Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Birding in 2010

Louiders took me on 5 bird hikes. He’s a great guide and knows the birds by sound. The best place to see birds was on the garata which have giant orange flowers (this one has a palm chat on it, the base is also shown) and grow on the side of the mountain. Had a great view of the plain pigeon (ramye), a very large dove that JeanJean remembers being numerous when he was younger. They are now threatened from hunting, I’ve only seen one per year. It made a distinct groaning noise like a frog. I also saw a couple flocks of parakeets (parich), one had 20 birds in it! These birds are threatened from people catching them to take to the Dominican Republic to sell as pets. JeanJean remembers large flocks of parakeets when he was young.

These are the birds I saw for the first time in Jan. 2010 (scientific names are in the master bird list): Green Heron (Ti Krabye Rivye) by the Gwap River in Pignon, Greater Antillean Grackle (Mèl Diab), Red-tailed Hawk (Malfini Ke Wouj), and Bananaquit (Kit). I also saw a burrowing owl (Koukou) that a man had in a basket and tried to sell me.

Louiders pointed out two birds that he knew but I couldn’t confirm for myself:

Yellow-faced Grassquit, (Kit) and Loggerhead Kingbird (Pipirit Chandèl) which was by the soccer field on Hwy 3. I might have seen a Flat-billed vireo (Ti Panach Bèk Plat) but the sun was at a bad angle.

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