The islands of Trinidad & Tobago are incredibly bird-rich, coast-to-coast; birds can be observed virtually anywhere. However, there are certain areas that have been prolific in terms of sightings over the years. These areas have some of the highest species counts as recorded by birders on eBird; hotspots in T&T surpassing 100 species can all be explored on this map.
Following are five incredible locations to enjoy birds in T&T, each visit brings different fortunes so multiple visits to the same areas are highly encouraged!
1. Asa Wright Nature Centre
Undoubtedly the most famous birding location in the country, this renowned lodge nestled in Trinidad’s Northern Range boasts a bird list of more than 260 species. Some noteworthy residents include Bearded Bellbird, Oilbird, and the infrequently encountered Scaled Antpitta. Numerous migratory species also transit such as Swallow Tanager and Rose-breasted Grosbeak.
2. Main Ridge Forest Reserve
The western hemisphere’s oldest legally protected rainforest, the Main Ridge Forest Reserve on Tobago has enjoyed official protection for almost 250 years. Trails within the rainforest are well-maintained and offer comfortable viewing of many Tobago specialties including Great Black Hawk, Blue-backed Manakin, Grey-throated Leaftosser, and Trinidad Motmot.
3. Caroni Swamp
The popular Caroni Swamp on Trinidad’s west coast is an otherworldly spectacle during twilight hours especially. Accessible only by boat, afternoon tours into the swamp operate daily to see up to several thousand Scarlet Ibis return to their roost. Dawn tours are arranged by request only. Also on show are American Flamingo, Boat-billed Heron, and Masked Cardinal.
4. South Oropuche Lagoon
A popular hotspot in southwestern Trinidad, a single road through this lagoon can yield surprising diversity in an exceptionally small area. With a total length of just a few kilometres, Rahamut Trace boasts a tally of more than 160 species! Resident birds like Spotted Tody-Flycatcher and Red-breasted Meadowlark are easily seen alongside many species of migratory shorebirds, flycatchers, and warblers.
5. Bon Accord Sewage Treatment Ponds
These ponds are located almost walking distance from the airport at Crown Point on the southwestern tip of Tobago. While fenced, persons can still enjoy viewing (best with binoculars or a spotting scope) of most of Tobago’s wetland bird population. Resident Black Skimmers and White-cheeked Pintails are almost always present, during the correct months expect migratory shorebirds and ducks, and always be watchful for extra-rare vagrants like Grey Heron and Little Egret.