The islands of Trinidad and Tobago lie just off the coast of Venezuela, and to the birder not yet familiar with the riches of the Bird Continent they offer an almost perfectly balanced introduction. Here, many of the typical Neotropical bird families are represented--motmots, jacamars, toucans, woodcreepers, ovenbirds, antbirds, manakins, and cotingas. We'll encounter some classic Neotropical scenes: the whirring flash of a tiny male White-bearded Manakin, instantly transposed from one perch to another during a courtship dance; the explosive call of a Bearded Bellbird overhead, its string-like throat wattles dangling loosely; and an eerie descent to the cave of the Oilbirds, those aberrant, fruit-eating relatives of the nightjars.
Based at the comfortable Asa Wright Nature Centre, with great birding right off the veranda (and great food and drink right inside), we'll explore the rainforest of Trinidad's Northern Range, dry savanna and scrub habitats, and freshwater marsh. We'll travel to Caroni Swamp, where at dusk the spectacle is unforgettable, as long lines of luminescent Scarlet Ibis drift in to their roost, perching like so many ornaments in the mangroves.
On the island of Tobago, we'll search for Rufous-vented Chachalaca, the rare White-tailed Sabrewing, and the beautiful Blue-backed Manakin, and we'll take a boat trip to Little Tobago Island where Red-footed and Brown boobies and elegant Red-billed Tropicbirds nest. Join us and discover for yourself the allure of the tropics. You'll see what brings naturalists and birders back again and again.
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