A Guide to the Birds of Trinidad and Tobago

A Guide to the Birds of Trinidad and Tobago




A visit to Trinidad and Tobago has introduced countless birders to the astonishingly rich South American avifauna. Members of nearly all the families of South American birds can be found in these two beautiful West Indian islands, where the climate is pleasant and the habitats varied. This easy-to-use book is the second edition of a comprehensive yet compact field guide to more than 430 species of the island's birds. First published in 1973, it has been brought up to date - and a new color plate and redrawn illustrations have been added.

In his introduction, Richard ffrench offers a full treatment of the history of ornithology in Trinidad and Tobago, and sets the scene by describing the environment of the islands, including physiography, climate, and vegetation. Thirteen photographs depict the variety of habitats found on the islands. ffrench also details the distribution of species, their breeding and migration, as well as local conservation and protection measures.

Individual species accounts, arranged by family, make up the core of this practical identification guide, covering habitat and status, range and subspecies, field description and basic measurements, voice, food, nesting, and behavior. They are illustrated by 29 color plates, 9 color portraits, and 24 drawings - the work of two of the foremost artists in Neotropical ornithology. A comprehensive bibliography lists more than 300 titles from the ornithological literature on birds of the area.

This book will be welcomed with enthusiasm by birders and other naturalists, professional ornithologists, and travelers to the Neotropics.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780870980565
Publisher: Livingston Publishing Company
Publication date: 01/01/1973
Pages: 470

About the Author

The late Richard ffrench first went to the West Indies in 1955, and pursued his avocation of ornithology for the rest of his life; after returning to the UK he frequently led field trips to the neotropics.

John P. O'Neill is an acclaimed bird artist.

Table of Contents

List of Colour Plates xi

Tribute to Don R. Eckelberry xiii

About the Asa Wright Nature Centre xv

Foreword Carol J. James xvii

Preface to the Third Edition Richard ffrench xix

Editor's Note R. Geoff Gibbs xxiii

Artist Acknowledgments John P. O 'Neill xxv

Map of the Caribbean Area xxviii

Introduction 1

Characteristics Included in the Species Accounts 29

Species Accounts 33


Tinamidae: Tinamous 35


Anhimidae: Screamers 36

Anatidae: Ducks 36


Cracidae: Guans and Chachalacas 44


Podicipedidae: Grebes 47


Procellariidae: Petrels and Shearwaters 48

Hydrobatidae: Storm-Petrels 51


Phaethontidae: Tropicbirds 52

Sulidae: Boobies 53

Pelecanidae: Pelicans 56

Phalacrocoracidae: Cormorants 57

Anhingidae: Anhingas or Darters 58

Fregatidae: Frigatebirds 59


Ardeidae: Herons 60

Cochleariidae: Boat-billed Herons 74

Threskiornitbidae: Ibises and Spoonbills 75

Ciconiidae: Storks 78

Cathartidae: New World Vultures 80


Phoenicopteridae: Flamingoes 83


Accipitridae: Kites, Hawks, Eagles, and Allies 83

Falconidae: Caracaras and Falcons 101

Gruiformes Rallidae: Rails, Gallinules, and Coots 106

Heliornithidae: Sungrebes 115

Aramidae: Limpkins 116


Burhinidae: Thick-knees 116

Charadriidae: Plovers 117

Haematopodidae: Oystercatchers 122

Recurvirostridae: Stilts and Avocets 123

Jacanidae: Jacanas 124

Scolopacidae: Sandpipers and Snipe 125

Laridae: Skuas, Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers 142


Columbidae: Pigeons and Doves 159


Psittacidae: Macaws, Parrots, and Parakeets 169


Cucuhdae: Cuckoos 176


Tytonidae: Barn Owls 182

Strigidae: Owls 183


Caprimulgidae: Nighthawks and Nightjars 187

Nyctibiidae: Potoos 193

Steatornithidae: Oilbirds 194


Apodidae: Swifts 195

Trochilidae: Hummingbirds 202


Trogonidae: Trogons 217


Momotidae: Motmots 219

Alcedinidae: Kingfishers 220


Galbulidae: Jacamars 223

Ramphastidae: Toucans 224

Picidae: Woodpeckers 226


Furnariidae: Ovenbirds 230

Dendrocolaptidae: Woodcreepers 234

Thamnophilidae: Antbirds 238

Formicariidae: Ground Antbirds 244

Tyrannidae: Tyrant Flycatchers 246

Cotingidae: Cotingas 278

Pipridae: Manakins 280

Vireonidae: Vireos and Peppershrikes 285

Hirundinidae: Swallows 289

Troglodytidae: Wrens 295

Sylviidae: Old World Warblers and Gnatcatchers 297

Turdidae: Thrushes 299

Mimidae: Mockingbirds 304

Motacillidae: Pipits and Wagtails 306

Parulidae: Wood Warblers 306

Coerebidae: Bananaquits 317

Thraupidae: Tanagers and Allies 319

Emberizidae: Seedeaters, Grassquits, and Allies 335

Cardinalidae: Grosbeaks and Buntings 346

Icteridae: American Orioles and Blackbirds 350

Fringillidae: Cardueline Finches, Euphonias, and Allies 362

Passeridae: Old World Sparrows 366

Estrildidae: Estrildid Finches 366

Appendix: Species Checklist for Trinidad and Tobago, with Locations of Collected Specimens 369

Bibliography 383

Index of Scientific Names 397

Index of Common Names 403

Colour plates follow page 172

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