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The Birds of Haiti and the Dominican Republic

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Bradshaw H. Swales
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Samaria Bay it is swampy with broad, wet savannas grown with palms, or extensive stretches of wet forest, penetrated with difficulty, that at the sea become mangrove swamps. The central mountain system of the island is a broken series of ridges and peaks that present no systematic arrangement to the eye of the traveller. The Cordillera Central, as it is known in the Dominican Republic, begins in a series of low hills in the arid eastern end of the island and extending westward broadens and be comes better watered until in its central portions it receives heavy downpours of rain. It continues through northern Haiti as the rugged Massif du Nord to a point northwest of Gros Morne, and at the south in Haiti is extended through the Montagnes Noires into the Sierra de Neiba that runs back into the Dominican Republic between the valleys of San Juan and Enriquillo. At the north the central mountain mass is limited by the Cibao Valley, while at the south in the Dominican Republic one spur reaches the vicinity of the sea at Sabana Buey. The system is 130 kilometers wide near its middle, and in its greatest extent is between 400 and 500 kilometers long. The summit of Loma Tina, in the Dominican Republic, near its center, reputed to be the highest mountain in the West Indies, is reported to rise meters above sea level, while Culo de Maco nearby is about its equal. Lorna Rucillo, also called Pico de Yaque, not far from Culo de Maco, is recorded as meters high. Broad stretches through these central mountains are covered with beautiful forests of pine mingled with areas of rain-forest jungle. The climate of the high interior valleys is invigorating, with hot days and cool nights, with occasional frost in the highest altitudes in winter. Rainfall is abundant in the Dominican Republic while to the west in Haiti the land is drier.

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