Trinidad and Tobago Part 2—Asa Wright Nature Center

In Part 1 of this week’s series on Trinidad and Tobago we experienced the disappointment of Port-of-Spain and the fun of Maracas Beach.  Today we’ll go hunting in search of tropical flora and fauna at the captivating Asa Wright Nature Centre in the Arima Valley surrounded by the mountains of Trinidad’s Northern Range.

Have you seen the film The Big Year yet?  Cute movie, and it deserved better than Rotten Tomatoes gave it.  I’d probably rate it a three on my five-point scale.  But what has that movie to do with the Asa Wright Nature Centre?  Plenty, it turns out.  The Big Year was about three birders on a quest to sight the most bird species in the North America during the span of one year—one birder out to protect his existing record and two others striving to knock him from his perch, as it were.  Winning is a feat known as a “Big Year.”  Well, if these three had made it to the Asa Wright Nature Centre, they’d have been off to a really good start on the numbers.

In addition to the stunning number of bird species at Asa Wright, you’ll also see bats feeding at dusk from a hummingbird feeder, large tegu lizards, and the uncommonly cute but shy agouti—a rodent related to the guinea pig and one I’d love to have as a pet.

Friday we’ll finish up our visit to Trinidad and Tobago with a circumnavigation of Tobago by taxi and a stay at the Hilton Tobago.

Meanwhile, start your own “Big Year” right here with these sightings:


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