2019: Trinidad and Tobago – “Home!” Caroni Swamp – Part Four.

Someone once told me, “Miguel you are my family.” those words changed my perception and ultimately adjusted my reality. Being a family means you are a part of something very wonderful. It means you will love and be loved for the rest of your life. This trip I wanted to share it with my niece and my nephew. So I took them down to Nanan’s Tours of the Caroni Bird Sanctuary.

The tour boat at Caroni Swamp
Taking my niece and nephew birding at the Caroni Swamp
Future Naturalist

This small, grayish blue wading bird is widespread throughout North America (from the Central Midwest and Southeast states.) Its entire range extends to Cuba, Central and South America. Little blue herons feed on a varied diet of fish, insects and amphibians and prefer to forage alone. Their nesting behavior is far more communal, however. Little blue herons often nest in colonies in the company of other wading bird species.

Little Blue Heron (Egretta caerulea) nestled amongst the mangrove swamp.

Since at least the early 1970s, bird-watching ecotours in Caroni Swamp generate over $1 million TTD annually. Today, the swamp and the ibis are internationally known as a “must-see” natural treasure, and the ecotourism industry continues to support the livelihoods of many Trinidadians. But this national symbol is under siege, the bird is a black market delicacy illegally served at elite parties, driving the motivation for poaching. It has been speculated that eating the national bird is a status symbol. 

Scarlet Ibis (Eudocimus Ruber) off in the distance

Scarlet Ibis roost – see those little red dots, those are individual birds.

Scarlet Ibis (Eudocimus Ruber) Roost in the Mangrove swamp

Coming in to roost for the night.

“Flying into the Roost” Scarlet Ibis (Eudocimus Ruber)

The American flamingo is found in Central and South America and the Caribbean. It is also occasionally seen in Florida and along the Gulf Coast as a vagrant. The American flamingo doesn’t breed in the United States. The American flamingo was once considered to be the same species as the greater flamingo (Phoenicopterus roseus) found in Africa, Asia and parts of southern Europe, but is Cichlidnow considered a separate species. It is the only flamingo species found in North America.

American Flamingo (Phoenicopterus rubber)

I was a little disappointed with the photography opportunities at Caroni swamp; the guide never really positioned the watercraft, in an ideal position for good photography, he seemed rushed the whole time, and I am glad I had this opportunity with my niece and nephew. I will be making a return visit.

Until the next adventure and thank you for stopping by!

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  1. Family is indeed forever.
    And God only knows how many species we will extinguish in this arbitrary need for status.
    Even briefly done the photographs are spectacular.

    1. True words – family is everything. Going over the images from my trip home, reinforced many bonds, which I fondly shared.
      There is always hope, as long as there are consistent conservation efforts.
      Thank you so much for the kinds words – means very me to me.

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