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The Carolina Bird Club is a non-profit organization that represents and supports the birding community in the Carolinas through its website, publications, meetings, workshops, trips, and partnerships, whose mission is

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The Carolina Bird Club, Inc., is a non-profit educational and scientific association open to anyone interested in the study and conservation of wildlife, particularly birds.

The Club meets each winter, spring, and fall at different locations in the Carolinas. Meeting sites are selected to give participants an opportunity to see many different kinds of birds. Guided field trips and informative programs are combined for an exciting weekend of meeting with people who share an enthusiasm and concern for birds.

The Club offers research grants in avian biology for undergraduate and graduate students, and scholarships for young birders.

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CBC's Trinidad and Tobago Trip a Great Success

By Bill Sugg

Click on any photo
for larger image.

Oilbirds, tropicbirds, motmots, trogons, antbirds, bellbirds. The list of tropical exotics could go on and on. All can be seen up close and personal when visiting the islands of Trinidad and Tobago. This island nation is just off the northeastern coast of South America, near Venezuela.

Group at Savanna

Simon Thompson

Group at Aripo Savanna

In November 2004, The Carolina Bird Club sponsored a ten-day trip to those magic isles. It was a trip to a birder's heaven. Simon Thompson, owner of Ventures, Inc., was the nonpareil group leader assisted by locals on the scene. Twelve hardy birders rounded out the Carolina contingency.

On Trinidad our base was the Asa Wright Nature Centre at 1,200 feet above the Arima Valley. We walked the trails on the Centre grounds and took van excursions to explore an incredible variety of habitats in the valley and on the coast.

Simon Thompson

Threesome: Bananaquit, Green Honeycreeper, Purple Honeycreeper

The verandah at Asa Wright is a destination in itself. Surrounded by hummingbird feeders and overlooking fruit and bread-laden feeders on the ground, it is not unusual to have 20 or more species in view at any time of day. It is common to have six or more species of hummingbirds, along with Bananaquits and honeycreepers, vying for space at the feeders. Another dozen species are on the ground including Bare-eyed Thrush, Ruddy Ground-Dove, Crested Oropendola, and several tanager species. Palm Tanagers are nesting on the porch. Several in our group had 25 lifers before breakfast! The helpful staff was always available and had scopes at the ready to show a distant Ornate Hawk-Eagle or Double-toothed Kite.

Asa Wright has a special place on its grounds: Dunstan Cave, one of the most accessible sites in the world to see Oilbirds. These large-with a wingspan of 3.5 feet-nocturnal fruit-eaters roost there. This bird leaves the roost at dusk and, navigating by a sort of sonar, finds his food by smell and hovers over the fruit to eat it.

Simon Thompson

Evening at Caroni

Lucy Quintilliano

Scarlet Ibis

One afternoon we traveled to another special place, Caroni Swamp, a large mangrove swamp on the west coast of Trinidad. We got into a powerboat to travel the few miles to one of the most spectacular sights of the whole trip. On the way Green-throated Mango and Red-capped Cardinal were seen. And our boat passed under at least one Trinidad Red Tail Boa Constrictor.

Toward dusk they began arriving. First in small numbers, twos, and threes. Then the numbers expanded until it seemed the whole sky was full of flapping scarlet. Hundreds, thousands of Scarlet Ibis were coming to an island in a Caroni Swamp lake. The ibis were joined by hundreds of Tricolored Herons that roost on the same island.

Tobago was only a short flight away. Unfortunately, severe rainstorms just before our arrival hit Tobago, which was recovering from hurricane Ivan. Mudslides throughout the eastern part of the island were very serious and presented a major obstacle to travel by foot and by vehicle. The Blue Water Inn, on the northeast tip of the island, was our base. We found Blue-crowned Motmots roosted on the lights of some of the rooms' balconies.

From the Inn it was just a short boat ride to Little Tobago Island to see nesting Red-billed Tropicbird and Red-footed Booby. At Bon Accord lagoon we had good views of Little Egret as well as Blue-black Grassquit and Red-crowned Woodpecker. A couple of days later, in Gilpin Trace in the Main Ridge Forest Preserve we saw White-tailed Sabrewing and Collared Trogon.

On the last night we tallied up the trip totals and came up with 198 species. Two more were added the next morning at a brief stop on the way to the airport: Ring-necked Duck and Green Heron. Grand total: 200!

Thanks to the Carolina Bird Club for its sponsorship of these extralimital trips!

Green Honeycreeper Crested Oropendola

Simon Thompson

Simon Thompson

Green Honeycreeper

Crested Oropendola

Rufous-vented Chachalacas Masked Yellowthroat

Simon Thompson

Lucy Quintilliano

Rufous-vented Chachalacas

Masked Yellowthroat

White-chested Emerald White-tailed Sabrewing

Simon Thompson

Simon Thompson

White-chested Emerald

White-tailed Sabrewing

Rufous-tailed Jacamar Group at Tobago

Simon Thompson

Simon Thompson

Rufous-tailed Jacamar

Group at Tobago

Species seen

Least Grebe
Red-billed Tropicbird
Magnificent Frigatebird
Masked Booby
Red-footed Booby
Brown Booby
Brown Pelican
Black-bellied Whistling-Duck
American Wigeon
White-cheeked Pintail
Blue-winged Teal
Ring-necked Duck
Tricolored Heron
Little Blue Heron
Snowy Egret
Little Egret
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
Cattle Egret
Striated Heron
Green Heron
Yellow-crowned Night-Heron
Black-crowned Night-Heron
Scarlet Ibis
Black Vulture
Turkey Vulture
Pearl Kite
Double-toothed Kite
White Hawk
Common Black-Hawk
Great Black-Hawk
Savanna Hawk
Grey Hawk
Broad-winged Hawk
Short-tailed Hawk
Zone-tailed Hawk
Ornate Hawk-Eagle
Yellow-headed Caracara
Peregrine Falcon
Red Junglefowl
Rufous-vented Chachalaca
Purple Gallinule
Common Moorhen
Wattled Jacana
Greater Yellowlegs
Solitary Sandpiper
Spotted Sandpiper
Ruddy Turnstone
Least Sandpiper
White-rumped Sandpiper
Semipalmated Plover
Southern Lapwing
Royal Tern
Common Tern
Rock Pigeon
Scaled Pigeon
Pale-vented Pigeon
Eared Dove
Ruddy Ground-Dove
White-tipped Dove
Grey-fronted Dove
Red-bellied Macaw
Green-rumped Parrotlet
Lilac-tailed Parrotlet
Yellow-crowned Parrot
Orange-winged Parrot
Squirrel Cuckoo
Smooth-billed Ani
Striped Cuckoo
Tropical Screech-Owl
Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl
Common Potoo
Common Pauraque
White-tailed Nightjar
Grey-rumped Swift
Short-tailed Swift
Fork-tailed Palm-Swift
Rufous-breasted Hermit
Green Hermit
Little (Stripe-throated) Hermit
White-tailed Sabrewing
White-necked Jacobin
Green-throated Mango
Black-throated Mango
Tufted Coquette
Blue-chinned Sapphire
White-chested Emerald
Copper-rumped Hummingbird
White-tailed Trogon
Collared Trogon
Violaceous Trogon
Belted Kingfisher
Green Kingfisher
Blue-crowned Motmot
Rufous-tailed Jacamar
Channel-billed Toucan
Red-crowned Woodpecker
Golden-olive Woodpecker
Lineated Woodpecker
Crimson-crested Woodpecker
Plain-brown Woodcreeper
Olivaceous Woodcreeper
Straight-billed Woodcreeper
Cocoa Woodcreeper
Stripe-breasted Spinetail
Yellow-chinned Spinetail
Grey-throated Leaftosser
Streaked Xenops
Great Antshrike
Black-crested Antshrike
Barred Antshrike
Plain Antvireo
White-flanked Antwren
White-fringed Antwren
Silvered Antbird
White-bellied Antbird
Black-faced Antthrush
Scaled Antpitta
Bearded Bellbird
Golden-headed Manakin
Blue-backed Manakin
White-bearded Manakin
Ochre-bellied Flycatcher
Slaty-capped Flycatcher
Southern Beardless-Tyrannulet
Forest Elaenia
Yellow-bellied Elaenia
Short-tailed Pygmy-Tyrant
Yellow-breasted Flycatcher
Bran-colored Flycatcher
Fuscous Flycatcher
Olive-sided Flycatcher
Tropical Pewee
Pied Water-Tyrant
White-headed Marsh-Tyrant
Brown-crested Flycatcher
Tropical Kingbird
Gray Kingbird
Sulphury Flycatcher
Boat-billed Flycatcher
Streaked Flycatcher
Piratic Flycatcher
Great Kiskadee
White-winged Becard
Black-tailed Tityra
Rufous-browed Peppershrike
Golden-fronted Greenlet
Scrub Greenlet
Cocoa Thrush
Bare-eyed Thrush
White-necked Thrush
Tropical Mockingbird
Rufous-breasted Wren
House Wren
Long-billed Gnatwren
White-winged Swallow
Gray-breasted Martin
Southern Rough-winged Swallow
Tropical Parula
Yellow Warbler
Blackpoll Warbler
American Redstart
Northern Waterthrush
Masked Yellowthroat
Red-capped Cardinal
Bicolored Conebill
White-lined Tanager
Red-crowned Ant-Tanager
Silver-beaked Tanager
Blue-grey Tanager
Palm Tanager
Violaceous Euphonia
Turquoise Tanager
Speckled Tanager
Bay-headed Tanager
Blue Dacnis
Green Honeycreeper
Purple Honeycreeper
Grassland Yellow-Finch
Blue-black Grassquit
Black-faced Grassquit
Grayish Saltator
Crested Oropendola
Yellow-rumped Cacique
Yellow Oriole
Yellow-hooded Blackbird
Red-breasted Blackbird
Carib Grackle
Shiny Cowbird
Giant Cowbird