Birding in the Caribbean

Subject: Birding in the Caribbean
From: (Dr Richard Nowotny)
Date: Sat, 05 Jul 1997 13:15:33 +1000
Iain Campbell asks about birding in the Caribbean.

I have just returned from 11 days birding in Trinidad and Tobago.
Interestingly, while politically and culturally a part of the West Indies,
in natural history terms it is quite different from the rest of the West
Indies and the Caribbean generally by being essentially a part of South
America (Trinidad is only 15 miles or so from mainland Venezuela).  As a
consequence, while the birding in the Caribbean is generally relatively poor
(as I understand it), birding in T&T is exciting and rich.  We saw nearly
200 species and well over half of those were life birds (many more would
have been if we hadn't already seen 400+ in North America and previously
visited Costa Rica).
T&T is a safe and enjoyable country to visit - second world bordering on
first - with a rich history and many attractions other than the birds.
Surprisingly to us, it has a significant ethnically Indian population (40%
of the Trinidadians, equal to the percentage who are ethnically African) and
is therefore quite multicultural.
If any birding-aussers (particularly including Iain, of course) are
interested in more info., bird-lists, etc, I would be happy to respond.

Richard Nowotny (Melbourne)

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