American-Cuban Ornithological Commission Survey

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The American-Cuban Ornithological Commission Survey began in February of 1948, and was a cooperative international study of bird migration through Cuba. The survey was completed at the request of Cuba, in accordance with an Act of Congress which authorizes scientific and cultural cooperation with the American Republics. Staff included members of the Fish and Wildlife Service and scientists of the Cuban Government. Frederick C. Lincoln led the party of scientists. Staff included Allen J. Duvall and Thomas D. Burleigh, who worked for the Fish and Wildlife Service, Division of Wildlife Research, as well as Dr. Abelardo Moreno, a Cuban member of the expedition. The expedition group departed Washington, D.C., on February 12 heading to Cuba. The men explored the Cuban interior as well as the mangroves and woodlands of the coastal regions. They made their way to the south and the small offshore islands. On March 21 they were stationed on Cayo del Rosario. Other locations of the survey included Cayo Largo and Cayeria los Majaes. The survey focused on migratory birds that spend the winter in Cuba, or pass through the country on their migration flights. The birds from the cays of southern Cuba they obtained included 11 specimens on Cayo del Rosario, and 15 specimens on Cayo Cantiles. Unfortunately, 3 specimens were noted as having been lost, and a few others were given as a gift to the University of Havana in 1952. The only publication resulting from this portion of the 1948 expedition was the description of a new subspecies of Contopus caribaeus (Burleigh and Duvall, 1948).


  • Taylor, W. P. (1948) “Fish and Wildlife Service to Make Bird Survey in Cuba” Wildlife News. (Winter) 357. Retrieved from
  • Buden, D. W., Olson, S. L., Bartsch, P., National Museum of Natural History (U.S.), & Paul Bartsch Expedition. (1989). The avifauna of the cayerias of southern Cuba, with the ornithological results of the Paul Bartsch Expedition of 1930. Washington, D.C: Smithsonian Institution Press.

Date Range

1948 -


  • Animals
  • Birds
  • Ornithology


  • Cuba
  • Cayo del Rosario
  • Cayo Largo


Expedition name