Come Fly With Me…

Birding in T&T

They come from all over the globe just to have a glimpse at some of Trinidad and Tobago’s local avian inhabitants. Birders, as they’re known, are avid fans of exotic birds and will go just about anywhere to stand quietly in the dense foliage for just one peek at these lovely creatures.

To make things easier, we’ve rounded up the best places where birders and other nature enthusiasts can observe and marvel in nature’s winged wonders.

The Asa Wright Nature Centre  

Nestled in the Northern Range, the Asa Wright Nature Centre is perhaps the premier spot for a bit of bird watching. Visitors and locals have the chance to observe and note myriad of birds, as well as birding tours, nature hikes along really well-designed trails and natural shallow pools of water.

Birders are also spoilt for choice as Trinidad and Tobago offers well over 400 species of native birds. Not to be left out, there are also 55 different reptile species, 25 amphibians, more than 600 butterflies and 2,000 types of flowering plants, can be found at the Centre.

The added incentive to Asa Wright’s appeal is the lovely restaurant housed in the lodge. It makes for a perfect day’s outing indeed!

For more information on the Asa Wright Nature Centre please visit their website at www.asawright.org

Caroni Bird Sanctuary

Known as the second largest protected mangrove wetland, the Caroni Bird Sanctuary is one of Trinidad and Tobago’s must see places. Not only is it a prime birding area, it’s one of the loveliest nature experiences one may ever have. Protected under the Ramasar Convention, the Caroni Bird Sanctuary sits just off the coast of Trinidad, south of Port of Spain and northwest of Chaguanas where the Caroni River meets the Gulf of Paria.

An extremely popular local and tourist attraction, the Bird Sanctuary is home to 186 species of bird wildlife, including one of T&T’s national birds the Scarlet Ibis, egrets, herons, and silky anteaters which can be found quietly perched among the leafy tops of mangrove trees.

What you will never forget is the stunning image of bright red Scarlet Ibis coming home to roost as the sun sets. Hundreds of Scarlet Ibis streak across the sky and eventually turn green leaves into a scarlet speckled tree. Born brown, the Scarlet Ibis gets its colour from their diet and as they grow older, the feathers turn that symbolic red.

For more information about the Caroni Bird Sanctuary and to book a tour please visit www.nananecotours.com or call (868) 645-1305.

Pointe- a – Pierre Wild Fowl Trust

You wouldn’t expect a diverse eco-park in the middle of an oil refinery, but the Point-a-Pierre Wild Fowl Trust (PAPWFT) is a national non-profit volunteer organisation, founded in 1966. The PAPWFT is an inland freshwater wetland habitat that comprises two lakes and 26 hectares of woodlands and various species of fruit trees which also serve as a food source for the birds.

What’s also interesting is that the Trust also affords the opportunity of balancing the environment, since a nature reserve of any kind in a refinery estate is unique to Trinidad and Tobago. The PAPWFT seeks to research the breeding habits of endangered waterfowl and wetland birds for release into their native habitats. Fat ducks, gorgeous peacocks and other water fowl happily waddle around freely and visitors can delight in the very natural surroundings of the park.

The park is also home to an information centre that teaches both locals and visitors about the residents.

For more information on the Pointe a Pierre Wild Fowl Trust visit their website at www.papwildfowltrust.org

Yerette – Home of the Hummingbird

We can’t argue with online travel website Trip Advisor’s recommendation of Yerette (Amerindian word for Hummingbird) at all. After all, it’s a place that boasts of the largest concentration of hummingbirds in the Caribbean.  Just among the upscale houses in residential Maracas Valley, in the Northern Range of Trinidad, Yerette – Home of the Hummingbird, is home to 13 of the world’s most iridescent, beautiful, tiniest and rarest of Hummingbirds.

Owned by Dr. Theo Ferguson and his wife Gloria, avid birdwatchers have the unique opportunity to witness the splendour of the copper-rumped hummingbird, one of the most beautiful and aggressive of the hummingbirds, the white-chested emerald, the blue-chinned sapphire, the ruby topaz, considered the most beautiful hummingbird in the world for its ballerina-esque movement.

A visit to Yerette operates by appointment only and costs US $25 per person.

For more information, please e-mail or call:

1 (868) 663-2623 or e-mail hello@yerette.com to book your tour today.

Main Ridge Forest Reserve, Tobago 

The Main Ridge Forest Reserve is home to half of the island’s avian population making it a favourite destination for bird watchers. Species of vibrantly hued forest birds include the Tobago Blue- backed Manakin, White-tailed Sabrewing Hummingbird, Blue Crowned Motmot, Rufous-tailed Jacamar known locally as the King Hummingbird, Yellow-legged Thrush, Olivaceous Woodcreeper, Collared Trogon and the Cocrico, also known as the Tobago Pheasant one of two national birds depicted on the Coat of Arms of Trinidad and Tobago.

Little Tobago

Right off the Speyside coast, Little Tobago is considered to be one of the Caribbean’s most important seabird sanctuaries.Birding enthusiasts can look-out for any of the 58 species that have been recorded on the island including the Red-footed Booby, the Red-tailed Tropicbird, Brown Noddy, Sooty Tern, Roseate Tern and Laughing Gulls.

St. Giles Island

Another Trip Advisor pick, St. Giles covers a 72 acre area that supports one of the region’s most important large seabird breeding colonies. Twenty- four land bird species have been recorded there as well as numerous reported sightingsof migratory birds which include the Frigatebird, Red-billed Tropicbirds and Audbon’s Shearwater to name a few. 

 

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