Birder's Guide

MAR 2017

Birder's Guide is the American Birding Association's newest publication. Each issue focuses on a key subject, providing tips from experienced birders on a wide variety of topics like Travel, Listing & Taxonomy, Gear, and Conservation & Community.

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Page 65 of 95

64 Birder's Guide to Travel | March 2017 Birding Puerto Rico smaller islands, including Vieques and Culebra. Puerto Rico has a rich history. Simpli- fying greatly, it was claimed for Spain by Christopher Columbus in 1493 and was a Spanish colony until 1898, when it be- came a U.S. territory after the Spanish- American War. Puerto Rico became a U.S. commonwealth in 1952; it is formally classified as an unincorporated, orga- nized territory of the U.S. Puerto Ricans are natural-born U.S. citizens, though they cannot vote in presidential elections. Puerto Rico's relationship to the U.S. has been a political issue for decades, as high- lighted during its ongoing debt crisis. Most Puerto Ricans live in the foot- hills and lowlands that run along the northern coast and parts of the southern and western coasts. The interior is dom- inated by a central range of mountains (La Cordillera Central) that primarily runs east–west. Northeast trade winds bring significant rain to the north, but the mountains create a rain shadow in the south. Thus, despite its modest size, Puerto Rico has a variety of habitats. Puerto Rico had an agricultural econ- n ABOVE: The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico comprises the main, eponymous island and various smaller islands, including Mona, Culebra, and Vieques. Map © Rad Smith n LEFT: Antillean Crested Hummingbird Photo © Guillermo Plaza n BELOW: Puerto Rican Tody Photo © Benny Díaz

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