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Palmchat: Dulidae

Physical Characteristics, Behavior And ReproductionGEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, DIET, PALMCHATS AND PEOPLE, CONSERVATION STATUS

The palmchat is one of only two birds native to the Caribbean (the other is the Jamaican tody). It is native to the West Indian island of Hispaniola, which is split into Haiti and the Dominican Republic, including the Saona and Gonave islands.


Palmchats forage and breed almost exclusively in savannas, flat grasslands, dotted with royal palms and in valleys, and tend to stay at elevations between sea level and 4,900 feet (1,500 meters). It is also happy to live in city parks and other areas heavily trafficked by humans as long as food trees are present.

This species eats mainly fruit, including berries from palm trees and gumbo-limbo trees. They also eat blossoms and buds, particularly of orchid tree blooms, but are not considered harmful to the trees.


These lively birds are a familiar sight in most towns on Hispaniola and its environs, but they do not have any particular significance to humans.

The palmchat is not threatened.


FOR MORE INFORMATION

Books:

Bird, David M. The Bird Almanac: A Guide to the Essential Facts and Figures of the World's Birds. Buffalo, NY: Firefly Books Ltd., 2004.

Gill, Frank B. Ornithology. New York: W. H. Freeman and Company, 1994.

Raffaele, Herbert A. A Guide to the Birds of the West Indies. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1998.

Sibley, David A. The Sibley Guide to Birdlife and Behavior. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2001.

Wauer, Roland H. A Birder's West Indies: An Island-by-Island Tour. Houston, TX: University of Texas Press, 1996.


Web sites:

"Dulus dominicus—Palmchat." InfoNatura. http://www.natureserve.org (accessed on June 21, 2004).

"Dulidae." CREAGRUS@Monterey Bay.http://www.montereybay.com/creagrus (accessed on June 21, 2004).

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceBirds