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The bananaquit is a species of passerine bird. Freeuse photo

Exploring Nature: Trinidad

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Sometimes birds are not all I remember about a birding trip.

Take a long-ago visit to Trinidad. I flew down to that delightful Caribbean island and checked into the Asa Wright Nature Centre Lodge, a wonderful place with a long verandah in front, overlooking a verdant valley.

People carried their morning coffee, which was made from locally-grown beans, out onto that verandah and the common refrain was: “You can see 40 live species before breakfast.” And you really could.

I saw everything from copper-rumped hummingbirds buzzing flowers, to bright yellow bananaquits on the table tops looking for syrup drips. Next door, in a shallow cave, there were creepy oilbirds with their garrulous squawks.

And on an evening excursion, we traveled to a nearby beach to see a leatherback turtle bury her eggs and then drag off into the surf and disappear.

Almost as welcome as the birds was the delicious food at the lodge. On my first day, I lined up at the cafeteria-style eatery and asked the serving lady if they ever served the national dish of Trinidad — chicken pelau. She assured me they would have it on the menu the next day. And they did. And it was delicious.

If you’d like to check out the birds of Trinidad, maybe see a giant sea turtle and sample that delicious pelau, call 800-426-7781 or visit for more information.

San Marcos Record

(512) 392-2458
P.O. Box 1109, San Marcos, TX 78666