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SCENERY and CULTURE
photographs during the
Focus On Nature Tour
in the Dominican Republic
in April 2012.
All of the photographs that follow were taken during that tour
by tour participant, Marie Gardner - © - all rights reserved.
One of the first birds seen during our April 2012 tour
in the Dominican Republic
was the WHITE-TAILED TROPICBIRD.
Complete List of Caribbean Birds & a Photo Gallery, in 2 parts:
Part #1: Guineafowl to Hummingbirds
Part #2: Trogons to Buntings
in the Dominican Republic including: Mammals, Amphibians, Reptiles, Snails,
Crabs, Butterflies & Moths. Dragonflies & Damselflies, and Others
Upcoming FONT Birding & Nature Tours in the Caribbean, including the Domincian Republic
FONT Past Tour Highlights
Directory of Photos in this Website
Another photo of a White-tailed Tropicbird,
along the southern coast of the Dominican Republic.
Not far away, at an underpass along a highway near Santo Domingo,
Cave Swallows were found nesting.
These birds are of the Antillean Cave Swallow population,
in particular the nominate subspecies, Petrochelidon fulva fulva,
one of a number of subspecies endemic to the island of Hispaniola.
Further west along the southern seacoast of Hispaniola,
was this Clapper Rail, of the subspecies Rallus longirostris caribaeus,
a resident of Caribbean islands.
A family of birds only on Caribbean islands
is the Todies.
There are 5 species.
Hispaniola is the only island on which
there are two species of todies, both of them endemic.
The species, above & below,
is one of those two species,
the Broad-billed Tody.
The other, conversely, is the Narrow-billed Tody.
During our April 2012 DR Tour,
again, as always, we found both.
The West Indian Whistling Duck is, overall, a rarity.
As with others of its kind, it was formerly called a Tree Duck.
This photo shows why.
The Red-legged Thrush is an attractive bird,
with its bill and eye-ring as red as its legs.
The subspecies on Hispaniola is the same
as that on Puerto Rico.
The Palmchat is a bird that occurs
no where else in the world other than Hispaniola.
Not only is it an endemic species,
it is the only member of a family
that is also unique to the island.
Another bird that is a widespread endemic on Hispaniola
is the Hispaniolan Woodpecker.
Here is one in a hole in an old palm tree.
In a hole in the ground were these two fledgling Burrowing Owls.
Just a couple days old. Immediately after their photo was taken,
they were promptly put back into their dark hole and quickly left alone.
The subspecies of the Burrowing Owl in the Dominican Republic
is endemic to Hispaniola,m
Athene cunicularia troglodytes.
Two other Caribbean subspecies of the Burrowing Owl
have gone extinct, one on Antigua and one on Guadeloupe.
This White-necked Crow was photographed
during our April 2012 Dominican Republic Tour.
Its white neck can not be seen, but its red eye can.
This bird is the rarest of the crows in the Americas.
It is now endemic to Hispaniola where it occurs very locally.
Until the 1960s, it was also in Puerto Rico
where it has since become extinct.
Where it still exists, the White-necked Crow
is quite a bird to hear, with is laugh-like calls and squawks.
Republic is a wonderful place
to see some interesting and attractive butterflies.
Above: One of 8 species of swallowtails on Hispaniola,
the Androgeus Swallowtail, or Queen Page.
Half of the 8 species are endemic to Hispaniola.
The other 4, more widespread species either have
subspecies endemic to the island, or to the Caribbean.
All of the butterfly photos here taken during the FONT tour
in the Dominican Republic in April 2012.
our April 2012 Dominican Republic Tour
was the Scarce Haitian Swallowtail,
a species endemic to Hispaniola,
and seen not far from the Haitian border.
A Heliconia mimic seen during the tour
was the Tiger Mimic-Queen,
A most interesting genus of butterflies on Hispaniola
are a group of Satyrs known as the Calistos.
That genus is remarkable for its radiation
on the island of Hispaniola into 40 species.
5 of those species are now beyond Hispaniola,
having spread to Cuba, the Bahamas, Jamaica,
Puerto Rico, and the British Virgin Islands
(with 1 species at each place).
All of the other species in the genus
are endemic to Hispaniola.
In the photograph above is Calisto obscura, the Obscure Calisto,
seen during a walk in the forest during our April 2012 tour.
Closely related to it is Calisto confusa, the Confused Calisto.
So ours turned out to be obscure rather than confused.
Here, a link to a listing of
WEST INDIAN BUTTERFLIES
including a number of those seen during our tours
in the Dominican Republic
is one of two rare and threatened iguanas
that are endemic to Hispaniola.
Notice the horns on the head,
hence the name "Rhinoceros".
species of lizards are known
to be in the Dominican Republic.
During our April 2012 tour, we saw about 15 different kinds.
Photographed above is one not native to Hispaniola.
the Cuban Green Anole, Anolis porcatus,
that has become established in the Santo Domingo area.
Below is a lizard that is native to Hispaniola,
the Southern Hispaniolan Green Anole,
Anolis c. coelestinus.
This lizard, with its light-blue eye-ring,
was photographed south of Barahona.
In the following photos,
some of the places where we stayed or ate
during our April 2012 tour
in the Dominican Republic.
Above, the view from the restaurant
at a place we we stayed along the south coast
known as Salinas.
Here, the hotel where we spent 4
nights in Barahona.
One morning, as we were birding
along a back-road
south of Barahona, a young man came along
with some Soursop to sell.
The Spanish name for the fruit is Guanabana.
Here, in the photo, from left to right:
the man with the Soursop, Patrick,
Julio (our local guide), and Armas.
The back-road goes to a Laramar mine.
Laramar is a stone unique
to the southern Dominican Republic.
As jewelry, it has a pretty, light blue coloration.
Lots of color is in this photo.
On Holy Saturday, the last day of Lent,
in one town through which we traveled, Cabril,
nearly everyone was in bright,
traditional garb for the holiday.
But it was only in that one town
where we were to see such colorful, festive attire.
In the eastern Dominican Republic, at the end of the tour,
we visited an old stone house where
Juan Ponce de Leon lived.
Old indeed, he lived there in 1504.
Outside the house, there were sounds of Northern Mockingbirds,
Gray Kingbirds, Yellow-faced Grassquits, and Hispaniolan Woodpeckers.
A bird we saw on the grounds that was not there
back in the days of Ponce de Leon
was the Cattle Egret.
That species arrived on Hispaniola in the 20th Century.
Bit one couldn't help but wonder if from the house in the 1500s
one would have also heard parrots and parakeets
that were more common then,
along with the Hispaniolan Macaw that still existed at that time.
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