Annual cycles in Jamaican forest birds


  • A. W. Diamond

    1. Edward Grey Institute of Field Ornithology, Zoology Department, South Parks Road, Oxford
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    • *Cousin Island, via Praslin, Seychelles, Indian Ocean.


The annual cycles of forest birds in Jamaica were found to be very similar to those at higher latitudes. Most species bred between March and September, though a few possibly breed throughout the year, especially in cultivated areas. Primary moult followed immediately after breeding, and in some species was apparently arrested to allow a further breeding attempt. Several species were fatter outside the breeding season than during it, and this is interpreted as “winter fattening” comparable to that found in many birds at higher latitudes. Weights varied little but individuals retrapped were usually heavier outside the breeding season. In some species the first complete moult took place at the end of the first year, implying that the birds do not breed until at least two years old.