"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines.

Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." -Mark Twain

Birds of Trinidad and Tobago

>> Saturday, March 19, 2011

Milo Stanley

March 15, 2011

Birds of Trinidad and Tobago

Though the highlight of our story in Trinidad was going to Carnival, we also had the opportunity to do some bird watching before hand.

On the Sunday before Carnival, we filled our backpacks with birding glasses, field journals, and the essential Harvey Gamage pack lunch, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. We crammed in two vans to start our trip up into the mountains of Trinidad. The poor, winding roads gave the van a motion almost as sickening as that of the Gamage pounding to weather in a force four breeze, but despite it, I managed to sleep through most of the interesting scenery. The Asa Wright Bird Sanctuary, located on the site of old plantations, is an eco-tourism resort with many trails leading through a lush and diverse rainforest unfortunately accessible to hotel guests only.
The balcony overlooking the rainforest was open to the public, however, and we spread out onto it, lining the rail like a crowd of seasick sailors. The birds were amazing. They were everywhere, flying over the forest, hiding in the bushes, hopping around two fat lizards sunning themselves on the veranda below, dining at the feeders mounted by hotel staff (lucky birds) below, and posing for the giant-lensed cameras toted by hotel guests. There were tiny humming birds hovering among the flowers, giant black birds with yellow tail feathers flying over the tree tops, and brilliant green honey creepers diving in front of the balcony in bright flashes of blue green. The whole view near and far was covered with specks of color. The whole thing, birdsong, color, the smell of the fresh rain, was incredibly grand, and something I felt lucky to experience.


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