This post is also available in: Spanish
In our most recent edition of TODO Casa de Campo (magazine guide for the Casa de Campo resort), we brought you an “Everyday guide to bird-spotting in Casa”, a simple guide to enjoying the many different species found across the resort. In this series of posts “Birds of Casa de Campo” we’ll be bringing you more in-depth insights into all these incredible creatures.
Birds of Hispaniola
The island of Hispaniola, shared with Haiti, has more than 300 different bird species, of which 32 are endemic, meaning that in the entire world, this is the only place they can be found.
So lift your eyes to the sky, and let’s take a bird tour of Casa!
The Hispaniolan Woodpeckers (piculets, wrynecks, sapsuckers)
Although notorious for their uniquely irritating tapping noise, if you actually look at them, the Hispaniolan Woodpecker is undeniably one of the most beautiful endemic species.
Found throughout Casa de Campo, most often pecking the wooden homes, all across the resort, they can also be found in great numbers in Altos de Chavon. On the bank outside the La Piazzetta restaurant, near to the “Titanic” lookout point, there is a tree referred to as the tourist tree, so called for it’s red peeling bark – just like the skin of sun burnt tourists. This tree is home to a large group of Hispaniolan Woodpeckers, who can be spotted there all day, eating the tree’s fruit. A very popular tree, it is also bustling with dozens of other birds – the Cigua Palmera, national bird of the Dominican Republic, the Gray Kingbird, the Northern Mockingbird, the Black-crowned Palm-Tanager and the Smooth-billed Ani, among others.
The Hispaniolan Woodpeckers often like to best inside palmtrees, as their bark is soft – perfect for pecking away to create a hole inside. One nest can be seen on the palm – maybe chosen for the great view of the Chavón river.
- Are indigenous to the island of Hispaniola – meaning they are not found anywhere else in the entire world.
- They belong to the Picidae family of birds. (Members of this family are found worldwide, except for Australia, New Guinea, New Zealand, Madagascar, and the extreme polar regions).
- They live in forests or woodland habitats.
- Range from 22-25 cm in length and weigh approximately 65g.
- They have greenish yellow and black stripes on their backs, while their belly is yellowish brown. Their forehead and face are grayish, with a red patch on their neck and in part of the tail.
- It feeds in abundance on a gumbo – limbo (almacigo) tree.
- It reproduces between March and July
- It nests in holes created by both sexes in palm trees, cactus and telephone poles.
- It lays 3 to 6 eggs.
This is the third article of our series “Birds of Casa de Campo”, in future articles you can look forward to reading about: American Kestrel, Village Weaver and much more.