Fun Palmchat Facts For Kids

Tanya Parkhi
Nov 18, 2022 By Tanya Parkhi
Originally Published on Sep 02, 2021
Edited by Jacob Fitzbright
Here are some palmchat facts which you will love!
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Age: 3-18
Read time: 8.2 Min

The palmchat (Dulus dominicus) is a species of dark olive-brown bird belonging to the family Dulidae and is a member of the genus Dulus. It is endemic to the Dominican Republic and Haiti, and is such a common sight there that it has been named as the national bird of the Dominican Republic!

This small, peculiar bird species is named after its tendency to nest in tall palm trees.

These birds can usually be found in small flocks or pairs, and are highly social. They even nest communally, each member of the nest having its own compartment with a separate entrance.

Outside the breeding season, they can be seen perching and roosting in palm trees or other high places in groups of 8-10 birds, and are a very common sight in both the wild as well as urban areas.

To read more about this amazing bird, look down below! For more relatable content, check out these tailorbird facts and ani bird facts for kids.

Palmchat Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a palmchat?

The palmchat (Dulus dominicus) is a type of passerine Old World bird species.

What class of animal does the palmchat belong to?

The palmchat (Dulus dominicus) is a bird and belongs to the class of Aves, and is a member of the genus Dulus and family Dulidae.

How many palmchats are there in the world?

Though the exact number of palmchats of the Dulus genus in the world is currently unknown, the conservation status of this dark brown bird family is Least Concern, meaning they are abundantly available in the wild and there is no danger of them becoming endangered anytime soon.

Where does palmchat live?

The palmchat is endemic to Haiti and the Dominican Republic in the Caribbean and has a range mainly on the islands of Hispaniola, Saona, and Gonave.

What is a palmchat habitat?

Palmchats, true to their name, are often found wherever there are royal palms present. They are fond of warm, tropical weather and are usually found in palm savannahs, open grasslands with scattered trees, and along the coastlines of the Dominican Republic and Haiti.

They can also be spotted commonly in the city, nesting in small flocks in gardens and parks or perching on telephone poles and wires.

Who does palmchat live with?

Being very sociable in nature, this noisy bird family can mostly be seen together in small flocks or large, messy nesting colonies. They pair up during the breeding season when several pairs build large, messy communal nests and lay their eggs in them.

They forage for food in groups of twos and threes and are often seen roosting in small groups of 8-10 birds. They are very affectionate birds and can often be seen engaging in physical contact with their partners.

How long does a palmchat live?

Though the exact lifespan of the palmchat bird family is unknown, they are noted to be quite similar to the waxwing (Bombycillidae), which is known to live for seven to eight years. Based on this information, we can assume that the palmchat lives for around the same amount of time.

How do they reproduce?

Palmchats observe their breeding period between February and August, depending on their location and the onset of the rainy season. Several pairs can be observed contributing to building a large communal nest, mostly on the top of royal palms.

Around 30 individual nests can be found in one of these nests, with the birds roosting in close contact. If there are no palm trees available, they will even use telephone poles to build large nesting structures.

Being birds, they are oviparous in nature and reproduce by laying eggs. The male and female mate after which the female lays around two to four speckled eggs. Both the males and females take turns incubating the eggs and feed the young hatchlings until they are ready to leave the nest.

What is their conservation status?

The current conservation status of palmchat birds is Least Concern. This is mostly due to their strategically built nests among the high isolated palm trees and camouflaging of their eggs, which leads to little to no predation on this species.  

Palmchat Fun Facts

What does the palmchat look like?

The beautiful brown streaking on the underbelly of this bird species is what makes it stand out among the other birds in the Dominican Republic.

Palmchats are small birds with long tail feathers. Their backs and upperparts are olive-brown, with their underparts being streaked with brown.

Their rumps are a dark yellow-green, their tail feathers being tipped with it as well. They have a stout yellow bill with distinct round nostrils and red eyes, which are a very prominent feature. Both male and female birds look similar with no noticeable differences.

How cute are they?

With their small size and bright red eyes, palmchats are really cute indeed. Their underparts have a beautiful brown streaking pattern which makes them quite attractive in appearance.

How do they communicate?

Palmchats have been described to be quite verbose and noisy, and their voices are gurgling and chirpy in nature. Though they are quite vocal, they only make single-note sounds, and cannot be considered as song birds.

How big is palmchat?

As far as birds go, palmchats fall on the smaller side. They are quite small and measure only 7.9 in (20 cm) on average. The average palmchat is slightly smaller than a nightingale but bigger than Atlantic canaries.

How fast can a palmchat fly?

Though the exact flying speed of palmchat (Dulus dominicus) birds has not been recorded, they have been described to be quite active, often seen gliding over the islands and flapping their way up to great heights in order to make their nests, often being seen on the tops of palm trees.

How much does a palmchat weigh?

The palmchat (Dulus dominicus) is a relatively light bird and has been observed to weigh between a range of 1.4-1.8 oz (41-52 gm). They are nearly 12 times smaller than green-winged teals.

What are the male and female names of the species?

There are no specific names for either gender of the palmchat species, males simply being called cocks and females as hens like all other birds.

What would you call a baby palmchat?

Baby palmchats (Dulus dominicus) are known as fledglings, hatchlings, or chicks.

What do they eat?

Palmchats (Dulus dominicus) are herbivorous in nature and feed mostly on fruits and berries found in Saona. It is particularly fond of the fruit of the gumbo-limbo tree and has also been observed to eat flowers, especially orchids and agave flowers.

Due to their high fruit and berry-based diet, they are good dispersers of their seeds, spreading them across the forest floor for new plants to grow.

Are they dangerous?

No, palmchats are not dangerous at all. Though, it would be unwise to approach them as they are usually seen in small flocks which may peck or claw at humans if they feel threatened.

During the breeding season especially, one must not try to approach these birds as they may act aggressive, though it would be difficult to reach their nests as they are usually built on the tops of high royal palms.

Would they make a good pet?

Since palmchats are an endemic species, it is not wise to remove them from their natural habitat of the Dominican Republic and Haiti.

They have adapted well to their surroundings, and are comfortable in a warm, humid climate with natural fruits and berries as a part of their diet. They are very active birds and are fond of perching in and building their nests in very high places.

Considering all these factors, one may not be able to keep palmchats comfortably in their home as pets as these conditions cannot be recreated easily.

Did you know...

The fact that these endemic birds mainly build large nests in high, difficult to reach places such as on top of royal palm trees and telephone poles is one of the reasons why they are so abundantly found on Saona, Gonave, and other neighboring islands This practice prevents predators from reaching them as well as effectively camouflages their eggs.

Their large, communal nests are often built on the top of tall trees, making them hard to reach. They are messy and tightly packed, made out of twigs and other debris. Around 30 pairs can fit in one nest, with each compartment having its own entrance for the birds to come and go through.

The communal nest of these birds has been observed to reach 6.6 ft (2 m) in length at times. The building of their nest on top of telephone poles is a modern adaptation for these birds, which use them when palms are not available.

They have adapted well to urban surroundings, are often seen in local parks and gardens, and are a common sight among the hustle and bustle of the cities.

Though it is quite similar to the waxwing of the Bombycillidae family, it has been given its own family due to certain peculiar traits which make it unique, such as its reproductive habits. However, it does not share the same fluffy, silky plumage which the waxwing is known for.

Though they are mainly herbivorous, they have been observed to supplement their diet with the occasional insect for protein as well. They are excellent hunters, catching their prey in their beaks mid-flight.

Do palmchats migrate?

Being endemic to the Caribbean, this olive-brown bird species cannot be found anywhere else. This also means that they are non-migratory birds, being residential in nature. As the climate of the Dominican Republic is quite pleasant all year round, there is no need for these olive-brown birds to relocate for the winter.

Why is the palmchat the national bird of the Dominican Republic?

The palmchat (Dulus dominicus) is a special bird, being the only member of the bird family Dulidae.

It is a common sight for many beachgoers along the Dominican coast, especially on Saona Island, seen flitting along the royal palms and roosting in its communal nest along with several pairs of other palmchats.

Owing to its peculiar, endemic status and close association with the palm trees of the Caribbean, it was given the honor of being the national bird of the Dominican Republic, it is common sighting among the coasts contributing greatly towards this nomination.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds from our bowerbird interesting facts and mockingbird surprising facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable cave swallow coloring pages.

Palmchat Facts

What Did They Prey On?

Fruit, berries, blossoms, buds

What Type of Animal were they?

Herbivore

Average Litter Size?

2-4

How Much Did They Weigh?

1.4-1.8 oz (41-52 gm)

What habitat Do they Live In?

Palm savannahs, open areas with sparse trees

Where Do They Live?

haiti, the Dominican Republic (Hispaniola)

How Long Were They?

7.9 in (20 cm)

How Tall Were They?

N/A

Class

Aves

Genus

Dulus

Family

Dulidae

Scientific Name

Dulus dominicus

What Do They Look Like?

Olive brown with dark yellow-green rump and yellow bill

Skin Type

Feathers

What Are Their Main Threats?

n/a

What is their Conservation Status?

Least Concern

haiti the Dominican Republic (Hispaniola)

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Written by Tanya Parkhi

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Economics

Tanya Parkhi picture

Tanya ParkhiBachelor of Arts specializing in Economics

Tanya is a skilled content creator with a passion for writing and a love for exploring new cultures. With a degree in Economics from Fergusson College, Pune, India, Tanya worked on her writing skills by contributing to various editorials and publications. She has experience writing blogs, articles, and essays, covering a range of topics. Tanya's writing reflects her interest in travel and exploring local traditions. Her articles showcase her ability to engage readers and keep them interested.

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