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A bird identification guide with information on over 332 tropical birds and over 820 photographs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A bird identification guide with information on over 332 tropical birds and over 820 photographs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Birding HotSpots

Both Trinidad and Tobago abound with birds and at almost every turn an avian spectacle can be observed.   There are however certain places that are particularly noteworthy for either the diversity or abundance of birds. Below are photographs of a few of those birding hotspots and a synopsis of the information on birding hotspots that is provided on the bird identification CD, Discovering the Birds of Trinidad and Tobago.

 

North

bulletMorne St Catherine
bulletMucurapo Mud Flats
bullet Diego Martin River
bullet Maraval River
bulletBlanchissuesse

East

bulletMount St Benedict
bulletTrincity Water Treatment Plant
bulletAripo
bulletYerette
bulletArena
bulletAsa Wright
bulletBrasso Seco
bulletToco

Central

bulletCaroni Sanctuary
bulletWaterloo Mudflats
bulletOrange Valley Mudflats
bulletLa Vega Estate

South

bulletGrand Icacos Lagoon
bullet Godineau Area
bulletPointe-A-Pierre Wildfowl Trust
bulletNariva
bulletKernahan Trace
bulletMayaro Beach

Tobago

bulletAdventure Farm
bulletGrafton Bird Sanctuary
bulletBon Accord Wetlands

 

 

Morne St Catherine, Chaguaramas

Mount St. Catherine is a birding hotspot with a wide variety of bird life. At times it is possible to see Green-rumped Parrotlets (parakeets) at the very start of the walk, while along the way you may spot Trogons, Toucans, Turquoise and Blue-headed Tanagers, Blue Dacnis. An interesting side trip is the trail into Crestt Lands (Center for the Rescue of Endangered Species of Trinidad and Tobago) that is on a bend on the left and is reached after approximately 15 minutes walking. This trail is approximately 0.5 miles long and venturing into this area where the forest presses closer in can sometimes give you the opportunity to see the Squirrel Cuckoo and Blue-crowned Motmots and almost always allows you to see a Ruby Topaz Hummingbird. In the evenings Orange-Winged Parrots are easily visible overhead. You can learn more about Mt St Catherine on our Other Places of Interest Page.

Mucurapo Mudflats, Port of Spain

Located on the western outskirts of Port of Spain, these mudflats are easily accessible being alongside the Audrey Jeffers Highway. The mudflats are fronted by the Gulf of Paria, backed by mangrove swamps and bisected by a river. Many of the migratory birds that visit Trinidad can be seen in this area, including Whimbrel, Fork-tailed Flycatcher, Black-necked Stilt, Greater Yellowlegs, Hudsonian Godwit, Snowy Plover, Semi-palmated Plover, White-rumped Sandpiper. Another good birdwatching area that is close by is the Maraval River Estuary.

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Mucurapo Mudflats, Port of Spain

 

Birdwatching_at_the_Mouth_of_the_Maraval_River

On hearing the name Maraval River most individuals will think of the Maraval Valley and the river does flow through the valley. Most persons however do not realise that after the Maraval valley, the river continues along the edge of St James and through Woodbrook flowing along the side of the Hasely Crawford stadium to eventually empty into the Gulf of Paria at Mucarapo Bay next to the Marriott Hotel. While many will not think of the Maraval River as entering the sea at Mucarapo even less will think of it as a birdwatching location. Yet the mouth of the Maraval River is a good birding spot for a short birdwatching trip.

The river flows under the Audrey Jeffers highway and through a short stretch of mangrove before arriving at the sea. As the river water encounters the ocean it loses its force and spreads out depositing soil to create mud flats. It is this mixture of mud and water that creates the habitat loved by some bird species.

At the end of the river, bamboo stools brought down the river in times of flood have lodged themselves. On these stools the neotropic cormorant, which visit between December and August, perch to spot the fish before diving and afterwards come to spread their wings to dry.

At the river mouth a shifting tidal bar creates a shallow lagoon and slowly foraging in the lagoon can be seen Whimbrels and Willets. These winter visitors slowly move through the water, at times standing motionless as they scan the water for their prey. On the tidal bar in the afternoons you can see large groups of laughing gulls while on the mud of the river bank collared plovers and semipalmated plovers pick their way.

Just back from the river bank a fine white grey sand forms a border between the mud of the river bank and the grasses inland. In this area are stranded pools where resident black necked stilts stalk. Sometimes sticking their head completely under the water at other times swiping their head and bill through the water. Standing still as you approach and as you cross an invisible line flying off with their alarm sounds.

At the edges of the mangrove the fork-tailed flycatchers dart from the branches to capture insects. These visitors to Trinidad and Tobago from southern South America are seen between May and October. After spending their days in the foothills of the Northern Range they return to roost in the mangrove in the evenings and actively hunt insects before night falls.

This entire area is relatively undisturbed by man except for the detritus of human life in the form of plastic bottles and containers washed down the river and now littering its banks. At sunset the light glitters gold off the water while birds hurriedly catch their last meal before the night or dry their wings in the dying rays of the sun, while across the water the towers of Westmoorings and Cocorite gaze unseeingly.

 

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The lower reaches of the Diego Martin River may be considered by some as an unlikely place for bird watching especially as the enclosing of the river with concrete cause many to think of it simply as a large drain. However it is a river and wherever there is flowing water there will usually be birds and the Diego Martin River is no exception.

The lower reaches of the Diego Martin River has a constantly changing profile. Silt is continuously brought down by the river however, as this is the last stretch before the river enters the sea, the water loses its force and the silt tends to be deposited in this area. The depositing of this silt creates areas where pools exist throughout becoming home for small fish and crabs. In addition the silt creates mounds providing high spots above the water that are used by various species to spot prey. The silt also traps tree branches and bamboo stools providing other perching areas for various types of birds. Periodically the Regional Corporation will remove all the silt from the river which causes its profile to change again. This regularly changing profile causes the bird species seen in the area to change.

One of the species that is often seen in this area, but not recognised by most, is the Scarlet Ibis. Most people do not realise that the Scarlet Ibis frequent this area because they are juvenile Scarlet Ibis. The common image of a Scarlet Ibis is of a bright red bird but immature birds differ significantly from adults. Young Scarlet Ibis are gray brown on the upperparts with a white rump. The head, neck and chest are light brown with some white streaking. The lower underparts are white. The bill and legs vary from dusky to pink. As the immature age, they begin to show pink on the various parts of the body as they consume more crustaceans eventually acquiring the scarlet plumage with which they are associated.

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Apart from Scarlet Ibis, there is a wide variety of water birds that can be seen in this area at varying times. Picking among the mud can sometimes be seen Yellow Crowned Night Herons, Little Blue Herons, Tri-coloured Herons, Green Herons, Lesser Yellowlegs and Willets while Pied Water Tyrants perch on the trunks stuck in the mud and Western Sandpipers dart along the concrete. On the eastern bank and sometimes on the river’s edge, Great Egrets may be seen wading through the water.

The best location from bird watching in this area is along the western bank between Morne Coco Road and the Western Main Road. Along most of this area there is a park like atmosphere with cut lawns, flamboyant trees and coconut palms. Caracara are sometimes seen flying over and along the last stretch of the river before the sea and osprey can occasionally be seen patrolling above the water.

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Blanchisseuse

 Blanchissuesse is both a popular vacation area and birding hotspot. The mountains that tower above the village are clothed in verdant natural forest and so avian delights appear at every bend. While throughout the village you can indulge in birdwatching, at times just from your verandah, the western end of the village provides the best viewing. Along the banks of the Marianne River freshwater species may be observed. As you continue along the road past the spring bridge other species appear, especially those that frequent forest edges and areas with scattered trees. The Blanchissuese to Arima Road over the mountains is another good area especially for getting views of forest species. Along this road if you walk slowly and look in the underbrush you will get the opportunity to observe those species that frequent the underbrush.

 

Mount St Benedict

The Abbey at Mount St Benedict sits on a 600 acre private reserve where the slopes are covered with lush lowland forest. There are various trails through the forest that are favored for birdwatching as a variety of species can be seen that include hawks, pigeons, hummingbirds, orioles, mockingbirds. A colony of Oilbirds nests in a cave on the property. You can learn more about Mount St Benedict on our Religious Sites Page.

 

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Trincity Sewerage Treatment Ponds, Trinidad

The Trincity Sewerage Treatment Ponds are located kilometer from Piarco Airport and meters off the Churchill-Roosevelt Highway, opposite Trincity Mall. When first thought of, the name does not encourage visiting but the area teems with birdlife. It is a small compound that can literally all be seen from one spot. It is easy to walk around and the bird views are excellent because you are on raised embankments looking down a few feet into the ponds. While Yellow hooded Blackbirds can be seen in most swamps and marsh areas in Trinidad, at Trincity it is a photographer’s delight because of the close proximity and the ability to have the bird contrasted against a strong background. The birdlife that can usually be seen at these ponds include: Least Grebe, Little Blue and Striated Herons, Great Egret, Cattle Egret and Snowy Egret, Yellow hooded Blackbirds, Shiny Cowbirds, Yellow Oriole and wintering and migrating American shorebirds, Lesser and Greater Yellowlegs, Spotted Sandpiper and Black-necked Stilts. Occasionally Ringed Kingfisher and Masked Duck are seen. Trincity is one area, where you are almost always certain to see a Yellow-billed Tern.

In addition to birds, if you are lucky you can see the caimans that sometimes bask on the embankments. When venturing near the edges of the ponds be alert for caimans in the water, only their nostrils and eyes will be visible above the water.

 

 

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There is no charge for entering this area. Trincity is not an extended viewing experience because of its small size and so can be combined with visits to other hotspots or other activities.

 

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Yerette-Hummingbirds

Trinidad is blessed by having a variety of hummingbirds resident or visiting its shores. Indeed 17 species of hummingbirds are found in Trinidad and Tobago. Most individuals in Trinidad who have flowering plants in their garden will usually see a hummingbird making its rounds through their garden either in the mornings or evenings visiting the flowers to gather nectar. The most common of these is the Copper-Rumped Hummingbird and the viewer usually experiences a moment of joy to see this small bird as it flits from flower to flower then hovers over each flower drawing the small amounts of nectar. Hummingbirds can fly right, left, up, down, upside down or backwards and in fact are the only birds that can fly backwards. If the sun is shining brightly there is also the visual beauty of the glow of the iridescent colors of the feathers, an intensity of color that no human hand can replicate.

Tucked away in the residential area of Valley View, Maracas St Joseph, Theo and Gloria Ferguson have created a hummingbird heaven that they have named Yerette. The name is an Amerindian word for hummingbird and is truly an apt one. At Yerette one can see 13 of the 17 species of hummingbirds found in Trinidad and Tobago. So that you can see species like the White-chested Emerald and Ruby Topaz which are species that inhabit forest edges, the Black-throated Mango which inhabits gardens, the Green-throated Mango which is usually found in Mangrove Swamps, the Brown Violetear that is normally seen at high mountain elevations. However the amazing thing about Yerette is not just the wide variety of species but the almost overwhelming number of birds. During a visit one can easily see between 200 to 300 hundred hummingbirds while Theo Ferguson estimates that during the day between 750 to 3,000 hummingbirds visit his oasis. Indeed there is possibly no other place in Trinidad and Tobago where one can see such a wide variety and in such numbers.

This diversity of hummingbirds is in part caused by the fact that there is natural forest surrounding property and numerous flowering plants in the garden. It is further enhanced by the numerous hummingbird feeders around the house, the maintenance of which can consume up to 4 hours each day. Visitors to Yerette not only get to witness the beauty of these acrobatic flight wonders but also are able to view an impressive photo show, see the Yerette photo gallery and purchase hummingbird photographs and craft items.

When visiting Yerette, walk with your camera as you will most certainly want to try and capture the beauty of these birds. One word of advice have a camera that allows you to manually set the focus because the speed with which these aerodynamic marvels of flight move, it can be very difficult for an auto-focus camera to lock on and capture the image. Visits to Yerette are by appointment only and you can get the contact details at www.yerette.com

 

 

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Aripo Research Station, Trinidad

This research Station is in the eastern part of the island a few kilometers outside of Arima, along the Eastern Main Road. The Ministry of Agriculture manages it and permission must be obtained for entry. Permission is usually not difficult to obtain once applied for in advance between Monday and Friday. It is an area of open savannah, wet pastures, hedgerows and isolated trees. The typical birds are Savannah Hawk, Wattled Jacanas, Green-rumped Parrotlet, Yellow-chinned Spinetail, White-headed Marsh and Pied Water Tyrants, Grey Kingbird, White-winged Swallow and Red-breasted Blackbird. Wintering American shorebirds are often found in the wetter areas. In season: Solitary and Least Sandpipers, Southern Lapwing and Stilt Sandpipers. There is also a chance of Cocoi Heron, Striped Cuckoo and Pinnated Bittern. Savannah Hawks are particularly prevalent in this area and can be seen perched on the fence posts or on bare tree limbs. Other birds would include Short-tailed Swifts, Forked-tailed Palm Swifts and Zone-tailed Hawks.

 

Asa Wright Nature Center, Trinidad

This is Trinidad and Tobago’s premier birding location and it has been widely recognized as one of the most successful eco-tourism stories in the world. The listing of birds that can be seen at this center has been identified in the vicinity of 159. This Nature Center is located at a height of approximately 1,200 feet in the hills of the Northern Range, seven miles from the town of Arima. It is reached by driving along the Arima-Blanchisseuse Road that winds through verdant countryside dotted with small villages and isolated houses.

Asa Wright is a 270-acre conservatory, located on a former cocoa-coffee-citrus plantation partly reclaimed by secondary forest and largely surrounded by impressive rainforest. The center has several cottages that are available for rent and one can choose to spend a night, a weekend or even longer. There are numerous trails throughout the property and very knowledgeable guides. The highlight of any visit to Asa Wright is simply sitting on the verandah and watching or photographing the wide array of birds that come to the feeders. Some of these birds include; Purple Honeycreeper, Green Honeycreeper, Crested Oropendola, Silver-beaked Tanager, White-necked Jacobin hummingbirds, Bananaquit, Red-legged Honeycreeper, White-chested Emerald hummingbird, Cocoa Thrush, Chestnut Woodpecker, Great Antshrike. Another attraction of the Asa Wright verandah is the sight of the Agoutis and Matte Lizards.

Two other highlights of a visit to Asa Wright are the short walk to the manakin leks to see these beautiful little birds dance to attract a mate and to see and hear the Bearded Bellbird.

 

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Brasso Seco

Brasso Seco is almost hidden in the folds of the Northern Range, lying between Arima and Blanchisseuse. The area is a blend of virgin rainforest with estates of mainly tree crops creating a haven for tropical birds. The numerous agricultural roads and trails makes it easy to wander along the roads and spot many species. The Brasso Seco area is home to the only endemic bird species in Trinidad, the Trinidad Piping Guan (Pawi) and rare species such as the Little Tinamou and Large-billed Seedfinch are also seen. Many of the hummingbird species are seen in the area, along with toucans, orioles, oropendolas and manakins.

 

Arena

The Arena Reservoir operated by the Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA) and located in the Arena Forest is a good location for seeing water birds, especially the Black-bellied Whistling-Duck and White-necked Heron. In addition to birdwatching you can picnic along the banks of the reservoir but bathing is not allowed. In order to visit the dam, you must request permission in advance from the WASA Public Relations Department located at the head office on Farm Road in St. Joseph. Your request must state:

  1. Place of Visit
  2. Date of Visit
  3. Vehicle(s) No(s)
  4. Name(s) of Person(s) or Organization to be included on the pass
  5. Number of proposed visitors

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The Arena Forest leading up to the entrance to the Arena Dam is a historic location as it was the site of a violent and bloody confrontation between the Amerindians and the Spanish Capuchin priests in 1699. Today it is possible to visit the site of the confrontation as explained on our Other Places of Interest Page.  In the forest you can find Yellow-rumped Caciques, Piratic Flycatchers, Squirrel Cuckoo, Plumbeous Kite, White-tailed and Violaceous Trogons, Lineated and Golden Olive Woodpeckers, Plain Ant Vireo and White-bellied Antbird.

 

Toco

Toco is yet another of those areas where houses seem to blend into the natural environment creating a situation where birdwatching simply requires walking along and looking in the trees. In the Cumana area, every side road will reveal different species especially during the early morning and evening hours.

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Entrance to Caroni Swamp Center

The area known as the Caroni Swamp  is located approximately 30 minutes outside the capital city of Port of Spain and is a 15,000 acre area of marshland, mangrove swamp, brackish and saline lagoons, and tidal mudflats. The area is home to over 186 species of birds that includes  cattle egrets, snowy egrets, ospreys, herons, plovers, and jacanas. In addition there are 32 species of bats, mammals including red howler monkeys and white-fronted capuchin monkeys, along with various types of caimans. The highlight however of any visit to the Caroni Swamp is the sight of the Scarlet Ibis coming in thousands to roost during the last two hours of day light. Guided boat tours are available daily.

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Waterloo Mudflats

The Waterloo Mudflats are an easily accessible area in Central Trinidad, at the end of a main road. The various species that would be seen in this area include: Little Blue Heron, Large-billed Terns, Ruddy Turnstone, Scarlet Ibis, Black Skimmers, Brown Pelicans, Blue-black Grassquit, Laughing Gull. The area around the Temple in the Sea is a good viewing area at low tide.

 

Orange_Valley_Mudflats

The Orange Valley Mudflats are an extension of the mudflats that stretch along the western shore of Trinidad from Caroni to Point Lisas. Most individuals who like birdwatching are familiar with the Waterloo Mudflats, however the Orange Valley flats are actually better for photographing birds as this is a birding hotspot for shore birds and there is a stable viewing platform. To enable fishermen to get to their boats a road has been built out into the bay and this road provides an excellent area for walking out into the bay, so that at low tide you are sometimes looking back at the birds with the mangrove as a backdrop. In addition the road provides a firm dry location for viewing.

These mudflats attract a wide variety of sea shore birds and because of the fringing mangrove also attract other birds. Among the species that can be seen at Orange Valley are Black Skimmers, Laughing Gulls, Snowy Egrets, Brown Pelicans, Little Blue Herons, Large Billed Terns, and Cormorants. At low tide, one can sometimes see Scarlet Ibis feeding on the mudflats and in the evenings roosting in the trees of the fringing mangrove. The highlight of any visit to Orange Valley however would be to see the Flamingoes. These birds are beautiful sight with their long neck and legs, thick curved bills, rosy pink body while the young are grayish white in color. Flamingoes are occasional visitors to Trinidad and come from Venezuela to feed on small crustaceans along the shore line. 

 

The easiest route to Orange Valley is to take the road to Waterloo from the Southern Main Road in Chase Village which allows you to combine your bird watching with some sightseeing and view the Temple in the Sea, the Hanooman Murti and the Indo-Caribbean Museum. Just before the Temple in the Sea there is a road on the left that leads to Orange Valley and as you enter Orange Valley you turn right on to Bay Road and proceed to the sea.

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La Vega Estate

La Vega is a good place for bird watching. The varied habitat of forest, fruit orchards, freshwater ponds encourages a variety of species. In the quiet of the early morning there is a constant chirping from the trees, with small birds zipping past. Lousade Pond and Lake George on the estate are good spots for birding and between these two areas it is possible to see over 22 different species of birds. You can learn more about the estate in the  La Vega Estate section of our Other Places of Interest Page.

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Grand Icacos Lagoon, Cedros

Located on the south-western tip of Trinidad, just seven miles from Venezuela, this lagoon is an estuarine basin mangrove of approximately 330 hectares. While the entire peninsula is a bird watching experience, there are three prime hotspots; Fullarton Swamp, Los Banquilles Swamp and the Grand Icacos Lagoon. The Fullarton Swamp is ideal for the armchair birdwatcher. The road from Fullarton Village to Icacos Village runs through the center of the Swamp and so it is possible to literally view the birds without leaving your vehicle. The majority of wetland species can be easily seen including Scarlet Ibis, Great Egret, Cattle Egret, Snowy Egret, Pygmy Kingfisher, Yellow-headed blackbird, Wattled Jacana, Little Blue Heron, Tricoloured Heron, Black-bellied Whistling Duck, Common Moorhen.

 

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Godineau Area

The Godineau river goes through a variety of habitats, from saltwater mangrove swamp to fresh water marshland to partially cultivated areas. A variety of birdlife can be seen in this area including Scarlet Ibis, Southern Lapwing, Osprey, Savannah Hawk, Wattled Jacana, Cattle Egret, Yellow-hooded Blackbird, Lesser Yellowlegs, Black-bellied Whistling Duck and a variety of migrating ducks (during the northern winter).

 

Pointe-�-Pierre Wildfowl Trust, Trinidad

The Wildfowl Trust, is a wildlife reserve, which encompasses two lakes and about 25 hectares of land within the Petrotrin petrochemical complex at Pointe-a-Pierre. The Trust is actively involved in the research, breeding and the re-introduction of endangered wetland birds into existing natural wildlife areas in Trinidad & Tobago. The Trust has a Learning Center that houses information dealing with living organisms and their habitats, an unique mollusk collection and a small but comprehensive Amerindian Museum. A walk along the trails is a most relaxing experience and an opportunity to closely observe wetland birds in their natural habitat. Some of the species that can be seen include; Black Bellied Whistling Duck, White-faced Whistling Duck, Fulvous Whistling Duck, White-Cheeked, Wild Muscovy Duck, Olivaceous Cormorant, Anhinga, Purple Gallinule, Black-crowned Night Herons, Great Blue Heron, Tri-coloured Heron, Common Moorhen.

As the Trust is located within a petrochemical complex, advance booking must be made (usually the day before). There is a nominal entrance fee. There are not usually many people on the grounds so it provides an excellent opportunity for photographers to capture images of wild birds in a natural setting.

 

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Nariva, Trinidad

Nariva, on the east coast of Trinidad, is Trinidad and Tobago’s largest wetland with some 32 square miles of fresh-water herbaceous swamp. It combines four major wetland types (mangrove swamp forest, palm forest, swamp wood and freshwater marsh) and has been formally designated a Wetland of International Importance under the Ramsar Convention. It includes the Bush Bush Wildlife Sanctuary and Prohibited Area and the Nariva Mayaro Windbelt Forest Reserve. Entry is by permit only and under restricted conditions.

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Several rivers drain into the Nariva Swamp, including the Navet, Bois Neuf and Guatacara. These lose their identity soon after entering the Nariva. The bulk of the water drains from the area into the Atlantic through the short tidal Nariva River. The Nariva Swamp can be deceptive in appearance as large areas are covered by grasses giving the appearance of solid land when in fact the grasses merely cover the water surface. Only in the southern sections are to be found irregularly-shaped patches of high ground, which are really islands surrounded by the waters of the swamp. The largest of these islands is Bush Bush Forest and further west an additional 11/2 miles lies another conspicuous patch of high ground known as Bois Neuf island. On the various islands Moriche Palms, Royal Palms and Palmiste (Cabbage Palms) grow in open stands.

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Nariva is home to an incredibly diverse range of reptiles, mammals and birds, some of which are rare and endangered. There are over 171 species of birds in Nariva, including manakins, tanagers, antbirds, caracara and woodcreepers. There are 5 species of Parrots (including Macaws), 2 species of owls, 2 species of trogons, 11 species of hummingbirds, potoos, toucans and limpkins. It is within Nariva that the blue and gold macaws have been reintroduced to Trinidad. There are 59 species of mammals that can be found in Nariva including red howler and capuchin ( Cebus albifrons) monkeys, deer, porcupine, three-toed and silky anteaters and opossums. Trinidad's last surviving colony of the West Indian Manatee are located within Nariva. Also to be found in Nariva are various reptiles that include giant anaconda, the fer-de-lance snake and caiman.

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Kernahan Trace

In close proximity to the Nariva Swamp is Kernahan Trace, the entrance to which is along the Manzanilla Road.  As the roadway is bordered by flooded pastures, it provides the opportunity to view Purple Gallinule, White-headed Marsh-Tyrant, Ringed Kingfisher, Little Blue Heron and Yellow Hooded Blackbird. In the hillside areas where watermelon are grown can be seen Southern Lapwing, Savannah Hawk, Tropical Kingbird.

 

Mayaro Beach

Mayaro Beach is on the east coast of Trinidad and is approximately 17 kilometers in length. An early morning walk along Mayaro Beach will reveal kingfishers, whimbrels, collared plovers, brown pelicans, turkey vultures, ospreys, semipalmated plovers, ruddy turnstones, sanderlings, spotted sandpipers, western sandpipers, willets and zone-tailed hawks. Other wildlife to be observed would include mongoose, mattes and iguanas.

 

Adventure Farm, Tobago

The Adventure Farm & Eco Reserve is just outside the village of Plymouth on the Arnos Vale Road. The farm is planted with a variety of fruit trees but parts of the farm have been left with the natural tropical vegetation. There is one main trail that winds through the property. A variety of birds can be seen on the Farm including Tropical Mockingbirds, Blue-crowned Motmot, White-tipped Dove, Eared Dove, White-necked Jacobin, Rufous-breasted Hermit, Ruby-topaz Hummingbird, Bared-eyed Thrush, White-lined Tanagers, Blue-Gray Tanagers, Blue-black Grassquit, Bananaquit, Pale-vented Pigeon and Woodcreepers.

The owners of the Farm live on the property and there is an entrance fee of TT $20. An interesting feature of the farm is that visitors can place fruit and seeds in the feeders, then ring a brass bell. Within minutes of ringing the bell various species come to the feeders. Along the side of the main house are hummingbird feeders with the hummingbirds ever-present.

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Grafton Bird Sanctuary, Tobago

This is a former cocoa and coconut estate that was destroyed by Hurricane Flora in 1963 and as a result was converted into a wildlife sanctuary. It is approximately 200 acres in size and is covered in secondary forest. It is located along Grafton Road on the southern side of the road. There is a small weathered sign indicating the entrance to the sanctuary and a short uphill secondary road that leads to the reserve. Even before one reaches the reserve, along the entrance road there is good birding. A restaurant was previously operated on the site but is now closed, however the restaurant building still exists with tables and benches and can be used for resting during the day. There are toilets in the building that are maintained. There are three main forest trails. As you enter, the first trail on the right leads downhill and is relatively short. The second trail on the left also gradually leads downhill and then eventually climbs uphill. The main trail, which is directly facing the entrance, leads uphill and winds past several abandoned estate buildings and stables.

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Bon Accord Wetlands, Tobago
The wetlands lie just north of Milford road and adjacent to Pigeon Point. They offered a range of habitats from mangroves fringing the Bon Accord lagoon, to freshwater marsh, drainage channels and four large ponds in the water treatment works. It is an excellent site for waterbirds and waders especially. At the water treatment ponds can usually be seen Great Egrets, Anhingas, Black-crowned Night-herons, Tricoloured Herons,   Green Herons, Snowy Egret, Little Egrets, Cattle Egrets, Black-bellied Whistling-ducks, White-cheeked Pintails, Least Grebe.

 

Some other notable birding spots in Trinidad and Tobago include:

bulletOropouche Lagoon
bulletBon Accord Lagoon, Tobago
bulletLittle Tobago Island, off Tobago
bulletKilgwyn Swamp, Tobago
bulletMain Ridge Forest Reserve, Tobago
bulletGilpin Trace, Tobago
bulletChaguaramas peninsula in general

While the above are the popular birding hotspots, Trinidad truly abounds with birds and many of the popular vacation and picnic areas also provide the opportunity to engage in birdwatching of various species.

You can obtain more information on the birding hotspots in Tobago by visiting the Tobago Birdwatching Hotspots Page on the Caribbean Outdoor Life web site.

 

 


 

 

 

 

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Last modified: February 19, 2013

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