Pelicans, The seabirds
Birds play a very important role in ecosystems. They assist in the propagation of seeds in many environments which contributes to the reforestation of woods. Also, they influence in the pollination of some flora species, thereby benefiting the reproduction of these. In addition, certain birds are used to know the health status of some ecosystems.
Hispaniola Island has twenty bird orders, grouped into fifty-four families and 306 species. Of the last ones, thirty-two are endemic, which is equivalent to 10.5% of the total. The so-called brown pelicans of the Caribbean that inhabit the Dominican Republic are not endemic. It is a subspecie of the Pelecanus accidentalis, a bird that lives on the coasts of the American continent.
Etymologically, Pelecanus are a genus of pelecaniformes aquatic birds belonging to the monotypic Pelecanidae family, whose fossil record dates back to 40 million years of existence. Dark and heavy, both sexes are similar in plumage color and size. The most striking feature they have is a huge naked skin bag suspended from the lower half of its beak, that has a volume of about 11 liters, two or three times greater than its own stomach. This bag is used for fishing, letting the water drain by the edges before swallowing the fish.
During the reproductive season, the head is white with a pale yellow wash on the crown and a chestnut nuchal crest; the long gray beak shows a pinkish tint; the dorsal neck and the rest of the back, the rump, and the tail are gray veined and dark brown; the chest and belly are blackish brown; the eyes are pale yellow and the skin around them is reddish; The legs are black, with interdigital membrane, which joins the four claws. In other seasons the whole head and neck is white, and the beak is gray.
Its main motor characteristic is the ability to fly long distances, in fact, some species have an innate migratory character. The dun-colored ones are the smallest species, but they can have wings up to 8 feet of amplitude, actually they are usually gray color, with neck and head of white color, often with a pale-yellow crown.
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Tags: Fauna and Flora