Most of the migratory shorebird species breeding in eastern North America and the Arctic pass over the Caribbean region during late August, September. As they do they may encounter severe tropical storms and use the islands as refuges. Hunting clubs in the region take advantage of these falls of birds, often concentrated in small areas of mangroves etc. to shoot large numbers of birds.
In 2009 seventeen Hudsonian Whimbrels were satellite tagged in the US. They were followed on their migration south through the Caribbean to their wintering area in São Luis, Brazil and then back to their breeding grounds in Canada. Two of these tagged Whimbrels were named Machi and Goshen. They were travelling separately when they were caught up in different storms. Goshen flew through the east side of Hurricane Irene, and ended up in Guadeloupe via Montserrat and Antigua. Machi on the other hand flew through Tropical Storm Maria and landed on Montserrat before flying on to Guadeloupe. Both set down in Guadeloupe on the 12th of September 2011 and, within hours, both had been shot.
Their deaths in this manner highlighted the plight of waders that are unlucky enough to pass through the Caribbean, and a public outcry followed.Read More