In order to provide information for the preparation of the reserve's management program —an inventory of the birds of Banco Chinchorro, located 31 km off the Yucatán Peninsula's southeast coast— began in May 1997. Only three previous ornithological studies had been
carried out on the bank between 1927–1990. The overall objective was to develop an annotated bird species list that included the bird's status in relation to the bank. Size and location of nesting colonies of Caribbean tern and pigeon species were also a priority. The goal of determining
the importance of the bank for migratory land birds during migration periods was added as a result of early observations. To date, 111 species have been recorded in the area, of which 72 are neotropical migrants and 58 land birds. Prior data recorded a total of 60 species for the bank. The
two most important habitat types used by neotropical migrants were thicket-forest and mangrove. Observations made during fall migration indicated that at least some migrant warblers arrive directly from crossing the Gulf of Mexico with no fat reserves. Furcula fat reserve on spring migrants
registered less than for fall migrants, with most registering no fat at all. However, two spring migrants showed 95% fat reserve, suggesting that some migrants are prepared to make a long-distance flight north in spring. Nesting locations and approximate population sizes were noted for Bridled
and Sooty Terns, Brown Noddy and White-crowned Pigeon.
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