Birds in their day

Lizardo Jorge Velez

Birds are living vertebrate species, characterized by being homeotermas, ie they keep or retain their own temperature independently of the ambient temperature, whose mouth is a toothless beak, feathered body, two wings and two legs.

It is not known exactly how many species of birds on the planet. However, so far there are between 9.700 to 10.000 species identified globally, but still needs to BE discovered .html.

They reproduce by eggs, parents feed their chicks, most fly, they are dispersed throughout the world, they assume very varied colors and emit different sounds.

The World Conservation Union has assessed that about 1,313 species are endangered, 880 are also “Threatened” and Forty-Two have gone extinct, which means that 2,193 bird species require urgent conservation attention.

South America, has some 3,200 species of the world’s population of birds known and of that amount, the most populous countries are Colombia, Peru, Brazil, Bolivia, Ecuador and the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela which has some 1,408 species, so this is a country with the most populous bird species. Other countries with large populations are Indonesia, China and the Republic of Congo.

In the broad spectrum of birds some can be highlighted: a) .- world’s smallest bird: zunzuncito (bee hummingbird), endemic to the Republic of Cuba. b) the worlds largest that cannot fly: North African Ostrich (Struthio Camelus), c) world’s largest, than can fly: Andean Condor (Vultur Gryphus) d) world’s fastest bird: Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus).

Birds are paramount. Many feed on seeds, insects, fruits and vegetables, making reforestation par excellence, are pollinating, controlling pests, literary, educational, and cultural inspiration, research, art, recreational activities, are used as sports, political and religious symbols, beautifying the landscape and are important sources for human and other species consumption.

In 1922, Gilbert Pearson y Jean Theodore Delacour, founded the Gilbert Pearson y Jean Theodore Delacour. Esta organización estuvo inactiva, hasta 1983. En 1993, apareció con el nombre de Bird-Life Internacional. Esta organización internacional se dedicada a la protección,  conservación y el estudio de hábitats de las aves.
En la República Dominicana, existen unas 300 especies de aves conocidas, es decir aproximadamente el 3.1% de las especies conocidas a nivel global. De esas 300, aproximadamente  27 son endémicas. Estas especies se han ubicado en diferentes parques Nacionales a saber:
1.- Parque Nacional Jaragua: Flamencos (Phoenicopterus ruber), spoonbill (Platalea Ajaja), Coco Blanco (Eudocimus Albus), Blue Heron (Egreta Caerulea), Paloma Coronita (Patagioenas Leucocephala), Seagull (Sterna Fuscata), Kingfisher (Ceryle Alcyon), Guincho (Pandion Haliaetus) and King congo (Nycticorax), etc.
2.- Parque Nacional Montecristi: Earwig(Fregata Magnificens), Alcatraz or Pelicano (Pelicanus Occidentalis), Crow (Corvus (Leocognophalus), Grey Heron (Egretta Alba), Bubi ((Sula Leucogster), gull (Larus Argentatus), Canario mangroves (Dendroica Petechia Albicollis), Cucu (Athene Cunicularia), etc.
3.- Parque Nacional José Armando Bermúdez: Crow, Papagayo, Goldfinch, Turkish Dove, Vencejo, Cotorra, Nightingale, Madam Saga, Woodpecker, parakeets, canaries, La Cigua Palmera (Ave Nacional) Partridges, Gavilanes, guaraguaos and Tórtolas, etc.
4.- Parque Nacional Aniana Vargas: Pájaro Bobo, (Coccyzus Longirostris), Four Eye (Phaeenicophilus Palmarum), Cigua Palmera (Dulus Dominicus), Common Cigua (Coereba Flaveola), Zumbador Grande (Anthracothorax Dominicus), Zumbadorcito (Mellisuga), Carpenter (Melanerpes Striatus), nightingale (Mimus Polyglottos), Barrancoli (Todus Subulatus), Petigre (Tyrannus Dominicensis), Manuelito (Myiarchus Stolidus) y Cuyaya (Falco Sparverius), etc.
5.- Sierra Martín García: The Parrot (Amazona Ventralis) Ciguita Aliblanca (Xenoligea Montana), Chirri de la Cordillera Central (Calyptophilus Frugivorus), tórico (Siphonorhis Brewsteri), Papagayo (Priotelus Roseigaster), Cao (Corvus Palmarum), Zorzal de Bicknell (Catharus Bicknelli), Tortola Aliblanca (Zenaida Asiatica), Lechuza Cara Ceniza ((Tyto Glaucops), Zumbador Grande (anthracothorax dominicus), Zumbador Esmeralda (Chlorostibon Swainsonii), Zumbadorcito (Mellisga Minima), Chicui (Todus Angustirostris), Barancoli (Todus Subulatus), Carpintero de la Sierra (Nesoctites Micromegas), Maroita Canosa (Elaenia Fallax), etc.
6.- Parque  Nacional Isla Cabritos: Garza and Flamenco, among others.
7.- Parque Nacional Los Haitises: Pelicano o alcatraz (Pelecanus Ocidentalis),  Tjereta (Fregata Mgnificens),  Parrot (Amazona Vntralis), Owl (Tyto Aba) y Orejita Owl (Asio Sygius), etc.
8.- Parque Nacional Laguna de Cabral: The Flamingo (Phoenicopterus Ruber), Spoonbill (Platalea Ajaja), Pato Criollo (Oxiyura Dominicus), Cockerel Prieto (Loxigilla Violacea), Heron Pechiblanco (Egretta Tricolor), etc.
9.- Parque Nacional Jose del Carmen Ramírez: Cotorra (Myiopsitta Monachus), Canary (Cuculus Canorus), Guaraguao (Buteo Platypterus Brunnescens), Partridge (Alectoris Rufa), Crow (Sarcoramphus Papa), Vencejo (Apus Apus), Woodpecker (Campephilus Principalis), nightingale (Thryothorus Supeciliaris), Tortola (Columbina Talpacoti).
10.- Parque Nacional del Este: Paloma Coronita (Columba leucocephala), Tijeretas o Fragatas (Fregata Magnificens). Parrot (Amazona Ventralis), Bubíes (Sula Sula), gull (Larus Argentatus), y Peregrine Falcon (Falco Peregrinis), etc.
11.- Parque Nacional Sierra de Bahoruco:
Crow (Corvus Leucognaphalus), Zorzal de La Selle (Turdus Swalesi), Chirrí de los Bahorucos (Calyptophilus Frugivorus), Cigüita Aliblanca (Xenoligea Montana), Canario (Carduelis Dominicensis), Pico Cruzado (Loxia Leucoptera), Zorzal de Bicknell (Catharus bicknelli), la Cua (Hyertornis Rufigularis), la Cigua Aliblanca (Xenoligea montana), el Papagayo (Priotelus Roseigaster) and Parrot (Amazona Ventralis).
In the Espaniola Island there are 31 endemic bird species, of which 30 can be observed in the Dominican Republic. The list is as follows: Gavilán de la Hispaniola (Bulteo ridgwayi), Perdíz Caquito Blanco (Geotrygon leucometopia), Perico (Aratinga chloroptera), Pájaro Bobo (Saurothera longirostis), Cotorra (Amazona ventralis), Cúa (Hyetornis rufigularis), Lechuza Cara Ceniza (Tyto glaucops), Torico (Siphonorhis brewsteri)
Pitanguá (Caprimulgus eckmani), Zumbador Esmeralda, (Chlorostilbon swainsonii), Papagayo (Priotelus roseigster), Barrancolí (Todus Subulatus),Chi-Cuí (Todus Angustirostris)
Carpintero de Sierra (Nesoctites Micromegas), Carpintero (Melanerpes Striatus), Maroíta (Contopus Hispaniolensis) Ciguita Juliana (Vireo Nanus), Cao (Corvus palmarum), Cuervo (Corvus Leocognaphalus), Zorzal de la Selle (Turdus Swalesi), Cigua Palmera (Dulus Dominicus), Ciguita Cola Verde (Microligea Palustris), Ciguita Aliblanca (Xenoligea Montana), Cuatro Ojos (Phaenicophilus Palmarum), Chirrí de Bahoruco (Calyptophilus Tertius), Chirrí de Cordillera Central, (Calyptophilus Frugivorus), Cigua Canaria (Lcterus Dominnicensis), Cigua Amarilla (Spindalis Dominicensis), Pico Cruzado (Loxia megaplaga) y Canario (Carduelis Dominnicensis).

In the Dominican Republic, there is Cigua Palmera, whose scientific name is palmchat, which by Decree 31-84 of January 14, 1987, was declared a National bird. This species was discovered by naturalist Carlos Linacus in 1766. It belongs to the small group of birds, which are constituted by a single species, or the monospecific Dulidae family, Greek word meaning “slave”, which made it necessary to create a family and gender (Dulus) for them. No are no more than ten single species families in the world and the Cigua Palmera is the only endemic, giving the Dominican Republic that privilege.

In recent years in the Dominican Republic, at least three political parties have adopted Birds in their political symbols, namely: a.- Social Christian Reformist Party (PRSC), a Rooster; b.- The National Unity Party (PUN), a Dove and the Green Socialist Party (pásové) a Parrot.

But it is interesting that several countries have Birds in their national flags and shields.

These countries can be noted: The Republic of Germany has a Real Eagle, the Republics of Albania, Serbia and Montenegro have an Bicephalic Eagle, the Republic of Kiribati has a Minor Frigatebird, the Republic of Kazakhstan has an Steppe Eagle, the Republics of Poland, Mexico, Egypt, Serbia, Nigeria and Zambia have an Eagle, the Republic of Ecuador has a Andean Condor, the Republic of Guatemala is the Quetzal, the Republic of Uganda has a Grulla, the Republic of Dominica, has a Sisserou Parrot and the Republic of Papua New Guinea has a Bird of Paradise and the Republic of Zimbabwe is the Zimbabwe Bird.

There are institutions of Humanist character, Sports, etc. Birds that have adopted their symbologies.

Countries also have coined Birds in their national currencies and almost all countries of the world have declared species, such as “National Bird”.

On 9 May each year is celebrated the International Day of Birds, whose commemoration was the initiative of Bird Life International, so it is an appropriate occasion to raise awareness on the importance of conserving these species in order to continue reaping the benefits and emotions that give us these magnificent beings, through the work of nature.

Lic. Euren Cuevas Medina.

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