Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Forestry, Wildlife, and Fisheries

First Advisor

Robert B. Hamilton


Wood-warblers (Aves:Emberizidae:Parulinae) are a conspicuous and perhaps declining component of the avifauna of North America and the Neotropics. The West Indies are home to 16 permanent resident species and have been included in the ranges of 40 migrant species. On the basis of specimens in the world's museums and published literature, I report the known status, seasonality, and natural history of warblers in the Virgin Islands (1 permanent resident; 29 migrants), the Western Caribbean (2;28), the Lesser Antilles (5;26), the Bahamas (5;38), Bermuda (0;38), Puerto Rico (3;30), Jamaica (2;32), Hispaniola (4;31), and Cuba (4;35). I grouped the migrants into nine categories: (1) two species are strictly accidental, (2) five are accidental but not entirely unusual, (3) seven winter and generally migrate on the mainland but appear infrequently in the West Indies, (4) two winter in South America but migrate exclusively through the West Indies, (5) seven are typically mainland birds that are regular in small numbers in the West Indies, (6) two are uncommon species for which the West Indies constitute important winter range, (7) two are rare species that winter exclusively in the region, (8) seven winter commonly both in the West Indies and the Neotropical mainland, and 9) six are common and largely or exclusively West Indian in winter. Within groups, there is variation in distribution, seasonality, and habitats and resources utilized. Because each species is unique, management recommendations cannot be applied to the group as a whole. Most migrant species use generalized and often disturbed habitats and are not necessarily suffering from widespread human-induced habitat degradation. Resident warblers, including nine species, subspecies, or populations that are potentially threatened, tend to require undisturbed habitat. Management should concern maintenance or enhancement of habitat for these populations.