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Birdwatching Advice

Below are a few tips to enhance your bird watching experience.

Do not wear extremely bright clothing, instead wear muted colours that are likely to blend into the surroundings.
Avoid making excessive noise, as loud noises can scare away the very birds that you are trying to observe. In addition loud noises prevent you from hearing the call of the bird or the rustle of a bird as it moves through the foliage.
Slow deliberate movements are advisable particularly when attempting to approach close to a bird, so as to avoid startling the bird.
Birds are visible throughout the day, however early morning 6am to 10am and late afternoon 3pm to 6pm are usually the best times for bird watching. Some species tend to call in the early mornings as the sun is rising, making it easier to locate the bird through its call.
In forested areas, locations that are near to streams, pools or ponds are usually good locations for observing a variety of bird life.
In Trinidad and Tobago, savannahs are generally not completely tree-less. The general area around trees and shrubs in savannahs will usually provide good locations for seeing the types of birds that frequent savannahs, as several species will use these trees as a perch for spotting prey plus resting. Electricity or telephone wires that cross or border savannahs are also used as perches and so you should frequently scan along the wire. Most savannahs are gently undulating so the hummocks/hillocks also provide raised elevations for some species to spot prey.


Advice on Attracting Wild Birds

Some individuals enjoy bird watching but prefer to do their bird watching in their back yard. Below is some advice on attracting wild birds to your back yard.

Firstly it depends upon having wild birds in the general area where your house is located and then you can attract then to your backyard.

The method used to attract the birds will depend upon what is the diet of the bird. If the bird is a nectar feeder e.g. bananaquits or hummingbirds, then large flowering plants will attract them. An alternative for nectar feeders is to purchase a bird feeder and use a sugar solution (the feeder usually has directions). You must put the feeder in a location where the birds will see it and you must change the solution regularly (2 -3 days). Red Feeders seem to be good for quits and hummingbirds. If you use a feeder it will take a few days for the birds to recognise that it is present in your yard.

Other types of birds can be attracted by other feed. Bare-Eyed Thrushes and Kiskadees are somewhat omnivorous and so you can use rice (not boiled). I have found that they also come for dog food. Tropical Mockingbirds can also be attracted with rice. In addition ripe fruits such bananas, mangoes, cherry can be used. Fruits will usually attract Blue-Gray Tanagers, Palm Tanagers and Yellow Orioles. If you have the palm trees that people usually plant in from their houses that will generally attract palm tanagers who will feed on the small nuts and also nest in the tree. With fruits you can build a simple chicken wire basket or bamboo joint to hold the fruit and attach it to the fence.

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Other Bird Articles

For other Bird Watching related articles, click on the name of the individual articles below

Attracting Birds to a Tropical Garden
Dealing with Aggresive Blackbirds
Birdwatching Binoculars - Critical Bird Watching Equipment
Birdwatching Journals - Preserve your birdwatching Experience
Five Tips for Successful Birdwatching
Learning about Hummingbirds
Introducing the fascinating hobby of birdwatching
Bird Photography

Bird Migration

Trinidad and Tobago has many bird species that migrate from vast distances. If you have ever wondered when birds migrate or what tells them it is time to migrate, visit these articles:

When Birds Migrate,                     

Stimulus for Migration,                

Flight Speed during Migration,  

Orientation during Migration,    


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All photographs (unless otherwise stated) are the property of Brian Ramsey. No portion of the material on this site, including the photographs, may be reproduced without the express written consent of Outdoor Business Group Limited and Brian Ramsey. The permission of the other owners of the photographs must also be obtained for use.   

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Last modified: February 16, 2008