Friday, February 20, 2009

Art class

Here are pictures from 2 art classes where I taught about birds. Barb Howard is the teacher. (2012 update - Barb had to leave Haiti - anyone want to start a new art class?)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

EcoFund supply wish-list

Thanks to everyone who has supported this effort! I was able to purchase 3 sets of educavision books, and have received several binoculars and flashlights (Dec. 2009).

These are the supplies I would like to take to Caiman to teach ecology. I will leave them at a new library. I was told that there are no libraries in Haiti (maybe the universities have them?) and most people could not afford to buy books. Please click on the paypal link if you'd like to donate to the supply fund. Books are from unless otherwise noted.
  • Planet Earth in Diagram - Diagramatic presentation of planet Earth, $10.00
  • Diksyonè Syans - Monolingual Haitian Creole Science Dictionary, $18.00
  • Water is life/Dlo se lavi - Simple study of water in daily living, $8.00
  • Ecology/Ekoloji - kingdoms, cell cycle, metamorphosis, photosynthesis. Grade 8-12, $12.00
  • Butterfly Life Cycle/Etap nan lavi Papiyon - Butterfly life cycle with bilingual labels, $7.00
  • Plant and Animal Cells, Comparison - Plant and animal cells with bilingual labels, $7.00
  • Earth Science - Bilingual, $17.00
  • Map Skills/Ladrès Jeyografi - Activity to develop, build & reinforce map skills, $8.00
  • Map of The Caribbean with bilingual labels, $7.00
  • Solid Liquid Gas chart - State of matters with bilingual labels, $7.00
  • Weather Chart with bilingual labels, $7.00
  • Water Cycle Chart - Water cycle with bilingual labels, $7.00
  • Bird Life Circle, $5.00
  • Eng/Haitian-Creole Science Dictionary - Science, mathematic, medical & other field, $20.00
  • Map Of Haiti in color 30x24, $7.00
  • Tropical Fruits/Fwi Twopikal - Tropical fruits and what they can be used for. Bilingual, Grade K-2, $5.00
  • Insects/Ensèk - Insects and what they do. Bilingual, K-2. $5.00
  • Pictorial English-Creole Dictionary - Illustrated and arranged by subjects, $18.00
  • My Friend the Tree/Mon ami l'arbre/Zanmi-m Pyebwa - The ecological role of trees. Trilingual. ( $13.00
  • Oiseaux d'Haiti - Birds of Haiti - in French! With Creole & English (Florence Sergile), $45.00
  • Birds of the Dominican Republic and Haiti - All the birds in Haiti (, $30.00
  • Binoculars
  • Pens, pencils, notebooks, and pencil sharpeners

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Book your ecotour here!

If you would like to book an ecotour while visiting the Pignon and Hinche areas, call guide Louiders at 509-3881-2985 (current Nov. 2016) or email me (Debbie) at and I will contact Louiders (in the photo). Contact me two weeks in advance to allow ample time for getting in contact with the guide (internet and electricity can be unstable in Haiti!). Until the internet is more common and accessible, this blog serves as the website for Louiders, and will be updated as needed.

The Central Plateau: Haiti’s Central Plateau lies between two mountain ranges, the Massif du Nord (600-1100 m, 2000-3600 ft high) and the Montagnes Noires (600 m high). Though it has become largely deforested, this region provides visitors many opportunities to enjoy Haiti’s bird life and culture.

Bird Tour: Over 230 bird species live on the island of Hispaniola, including 31 that are endemic (found no where else in the world). This bird tour gives you an opportunity to see many of these species while following the footpaths that bisect the region. Your guide will have one set of binoculars for your group to share, plus a bird book. Click here for birds you may see.
Cultural Tour: Sugar cane and coffee were once major exports of Haiti, and still provide a living for people in this region. On this tour you will learn about the sugar cane industry, from stalk to finished products. You might also get to visit a working press if one is in use during your tour. Coffee is the number two world commodity after oil. You will learn how coffee is grown, harvested, and turned in to the brew loved by many. You will also be able to purchase coffee directly from the roasters.
Rates: Foreigners - $20US per person for a 2-hour tour, $40US per person for a 4-hour tour. Reduced rates for groups and nationals are available. Tours are in English or Creole. Louiders will shape the tour to your needs! Specify whether you would like a private tour or don’t mind being with other visitors, or if you are a serious birder. --Tips are appreciated!--

There is a guest house next to the Pignon airstrip. Louiders will arrange to meet you in front of UCI in Caiman or HAFF on Hwy 3 in Bohoc, and can arrange a ride for you if necessary.

What to bring: Sunscreen, sunglasses, comfortable walking shoes, binoculars if you have them, snacks if you need them, camera, water.
Tour etiquette: Your guide will let you know if you can take pictures of cultural activities. Ask permission before taking pictures of individuals. Respect private property, including livestock and dogs. Respect wildlife and be aware of how your activities affect plants and animals. Be conscientious about eating in public. Many people can afford only one meal a day.
Developed in 2009, this program promotes: Educational opportunities for Haitians and visitors, Sources of income for guides and cultural demonstrators, Development of business skills, Appreciation of our reliance on a healthy environment.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Tour ideas

I'll keep track of ideas for tours here. Please comment if you have additional ideas!

Coffee - Haitian coffee is really unique - it is roasted then roasted again in a sugar cane molasses. Show visitors the entire process, from fruit to final product: coffee trees, harvesting, fruit (let them taste it), how beans are extracted, roasted, and ground. Sell them the final ground coffee. Or even the roasted beans - Americans often grind their own coffee.

Banana and plantain fields or plantations - Explain how these are cultivated and how to tell the plants apart. Are they eaten locally or transported across the country, or exported?

Coconuts - hack open a coconut for a visitor to drink and eat.

Sugar cane - Point out the sugar cane fields and presses. If anyone is pressing cane, take them to see it and ask the workers if pictures can be taken. Explain the entire pressing process and how the juice is processed into rum. Are there industrial plants that produce granulated sugar? Explain why or why not. Perhaps visitors should give the press people a dollar or two per group. Also show visitors the equipment left over from colonial days. Explain how the molasses residue is made and sown up in leaves (see the picture of this with the roasted coffee). Cut a piece of cane and show visitors how to eat it.

Bird species list

Birds I see in Haiti. Endemic species are marked *. (June 2011 birding was short walks close to the house.) April 2012 was around Port au Prince and bay area. July 2012 was at HAFF in Bohoc.
  • English name, Kreyol name, Scientific name, Status, dates, notes
  • Antillean Mango, Wanga Nègès, Anthracothorax dominicus, May-08, Jan-10, Nov-11, Apr-12, Jul-12
  • Vervain Hummingbird, Wanga Nègès, Mellisuga minima, Jan-10, Nov-11
  • Hispaniolan Emerald*, Wanga, Chlorostilbon swainsonii, May-08, Nov-11
  • Hispaniolan Parakeet*, Parich, Aratinga chloroptera, T, Jan-09 (flocks of 10, 5, 2 birds), Jan-10 (flocks of 6 & 20, 2 in a tree), Jun-11 (flock 7 fly by), Nov-11 (many small flocks)
  • Snowy egret, Zegrèt blan, Egretta thula, Apr-12, Jul-12 (Lac Trou)
  • Great egret, Gwo krabye blanch, Ardea alba, Apr-12
  • Cattle Egret, Krabye, Bulbulcus ibi, May-08, Jan-09, Jan-10, Jun-11, Nov-11, Apr-12, Jul-12
  • Green Heron, Ti Krabye Rivye, Butorides virescens, Jan-10 (Gwap River), Apr-12
  • Royal Tern, Sterna maxima, Apr-12
  • Some kind of plover,  Jul-12 at Lac Trou
  • Plain Pigeon, Ramye, Columba inornata, T, Jan-09 (1), Jan-10 (1), Nov-11 (6?), Jul-12 (3). Almost hunted to extinction, makes a groaning noise like a frog.
  • Common Ground Dove, Zotolon, Columbina passerina, Jan-09, Jan-10, Nov-11, Apr-12 (lots), Jul-12
  • White-winged Dove, Toutrèl zel blan, Zenaida asiatica, Jan-09, Nov-11, Apr-12, Jul-12
  • Mourning dove, Toutrèl ke fen, Zenaida macroura, Apr-12 (lots), Jul-12
  • Red-tailed Hawk, Malfini Ke Wouj, Buteo jamaicensis, Jan-10, Nov-11, Jul-12
  • White-necked Crow*, Kaw, Corvus leucognaphalus, T, Jan-09 heard, Jan-10, Jun-11, Nov-11, Apr-12, Jul-12
  • Hispaniolan Palm Crow*, Ti kaw, Corvus palmarum, T, May-08, Jan-09, Jan-10, Nov-11, Apr-12, Jul-12
  • Smooth-billed Ani, Boustabak, Crotophaga ani, Jan-09, Jan-10, Apr-12, Jul-12
  • Greater Antillean Grackle, Mèl Diab, Quiscalus niger, Jan-10, Jun-11, Nov-11
  • Prairie Warbler, Ti Tchit Zèl Jon, Dendroica discolor, Jan-09
  • Cape May Warbler, Setophaga tigrin, Nov-11
  • Black and White Warbler, Ti Tchit Demidèy, Mniotilta varia, Jan-09, Jan-10
  • Yellow-throated Warbler, Ti Tchit, Dendroica dominica, May-08
  • American Redstart, Ti Tchit Dife, Setophaga ruticilla, Apr-12 @ Latin Quarter restaurant
  • Antillean Bullfinch, Loxigilla violacea, Nov-11
  • Palmchat*, Esclave, Dulus dominicus, May-08, Jan-09, Jan-10, Nov-11, Apr-12, Jul-12
  • American Kestrel, Grigri, Falco sparverius, Jan-09, Jan-10, Jun-11, Nov-11, Apr-12, Jul-12
  • Hispaniolan Oriole*, Bannann-mi, Icterus dominicensis, May-08, Jan-10
  • Hispaniolan Woodpecker*, Sepantye, Melanerpes striatus, May-08, Jan-09, Jan-10, Jun-11, Nov-11, Apr-12, Jul-12
  • Northern Mockingbird, Rosinyòl, Mimus polyglottus, May-08, Jan-10, Jun-11 (very active), Nov-11
  • Northern Parula, Parula americana, Jan-09
  • Black-crowned Palm-tanager*, Kat-je Tèt Nwa, Phaenicophilus palarum, May-08, Jan-09, Jan-10, Jun-11, Nov-11
  • Cave swallow, Irondèl Falèz, Pterochelidon fulva, May-08, Jan-09, Apr-12
  • Hispaniolan Lizard Cuckoo*, Tako, Sauruthera longirostris, May-08, Jan-09, Jan-10, Jun-11, Nov-11, Apr-12, Jul-12
  • Broad-billed Tody*, Kolobri, Todus subulatus, May-08, Jan-09 not sure if broad, Jan-10 definitely broad, Jun-11, Nov-11, Jul-12
  • Red-legged Thrush, Kwèt Kwèt, Turdus plumbeus, Jan-09
  • Gray Kingbird, Pipirit gris, Tyrannus dominicensis, Jan-09, Jan-10, Nov-11, Apr-12, Jul-12
  • Loggerhead Kingbird*, Pipirit Chandèl, Tyrannus caudifasciatus, E, Jan-10 ID by Louiders, couldn’t confirm for myself, but know it’s not a Gray Kingbird
  • Bananaquit, Kit, Coereba flaveola, Jan-10, Jun-11 nest on porch, Apr-12, Jul-12
  • Yellow-faced Grassquit, Kit, Tiaris olivaceus, Jan-10 ID by Louiders, couldn’t confirm for myself
  • Flat-billed vireo?*, Ti Panach Bèk Plat, Vireo nanus, Jan-10 not sure
  • Burrowing owl, Koukou, Athene cunicularia, Jan-10 (1 captive)
  • Tricolored Mannikin, Lonchura malacca, intro, Jan-09
  • Nutmeg Mannikin, Lonchura punctulata, intro, building nest by HAFF dorm  Jul-12
  • Village Weaver, Madan Sara, Ploceus cucullatus, intro, Jun-11 very active nests at tree by gate, collect coconut leaves from across road. Apr-12
  • Turkey, Meleagris, intro?
  • Chickens!, Poul, Gallus gallus, intro, every year, everywhere
  • Guineafowl, Pentard, Numida meleagris, intro, every year, everywhere

Monday, February 2, 2009

Classes I taught

Here is the first bird ecotour class in Caiman. About 14 teens attended a seminar about birding and ecotours. Thanks to Darold for translating! Five men who were visiting for a pastor's conference also attended.

The group of teens came back for two excursions to see birds and a cave.

I also presented this seminar to 30 men at another pastor's conference. Some men walked 9 - 11 hours to attend the conference.

We stopped at two schools of about 200 kids each, 4 yr olds to teens. I gave a half hour talk about the importance of birds.