DISCOVER BIODIVERSITY IN TRINIDAD
Discover Trinidad's unique biodiversity including 433 species of birds, over 600 species of butterflies and 2300 types of beautiful, flowering shrubs and plants.
Views from Asa Wright Nature Centre
ASA WRIGHT NATURE CENTRE
Once an old cocoa & coffee estate within the tropical rainforests, it is now a bird watcher’s dream. Situated 17km along the Blanchisseuse Road at an altitude of 360M, the estate boasts a bird list in excess of 160 species. It is the easiest place to find the Channel-billed Toucan, Bearded Bellbird, the famous oilbird, Manakins leks, all three trogons, woodcreepers, honeycreepers, tanagers and over 10 species of hummingbirds. On one hike alone, you could encounter close to 50-60 species of birds.
Greenery of the north coast
BIRDING ALONG THE BLANCHISSEUSE ROAD
Birding along here is great but, easy to get lost without a guide. Species similar to the Asa Wright Centre, with more flycatchers and hawks. Areas such as Morne Bleu are great for the Hepatic and Speckled Tanager; Las Lapas for leaftossers, antbirds, antthrushes, antwrens and Squirrel Cuckoos. Moving on to Paria Junction and continuing north to Morne la Croix, one can find Blue-headed Parrots, Rufous-tailed Jacamar and a lovely burst of yellow, from the Yellow-rumped Cacique.
THE POINTE-À-PIERRE WILD FOWL TRUST
A wetland habitat, which is home to locally endangered wetland birds. The facility has ongoing breeding and reintroduction of species, namely Blue-and-yellow Macaws, Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks, White-cheeked Pintails and White-faced Whistling-Ducks. This is a popular site for birdwatchers and nature lovers to see various waterfowl in their natural habitat.
White-Necked Jacobin Hummingbird / Photo Credit: Nadia Sanowar
YERETTE, HOME OF THE HUMMINGBIRD
Yerette is located in Maracas Valley and is a leading hummingbird attraction allowing visitors to see these small birds as close as possible. This is a place where one can see hundreds of hummingbirds throughout the year.
Walking through the Aripo Savannas
The Aripo Savannas is a large protected area of vegetated wetland holding large amounts of Moriche Palms. Several birding sites exist in this area and are quite easily accessible. Birds recorded in this area include hawks, falcons, Red-bellied Macaws and Moriche Orioles. The livestock station is open to birders by request. Several shallow ponds and streams on the compound make it easy to spot species like herons, hawks, spinetails, tyrants, swallows, finches and seedeaters.
Journeying to the old American airfield in Wallerfield is lovely for birding, as well as its rich history. Wallerfield is home to hundreds of Red-bellied Macaws, flycatchers, owls, nightjars and the Moriche Orioles.
Inside Nariva Swamp
This swamp is the largest freshwater wetlands in Trinidad and has been designated a wetland of international importance under the Ramsar Conventions. The swamp is located on the eastern coast, immediately inland from the Manzanilla Bay. Covering over 60 sq. km, the swamp is home to over 58 different species of mammals including the West Indian manatee and the red howler monkey. This internationally protected forest reserve has documented over 200 species of birds in their different habitats. The palm, swamp and mangrove forest make Nariva Swamp the ideal habitat for the Yellow-headed Caracara, ospreys, Zone-tails Hawks, Gray-lined Hawks, Long-winged Harriers, Red-breasted and Yellow-hooded Blackbirds and Pinnated Bittern.
Scarlet Ibises in the sky
CARONI BIRD SANCTUARY
At this sanctuary, you will bird along the swamp, on a flat bottom boat, looking for herons, boatbills, kingfishers, egrets, Common Potoo, flamingos, followed by the grand finale – the Scarlet Ibis. The beautiful Scarlet Ibis comes home at sunset, after feeding all day in a protected swamp. This sanctuary is also a Ramsar site, with the Scarlet Ibis being an environmentally sensitive species. This is a sight to behold, one of the ‘must’ things to do in the world.
Mixing great birding with history, one can visit the furthest eastern point of the island, where you can find the Toco Lighthouse. The lighthouse is used to warn boats of the rocky waters, where the Caribbean Sea meets the Atlantic Ocean. This is also the most accessible point to study the seabird migration of the Common Tern, Brown Noddy, as well as smaller numbers of the Sandwich and Roseate Terns. Sightings also include Blackpoll Warblers, Yellow-billed Cuckoos and Lilac-tailed Parrotlets.
Continuing along the coast is the village of Grande Rivière, famous for the nesting giant Leatherback turtles, in season April through August. One can witness the turtles as they come up the shore to lay hundreds of eggs along the beachfront. Take an early morning hike up to Montevideo Trace, a hilltop with a lovely platform among the nutmeg trees, where the Trinidad Piping-Guan can be found in the early morning feeding quietly. The Trinidad Piping-Guan is one of Trinidad’s two endemic species. As the sun rises, walk into the surrounding forest and agricultural fields to find species such as toucans, woodpeckers, kites, trogons, Silvered and White-bellied Antbirds.