Sunday, February 8, 2015

Bulletin 214 - Dominican Republic #6 - tanagers, hummingbirds, finch and lizards

There are 5 endemic tanagers in Hispaniola. The Black-crowned Tanager (Phaenicophilus palmarum) is also known as the Black-crowned Palm-Tanager. It has a black and white face and head, olive wings and tail and gray breast. I saw it several times.

Black-crowned Tanager
There is a Gray-crowned tanager but it is resident in Haiti only so wasn't seen on this trip.

The male Hispaniolan Spindalis (Spindalis dominicensis) has black head with white stripes and orange  on the breast.

Hispaniolan Spindalis - male

The female spindalis is olive above and gray below. She has some white stripes on the head as well.

Hispaniolan Spindalis - female

The other two are Eastern and Western Chat-Tanagers. I saw one of them but couldn't get a photo and missed the opportunity to look for the other as the roads were washed out.

There are 2 endemic cuckoos on the island, Hispaniolan Lizard-Cuckoo and Bay-breasted Cuckoo. I saw them both, but only got a photo of the Hispaniolan Lizard-Cuckoo (Saurothera longirostris). It is a large 18" bird with striped tail, rusty throat and belly and red eye ring. Unmistakable.

Hispaniolan Lizard-Cuckoo

I was able to photograph all 3 hummingbirds on the island. The Antillean Mango (Anthrocorax dominicus) is a 5" hummer with curved beak. The female, here, is green above and gray below. It is found only on Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands and Hispaniola.

Antillean Mango - female

The Vervain Hummingbird (Mellisuga minima) is a tiny 2.5" hummer found here and Jamaica. It is the same genus as the Bee Hummingbird of Cuba which is the smallest bird in the world. This guy sits prominently on the top of trees and looks more the size of an insect. It is just green above, with a gray throat and green flanks in both sexes. The male here has a notched tail.

Vervain Hummingbird - male
The last is the endemic Hispaniolan Emerald (Chlorostilbon swainsonii). The male here is green all over with a bright green throat.

Hispaniolan Emerald - male

The last bird is the Antillean Euphonia (Euphonia musica). This small (4.75") colorful finch is found from Hispaniola to Grenada in the Lesser Antilles. The male has orange underparts, black face and blue crown. This was my 800th bird to photograph.

Antillean Euphonia - male

The female is similar but she has yellow underparts.

Antillean Euphonia - female

I also found a couple on small endemic lizards. The first is the Southern Green Anole. It is similar to the Green Anole in USA except for the white line along the throat.

Southern Green Anole

The other was a reddish lizard whose name I have not been able to discover.

Red Lizard - Hispaniola

Happy birding and photography,

David McDonald

photos copyright 2006 - 2015 David McDonald

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