You may have heard the news that resonated throughout the international birding circuit some months ago – in case you missed it you can read my gloss-over here. Several tour companies and birders seeking to investigate birding in the country with the second highest bird species density in the world indicated that it may be futile to pursue a birding trip to Trinidad & Tobago given the closure of a single (and undeniably significant) lodge.

I wish to formally assure the faint of heart that we are definitely not a country of a single lodge. Over the past few months, a dedicated team of birding professionals has been conducting a coordinated, thorough scouting mission – identifying more than a few lodges across the island of Trinidad (Tobago still has you comfortably covered).

While I shall not name the lodges just yet, I’m excited to share some of the images taken at these wonderful (and quite birdy) locations to assuage any fears some of you may have had creeping in.

Hummingbirds still abound, such as this White-necked Jacobin (above) and Long-billed Starthroat (below)

The Tropical Parula is one of three resident warblers on Trinidad.

New locations are going to yield new birds, such as this Sooty Grassquit.

Dreaming of eye-level trogons? We got you. This Green-backed Trogon looks at me as I try to convince it to look the other way.

The Crimson-crested Woodpecker is the largest woodpecker in the Caribbean.

Whenever you see a male Blue Dacnis, keep your eyes peeled for his mate. Can you see her in this photo?

One of the main perks of exploring new places and private parks is new habitat. Accessible viewing of several wetland birds are possible, including a couple of our native kingfishers – Ringed Kingfisher (above) and Green Kingfisher (below).

Have you ever considered the prospect of having a cup of tea in the afternoon while enjoying a flock of Red-and-green Macaws also enjoying a drink?

What about sharing Açaí with a flock of Red-bellied Macaws?

Channel-billed Toucans need not be at the end of a spotting scope, but close enough to wake you with their raucous calls in the morning.

All of these images were made on the grounds of various lodges on Trinidad, without any need for extensive hiking (sometimes shoes can even be optional). Our borders are still closed and many travelers remain understandably apprehensive – but do know that T&T still has much to offer.

Written by Faraaz Abdool
Faraaz Abdool is an internationally published freelance conservation and wildlife photographer/writer who specializes in birds and the issues they face worldwide. He graciously serves on the Trinidad and Tobago Bird Status and Distribution Committee (formerly the Trinidad and Tobago Rare Bird Committee), and leads birding trips on both islands. Faraaz also runs yearly birding and wildlife tours to East Africa. Although he doesn’t keep a life list, Faraaz has been a keen birder for many years, separating Black and Turkey Vultures at distance as a little boy, skipping class to gaze at Magnificent Frigatebirds as a teenager and quitting his job as an electrical engineer to put all his energy into conservation as an adult. Faraaz cultivates wildlife consciousness via his words and images, in a last-ditch attempt to reconnect humans with nature and save the world.