Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Trini Tuesday-Caroni Swamp

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*Picture taken from Wikipedia article on Scarlet Ibis

Trinidad is a popular destination for serious birdwatchers from all over the world. Caroni Swamp is one of the specific places birders flock to in order to see the Scarlet Ibis, trinidad's national bird. The interesting thing about this bird is it's a commuter. The ibises live mostly in an area on the west coast called Caroni Swamp. Each morning they fly across the Gulf of Paria to Venezuela, about 11 miles. Each evening they return home to Trinidad to roost for the night. Because of their migration patterns the best times to see the birds are at dawn and dusk.


For a pretty nominal fee you'll be taken out into the swamp. The guides will point out other interesting flora and fauna along the way in the mangroves. They will gladly share their mosquito oil with you even as they chuckle over the mosquitoes getting to feed on fresh tourist flesh. Trust me, it's the tropics and it may be crazy hot, but if you go to the swamp you will want to wear long pants and long sleeves. Make sure the fabric is thick too. These mosquitoes are industrial sterength, remember what I told you last week about the insects? The wild flailing of a poorly prepared visitor swatting madly at mosquitoes will make the boat rock, scare off the other animals you might see, and generally irritate fellow passengers. If you ignore this advice and wind up dumped into the swamp or covered head to toe in bug bites don't come crying to me.


Like flamingoes, scarlet ibises develop their distinctive color over time as a result of the crustaceans they eat. A scarlet ibis is a good bit smaller than a flamingo. As you sit quietly on the swamp watching the sun dip the sky will become red with birds. First a few lead birds in small flocks will arrive. More and more follow until the sky is thick with ibises. It's an exciting and distinctive Trinidad experience that every visitor, even those who are not birdwatchers, should enjoy.



ThreeAdultsOneAdolescentFlyingCloseup

*Taken from http://www.richard-seaman.com/

Happy Trini Tuesday!

13 comments:

lecram sinun said...

I can just imagine a flock of red in the sky. Note: Must eat more crustaceans to achieve my red potential. Happy Trini Tuesday, Lime.

M said...

What a beautiful bird! Happy Trini Tuesday (-:

ps I like how you cited where you got your pictures. I need to start doing that more often. (oops.)

ttfootball said...

Enjoy this post MUCH more than the bug one ;)

barefoot_mistress said...

LOL What TT said!


What a beautiful bird, and I remember you telling me about those birds before...flying to Venezuela and all that......

Take Limes advice about the insect repellant, people! Why, in India, I've seen swarms of mosquitos carry off small children.....

Logophile said...

I am so not going in the swamp, mosquitos love me, adore me, will follow me for miles.
And stratch India off the list too.

Amber said...

Prehistoric mosquitos huh? Not my type of thing. But it would be worth the trouble just see see on of thoses beautiful birds.
I didn't know what you ate could determine the color of your feathers. Maybe I should try eating more corn tortillas instead of dying my hair every month.

snavy said...

Ditto what Logo said.

Pretty bird though.

lime said...

lecram, now there's an interesting manner of self tanning!

m, they are cute things.

tt, glad to provide a respite ;)

susie, thanks for the backup on that bit of advice

logo, just dipp yourself in DEET and wear a suit of armor

amber, LOVE your idea!!!

snavy, they are kind of amazing to see.

Rob said...

But do they have plastic versions of the Scarlet Ibis that I could use to decorate my lawn -- you know, to sort of complement the pink Flamingoes? ;-)

Moosekahl said...

I collect crazy flamingo things...a long story involving four of us gals in college, a post lunch statistics class, and a need to be silly.

The scarlet ibises though are beautiful. Very very beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

Lacquer, Semi-Gloss Lacquer said...

...I ain't buying it...

I think they're all run of the mill egrets... and the dead heads got to 'em and dyed them up... (Susie's behind this... LOOK one of 'em's even got a peacesign dangling for crying out loud...)

still, gorgeous birds...

Cosima said...

They look beautiful. If they could just be trained to eat mosquitos :).

Chickadee said...

Beautiful. We had Scarlet Ibis here in our zoo and they were gorgeous...but there's no comparison to seeing a bird in it's natural surroundings.

I'd love to go to Trini. Maybe someday.