Birds in the DR

mountainannie

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Hummingbirds made a big splash in the NYTimes this week https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/05/science/hummingbirds-science-take.html

There is one hummingbird that is endemic to Hispaniola (as in found no where else on earth)

I had a hummingbird feeder on my balcony in SD and absolutely delighted in having hummingbirds around all day every day. I had to send to the US for the feeder as they are specially designed for the hummingbirds and I did not see any for sale in the DR. ( I bought the $6 one -https://www.google.com/search?q=hummingbird+feeder&client=safari&rls=en&source=univ&tbm=shop&tbo=u&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjl-PHktLHgAhULKK0KHUlMDUQQsxgILQ&biw=1264&bih=767 )

Note however that the DR hummingbirds are not only heavy drinkers but they like their sugar water STRONG! I followed the directions on the feeder box for the mixture and had it up for a week with no takers. Then I replaced the sugar water with a mixture of azucar crema and local honey at about 2x the recommended "dose" and was rewarded with visitors all through the day - every day.



There is one person who leads "birding tours"-- Kate Wallace - who came to the DR as a peace corps worker http://www.todytours.com


As she states - there are 32 species which are found only in the Dominican Republic

It amazed me that there were parrots in the high trees across from my place in Gazcue!!

amazing...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_birds_of_the_Dominican_Republic
 

AlterEgo

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Thanks for the honey/sugar tip. We have hummingbirds all over our property, so I brought down a proper hummingbird feeder. It hangs there, looking pretty, but I’ve never seen a bird go near it.

The funny thing is that they come into our outside back room all the time, usually headed for the wind chimes that they think are flowers I believe.
 

Cdn_Gringo

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We used to feed the hummers but it's a lot of work. Sugar and water doesn't last long before the mold appears. When you change the nectar, you should wash and sterilize the feeder at the same time.

Boiling the water before adding the sugar helps a bit but it still doesn't last very long. Depending on how your feeder works, it may be able to function with lessor amounts of liquid which you can change often with less hassle by keeping a jug of the stuff premade in the fridge. I found that icing sugar worked best.

Yeah it seems to take a lot of sugar to entice the birds but when they do find your feeder then it's up to you to make sure there is a meal everyday when they arrive or they'll go away again. They don't have time nor the calorie reserves to keep checking to see if you are on the ball that day.
 

bob saunders

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We have numerous flowering plants at the school, as well as at home. The hummingbirds are there quite a bit, with some nesting in the smaller palms and even below some of the plant hangers. I love watching them. From my observation they usually have two babies at a time.
 

mountainannie

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Many sources say don't put honey in hummingbird feeders.....

http://www.hummingbirds.net/feeders.html

Scroll down to the "Filling the Feeder" section if you don't want to read the whole article.

:classic: mob

I only put the honey in a few times in the beginning - it proved to be way to expensive to keep doing it.

I do think that the birds were more attracted to a darker liquid. Once they had found the feeder, they would drain it within a couple of days.

I did notice that the sugar water went sour quickly but - as I lived right in the heart of the City - they may not have had so many flowers available - I think that they actually quite liked the "fermented" sugar.

I used to joke that I was running a Hummingbird Bar.
 

mountainannie

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We used to feed the hummers but it's a lot of work. Sugar and water doesn't last long before the mold appears. When you change the nectar, you should wash and sterilize the feeder at the same time.

Boiling the water before adding the sugar helps a bit but it still doesn't last very long. Depending on how your feeder works, it may be able to function with lessor amounts of liquid which you can change often with less hassle by keeping a jug of the stuff premade in the fridge. I found that icing sugar worked best.

Yeah it seems to take a lot of sugar to entice the birds but when they do find your feeder then it's up to you to make sure there is a meal everyday when they arrive or they'll go away again. They don't have time nor the calorie reserves to keep checking to see if you are on the ball that day.

wow - you really went to a lot of trouble with your babies. I did wash the feeder every once in a while - and would scrub the city soot off it..

Icing sugar? Must be pretty expensive down there.. I always used the azucar crema since it was the cheapest and they seemed to like it.

I have no idea why I am including this video - except that it came so strongly to mind when reading this thread...

think of it as the Dominican Hummingbird message..

[video=youtube;aLnZ1NQm2uk]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aLnZ1NQm2uk[/video]
 

dv8

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we get plenty of them in the garden, they like banana/rulo/plantain flowers as well as chinola. they seem to pretty good at avoiding cats and even build nests in our lime trees although we do get an occasional dismembered corpse laid out on our flipflops. cute little fellows.
 
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Looking at the Wikipedia list of birds of the DR, I see Wood Duck in the list. Where do you see these ducks? They're quite a model for photographs https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wood_duck


BTW I've been feeding hummingbirds in Cabarete for several years now. Boiled water, 1 of white sugar for 3 of water. Works great for the hummingbirds as well as the bananaquit. I just make a big jug of it and put it in the fridge. Then wash the feeder very well to remove mold before refilling it.
 

mountainannie

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For those interested in birds (of the feathered variety) Kate Wallace is the expert. American I think, and a lovely lady. http://www.todytours.com/

Matilda

Yes - Kate is American. She also leads weekly early AM walks in SD at the Botanical Gardens - for no charge, I think..

I simply do not get up early enough in the AM to be a serious birder - prefer to have them come to me around cocktail hour.
 

mountainannie

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Looking at the Wikipedia list of birds of the DR, I see Wood Duck in the list. Where do you see these ducks? They're quite a model for photographs https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wood_duck


BTW I've been feeding hummingbirds in Cabarete for several years now. Boiled water, 1 of white sugar for 3 of water. Works great for the hummingbirds as well as the bananaquit. I just make a big jug of it and put it in the fridge. Then wash the feeder very well to remove mold before refilling it.

Kate Wallace at Tody Tours specializes in the 32 endemic birds found only on Hispaniola.. You could probably give her a call, though, to ask her about the wood ducks.

Here is her list on the endemics:

http://www.todytours.com/endemics_list.html