Waiting for sunrise at the wharf of the municipal district of Elupina Cordero (Las Cañitas), in Sabana de la Mar, is to know the courtship of aquatic birds such as pelicans, this is the best place in the country to see pelicans in their natural habitat.
Every morning, the pelicans welcome tourists arriving from the Bavaro-Punta Cana area, to see the beauties of the area and visit the shoals of humpback whales.
The pelicans arrive in herds and besiege the small wooden pier, from where they set sail to see the whales and visit Los Haitises and Cayo Levantado.
Their characteristic long-beaked courtship makes your stay even more enjoyable.
The pelicans are exhibited to tourists, who waste no time in capturing the moment by taking pictures.
In Sabana de la Mar there are the remains of a banana port built in the 19th century, now abandoned, in this port you can see wooden trunks buried in the water.
The tops of these logs are resting places for pelicans and seagulls.
Between 6:00 and 8:00 in the morning, the pelicans with their large gular sac bill, dive into the coastal banks in search of their first meal.
The accentuated plumage opens up in flight, highlighting their curved wings, which, when touching the water, form striking aerial silhouettes, shading the water.
Its clumsy walk on land is compensated by its exceptional and terse flight.
Once their day of “exhibition” to tourists is over, the pelicans retreat to a place known as Cayo de Los Pájaros, where they spend the night and nest.
They are gregarious birds that travel in flocks, hunt cooperatively and reproduce in colonies.
The most predominant species in the coastal plains of Sabana de la Mar and Miches are the white and brown plumaged ones, which nest on the ground and in trees, respectively.
Apart from Sabana de la Mar, other places in the Dominican Republic where pelicans can be seen are Los Haitises National Park, Monte Plata, Samana, Hato Mayor, Caño Hondo mangroves, and San Lorenzo Bay.
The conflict between pelicans and local fishermen
Fishermen often consider the pelican as an enemy, even going so far as to chase and hunt it.
Man still sees it as a competition in the water, capturing its prey quickly and scaring the herd of fish with the blow of its feather in the water.
The Ministry of the Environment has erased this view of many fishermen by giving talks and workshops on the conservation of natural resources, wildlife, and plants.
The pelican inhabits all coastal regions of the Dominican Republic, both solitary and in flocks.
Even though its meat is not usually eaten by humans, those who have tasted it say that it has a very strong and unpleasant flavor, due to the fact that its diet is based on fish.
It reproduces in regions where mangroves abound, which it uses to build its nest. It usually lays two to three eggs.
Pelicans (Pelecanus) are a genus of pelecaniform waterfowl belonging to the monotypic family Pelecanidae.
How to get to sabana de la mar from punta cana?
The shortest road route from Punta Cana to Sabana de la Mar, the distance is 193 Km and the approximate travel time is 2h 48 min.
The journey is easy, you can reach this area on the tours organized to see humpback whales, or you can visit on your own in a private vehicle.