Owling in Trinidad & Tobago

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Turns out that this species was another common species, and is reliably seen at several sites across Trinidad. This medium-sized owl has a bone-chilling call and is generally a strictly nocturnal resident of deeper forest on Trinidad. Birding owling owls Trinidad and Tobago

A Brief Return to Trinidad

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Having spent all my life in Trinidad, it was the first time I would be stationed away from the island of my birth. Last month I took the boat back to Trinidad as I was booked to guide a trip there for a week and a half. Trinidad Piping-Guan. Birding Trinidad and Tobago

Trinidad’s Coastal Forest

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While the combination of the words “coast” and “forest” may conjure images of tidal mudflats and mangroves or even coconut trees, the northern coastline of Trinidad features tropical rainforest that plunges steeply into the bejeweled waters of the Caribbean Sea.

Trinidad’s Toughest Triad

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Like the three resident warblers in T&T, the three species of bitterns recorded for T&T are only found on the larger island of Trinidad. In the breeding season their booming calls echo over the marshlands across Trinidad.

Trogons, Trinidad and Tobago

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Starting with the smallest – our tiny Guianan Trogon (formerly Violaceous) can often be heard within almost any forested area on Trinidad. It could be due to it being our only trogon that can be found on both Trinidad and Tobago.

Hummingbirds of Trinidad

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The Republic of Trinidad and Tobago may share equal billing in the dichotomous nation’s name, but Trinidad boasts the lion’s share of the land mass, population, and hummingbirds. Visitors to Trinidad can scarcely help encountering stunning hummers just about everywhere. If you feel the same way, this is just one more reason you simply have to visit Trinidad. Birds Caribbean features hummingbirds South America trinidad

Haus Alpenz: The Scarlet Ibis – Trinidad Rum

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One of the first things most people think of when they think of Trinidad – perhaps after steel drums and calypso – is rum. I’ve never been to the Caribbean, but I suspect many visitors to Trinidad welcome the end a long day of birding the island’s mountains, beaches, and lush rainforests with a tot of rum – or two. The Scarlet Ibis is one of two national birds of the Republic Trinidad and Tobago , the other being the Rufous-vented Chachalaca.

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Wildlife Rescued in Trinidad and Tobago

Critter News

Three corrupt police officers in Trinidad and Tobago robbed a couple of Venezuelan wildlife smugglers and were subsequently arrested themselves. Over 1,000 animals were rescued, including 500 bull finches and 300 picoplats, The rescued wildlife also included monkeys, parrots, macaws and other species from Venezuela. There was also over 400 lbs of "wild meat" (I don't want to know what that could be!).

The Birds of Trinidad and Tobago: Two Guides, One Book Review

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There were three profound questions my birding group discussed while we birded Trinidad and Tobago, back in December 2012: (1) How many Bananaquits could fit on a banana? (2) 3) What was the best guide to the birds of Trinidad and Tobago? My friend Ian had purchased Richard ffrench’s classic A Guide to the Birds of Trinidad & Tobago just before we left, the third edition, hot off the presses. Both Mike and Corey have visited Trinidad and Tobago.

The Blackbird that is a Meadowlark – Red-breasted Blackbird in Trinidad

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However the Red-breasted Blackbird ended up with its appellation doesn’t matter as much as how great a bird it is, well worth a trip to Trinidad and Tobago to see. It was on the island of Trinidad, at the Aripo Agricultural Research Station, where all of these photographs were taken. If you are in Trinidad and are a birder you should definitely make a stop. For more information about visiting Trinidad and Tobago a good place to start is the official tourism website. ….

Myiarchus Mysteries

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As is my self-declared tradition of speaking of groups of birds within the species gamut of Trinidad & Tobago, allow me to introduce you to yet another group of three. Alas – both Trinidad and Tobago each have two Myiarchus flycatchers. Birding myiarchus Trinidad and Tobago

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Retirement Age?

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The twin-island postcolonial paradise of Trinidad & Tobago celebrates its 60th anniversary of independence today, and as much as I am vehemently anti-nationalist I figured I’d draw some attention to this fact. Birds Trinidad and Tobago

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Welcome Back, Shorbies!

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Birding Birds shorebirds tobago Trinidad and TobagoIf you know me, then you are well aware of how much I love shorebirds.

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The Sun Chaser

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Birds long-billed starthroat Trinidad and TobagoThe Latin name of the Long-billed Starthroat , Heliomaster longirostris roughly translates to ‘long-billed sun chaser’ Truly, it is a bird that has captivated my interest from the moment I laid eyes on it roughly a decade ago.

Plant Shop or Birding Hotspot?

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A member of the “trilling” (and thrilling) subspecies group of the Long-billed Gnatwren is present throughout Trinidad, and is yet another headache-inducing species. Birding Trinidad and Tobago

Island Swap

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Having been marooned on Trinidad for the last two years, my body was aching for a change. For anyone who’s been birding in T&T, you should be able to attest to the fact that Trinidad Motmots are far easier seen on Tobago than on Trinidad.

Lady Luck’s Pendulum

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Don’t get me wrong, Rufous-breasted Wrens are fairly common across both Trinidad and Tobago. Birding Birds tobago Trinidad and TobagoAs we all know, birding is very much a lottery. Visiting the same place repeatedly delivers a different cast of characters each time.

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Honey x3

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The islands and surrounding islets of Trinidad and Tobago boast an astounding list of almost 500 species of birds. The Purple Honeycreeper that is found on Trinidad is actually an endemic subspecies to the island, and has a slightly longer bill than its mainland relatives.

Another Iteration of the Trinity

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In the southeastern end of Trinidad, the Trinity Hills rises above the mostly flat interior of the island. This trio of hills stood out to a certain lost seaman over 500 years ago – who took it as a sign of the Holy Trinity and therefore coined the name La Isla de la Trinidad.

Keeping the Faith

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Several tour companies and birders seeking to investigate birding in the country with the second highest bird species density in the world indicated that it may be futile to pursue a birding trip to Trinidad & Tobago given the closure of a single (and undeniably significant) lodge.

Another Trio

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In my last post here , I spoke of a rather odd trend permeating the birdlife here in Trinidad & Tobago. Barred Antshrikes are common and widespread across both Trinidad and Tobago, in fact it is the only antshrike found on Tobago. Birding Trinidad and Tobago

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Byproducts of Seeking Seedeaters

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Add that to the fact that here in Trinidad & Tobago we’re still under a strict curfew – the earliest I’m allowed to leave home is 5am. They are resident in Trinidad and their population is slowly expanding. Birding Birds Trinidad and Tobago

An Emerging Trend

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Life behind a screen for this birding guide involves delving into the extensive list of birds of Trinidad & Tobago , answering questions about the birds and possible itineraries and so on. The Masked Yellowthroat is a denizen of wetland habitat across the island of Trinidad.

Birding the Trinity Hills

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It may seem like an unnecessarily recurring theme in my posts about birding within Trinidad & Tobago, but the more I write on the subject the more it becomes apparent that the number three must have some significance, somewhere. Birding Trinidad and Tobago

Low-effort Warbling

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Here in Trinidad, we routinely experience several of these migrants – most of these birds surely pass by unrecorded as not everyone is a birder and not all birders are huge fans of suffering from Warbler Neck. Birding Birds Trinidad and Tobago warblers

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It May Not Seem Like Much But

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Over the past few years we have been rewilding our yard here in the suburbs of the island of Trinidad. Birds backyard birds Trinidad and TobagoThis post does not contain serious eye-candy nor riveting text.

Ovenbirds (but not the Ovenbird)

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Here in Trinidad & Tobago we live up to our reputation of being a comfortable introduction to the world of Neotropical birding – we only have ten (out of a staggering three hundred) furnariids. Birds Birding Trinidad and Tobago

When it Rains

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As far as resident birds go within Trinidad & Tobago, the Grey-throated Leaftosser is one of the more difficult birds to get a view of. Birding leaftosser Trinidad and Tobago

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Flycatchers in the Cocoa

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For the purpose of this post being of a reasonable length, I’m only going to touch on members of the Tyrannidae family of New World Flycatchers which can be found in the cocoa estates of Trinidad and Tobago. Birding Birds Trinidad and Tobago Tyrant Flycatchers

Bloody Bay Birding

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The northern bank of the river is where the forest begins, we did not venture much further but did manage to see a Spectacled Thrush with a mouthful of worms and a Chivi Vireo that was buzzing a Trinidad Motmot perched low down. Birding hybrids tobago Trinidad and Tobago

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Leucistic Limpkin

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A few days ago I was out birding at a nearby wetland in southern Trinidad with a close friend of mine. Birds leucism leucistic Limpkins Trinidad and Tobago

The Best Ponds

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Birding sewage ponds tobago Trinidad and TobagoI don’t know what the experience is like in other parts of the world – so do let me know – but at least here in T&T, some of the absolute best waterbirding can be done at sewage ponds.

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Off The Beaten Path

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One of the most regularly traversed roads for the purpose of birding on the island of Trinidad is the Arima-Blanchisseuse Road. In fact, this was only my third time seeing this bird, once previously on Tobago and once on Trinidad – along this exact roadway.

Creepers in the Forest

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Turns out that the Streak-headed Woodcreeper was a formerly uncommon resident of Trinidad, its range gradually increasing to cover semi-degraded and altered habitat. Four of those are resident on Trinidad, and one is found only on Tobago. Birds Birding Trinidad and Tobago

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A Reliable Birding Proverb

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It was a dreary morning, with Trinidad under watch for an incoming tropical wave. We are lucky here in Trinidad to experience migrants from both the south and the north – after we saw the elaenia we enjoyed fleeting views of a male American Redstart. Birding Trinidad and Tobago

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The Longest (and Shortest) Hour

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This sleepy fishing village on the north coast of Trinidad should ring a bell – it boasts the densest nesting population of Leatherback Turtles in the entire western hemisphere. First we saw one Trinidad Piping Guan , as predicted – in the open, preening after the rains.

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Last CBC of the Decade

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For the fifth year in a row, I was assigned the prolific and well-known Aripo Livestock Station at the foothills of Trinidad’s Northern Range. Both White-bearded and Golden-headed Manakins were calling consistently, as well as Violaceous and Trinidad Euphonias.

A Quick Drive

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Last weekend we headed into the mountains of northern Trinidad – the concept of mountains is surely a relative one, although it is the highest conglomeration of hills in the country (and the northernmost outcrop of the Andes) the Northern Range never crosses 1,000m above sea level.

Habitat Mash-up

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The southwest peninsula of Trinidad is unfortunately rarely birded by visiting birders. Birding Trinidad and TobagoMost tourists historically spent their time at the northern end of the island and although it may seem like a small place – getting around can be a bit tricky.

CBC Shenanigans

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Seven hours in total, reaching halfway up the second highest peak on Trinidad, El Tucuche. Trinidad Lancehead , or Fer-de-lance. This small tanager is widely distributed across Trinidad albeit much less common than the very similar White-lined Tanager.

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Young Thrushes

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Back in Trinidad, both Spectacled Thrush and Cocoa Thrush would nest in our backyard. Birding Birds thrushes Trinidad and Tobago

Into the Clouds

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Trinidad’s cloud forests typically aren’t birded much. Our first birds for the trip were vocalizing Trinidad Euphonias and an inquisitive Rufous-breasted Hermit. Although this species is found on both Trinidad and Tobago, visibly distinct races occur on each island.

Sniping: The Final Frontier?

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Out of the approximately 26 species of snipes worldwide, two have been recorded on Trinidad. On Trinidad it took me some more time until I saw my first snipe. Birding Birds Common Snipe snipe south american snipe Trinidad and Tobago Wilson's Snipe

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