch on the crown. Fruit comprises a substantial portion of their diet. The Caribbean Elaenia is the only member of the genus to be found in Puerto Rico. It is divided into the Caribbean [martinica] group which ranges from Puerto Rico south through the Lesser and Netherlands Antilles; and the cinerascens Group (whiter below and darker above) found on islands off the Yucatan, Belize and Nicaragua. The latter group is sometimes treated as a separate species. Interestingly, this species was not recorded in Puerto Rico until 1963. Nesting starts in January and we encountered these birds by their loud whistled territorial song.

There is a controversial 1984 record of a bird photographed in Florida that may pertain to this species. See photo and brief discussion on page 923. After accepting the record as a Caribbean Elaenia, the ABA and the Florida committees both later rejected it on account that the photos and voice descriptions were inconclusive and that the bird may have been one of the races of the somewhat similar White-crested Elaenia from southern South America. A voice recording might have decided the matter, but none was obtained. More details here.

Digiscoped with Panasonic DMC-LZ5 | Nikon FieldScope III | 30XWA | hand-held (no adapter)
[ Back to Photo Gallery ] [ Home ]