Birding Trinidad & Tobago 2005
Journal: 26 Jan 05, Asa Wright Nature Center




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Bird Photos

Trip List


Blue-grey Tanager
Asa Wright, Trinidad
The verandah at Asa Wright has a world-wide reputation as a birding destination. It is justified. The feeders attract an amazing variety of birds. Despite missing too much sleep and jet lag - Trinidad is on Atlantic Time, five hours earlier than Alaska - we were on the verandah early, admiring the birds.

To give you some idea of the attraction of the verandah, over cups of excellent coffee (locally grown and roasted), we saw: Palm Tanagers, Bare-eyed Thrush, Blue-grey Tanager. Bananaquit, Green and Purple Honeycreeper, Silverbeak Tanager, Shiny Cowbird, Tropical Mockingbird, Blue-crowned Motmot, White-lined Tanager, Cocoa Thrush, Crested Oropendola, Ruddy Ground-dove, Boat-billed Flycatcher, Chestnut Woodpecker and Grayish Saltator. All before breakfast.

Meals are served buffet-style. Breakfast was good, and was followed by an orienting walk down the single lane entrance road to the main highway, with Jogi, our guide, the figurative and, in many cases, actual grandfather of Asa Wright guides.

The walk with Jogi - this was just along a road, remember - produced Linneated Woodpecker, Streaked Flycatcher, Turquoise Tanager, Orange-winged Parrot, Tropical Peewee, Black Vulture, Rufous-backed Hermit, Ochre-bellied Flycatcher, Black-throated Mango, Euler's Flycatcher, Rufous-breasted wren, Common Blackhawk, White-bearded Manakin, Bay-headed Tanager, American Redstart, Golden-headed Manakin, Violaceous Euphonia, Violaceous Trogon and White-flanked Antbird. Whew.

Copper-rumped Hummingbird
Asa Wright, Trinidad

White-bearded Manakin
Asa Wright, Trinidad
After lunch, Musex led us on a walk down the Discovery Trail, headed south and downhill from the Lodge. The trail follows a small spur ridge past a White-bearded Manakin lek to a Bearded Bellbird roost. If you are birder, you can appreciate a short walk that takes you to two amazing species.

The White-bearded Manakin lek was moderately active, with 6-8 males hopping around, snapping their wings and hoping for a date. They were focused on the competing males, and not at all bothered by the squad of birders. No still photo will ever do justice to a Manakin. Their lekking behavior is sound and motion.

All the way down the trail, we could hear at least one Bearded Bellbird. A few hundred yards further down the trial, directly over a sign describing the bird and its habits, was the Bearded Bellbird himself, also looking for a date, and determined to make more noise than a competing male across a small valley.

Bearded Bellbird
Asa Wright, Trinidad

Purple Honeycreeper
Asa Wright, Trinidad

Updated Thu, Mar 17, 2005