The ‘Dash’ is done. Our Puerto Rico Endemic Dash tour consisted of 5 days and 4 nights of birding all around the island looking for the endemics and specialties.
Of the 16 (current number) of endemics — those birds found only on Puerto Rico — we saw 13 and heard two others. The Puerto Rican Tody, although common, is typically one of the most desired of the endemics… its diminutive size and bright colors make it a quick favorite.
What did we miss this trip? The Puerto Rican Parrot. With only 30-40 wild birds left, it is never expected to be seen… though we visit a couple of their known haunts. We heard the Puerto Rican Screech Owl on several occasions, but it was never accessible to our spotlight as it perched behind a building on a steep hillside in one location, and refused to come out into the wind and rain in another location.
The Puerto Rican Nightjars were seemingly inactive in the evening, not offering any sign that they were there… maybe due to the bright full moon? However, in the early morning twilight we heard a few of them (along with a third uncooperative screech owl) but only one nightjar offered a brief silhouette to one person’s peripheral vision, not enough to count.
The Todies, however, cooperated on numerous occasions, offering their easily recognized “bint” call in the open forests throughout Puerto Rico.