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Field Guides Tour Report
Dominican Republic 2016
Mar 12, 2016 to Mar 19, 2016
Tom Johnson & Jesse Fagan

This roadside shelter at Cabo Rojo provided a colorful site for a wonderful field picnic in the southwest of the Dominican Republic. Photo by guide Tom Johnson.

Our tour through the Dominican Republic was a nonstop adventure! We drove on some of the bumpiest roads that any of us have experienced, woke up at some very early hours, and along the way managed to find all of the Hispaniolan endemic birds that live in the Dominican Republic (no Gray-crowned Palm-Tanagers here -- they're only over in Haiti).

The tour began in the capital of Santo Domingo, where we settled in to the charming Hotel Palacio in the beautiful Colonial Zone (Zona Colonial). Our first birding was in the lush botanical garden in Santo Domingo, where we had our first experiences with several endemic species like Palmchats, Hispaniolan Lizard-Cuckoo, Black-crowned Palm-Tanager, and more. The West Indian Whistling-Ducks were a special treat, too.

Leaving Santo Domingo, we headed west through agricultural areas and some lowland desert hills, eventually reaching Kate's Camp at the base of the Sierra de Bahoruco, the beautiful mountains of southwestern Dominican Republic and eastern Haiti. Kate's Camp served as our base for a few nights, allowing us to sample the diversity of endemic species between the Rabo de Gato trail at low elevation and the moist montane forest at Zapoten. Here, we saw the incredible deforestation along the Haitian border and (in intact forest on the DR side of the border) picked up such key species as La Selle Thrush, Western Chat-Tanager, Greater Antillean Nightjar, Least Pauraque, Flat-billed Vireo, White-fronted Quail-Dove, White-necked Crow, and so much more. Our only "heard only" endemic was the Hispaniolan Crossbill that called a few times (presumably as it flew over) from the pine forest at Zapoten. However, we made up for it with the gigantic, gurgling, cooing Bay-breasted Cuckoos in the scrub forest in the foothills -- this rare species was a tour headliner for us this year with such incredible views.

Avoiding a peaceful demonstration by locals who were upset that the government hadn't yet paved their roads (the paving crew was only a few YEARS late in starting the promised road improvements!), we wrapped around the Sierra de Bahoruco to Barahona, our next base. From here, we explored the pine forests in the mountains at Aceitillar, leading to wonderful experiences with (Hispaniolan) Palm Crow, Hispaniolan Trogon, Golden Swallow, and Antillean Piculet. Least Bitterns, White-cheeked Pintail, and a solo American Flamingo highlighted an afternoon split between Cabo Rojo and Oviedo Lagoon, and we even had some time to relax by the hotel pool back in Barahona. During the evening hours, we ventured forth and found an Ashy-faced Owl at a nest site in a cluster of palm trees in the hills.

One more bumpy road (it could have been a waterfall that we drove up, in retrospect!) led us up into the dripping clouds of Cachote on our final early morning in the southwest. This enabled us to find the tricky Eastern Chat-Tanager, and also led us to a softly calling Bicknell's Thrush, a secretive species that is tough to find both on its breeding grounds in New England/ eastern Canada, and here on its wintering grounds in the Caribbean. We headed back to Santo Domingo in great spirits.

The last full day of the tour was devoted to giving us the best possible chance to find Ridgway's Hawk, a critically endangered species that now only lives in and around Los Haitises National Park in the eastern part of Dominican Republic. We started off watching Cave Swallows and White-tailed Tropicbirds from some seaside cliffs on the way out of Santo Domingo. Then, upon our arrival at Los Limones, a male Ridgway's Hawk screamed and circled overhead! We met up with our friend and local raptor monitor Timoteo, and he showed us a nest with a female hawk sitting on it. We kept a respectful distance but still managed some killer scope views of this rarest of Hispaniolan endemics. What a great way to wrap up an intense but extremely fruitful week of birding in the Dominican Republic!

I'd like to thank Jesse Fagan for all of his extra efforts in leading this tour with me; his skill in the Dominican Republic really shows, and it was a pleasure to travel and bird with him. To the group -- thank you for your flexibility under some adventurous circumstances. Your good spirits and willingness to adapt made for a fun time and a great tour atmosphere. Please come back and join us on another tour down the road -- we'd love to have all of you.

Good birding, and all my best,

-- Tom

One of the following keys may be shown in brackets for individual species as appropriate: * = heard only, I = introduced, E = endemic, N = nesting, a = austral migrant, b = boreal migrant

Anatidae (Ducks, Geese, and Waterfowl)

This Ashy-faced Owl delighted us in the hills near Barahona, after we'd struggled without seeing any on several previous night outings. Photo by guide Tom Johnson.

WEST INDIAN WHISTLING-DUCK (Dendrocygna arborea) – Seven were in the stream through the woods at the SD Botanical Garden on our first day.
AMERICAN WIGEON (Anas americana) – Some were quite distant at Oviedo Lagoon, seen Monet-style through the heat shimmer.
BLUE-WINGED TEAL (Anas discors) – About half a dozen were in the marshy ponds at Cabo Rojo.
WHITE-CHEEKED PINTAIL (Anas bahamensis) – We found two at the Cabo Rojo ponds.
Podicipedidae (Grebes)
LEAST GREBE (Tachybaptus dominicus) – This tiny, golden-eyed waterbird was on the stream in the SD Botanical Garden.
Phoenicopteridae (Flamingos)
AMERICAN FLAMINGO (Phoenicopterus ruber) – We arrived at Oviedo Lagoon hoping to see lots... and we found just ONE of these giant pink beauties! Incredible. Where were the rest of them?
Phaethontidae (Tropicbirds)
WHITE-TAILED TROPICBIRD (Phaethon lepturus) – About seven of these handsome "long-tails" were flying around off the aquarium cliffs in Santo Domingo. Though initial views were distant, we later had a pair come in fairly close.
Fregatidae (Frigatebirds)
MAGNIFICENT FRIGATEBIRD (Fregata magnificens) – We saw these giant black sailplanes soaring along the coast on several days.
Pelecanidae (Pelicans)
BROWN PELICAN (Pelecanus occidentalis) – Seen a few times along the coast, including at the hotel in Barahona and at Cabo Rojo.
Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)
LEAST BITTERN (Ixobrychus exilis) – Perhaps the highlight of our stop at Cabo Rojo was the action from a scattered group of at least four Least Bitterns that were calling and flying around. Awesome looks at these tiny, buffy herons.
GREAT BLUE HERON (Ardea herodias) – Two were at Cabo Rojo.
GREAT EGRET (Ardea alba) – Four were at Cabo Rojo, and two were at Oviedo Lagoon.
SNOWY EGRET (Egretta thula) – One was in the forest stream at SD Botanical Gardens, and ten more were in the ponds at Cabo Rojo.
TRICOLORED HERON (Egretta tricolor) – A surprising seven were in the ponds at Cabo Rojo.

Antillean Palm-Swifts showed off remarkably well in the afternoon sun at our hotel near Barahona, even dipping into the swimming pool for water. Photo by guide Tom Johnson.

CATTLE EGRET (Bubulcus ibis) – Common and widespread.
GREEN HERON (Butorides virescens) – We found two at the SD Botanical Gardens and two more at Cabo Rojo.
Threskiornithidae (Ibises and Spoonbills)
WHITE IBIS (Eudocimus albus) – Five were at the Cabo Rojo ponds when we arrived.
Cathartidae (New World Vultures)
TURKEY VULTURE (Cathartes aura) – Much more common in the East than in the montane Southwest.
Pandionidae (Osprey)
OSPREY (Pandion haliaetus) – We saw these piscivorous beauties a few times along the southern coast of the DR.
Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)
RIDGWAY'S HAWK (Buteo ridgwayi) – We saved one of the best birds for the final day. When we arrived at Los Limones near Haitises National Park, a male was soaring overhead, screaming. Then, our friend Timoteo helped us to get a bird's eye view on a female sitting on a nest in a palm below eye level. The scope views were unbelievable! This is a critically endangered island endemic bird that is hanging on by a thread in the Dominican Republic thanks to help from a small cadre of dedicated folks. [E]
RED-TAILED HAWK (Buteo jamaicensis) – We saw this familiar buteo soaring at both Aceitillar and Cabo Rojo.
Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)
CLAPPER RAIL (CARIBBEAN) (Rallus crepitans caribaeus) – Though it took some work, two eventually showed well in the thick mangroves at Cabo Rojo.

The rarest species of our trip was probably Ridgway's Hawk, which we found on the edge of Los Haitises National Park. This female's big nest (adopted from Palmchats, in all likelihood) was in the crotch of a large palm tree. Photo by guide Tom Johnson.

SORA (Porzana carolina) – Two called a few times from the marsh at Cabo Rojo. [*]
COMMON GALLINULE (Gallinula galeata) – Seen well at Cabo Rojo and the SD Botanical Garden.
Recurvirostridae (Stilts and Avocets)
BLACK-NECKED STILT (Himantopus mexicanus) – Six at Cabo Rojo.
Scolopacidae (Sandpipers and Allies)
SPOTTED SANDPIPER (Actitis macularius) – One was in direct comparison with a Solitary Sandpiper at the SD Botanical Garden.
SOLITARY SANDPIPER (Tringa solitaria) – We saw one next to the previously mentioned Spotted Sandpiper in the SD Botanical Garden. The Solitary was slimmer, longer-legged, and darker above, with crisp white spectacles.
GREATER YELLOWLEGS (Tringa melanoleuca) – One was at the ponds at Cabo Rojo.
LESSER YELLOWLEGS (Tringa flavipes) – Four were with the Greater Yellowlegs at Cabo Rojo.
Laridae (Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers)
ROYAL TERN (Thalasseus maximus) – Seen at both the hotel in Barahona and at Cabo Rojo.
Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)
ROCK PIGEON (Columba livia) – Common in cities, especially in Santo Domingo. [I]
SCALY-NAPED PIGEON (Patagioenas squamosa) – This large pigeon was fairly common in the Sierra de Bahoruco, though we only had a few good views.
PLAIN PIGEON (Patagioenas inornata) – Initially a "heard only" bird for several days, but then we had some good flyovers at Aceitillar.

Our experience with Bay-breasted Cuckoo in the foothills of the Sierra de Bahoruco was quite marvelous. "La Cua" put on a real show in the canopy of some thorn forest, right above our heads. Photo by guide Tom Johnson.

COMMON GROUND-DOVE (Columbina passerina) – The common small dove on Hispaniola.
RUDDY QUAIL-DOVE (Geotrygon montana) – One showed briefly and poorly before flying away at Rabo de Gato on our first visit.
WHITE-FRONTED QUAIL-DOVE (Geotrygon leucometopia) – Ohhhh yeah! After a game of cat and mouse, we found one of these fine doves walking along the ground at Rabo de Gato. We tracked it until it came to a stop out in the open on the rocky forest floor, and then we all enjoyed scope views for over fifteen minutes. What a bird, and what a view! [E]
KEY WEST QUAIL-DOVE (Geotrygon chrysia) – One was heard calling near Cachote. [*]
WHITE-WINGED DOVE (Zenaida asiatica) – Fairly common around Santo Domingo.
ZENAIDA DOVE (Zenaida aurita) – Two were seen well but briefly at La Placa on the road to Zapoten. These are much harder to see on Hispaniola than they are on Puerto Rico!
MOURNING DOVE (Zenaida macroura) – Common - seen every day.
Cuculidae (Cuckoos)
MANGROVE CUCKOO (Coccyzus minor) – One was a rock star for the group, showing off very well on our first outing at the SD Botanical Garden.
BAY-BREASTED CUCKOO (Coccyzus rufigularis) – YES! After hearing the funky "goo-oo" calls of "La Cua" (the local name for this charismatic and goofy bird) from far away off the road to Zapoten, we walked into the woods on a small trail and eventually had this huge, amazingly beautiful cuckoo right over our heads. This was an unreal experience with such a rare and local bird. Then - we heard two more and saw another. Amazing! [E]
HISPANIOLAN LIZARD-CUCKOO (Coccyzus longirostris) – Though it was overshadowed a bit by the Bay-breasted Cuckoo on this tour, this lovely endemic really deserves plenty of acclaim of its own. It was fairly common and we at least heard its rough cackles on a daily basis - seen best around Rabo de Gato. [E]
SMOOTH-BILLED ANI (Crotophaga ani) – Good looks at the SD Botanical Garden, and also once or twice while driving through scrubby habitats.
Tytonidae (Barn-Owls)

This White-fronted Quail-Dove was strolling along the forest floor at Rabo de Gato when we spotted it. Fortunately, instead of flying off, it stopped out in the open and allowed us to scope it for quite some time. Photo by guide Tom Johnson.

ASHY-FACED OWL (Tyto glaucops) – A cluster of palms near Barahona came through for us, and we scored this lovely endemic Tyto after several nights of fruitless efforts at other sites. We got to hear its raspy calls and then watched it perch in the open high above us. We had heard one in the pre-dawn gloaming at Zapoten, but the Barahona experience was MUCH better. [E]
Strigidae (Owls)
BURROWING OWL (Athene cunicularia) – A few were along the road to Zapoten during our bumpy early morning expedition.
STYGIAN OWL (Asio stygius) – One called distantly in the pre-dawn hours in pine forest at Aceitillar. [*]
Caprimulgidae (Nightjars and Allies)
LEAST PAURAQUE (Siphonorhis brewsteri) – The loud chorus of four of these diminutive nightjars was pretty special in the thorn forest below Aguacate in the Sierra de Bahoruco, but then the situation got even better when most of us got to see one fly through Jesse's spotlight beam. Check out the audio recording embedded further up the list to hear the froggy calls of this wonderful bird of the night set against the growing dawn chorus of the Sierra de Bahoruco. [E]
GREATER ANTILLEAN NIGHTJAR (HISPANIOLAN) (Antrostomus cubanensis ekmani) – On our first morning in the Sierra de Bahoruco when we drove up to Zapoten, we found a few of these large nightjars singing in the lowest extent of the pine forest. A few days later at Aceitillar, we had a similar experience along the road there. [E]
Apodidae (Swifts)
ANTILLEAN PALM-SWIFT (Tachornis phoenicobia) – Common. We had the fun experience of seeing these extremely fast swifts dipping into the water at our hotel pool in Barahona.
Trochilidae (Hummingbirds)
ANTILLEAN MANGO (Anthracothorax dominicus) – This large hummer is common and was seen on many occasions.
VERVAIN HUMMINGBIRD (Mellisuga minima) – Quite common, and we had great views in the scope during our first outing at the SD Botanical Gardens. These tiny birds (smallest bird on Hispaniola!) have the excellent habit of perching on the extreme tops of trees and belting out their funny little "song".

A few high-pitched, insistent-yet-quiet "Veer!" calls revealed the presence of this lovely Bicknell's Thrush at Cachote. Photo by guide Tom Johnson.

HISPANIOLAN EMERALD (Chlorostilbon swainsonii) – Happily, these emeralds were really common at Zapoten this year, with about twelve individuals recorded. We also found them at Aceitillar and Cachote, but the initial view we had of the perched bird at our parking spot at Zapoten was impossible to beat. [E]
Trogonidae (Trogons)
HISPANIOLAN TROGON (Priotelus roseigaster) – After a bird at Zapoten that left something to be desired in terms of looks, one showed off like a diva in the pines at Aceitillar. This fiery-eyed trogon is a real stunner. Bingo! [E]
Todidae (Todies)
BROAD-BILLED TODY (Todus subulatus) – This awesome little green bird was quite common, especially in lower elevation forest in the Sierra de Bahoruco. We heard and saw them regularly around the cabins at Kate's Camp. We noticed quite a bit of overlap elevation-wise with Narrow-billed Tody on this trip. The todies, while historically found over a broad part of the world, are currently restricted to the Greater Antilles. Hispaniola is the only island to harbor two species. [E]
NARROW-BILLED TODY (Todus angustirostris) – These little delights were common in the highlands of the Sierra de Bahoruco, with good experiences low to the ground along the road at Zapoten and Cachote. [E]
Alcedinidae (Kingfishers)
BELTED KINGFISHER (Megaceryle alcyon) – One flew around, rattling, at Cabo Rojo.
Picidae (Woodpeckers)
ANTILLEAN PICULET (Nesoctites micromegas) – This tiny woodpecker almost drove us crazy after we heard it calling in so many places in the forest. However, when we finally found a responsive one at Aceitillar and had nice views, all was forgiven. [E]
HISPANIOLAN WOODPECKER (Melanerpes striatus) – This endemic Melanerpes is common, widespread, and really handsome. It was the first endemic bird that we found upon exiting the vehicles at the SD Botanical Garden on our first morning - it turned out that we parked right under a nest! [E]
Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)
AMERICAN KESTREL (Falco sparverius) – Common and widespread.

Targeted efforts in the highlands of southwestern Dominican Republic resulted in the group finding both Eastern and Western chat-tanagers, two of the skulkiest songbirds on Hispaniola. This Western Chat-Tanager was singing its loud, cymbal-like song from the verdant tangles of Zapoten. Photo by guide Tom Johnson.

PEREGRINE FALCON (Falco peregrinus) – One flew right past us at Oviedo Lagoon, lit from below by reflections off the turquoise water. On our final evening, another circled over the Zona Colonial in Santo Domingo as we watched from the roof deck at Hotel Palacio.
Psittacidae (New World and African Parrots)
HISPANIOLAN PARROT (Amazona ventralis) – We heard these Amazona parrots frequently in the Sierra de Bahoruco, but the scope views of the two perched birds at Zapoten were particularly welcome. This was followed up at Aceitillar by several close flyovers. [E]
HISPANIOLAN PARAKEET (Psittacara chloropterus) – Quite common, especially in the Zona Colonial in Santo Domingo. [E]
Tyrannidae (Tyrant Flycatchers)
GREATER ANTILLEAN ELAENIA (Elaenia fallax) – These drab flycatchers were conspicuously vocal at Zapoten, and we had nice views there along the road.
HISPANIOLAN PEWEE (Contopus hispaniolensis) – The best looks were at fairly low elevation for the species - along the Rabo de Gato trail. Later, we saw two more up at Zapoten. [E]
STOLID FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus stolidus) – These drab Myiarchus flycatchers offered good views at La Placa and Aceitillar - a solid Stolid experience.
GRAY KINGBIRD (Tyrannus dominicensis) – Common and widespread.

The Hispaniolan subspecies of Loggerhead Kingbird is quite uncommon, so the vocal pair at Aguacate really made us happy. Photo by guide Tom Johnson.

LOGGERHEAD KINGBIRD (HISPANIOLAN) (Tyrannus caudifasciatus gabbii) – The pair on the Haitian border at Aguacate below Zapoten was a very pleasant surprise. The Hispaniolan subspecies is quite rare and this was a special treat. We enjoyed these birds for about fifteen minutes before surrendering the mountain to them.
Vireonidae (Vireos, Shrike-Babblers, and Erpornis)
FLAT-BILLED VIREO (Vireo nanus) – After hearing several of these endemic vireos at a distance, we eventually saw one nicely along the road at La Placa. [E]
BLACK-WHISKERED VIREO (Vireo altiloquus) – Common and widespread in several forest types. Great scope views on the first day in the SD Botanical Garden.
Corvidae (Crows, Jays, and Magpies)
PALM CROW (HISPANIOLAN) (Corvus palmarum palmarum) – At least ten were holding court at Aceitillar, and we saw them flying around with nesting material. They put on a real show, calling loudly and posing nicely for us. [E]
WHITE-NECKED CROW (Corvus leucognaphalus) – Two pairs of these red-eyed wonders called frequently and flew around the Rabo de Gato area. Some of us saw a pair go into the thick bustle of a tall palm, leading us to wonder if we'd discovered a nest site. [E]
Hirundinidae (Swallows)
CARIBBEAN MARTIN (Progne dominicensis) – After a frustrating initial glimpse at Rabo de Gato, we found around a dozen flying around over the Zona Colonial in Santo Domingo on our final evening.
GOLDEN SWALLOW (Tachycineta euchrysea) – Quick flyovers at Zapoten, and then amazing close views in the pine forest at Aceitillar. Since the species went extinct on Jamaica (last recorded in 1989), this rare bird is now a Hispaniolan endemic bird.

Hispaniolan Emeralds were amazingly common in the montane forests of Sierra de Bahoruco. Photo by guide Tom Johnson.

CAVE SWALLOW (CARIBBEAN) (Petrochelidon fulva fulva) – The colony of around 65 birds at the Santo Domingo aquarium cliffs swarmed around and over us, allowing careful study and an excellent opportunity to listen to the varied calls of these sweet aerial insectivores.
Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)
RUFOUS-THROATED SOLITAIRE (RUFOUS-THROATED) (Myadestes genibarbis montanus) – The ethereal voice was common at Zapoten, and we managed a few good (but quick) views of this lovely thrush.
BICKNELL'S THRUSH (Catharus bicknelli) – One of the tour highlights was getting a very nice view of this range-restricted winterer from North America. This bird winters primarily in the mountains of Hispaniola, but is remarkably difficult to find here. Ours sat up on an open branch in the dark undergrowth of the misty forest at Cachote, showing off its spotted chest and the rufous tones to its wings and tail.
LA SELLE THRUSH (Turdus swalesi) – Oo la la. This retiring island endemic songbird gave us a tough time at first, but then we found one singing that showed very well at Zapoten. [E]
RED-LEGGED THRUSH (ARDOSIACEUS/ALBIVENTRIS) (Turdus plumbeus ardosiaceus) – Common in most forest types.
Mimidae (Mockingbirds and Thrashers)
NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRD (Mimus polyglottos) – Common and widespread.
Dulidae (Palmchat)
PALMCHAT (Dulus dominicus) – This unique bird, the sole member of a monotypic family, is endemic to Hispaniola, and it is REALLY common. We tallied an even 100 before leaving the SD Botanical Garden on the first day of the tour - aside from Rock Pigeon, it was the most common bird there! [E]
Parulidae (New World Warblers)
OVENBIRD (Seiurus aurocapilla) – A few walked around quietly on the forest floor in Santo Domingo and at Rabo de Gato. Our best views came at the SD Botanical Garden on the first day.
WORM-EATING WARBLER (Helmitheros vermivorum) – One of these stripe-headed, olive warblers was a surprise. We watched it dead-leafing for insects in a large fig tree at Rabo de Gato.
NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH (Parkesia noveboracensis) – A few of these heavily streaked warblers posed for us in lowland, wet sites like the SD Botanical Garden and Cabo Rojo.
BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLER (Mniotilta varia) – A fairly common winterer in multiple forest types.
COMMON YELLOWTHROAT (TRICHAS GROUP) (Geothlypis trichas trichas) – One called at us from the grassy understory of the pine forest at Aceitillar. [*]
AMERICAN REDSTART (Setophaga ruticilla) – Quite common in forest. Seen almost every day.
CAPE MAY WARBLER (Setophaga tigrina) – One showed off nicely in the mists of Cachote.
NORTHERN PARULA (Setophaga americana) – One of these small, short-tailed warblers was at La Placa and another was at the SD Botanical Garden.
YELLOW WARBLER (Setophaga petechia) – Five were very responsive to pishing in the mangroves at Cabo Rojo.
BLACK-THROATED BLUE WARBLER (Setophaga caerulescens) – Common in the moist highland forest of the Sierra de Bahoruco.
PALM WARBLER (Setophaga palmarum) – Two popped up and started calling in open pine forest at Aceitillar.
PINE WARBLER (Setophaga pinus chrysoleuca) – We found the Hispaniolan endemic subspecies chrysoleuca singing in the pine forests of Zapoten and Aceitillar.
YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER (MYRTLE) (Setophaga coronata coronata) – Quite common at Aceitillar, with a flock of at least 25 streaming by along the road.
PRAIRIE WARBLER (Setophaga discolor) – Fairly common - seen at Aguacate (just across into Haiti!), Aceitillar, and Cabo Rojo.

Though most of our views were flybys like this, we did get to watch these beautifully colored parrots in the scope at Zapoten. Photo by guide Tom Johnson.

BLACK-THROATED GREEN WARBLER (Setophaga virens) – One was with other warblers near the picnic pavilion at Aceitillar right where we found one last year.
WHITE-WINGED WARBLER (Xenoligea montana) – An eleventh hour sighting! Just as we were about to leave Zapoten without a solid White-winged Warbler for the whole group, two of them flew into a treetop right in front of us. Though the light wasn't great, there was no denying the ID of these scarce endemic "warblers", actually more closely related (along with Green-tailed Warbler) to the palm-tanagers than anything else. [E]
GREEN-TAILED WARBLER (Microligea palustris) – Fairly common and social in the mountains of the Sierra de Bahoruco. [E]
Thraupidae (Tanagers and Allies)
BANANAQUIT (CARIBBEAN) (Coereba flaveola bananivora) – Abundant.
YELLOW-FACED GRASSQUIT (Tiaris olivaceus) – Surprisingly, we didn't have good views until the final days at Los Limones and then back at the roof deck of the Hotel Palacio in Santo Domingo.
GREATER ANTILLEAN BULLFINCH (Loxigilla violacea) – Repeated great views in several spots in the Sierra de Bahoruco.
BLACK-CROWNED PALM-TANAGER (Phaenicophilus palmarum) – The "cuatro ojos" or "four eyes" was fairly common - we saw it pretty much every day. [E]
WESTERN CHAT-TANAGER (Calyptophilus tertius) – At least ten were vocal at Zapoten. Ee were happy to see just a few of these skulkers really well. [E]

We were entertained by quite a few Hispaniolan Spindalis during our morning quest to Zapoten. The bright males sure are striking! Photo by guide Tom Johnson.

EASTERN CHAT-TANAGER (Calyptophilus frugivorus) – On a misty early morning at Cachote, after a horrendously bumpy drive up the mountain, we scored knockout views of this stunner, one of the most restricted and tricky of Hispaniola's endemic birds. Recent molecular analyses suggest that this and Western Chat-Tanager belong in their own family, Calyptophilidae - another Hispaniolan endemic family! [E]
HISPANIOLAN SPINDALIS (Spindalis dominicensis) – This attractive songbird with the uninspired voice was very common at Zapoten, with around fifteen seen there. A few more were at Aceitillar, too. [E]
Icteridae (Troupials and Allies)
GREATER ANTILLEAN GRACKLE (Quiscalus niger) – Eight were at the Santo Domingo Botanical Garden, and we mostly left them behind in the city.
HISPANIOLAN ORIOLE (Icterus dominicensis) – Our hotel in Barahona came through for us with a pair of these scarce orioles that regularly showed off on the property's fence and in the palms surrounding the pool patio. [E]
Fringillidae (Finches, Euphonias, and Allies)
ANTILLEAN EUPHONIA (Euphonia musica) – On our first walk at Rabo de Gato, a pair of these fine, blue-capped euphonias danced around in the treetops above us, probably focused intently on a clump of mistletoe. We later heard them on a few other occasions in the mountains.
HISPANIOLAN CROSSBILL (Loxia megaplaga) – One flew over calling in the pine forest at Zapoten, and that was IT. Unfortunately, water conditions at Aceitillar were not conducive to crossbill concentrations this year. [E*]

It would be hard to top our close views (perched and in flight) of Golden Swallows in the open pine forest at Aceitillar. Photo by guide Tom Johnson.

ANTILLEAN SISKIN (Spinus dominicensis) – The one that showed for a little while over in the catkins over the trail at Zapoten was our only one. Phew! [E]
Passeridae (Old World Sparrows)
HOUSE SPARROW (Passer domesticus) – Common in towns/ cities. [I]
Ploceidae (Weavers and Allies)
VILLAGE WEAVER (Ploceus cucullatus) – A few folks saw these introduced weavers near the hotel in Barahona. [I]


Totals for the tour: 112 bird taxa and 0 mammal taxa