Saturday, April 16, 2011
Trogons from Trinidad and Tobago
Amazonian White-tailed Trogon
We've been wanting to see a trogon ever since we missed them when we were in Arizona. In Trinidad and Tobago, we were lucky enough to see three varieties.
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
American Goldfinch: State Bird of New Jersey
Lineated Woodpeckers from Trinidad
The adult Lineated Woodpecker in the bamboo we tracked ourselves. Mike heard the familiar drumming of a woodpecker while we were on the veranda at Asa Wright. We set off in search of the source and eventually found it in a bamboo cluster along the driveway. You'd think it would be easy to find with that bright red head, but it actually took us a while.
The darling juvenile sticking its head out of the nest was shown to us by our driver on our departure from Asa Wright. He pulled over to show us where he knew there was a nest, and luckily the little one was being curious enough to stick its head out just at the right time.
Violaceous Euphonia from Trinidad
Tobago: Brown-crested Flycatcher feasting on a moth
We love watching birds eat things that look too big for them; never ceases to amaze. This feast went on for a good 20 minutes while the flycatcher relentlessly flung this large moth around. Eventually each wing fell off and the flycatcher got it into a proper angle to swallow it whole. While we're sorry for the moth, we thoroughly enjoyed the show.
More Trinidad birds: Channel-billed Toucan, Oilbird, and Masked Cardinal
Sunday, April 10, 2011
Manakins from Trinidad and Tobago
At Asa Wright Nature Center, the White-bearded and Golden-headed Manakins were easy to find. They have leks on either side of one trail where the males perform adorably trying to attract the females. The Blue-backed Manakin was a different story entirely. We spent at least an hour hiking trails with a guide on Tobago, and Chris told him she wasn't leaving the island until she'd seen the Blue-backed Manakin. Thank goodness he took her seriously; the bird was better in person than in the guidebooks. It looks like it's wearing a little blue cape and a red beret that sits slightly askew. Even after we had a brief look at one on the first hike, we went to another trail where we got to know the bird a little better. We like to watch for a while, rather than just see it, check it off a list and move on.