Trinidad Feb 15—22, 2018

Posted by Barry Zimmer


Barry Zimmer

Barry Zimmer has been birding since the age of eight. His main areas of expertise lie in North and Central America, but his travels have taken him throughout much of the wo...

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Our first morning on the veranda of the Asa Wright Nature Centre was a literal whirlwind of activity. As the first light of dawn crept into the Arima Valley, activity began at the feeders off the veranda. At first it was a trickle; a male Silver-beaked Tanager arrived and sampled a piece of papaya, as did a handful of raucous Crested Oropendolas. A Rufous-breasted Hermit zipped into one of the many hummingbird feeders and was quickly chased by a White-chested Emerald. A pair of White-lined Tanagers appeared, the male a glossy black and the female a rich rufous color.

Purple Honeycreeper

Purple Honeycreeper— Photo: Barry Zimmer


As a flock of Orange-winged Parrots sailed up the valley to alight in a bare tree to our right and the first rays of sun peaked over the ridge, the floodgates opened, and birds arrived at a pace so rapid that one could not keep up. A Tufted Coquette buzzed about the vervain, followed by a gem-like Violaceous Euphonia on one of the feeders. To the left a Cocoa Thrush landed in the wild tobacco tree, while multiple White-necked Jacobins dominated the hummingbird feeders. Bananaquit, Spectacled Thrush, Green Honeycreeper, Tropical Mockingbird, Great Kiskadee, and Blue-gray and Palm tanagers paraded into the fruit trays in a dizzying blur. The appearance of a male Purple Honeycreeper caused a gasp among our group as its brilliant yellow legs provided stark contrast with its purplish-blue body. Then there were ten of them! Other hummingbird species joined the crowd including a snazzy Long-billed Starthroat, Black-throated Mango, and Copper-rumped Hummingbird. A Black-tailed Tityra perched up in a bare tree and provided scope studies, while two Common Black Hawks soared over the valley. Activity in a Trema tree to our left revealed brilliant Bay-headed and Turquoise tanagers feeding on the small berries. A female Barred Antshrike skulked through the thickets along the back wall, a flashy Yellow Oriole landed on one of the trays, and a flock of Scaled Pigeons sailed past. Then the breakfast bell rang! All this activity in a little over an hour before breakfast on the first day of our tour!

Read Barry’s full report in his Field Report.