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Assistant Curator of Ornithology. 

CHARLES B. CORY, Curator of Department. 

March, 1896. 


For the convenience of scientific workers it has been deemed 
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Under instructions to make a collecting trip to San Domingo 
during the winter of 1894-95, I embarked from New York, Decem- 
ber 22, on a Clyde boat for the tedious voyage to Santo Domingo 
City, off which port I arrived January 8, 1895. 

. Steaming slowly into the mouth of the Ozama River we pass 
close under the historic frowning walls of the old fort built to guard 
and protect the "new city" and where in 1500 Columbus and his 
brother Bartholomew ^ere imprisoned. Following the river front 
and joined to the fort is the old wall of the city almost intact. Then 
loom up, desolate and forsaken, the gray walls of the one time palace 
of luxury, the seat of elegance, of oriental ease and refinement, the 
home of Diego Columbus today overgrown with moss and lichens. 
Small trees and shrubs have found a foot-hold in the crevices of roof 
and wall; pigeons find a nesting place and hoards of bats a safe 
retreat from the light of day. 

Custom inspection of my outfit was rather tedious and annoying 
but I was finally safely on the island with my belongings. Prepara- 
tions for the interior journey began. Coffee, sugar, rice and beans 
constituted the bulk of the provisions. Once outside of the city, there 
are no roads and everything must be transported by pack animals or on 
men's backs. I purchased two horses. I secured the services of an 
old negro as guide and servant. On the morning of the igth of Janu- 
ary I was off for the hills. My guide walked behind driving the ani- 
mal loaded with the provisions, cooking utensils, blankets and ham- 
mock. I rode ahead seated between two small trunks containing 
light wooden trays for the bird skins with cotton, skinning tools and 
gun supplies, which were strapped to my own animal. I followed a 
northwesterly direction, on leaving San Domingo, over the hills and 
through the little old historic town of San Carlos, just beyond the 
walls of the capital, and then over a smooth road without hills but 

* I would wish here to express my sincere thanks for many favors received at the hands 
of Archibald H. Grimke, American Consul in San Domingo, a gentleman who holds America and 
Americans' interests paramount, who seems to feel he represents a great nation and a great people 
and sustains the dignity of that people by a manly self-respect and dignity commanding the highest 
esteem from his own countrymen and from those among whom he is thrown. 



that gradually yet steadily carried me to a higher altitude. For seven 
hours under a burning sun along the divide between the rivers Jaina 
and Izabel and in that distance and time not one drop of water is 

All along the road all through this part of the country there is 
a considerable population, yet just where to find a. house one can 
never tell. The road we followed is merely a well-worn path there 
are no carts or wagon roads in San Domingo; all freighting is done 
by pack mules, and here and there you see paths, only a little less 
well worn, leading to this side or that. If one of these paths be fol- 
lowed it will usually be found to terminate at some sort of human 

A good many people were passed along the road but the only 
thing characteristic about those I met was the huge pipe the women 
all carry. It is here the women seem to be the inveterate smokers 
and a pipe is preferred. 

After the first seven hours' ride I crossed a small stream, a tribu- 
tary of the Izabel. After that the country becomes more broken and 
one climbs faster. Up to this point there had been no forest and 
trees were only seen in scattering clusters, far to the right or left in 
direction of either the Jaina or the Izabel. Now the clumps of trees 
marking the water course became more common and soon we entered 
the forest, fringing the foothills of the mountains. 

I made Catare my head-quarters from January 21 to February 6 
and later from March 2 to March 7. It is at an altitude of about 
1,500 feet, just in the foothill of the central mountain range, north- 
west of San Domingo City. 

During the years spent in Central America I constantly wondered 
why any one could ever speak of the birds of the tropics as being 
voiceless or songless ; but my experience at Catare and in San 
Domingo in general gave me abundant solution of the problem, and 
if the popular notion of the songlessness of birds of the tropics comes 
from observations made in the West Indies, I can easily understand 
how well it was founded. At Catare, where I did my first collecting, 
the most striking peculiarity to me about the region was the utter 
silence of the forest. I would walk for hours and scarce hear a bird 
note. Birds were common enough, but in the semi-twilight of the 
forest they flitted noiselessly from branch to branch, restless and 
active, searching for their insect prey; but all the time not a note or 
piping sound broke their silence. In the open savannas and along the 
edges of the forest the mocking birds are almost always singing, but 
the forest itself is silent save on those rare occasions when that 


wood-spirit, the Myiadestes, sets every nerve a-tingling with pleasure, 
but the Myiadestes are rare as their songs. 

It may not be without interest to present a few notes from my 
journal regarding one of my excursions from Catare, which pretty 
well illustrates the difficulties one encounters in traveling through the 

Leaving Catare early in the morning I took my way in the direc- 
tion of Yuna. The road shortly after passing the Jaina River became 
something awful it never could have been very good, but the storm 
of the previous September (1894) blew a great many trees across the 
path, and these had not been cleared away. Frequently I would 
have to assist my guide and the two of us would cut a path with our 
" machetes " for the pack animals. What shiftlessness one sees every- 
where. Wherever the road leads through the forest one wades in 
mud to the knees and in places the poor horses with the packs 
plunged and pitched terribly as they struggled up some bank out of 
the many small streams that we crossed. Yet only a very little 
work would be required to make good roads. 

The road follows up the course of one of the tributaries of the 
Jaina (the Guananito), crossing and recrossing. In the way several 
savannas are crossed bits of grass-grown prairies that would afford 
pasturage for a great many cattle. The timber lands would all prove 
good for farming when cleared. There are many splendid woods, and 
as we climbed higher in the mountains, after leaving the direct course 
of the river, we found that pines multiplied rapidly and formed the 
greater part of the trees of the forest. 

On this excursion I secured the type specimen of Elainea cherriei 
and my first examples of Corvus leucognaphalus, Amazona scilicet, Blaci- 
cus hispaniolensis, Tyrannus dominicensis, Spindalis multicolor and Eue- 
thea lepida. 

February 6, my supplies of all kinds being about exhausted and 
my packing cases for skins full, I began my first return trip to San 
Domingo City. 

After a short rest and a little collecting about San Domingo City, 
I again took the road for the interior, back through Catare, up and 
across the central mountain range and down to the head waters of the 
Vuerto River, a tributary of the Maimon, which latter empties into the 
Yuna. Here at a point called Aguacate I stopped from February 20 
to February 28. It is just at the foot of the mountain divide on the 
northern slope of the range separating the high plains and prairie 
table lands of the interior from the Caribbean slope. 

My guide and servant became now only a burden to me, being so 


sick with fever that he could not walk. I started back toward Santo 
Domingo City, but on the morning of March 2, arriving at Catare, I 
found it would be impossible to continue without giving him a rest. 
On March 7 my packing cases were overflowing with bird skins and 
the guide being a little better I made another start cityward. 

A few days' collecting about San Domingo City, a laying in of 
a fresh supply of provisions and materials, the securing of my third 
guide and servant, and I was once more ready for the road. 

A day's travel westward from the capital through a rather barren 
region, but one pretty well populated, carried me to the busiest, or 
least somnolent, of the inland towns on the Caribbean slope. San 
Cristobal is located on the Nigua River at the foot of Mount Barbacoa 
rather pleasantly situated, comparatively a clean place and a light- 
colored population. 

Excursions were made in various directions about San Cristobal, 
to the summit of Mount Barbacoa about 7,000 feet altitude where 
is to be found the crumbling remains of the walls of an old fort, and 
to the caves in the sides of the mountain called El Calabosa. 

I would scarcely know how to describe these caves. There is no 
grandeur about them and little of beauty. They are only " immense. " 
In going through them, one moment the passage narrows until you 
can barely squeeze through; again one must get down on hands and 
knees and crawl, then farther on the passage may widen into an 
immense vaulted chamber. 

In only one of the many caves or series of chambers entered were 
bats at all common. This chamber called Cuervo de los Murcielagos 
(cave of the bats) was inhabited by thousands upon thousands of 
these symbols of the diabolical. When they were disturbed by our 
entrance, and by my firing several shots, the noise made by the count- 
less wings gave one as a first sensation the peculiar feeling attendant 
on a slight earthquake shock. The floor of this chamber was covered 
with a thick layer of manure. Two species of bats were found inhab- 
iting these caves, and a Roof Rat was shot far from the entrance in 

I spent a night on Mount Barbacoa at the rancho of a "peon" and 
here met with hospitality for the first time in the island. When I 
offered tp pay for my night's lodging I was surprised at being told I 
owed only su buena voluntad de U! (only your good wishes!) 

At this point my guide was taken sick and I was delayed for a 
few days, but securing another man I was again on the road March 

*A list of the mammals collected on the expedition will be published by Prof. D, G, Elliot, of 
the Field Col. Mus, 


28, moving farther westward in the road to Maniel and Loma Tina, 
the latter the highest mountain peak in the West Indies. 

After leaving San Cristobal, the road as far as the crossing of the 
Nisao River and a little beyond, winds through a very pleasant coun- 
try, pretty well populated, splendid land and all fairly well cultivated. 
Then commences a barren stretch of country, with no vegetation 
except scrub timber, and a very scanty population until one reaches 
the little town of Bani. Beyond this point the country becomes even 
more barren and cheerless. The road is hemmed in with giant cacti, 
while other and smaller species are scattered on all sides in greatest 
profusion. The road itself is very stony and rough, but not very 
steep. There is absolutely no water along this road and one travels 
for .near an entire day over a dry, sandy, cacti-covered desert. We 
passed one little village called Calabasa a collection of half a dozen 
houses the occupants of which bring their water for miles. 

At Honduras, where I arrived late one evening, there is water. 
The little creek Arroyo Bahia here shows itself for a short distance 
and is then again lost in the sand of the desert. 

I collected at Honduras from March 29 to April 2. Here I 
secured the two first specimens of Hyetornis fieldi Cory, and later at 
Maniel the type specimen. Also the first examples of Euphonia musica 
I met with were secured here. Five days at Honduras and my record 
for the time was 210 bird skins. 

On the morning of April 3 I started northwestward through the 
hills toward Maniel, far up in the mountains near the head of the 
river Ocoa. It is a very rough road one must come pver, not so 
much for the hills as for the stones and boulders that one must get over 
somehow. For the greater part of the distance the road follows the 
bed of the river, walled in almost as a canon. I crossed the river 
thirty-two times in reaching Maniel. While here I made an effort 
to reach Loma Tina but was unable to find a competent guide, 
and this coupled with the fact that I found all paths up the mountain 
completely blocked caused me to abandon the idea. I remained at 
this point for six days and then having my packing cases full started 
for San Domingo City. My trip to Maniel was the last excursion 
made to any considerable distance from San Domingo City. 

From the localities above referred to, short excursions were made 
into the surrounding country on all sides. But always and every- 
where I went I found travel and moving from one point to another 
exceedingly difficult, attended with much labor and inconvenience. 
Although I was in San Domingo during the "dry season" it was not 


(' dry," and I think it rained on an average of at least every third day 
during my stay. The roads, if cattle paths through the forests over 
the mountains and across the prairies are worthy of the name, were 
uniformly bad. 

Throughout the interior of the island hospitality is an almost un- 
known virtue among the people, and no opportunity to impose upon 
or take advantage of the traveler or foreigner is permitted to pass. 


1. Turdus aliciae, Baird. Single specimens were noted on 
three occasions; twice high up in the mountains above Aguacate on 
the 22d and 25th of February and one at San Domingo City, , on 
the coast, May i. All were males and extremely fat. 

2. Mimocichla ardesiaca (Vieill.*). RUISENOR DE CIERRA ; 
CANELO Found everywhere on the coast and high up in the 
interior. Not at all uncommon, but always and every-where 
found it was very shy and difficult to approach. In freshly killed 
specimens the eye is red-brown, eyelids, bill, feet and legs light 
Indian Red, tip of bill and claws dusky. Thirty-five specimens were 
secured. The song is quite similar to that of Merula migratorius and 
in almost every action recalls to one's mind the American Robin. 

3. Myadestes montanus ? Cory. JILGUERO This species 
is evidently nowhere common, and is only found high up in the 
mountains. It is very shy and retiring in its habits. The natives 
are almost all acquainted with the song; but if my memory serves 
me rightly I did not meet with one who was sure he had ever 
seen the bird. It is held in superstitious fear by many, who believe 
that to see this ''spirit of the wood" were surely the forerunner of 
some great calamity, or death itself. Everyone was much surprised 
that I could shoot the bird, they believing it could not be killed. 
Where or how such strange beliefs could have originated I have no 
idea, because as a singer the Jilguero, to me, stands without an equal. 
Sweeter music I never listened to. It has an indescribable charm 
notes so liquid clear as a bell, and drawn out with such a cadence 
of melody. For a moment the sound seems to come from this way 
and then from that, and ever the singer holds you spell-bound: Do 
you seek the source of that wondrous voice, it ^s all in vain. There 
is only the monotony of green leaves everywhere. There is no other 
sound only the thrilling of every chord of the imagination by notes 
so sweet they hold you enthralled. It is indeed a " spirit " of all 
that is lovable, of all that is good. But I despair of writing any 
description of a song so beautiful, or of the sensations or thoughts it 
inspires. 9 


I have heard the song at early morning, at midday and in the 
evening. At Aguacate where I secured seven of the ten specimens 
collected, the mating season was evidently just beginning. On two 
occasions I had opportunity of watching the birds while busy with 
their love affairs. In every movement and action they brought to 
mind our Bluebird, when in the same happy mood. There was a 
like peculiar raising and flitting of the wings, evidently a joyousness 
of spirit that would not be controlled. 

In a freshly killed bird the eye is dark brown, legs and feet yel- 
lowish, claws dusky, bill black. I found this species only in the 
deep dark forest, never in the open. The food consists of both fruit 
and insects. The latter are often taken on the wing. 

Ten specimens were secured by me, three from Catare and seven 
from Aguacate. In the series there is slight yet quite noticeable 
individual variation in the shade of tawny chestnut on the under tail 
coverts and crissum; and also in the extent of this color over the 
lower parts. In one of the specimens from Catare the color is con- 
fined almost entirely to the under tail coverts, while in another from 
Aguacate the entire crissum is tawny with bits of color extending 
over the breast almost to the chestnut of the throat. In all of the 
speciments there is a faint olive shading in the back in some a few 
olive-tipped feathers. These olive-tipped feathers I am much inclined 
to think are remnants of the first plumage. 

All of my San Domingo specimens differ considerably from the 
type of M. montanus from Hayti, more in fact than they do from the 
Lesser Antillian form M. sanctce-lucia. However the type and only 
example of M. montanus is so badly mutilated that satisfactory com- 
parison with other specimens is impossible, and while the differences 
are apparently of such character as to warrant a separation, making an 
eastern and a western form for the island, the absence of material for 
adequate comparison from Hayti compels me to merely call attention 
to the apparent and most obvious differences. 

M. montanus has no white spot on the chin, and the rictal streak 
is pale reddish-brown. In my specimens from San Domingo the chin 
and the rictal streak are berth white. 

4. Minus dominicus (Lmn.). RUISENOR One hundred and 
five specimens of this mocking bird were collected. It was found at 
almost all points visited, but was most abundant near the coast, and 
apparently has a preference for inhabited neighborhoods. 

Several broods are reared each season, as a"bout San Domingo 
City I secured young birds just from the nest as early as March 18 
and as late as May 2, while on the latter date a female was collected 


while in the act of carrying nesting material, and the condition of the 
abdomen indicated that she had been brooding. In different locali- 
ties the nesting season varies, and I imagine must be in great part 
governed by the food supply which again is controlled by the rains. 
At Honduras, during the last days of March and the first of April, 
nesting had not yet begun. Honduras lying as it does in the sandy 
cacti-covered arid belt probably depends, more than other localities, 
on the rains for the awakening of its insect life. 

Adult birds in life have the eye clay yellow, bill, claws, feet and 
legs black. 

5. Mniotilta varia. (Linn.*) Only nine specimens were secured 
.between the dates of January 22 and April 21. Not at any time 

observed to be common. 

6. Compsothlypis americana (Linn.} Eighteen specimens 
were secured. Noted at all points visited except Maniel, but not 
seen after April 2. 

7. Dendroica tigrina (Gmel.*) Twenty-one specimens. Found 
at all points visited, but none seen after April 6. 

8. Dendroica caerulescens (Gmcl.*) Forty-nine examples 
collected. Found at all points visited and decidedly the most com- 
mon of the North American birds. 

9. Dendroica coronata (Linn.) Not common, and none seen 
after March 27. 

10. Dendroica discolor. (Viei/l.) Noted between the dates 
of February 13 and April 2, but not common at any time. 

11. Dendroica palmarum (Gmel.) Tolerably common 
between the i2th of February and the ist of April. 

12. Seiurus aurocapillus (Linn.) Not uncommon. Found 
at all points visited. 

13. Seiurus noveboracensis (Gmel.) Rare. Seen on two 
occasions only, February 24 and March 16. This is, I believe, the 
first record from San Domingo. 

14. Seiurus motacilla (Vieill.') Rare. Only a single speci- 
men taken January 22. 


15. Geothlypis trichas (Linn.] None were noted during 
January, and the first specimen secured was on February 2. There 
was a steady increase in numbers until the middle of March when 
the species might have been said to be common. There was no 
appreciable diminution in numbers up to the time of my sailing, 
May 8. 

16. Microligia palustris Cory. Rare and apparently not 
found in the interior or on the higher altitudes of the coast district. 
Frequents the dense thickets, preferably about the swamps, and feeds, 
I believe, exclusively on insects, in its search for which the actions 
much resemble those of a Vireo. If the bird has a song I did not 
hear it, and the only voice is a short contented "cheep," as the 
little hunter goes in and out among the leaves. It is not at all shy, 
very readily approached. A breeding female was taken at San 
Domingo City, April 30. Altogether eight specimens were secured, 
five from San Domingo City and three from Honduras. 

17. Setophaga ruticilla (Linn.} Tolerably common, and seen 
at all points visited. 

18. Coereba bananivora (Gmel.} Common, but rather shy 
and not readily approached. Found on the coast and high up in the 
mountains, deep in the forest and on the edges of clearings. Has a 
short little song consisting of some half dozen notes, repeated over 
and over in the same order. 

I found this species nesting at San Domingo City, February 15. 
Both male and female worked at carrying nesting material. 

In the series of forty-four specimens before me all the variations 
in color due to age are well shown. From young birds that are above 
nearly uniform dusky gray-brown, with yellowish superciliary stripe, 
and soiled olive yellowish below with a bit of bright yellow in center 
of breast, we have every intergradation to the fully adult plumage, of 
dull black above, white superciliary, dark slate-gray throat, bright 
yellow center of breast and abdomen and grayish olive sides. 

19. Petrochelidon fulva (Vieill). Quite abundant along 
the coast but not noted in the interior. At San Domingo City 
breeding birds were taken as early as April 24, and during the same 
week nesting seemed to be at its height. The nests were all being 
lined with the soft cottony-like material (called in Spanish America 
"Balsamo"), that grows in catkins and surrounds the minute seeds 
of one of the native trees of the country. The birds were going and 


coming after this material in a continuous stream. Ordinarily a 
mouthful was snatched while on the wing, but sometimes the birds 
would alight and deliberately take all they could conveniently hold in 
the bill and then fly away. The males accompanied the females, but 
beyond this encouragement seemed to give no other aid in the work. 

20. Vireo calidris (Linn.~). JULIAN CHIVI One of the most 
abundant species met with. The song is somewhat like that of the 
Red-eyed Vireo. One hundred and forty-five specimens were secured 
and I believe all are typical calidris. 

21. Dulus dominicus (Linn.]. SIGUA DE PALMA Gregarious 
and abundant at almost all points visited. The nests are tremen- 
dous affairs, invariably (?) placed in the tops of the Royal Palms, 
built of relatively large sticks and twigs. A number of females use 
the same nests, and there are many entrances to the interior. I did 
not have opportunity to examine a nest closely, so do not know the 
internal structure. 

22. Euphonia musica (Gmel.} Rare. Eight specimens were 
taken at Honduras and one at Maniel. Not seen at any other 
points. Although quite conspicuous for its colors I did not meet 
with any of the natives who had ever seen the bird. I did not hear 
the song. 

23. Spindalis multicolor (Vieill.} Rare, and apparently un- 
known to the natives. Taken and observed only at Catare and 
Aguacate. Four adult males, two adult females and four young 
males, in transition plumage from that of the female to that of the 
male, constitute the list of specimens collected. All the specimens 
secured by me were taken in old overgrown clearings where the birds 
were feeding on some sort of a berry that was ripe at the time (Janu- 
ary and February). 

Young males resemble the females, but are slightly grayer above 
and lighter below, with a white chin and throat. In assuming the 
plumage of the adult male the feathers of the crown first begin to 
blacken, the white throat is gradually replaced by orange yellow, 
while brownish-chestnut feathers appear on the gugulum, and the 
dusky or olive grayish feathers, with black shaft streaks, of the breast 
are crowded out by orange yellow ones. White feathers begin to 
appear and form a superciliary streak, and the lores and auriculars 
together with the patch on the side of the throat grows black. In 
none of the four young males before me are the two outer pair of 
rectrices marked with white as in the adult. 


The adult female is dusky olive green above shading into rather 
bright yellowish green on the rump and upper tail coverts this yel- 
lowish green color is not perceptible on the nape as it is in females of 
S. portoricensis. Below ashy, palest on lower breast and abdomen, 
the under tail coverts whitish and all bathed with a yellowish olive 
shading and indistinctly streaked with dusky brown. The outer pair 
of rectrices are edged with white for the terminal third on the inner 
webs, and the second pair are tipped with the same color on the inner 
webs. There is no sign of dull yellow on the breast of my speci- 

Birds freshly killed have the eye dark brown; feet and legs 
dusky plumbeous; claws, maxilla and tip of the mandible, black; base 
of mandible, plumbeous black. 

24. Phoenicophilus palmarum (Linn.}. SIGUA MAIMONERA; 
SIGUA AMARILLA Probably the most abundant species to be met 
with in San Domingo. Two hundred and twenty-one specimens 
were secured with representatives from all the localities visited. 
However, after one ascends pretty well up into the mountains this 
bird becomes comparatively rare. I found this species chiefly in the 
forests where it may be looked for with equal success in the low 
bushes or high up among the tree tops. It feeds both on fruit and 
insects. It has, I believe, no song, but a somewhat Cat-bird-like 
note of alarm. 

Females resemble the males, and young birds are similar to the 
adults, except that the black of the head is replaced by dusky grayish 
or slate color, and the entire head, neck and breast washed with 
olive yellowish. 

A good many breeding birds were taken, but I was not fortunate 
in finding either the nest or eggs, and nothing was learned of the 
breeding habits. 

25. Calyptophilus frugivorus, Cory. Rare, seen only at Agua- 
cate where three specimens were secured, two males and a female. 
It may have been less rare than I suspected, because for some 
time I confounded this with the preceding species. Early every 
morning before it was fairly light I had the habit of going down to 
the river, nearly a quarter of a mile from where I had my camp, and 
I had remarked with some surprise that at this place (Aguacate) 
Phoenicophilus palmarum seemed to have a pleasant early morning 
song. In the gray of the morning I had noted the bird in the bushes 
at the side of the path, but always mistook it for palmarum, until on 
the morning of February 26 something prompted me to commence 


my collecting earlier than usual. The result was that when I picked 
up my specimen I recognized I had Calyptophilus. I had seen and 
heard the bird every morning prior to that time, and three were taken 
on that date, but none were seen afterward. The song from Calypto- 
philus was the first sound to herald the approach of day (the mock- 
ing bird did not begin his song for half or three-quarters of an hour 
later), but once the sun was fairly up that song was hushed until 
another day. 

In none of the three specimens is there any sign of a yellow spot 
in the center or on the sides of the breast. 

26. Pyrrhulagra violacea (Linn.} CHICHIGUA; SIGUA NEGRA; 
SIGUA PRIETA. Tolerably common at San Domingo City, Catare 
and Aguacate, but not noted at the other localities visited. Seventy- 
five specimens were taken, forty-seven of these were males, twenty- 
seven were females and one in which the sex was not determined. 

Referring to the females of this species, Professor Cory remarks 
(Auk, Vol. VIII, 1891, p. 296), that they assume "a black plumage 
similar to the males." And later, Mr. W. E. D. Scott in his 
" Observations on the Birds of Jamaica " (Auk, Vol. X, 1893, p. 180), 
says, "In a large series before me there are many females quite as 
brightly colored as the more intense males, and indistinguishable 
from that sex in its highest plumage by any external features of color 
or appearance." With both of these statements I concur in the main, 
but in my series there are thirty-two males and nine females in the 
black dress. I do not think the brighest colored female compares on 
the back with the least richly glossy back among the males. Neither 
does the chestnut of the throat seem so extended in the females. 
However, these are only very minor differences, and the birds in the 
field are indistinguishable. 

I have ten males and twelve females in mixed plumage, varying 
from birds in an almost completely black dress to others having only 
a few scattering black feathers about the head. There are five males 
and six females not showing any black in plumage. Some of these 
have a russet throat patch pretty well developed. In one of the 
males in mixed plumage, the chestnut feathers of the throat are 
all black tipped. The throat and under tail coverts in both males 
and females in the black dress are a bright chestnut. Birds in mixed 
dress usually have the throat a trifle paler, approaching nearer to a 
russet, but becomes more chestnut and brighter in proportion as the 
black extends through the plumage. The color of both the throat 
(if the patch is yet at all developed) and the under tail coverts in 
specimens without any black in the plumage is pale russet. 


The under tail coverts do not begin to become chestnut until the 
general plumage is black. The russet supra loral streak and under 
tail coverts, apparently are characters from the nestling plumage. 

Two breeding females were taken April 21 and 29; one is in the 
black dress and one in mixed plumage. 

The Chichigua I found shy and retiring in habits, frequenting 
low thick underbrush. Often noted feeding on fruits and again on 
the ground scratching among the dead leaves after insects. 

27. Loximitris dominicensis (Bryant^. Nine specimens of 
this rare bird were secured at Aguacate and Catare. It was not 
noted in other localities. Adult males and females, and immature of 
both sexes, are represented in the nine examples before me. 

The adult female has the head and back dull olive, lightly mot- 
tled with dusky brownish, the rump and upper tail coverts are a little 
brighter olive and without any mottling. The quills are all narrowly 
margined with bright olive yellow. The greater, middle and lesser 
coverts are margined with the dull olive of the back; but the greater 
and middle coverts are also broadly tipped with light olive yellow, 
forming two distinct wing bands. All the rectrices are blackish 
brown, narrowly margined with yellowish on the inner webs. 

Below the throat, upper breast and sides is dusky olive gray, 
belly and crissum whitish, and all mottled with blackish brown shaft 
streakings. Under tail coverts broadly marked with blackish shaft 

Immature males and females are similar to adult females, but 
brighter olive (yellow) above and decidedly yellowish, or yellowish 
olive, in place of grayish or whitish below. 

28. Euetheia lepida (Jacq.}. JUANA MARUCA Tolerably com- 
mon, especially near the coast. Observed at all points visited except 

29. Euetheia bicolor (Linn.}. JUANA MARUCA Common. 
Seen and collected at all the localities that I passed through. 

30. Icterus dominicensis (Linn.}. SIGUA CANARIA Quite 
common, but not found in the forest districts except where there has 
been considerable clearing, and is most abundant in the savannas. 
Males and females are alike in plumage and both sing. One individ- 
ual that I secured, while but slightly wounded, gave a splendid exhi- 
bition of its power of song as a result of, or under the influence of, 


excitement and pain. A native boy I had with me begged to have 
the bird, and for several hours, while he was carrying it in his hand, 
the little creature sang almost continuously.* 

This species is frequently kept as a cage bird. 

In the series of forty-eight skins secured there are twenty-seven 
males and twenty-one females; twenty-eight are in the black plumage 
of the fully adult bird, the remainder are in mixed plumage. 

31. Quiscalus niger (Bodd.}. CHINCHILING Comparatively 
few birds of this species were seen. Only thirteen specimens were 
collected, all coming from three localities, Catare, Aguacate and San 
Domingo City. None were seen at the other localities visited. The 
eye is light straw yellow. 

32. Corvus leucognaphalus Daud. CUERVO The rela- 
tive scarcity or abundance of this species in any locality depends 
chiefly on the season and on the ripening of certain fruits on which 
they feed. Immense flocks are found together. They are very noisy, 
but the call note is very different from anything I have heard before. 
The flesh is good eating, having a' very pleasant flavor, much like 
that of certain species of wild pigeons. 

The eye in some examples I found to be light red brown, and in 
others a bright orange red. 

33. Corvus solitarius Wurt. CAO Seen only at Maniel, 
where great noisy flocks were found together. The cry differs some- 
what from that of the preceding species, and resembles more the 
chattering of some species of parrots. 

34. Elainia cherriei Cory\ Only three specimens of this new 
flycatcher were secured. The type, a male, was taken at Catare 
January 31, and two females, taken higher up in the mountains, at 
Aguacate, on the 22d and 2yth of February respectively. 

The female is exactly similar to the male. 

No individuals were seen except the three that were collected. 

35. Pitangus gabbii Lawr. Only one specimen collected. 
Taken at Honduras, April 2. Not noted at other points. 

Bill, legs and feet black; eye dusky. 

36. Blacicus hispaniolensis (Bryant.'] Pound distributed 
in all the localities visited by me, but far more common high up in 

*Mr. Chapman, in his " Notes on Birds and Mammals, Observed near Trinidad, Cuba," gives a 
similar instance of "song as a result of excitement" in the case of Icterus hypomelas. Bull. 
Am. Mus. Nat. Hist., Vol. IV, No. i, p. 306. 

tAuk, Vol. XII, 1895, p. 279. 


the mountains than down near the coast. Frequents the low scrub 
timber; seldom seen more than fifteen or twenty feet from the ground. 
Sometimes found deep in the dark forest and again in the low trees 
far out on the savannas. 

37. Myiarchus dominicensis Bryant. MANUELITA; CABE- 
SON Tolerably common. Observed in all the localities visited, 
but most common near the coast. Fifty-three specimens were 

38. Tyrannus dominicensis (Gmel.). PE-TIGRE Twenty- 
three specimens were collected. Apparently not common. 

39. Antrostomus carolinensis (Gm.~). QUIERO-BEBER; QUE- 
RE-BE-BE. Only one specimen collected, Catare, February 3, but 
often heard on clear evenings. 

40. Chaetura zonaris (Shaw). One specimen was taken at 
San Domingo City. Great flocks were often observed sailing about, 
especially toward dusk, but ordinarily they were out of range. This 
is, I believe, the first record of a specimen of this species having 
been actually taken in San Domingo. 

41. Lampornis dominicus (Linn.}. ZUMBADOR, DOCTOR BIRD 
Tolerably common at all localities visited. 

42. Mellisuga minima (Linn.}. ZUMBADORCITO Common 
enough but very difficult to collect. In the first place, one is shoot- 
ing at an exeedingly small mark, and next, if your bird does fall, the 
chances are greatly against your finding the little bunch of feathers 
amid the thicket of leaves in the dense undergrowth that everywhere 
covers the ground. Both the male and female "sing," their favorite 
resort for this performance seeming to be the topmost branch of some 
dead leafless tree-top, where, for long intervals, the birds may be 
seen and heard. The head seems to be thrown back and turned from 
side to side, with a rather short, quick jerky movement as the sharp, 
high-pitched "cheep-cheep-cheep" notes are uttered in quick suc- 

43. Sporadinus elegans (Vieill.}. ZUMBADOR This species 
of humming bird was not common, and was only observed in two 
localities, Catare and Aguacate. I collected sixteen specimens. All 
were taken in the darkest parts of the forest, low down, from six to 
ten feet from the ground. The two foregoing species seem to like 


bright sunshine and high up at the edges of clearings or in the open. 
But the present species was not once seen beyond the confines of 
the endless shade of the thick forest. 

44. Temnotrogon roseigaster (Vietll.). CALANDRE I only 
found the San Domingo Trogon in one locality, Aguacate. These 
eight specimens were collected high up in the mountains; all are adult. 

45. Crotophaga ani Linn. JUDIO Common. 

46. Saurothera dominicensis Lafr. BOBO. One of the 
most abundant and conspicuous of the birds of San Domingo, found 
everywhere from the coast to the tops of the mountains, and appar- 
ently as common in one locality as in another. Eighty specimens 
were collected, with examples from all the points visited. 

47. Coccyzus americanus (Linn.) This is, I believe, the 
first record of the finding of the yellow-billed Cuckoo in San Domingo. 
It is probably not a permanent resident, as no individuals were seen or 
heard until the first of May, when it suddenly became common at 
Santo Domingo City. Here, in three days, the 2d, 3d and 4th of May, 
I collected ten specimens, five males and five females. While I can 
not consider the bird a resident, it is somewhat curious that in all of 
the females collected the ovaries were considerably enlarged and the 
oviduct more or less swollen, while in one example I took an egg 
from the oviduct that would have been deposited in one or two days! 
Evidently C. americanus breeds in San Domingo, but do birds that 
breed here ever come as far north as the United States? 

48. Coccyzus minor (Gmel.). MONTERO This bird is only 
tolerably common in the coast district, while back in the interior I 
did not meet with it above an altitude of between six and eight hun- 
dred feet. 

49. Hyetornis fieldi* Cory. Five specimens of this handsome 
new cuckoo were collected; two came from Honduras and three 
from Maniel. It was not observed in any other locality. I was unable 
to make any notes in regard to the habits of the new bird, owing to 
the fact that on the three occasions on which individuals were seen, 
and when the five examples were secured, I was kept out of breath 
tearing through the underbrush trying to keep my bird in sight. But 
in manner of flight and in the peculiar way of running along the limbs 
of the trees, where it alights, one is impressed with the similarity to 

* Hyetornis fieldi sp. nov. Cory, Auk., Vol. XII, 1895, p. 278. 



Piaya cayana mehleri of Central America, where the latter bird is 
known as Pajaro Ardilla (squirrel bird). From my note book, under 
date of March 29, being the first morning I had met with H. fieldi, I 
take the following observation: The notes or call is very different 
from that of any of the cuckoos with which I am familiar, and I can 
only liken it to the croaking of some hoarse frog. 

In fresh specimens the maxilla and point of the mandible is 
black; eye dusky; feet, legs and basal part of mandible plumbeous. 

The females seem to average a little larger than the males as 
indicated by the measurements of the five specimens given here- 

Field Museum 


Catalogue No. 









Maniel, S. D. 







Honduras, S. D. 







Maniel, S. D. 







Maniel, S. D. 


6.2 5 





Honduras, S. D. 


6.2 5 



All the species of cuckoos found in San Domingo are esteemed a 
table delicacy by the natives, and for the sick the flesh of the " Bobo " 
or " Mantero " is a sure cure. 

50. Ceryle alcyon (Linn.) The Belted Kingfisher was fre- 
quently seen along the water courses near the coast. 

51. Todus angustirostris Lafr. PAJARO VERDE. Quite abun- 
dant, especially at points visited in the interior. 

52. Todus subulatus Gould. PAJARO VERDE This, the 
larger of the two forms of Todies in San Domingo, is even more 
abundant than the preceding species, and is more evenly distributed, 
apparently being equally common both on the coast and in the 

With both species the food appears to consist exclusively of in- 
sects. The prey is usually, if not always, taken an the wing, after 
the manner of a true flycatcher. Large insects are held in the bill, 
and their little captor hammers its victims on the branch chosen for 
a resting place until the legs are broken off and the hard parts of the 
body are so broken up as to not interfere with swallowing. 

53. Nesoctites micromegas (Sundev.). CARPINTERO Twenty- 
five specimens of this little woodpecker were taken, but it is 
far from being a common species. It was only observed at San 



Domingo City, Catare and Aguacate. While not particularly watch- 
ful and shy the inconspicuous colors and somewhat modest and retir- 
ing habits and notes rarely heard render this one of the least noticeable 
of San Domingo's woodland birds. In actions this species is often 
very like some of the warblers, being also of about the same size. It 
hops along the limbs and explores nooks and crevices between the 
branches seemingly to prefer being right side up, yet when occasion 
requires it will be seen diligently working away on the underside of 
some limb. Sometimes this little "carpenter" would be seen at the 
very tops of the forest trees, where I could only identify my bird by 
the use of my field glasses, and again I would find him hopping about 
in the brushwood a few inches from the ground. 

In freshly killed specimens the eye is sometimes carmine, some- 
times reddish brown; the feet and legs are olive plumbeous; bill dusky 
with the lower mandible plumbeous at the base. 

54. Chloronerpes striatus (Mull.]. CARPINTERO One of the 
most abundant birds in San Domingo, equally distributed both in 
the mountainous and coast districts. This species was the subject of 
many complaints from the natives, from the country people, all de- 
claring that it was impossible to have oranges and " carpinteros " at 
the same time. As soon as the oranges show the least sign of ripen- 
ing they are immediately attacked by the woodpeckers, and in a very 
short time there is nothing remains but a shrivelling, "bloodless" 
orange peel. This woodpecker is also very destructive to the Royal 
Palm a fact adding greatly to his already bad name filling the 
green growing trunk so full of holes as finally to cause its death. 
This bird seems to make its nest by preference in the stems of the 
Royal Palm, and, in fact, I do not now remember having seen a wood- 
pecker hole in any other species of tree while in San Domingo. But 
in addition to nesting in the Royal Palm, a great many holes are 
drilled apparently without any view toward housekeeping, or cer- 
tainly with no other object than filling the pantry. C. striatus is a 
sap sucker and taps the Royal Palm for his beverage. 

The eye in life is orange yellow. 

55. Conurus chloropterus (Souance}. PERIQUITO While 
from the accounts of the natives the San Domingo Paroquet must at 
some seasons be very abundant, yet I saw very few, and only four 
specimens were taken. It is gregarious and its presence or absence 
at any particular time or place depends probably on the food sup- 
ply, which is again controlled by the seasons which vary much in dif- 
ferent parts of the island. 


56. Amazona sallaei (Sc/.). COTORRO The presence or ab- 
sence of this species, as with the preceding, in particular locality or 
time must depend chiefly, if not wholly, on seasonal changes as influenc- 
ing the food supply. It is gregarious and very noisy, but at the same 
time very watchful and only approached with difficulty and extreme 
caution. I saw several flocks that must have contained at least 500 
individuals each. 

This species is quite a good deal sought after by the natives for 

57. Speotyto cunicularia dominicensis Cory. Tu-cu. Only 
a single specimen of Burrowing Owl was secured. This was 
taken in the barren, cacti-covered region aj^out Honduras. The in- 
habitants informed me it was quite common, but I did not again meet 
with the species. 

58. Rupornis ridgwayi Cory. GUARAGUAO Although no 
examples were secured I frequently saw this hawk sailing about 
over the tree tops or perched on some inaccessible crag or dead 
branch in the mountains or along the streams. 

If the stories of the natives are to be relied upon this species is a 
great chicken thief. 

59. Accipiter fringilloides Vig. GUARAGUAO DE CIERRO; 
SAN NICOLA; HARPON Among the natives I found as many names for 
this handsome little hawk as I secured specimens. I learned nothing 
regarding the habits save from the stomach contents of my three 
specimens, which indicated a somewhat varied taste, parts of large 
insects, small lizard's and bird's feet and feathers being mixed to- 

My three skins include an adult male and female and a young 

The bird described and figured by Professor Cory in his "Birds 
of Hayti and San Domingo" and again described in the "Birds of the 
West Indies," is a young female. The adult female is quite different 
and as I believe no detailed description of the adult of this species 
has appeared, at least not in English since that made by Mr. Law- 
rence in May, 1860 (Annals of the New York Lyceum of Natural His- 
tory) it may not be out of place to here append the descriptions of my 

Adult female, No. 1843, Field Columbian Museum. Honduras, 
San Domingo, W. I., April 2, 1895: Above bluish slate color, slightly 
darker on the head. Concealed bases of feathers of the back not 


marked with white. Tail brownish plumbeous crossed by four, not 
very clearly denned, dusky bands (five showing on the outermost pair 
of rectrices) and narrowly tipped with white. The primaries and 
greater wing coverts are dusky brownish with a shading of slate or 
plumbeous. The sides of the head (below the eye) and neck are 
light chestnut brown without markings. Chin and throat whitish, 
with a very light shading of brownish chestnut, and the shafts of the 
feathers dusky brownish or blackish. The remaining lower parts are 
white transversely marked with narrow wood brown bands on the 
breast, belly, sides of body and tibias; thickest and most sharply de- 
fined on the upper breast, becoming farther apart and less distinct 
posteriorly, finally disappearing on the crissum and under tail coverts, 
which are immaculate. The under surface of the wing is white barred 
with dusky brown. In the fresh bird the bill is dusky at tip and 
plumbeous at the base; cere, legs and feet olive green; eye lemon yel- 
low; claws black. 

Wing, 7.10; tail, 6.50; tarsus, 2.00. 

Adult male. No. 1842, Field Columbian Museum. Honduras, 
San Domingo, W. I., April 2, 1895. Similar to the female, but col- 
ors brighter, and the transverse banding below is in rather bright 
chestnut instead of wood brown. The male is considerably smaller, 
as shown by the following measurements: 

Wing, 6.12; tail, 5.40; tarsus, j.8o. 

Young male. No. 1841, Field Columbian Museum. Catare, San 
Domingo, W. I., Feb. 6, 1895. Above, dusky brownish, the feathers 
tipped and edged with russet. Feathers of the hind neck marked 
with white basally; feathers of the back without concealed white mark- 
ings. Sides of face and neck buffy brownish streaked with dusky 
brownish or blackish shaft lines. Chin and upper throat whitish with 
a slightly buffy shading marked with dusky brownish shaft lines. 
Remaining lower parts white marked with irregular longitudinal shaft 
streaks of a dark wood brown color, and that becoming narrower 
and finally obsolete along the sides and lower breast. The crissum 
and under tail coverts are pure white. The tibias are transversely 
barred with dusky brownish. 

Wing, 5.85; tail, 5.25; tarsus, 1.80. 

60. Falco dominicensis Gmel. Individuals probably belong- 
ing to this species were frequently seen while riding over the savan- 
nas, but none were collected. 

61. Columba leucocephala Linn. Immense numbers of the 
White-headed Pigeon were being brought into the markets of San 
Domingo City during the first week of May. 


62. Columba corensis Gmel. This species is most abun- 
dant in the mountainous districts, rarely, if ever, descending to the 
coast. It is the largest of the pigeons found on the island, and is 
much sought after for food; but from being constantly hunted it has 
become very shy and difficult to approach. 

In life the eyelids and eye are yellowish orange red; base of bill, 
feet and legs maroon. 

63. Zenaidura macroura (Linn.}. PALOMA COLITA The Mourn- 
ing Dove was not at all uncommon in the vicinity of San Cristobal, 
Honduras and Maniel. 

64. Zenaida zenaida (Bonap.). ROLON This handsome species 
is resident and quite common in San Domingo in the coast districts, 
but I believe is never found in the high interior. 

65. Melopelia leucoptera(Z//z.) I secured a single speci- 
men of the White-winged Dove high up in the mountains at the top 
of Mount "La Laguneta. " Several others were seen in the same 

66. Columbigallina passerina (Linn.) Quite common, espe- 
cially near the coast. 

67. Geotrygon montana (Linn.) Tolerably common, but I 
never met with "flocks," as is indicated by Professor Cory, in "Birds 
of Hayti and San Domingo," p. 132. Very rarely did I find more 
than two together, and ordinarily individuals were found singly. 
It is more abundant in the higher altitudes and rarely met with near 
the coast. 

68. Geotrygon martinica (Gmel.) I saw a single example 
of this beautiful dove that had been killed by a native at Aguacate. 
However, as the bird did not come under my observation until after 
a good share of the feathers had been removed, I did not secure a 

69. Colinus cubanensis (Gundl.) The Cuban Quail was 
introduced into San Domingo by an American sugar planter by the 
name of Bass, about six years ago. It has increased very rapidly, 
and now for a good many miles around San Domingo City flocks of 
from ten to twenty-five are frequently met with. 

Unfortunately, the mongoose has been imported from Jamaica 
and it is probable that in a short time the quail will succumb to this 


70. QEdicnemus dominicensis Cory. BOUKARA Frequently 
met with in the houses of the natives, where they are kept to destroy 
the scorpions, centipedes, cockroaches, etc. 

71. /Egialitis vocifera (Linn.) During my stay in San 
Domingo I found the Killdee fairly common along the water courses 
near the coast, and indeed it is probably a resident breeding bird. 
The ovaries and oviducts of specimens taken during March indicated 
that the birds were breeding and I took a nearly fully developed egg 
from the oviduct of one killed March 24. 

72. Totanus solitarius (Wils.) Met with on two occasions 
only, March 16 and April 27, near San Domingo City along the 
Ozama River. 

73. Actitis macularia (Linn.) Noted at all the points vis- 
ited, but not common. 

74. Ardea herodias Linn. Individuals were frequently noted 
along the shores of the Ozama River, near San Domingo City, but 
none were collected. 

75. Ardea cserulea Linn. Only one specimen was collected, 
but it is not uncommon along many of the water courses, especially 
near the coast. 

76. Ardea virescens Linn. MARTINETE. Quite common in all 
suitable localities. 

77. Nycticorax violacens (Linn.) Seen on several occasions 
near San Domingo City on the Ozama River. 

78. Jacana spinosa (Linn.) Quite common along the Ozama 
River. Young downy birds were found with the parents April 26. 

In freshly killed birds the shield, spurs and bill are orange yellow; 
base of maxilla blue gray; eye dusky; feet and legs dusky olive. 

79. Fulica americana Gmel. Frequently seen near the river 
banks and along the lagoons. 

80. Dendrocygna arborea (Linn.). YAGUASA This is a resi- 
dent species and not uncommon in some localities. 


81. Pelecanus fuscus Linn. Quite a good many were seen 
in the bay of Samana, but not noted at any other point along the 

82. Phaethon flavirostris Brandt. Frequently seen along 
the coast. It is resident. April 19 two young birds and an adult 
female were brought to me at San Domingo City. 

83. Podilymbus podiceps (Linn.} One specimen was taken 
on the Ozama River, near San Domingo City, April 26, and quite 
a number were seen. This is, I believe, the first record of this species 
having been taken in San Domingo or Hayti.