Statistics and Records:

Trip Life Bird Summary:
Florida: 19
Trinidad: 113
Tobago: 17
St. Lucia: 20
Belize: 100

Trip Total: 269
Adds to pre-trip Life List of 629
for Updated Life List Total of 898

Milestones Reached:

Trip Life Bird 100: Yellow-chinned Spinetail (Trinidad)
Trip Life Bird 200: Gray-necked Wood-Rail (Belize)
Life List Bird 700: Short-tailed Swift (Trinidad)
Life List Bird 800: Ocellated Turkey (Belize)
First Bird of the Trip: Eurasian Collared-dove (Miami, FL)
Last Bird of the Trip: Thick-billed Seed-finch (Belize Zoo)

Trip Awards:

And so here are our trip awards. All the candidates were very good, it was almost impossible to make a choice. Any of them would make a great Best Bird, and remember, if for any reason the winner cannot fulfill its duties, the first runner-up will be declared the winner.

As of today, 5/31/00 at 9:30 am, Sharon has done only Florida's, Tobago's and St. Lucia's awards. She keeps trying to lead a normal life.

Most Beautiful

Bob: Swallow-tailed Kite
Sh: Cape May Warbler

Bob: Red-legged Honeycreeper

Bob: Red-billed Tropicbird
Sharon: Blue-backed Manakin

Bob: Antillean Crested Hummer
Sh: Purple-throated Carib
Bob: Lovely Cotinga
Worked Hardest For

Bob:Bachman's Sparrow
Sh: Mangrove Cuckoo

Bob: The no-tailed Fork-tailed Flycatchers Bob: White-tailed Dove
Sh: Blue-backed Manakin
Both: Bridled Tern Bob: Pinnated Bittern
Best of Rare Bob: Mangrove Cuckoo
Sh: Snail Kite
Trinidad Euphonia White-throated Spadebill

Bob: Blue-headed Euphonia (heard only)
Sh: St. Lucia Parrot

Mottled Owl
Best Parking Lot Bird(1) Bob: Limpkin
Sh: Eurasian Collared-dove
Bob: White-headed Marsh-tyrant Bob: Red-billed Tropicbird
Sh: Rufous-vented Chachalaca
Bob: Bridled Tern
Sh: Zenaida Dove
n/a (didn't rent a car)
Most Fun to Find Bob: Hill Mynah
Sh: Limpkin
Bob: White-bearded Manakin Bob: Blue-backed Manakin
Sh: Striated Heron
Bob: Trembler
Sh: Streaked Saltator
Bob: Lovely Cotinga
Biggest Relief to Find Bob: Florida Scrub-jay
Sh: Wilson's Plover
Bob: Blue Dacnis Bob: White-tailed Sabrewing
Sh: Blue-backed Manakin
Both: both terns at island's south end Bob: Crested Guan
Wanted Most, Not Found Bob: Spot-breasted Oriole + RCW
Sh: Red-cockaded Woodpecker.
Bob: Lilac-tailed Parrotlet Bob: Great Blackhawk
Sh: none
Bob: Rufous-throated Solitaire
Sh: none
Bob: Sungrebe
Wanted Most, Heard Only Bachman's Sparrow (saw all other lifers) Bob: Ferruginous Pygmy-owl n/a - saw all lifers Both: Blue-headed Euphonia Bob: White-collared Manakin
Biggest Surprise Both: Snail Kite Bob: Tufted Coquette's tiny size Bob: Seeing the Spadebill at the last moments
Sh: White-fringed Antwren
Bob: Streaked Saltator
Sh: Trembler
Bob: The adult Agami Heron from the River Trail
Most Incredible

Bob: Wood Stork
Sh: no vote

Bob: Oilbird Bob: Blue-backed Manakin
Sh: White-tailed Sabrewing
Bob: Trembler
Sh: Pearly-eyed Thrasher
Bob: Montezuma Oropendola
Best Use of Color Both: Purple Gallinule Bob: Blue-crowned Motmot Both: Ruby-topaz Hummingbird Both: St. Lucia Parrot Bob: Ocellated Turkey
Noisiest Both: Monk Parakeet Bob: Crested Oropendola Both: Rufous-vented Chachalaca Bob: St. Lucia Parrot
Sh: Pearly-eyed Thrasher
Bob: Red-lored Parrot
Favorite Call or Song Both: Black-whiskered Vireo (though it's pretty simple) Bob: Bearded Bellbird Bob: none
Sh: Baby Mockingbirds
Bob: none
Sh: Streaked Saltator
Bob: Spotted Wood-quail
Best Decision Bob: second trip to get Mangrove Cuckoo
Sh: Indian Fry Bread restaurant, where saw Snail Kites
Bob: hiring guide David on last day Both: Hiring Newton George for rainforest guide Bob: Hiring Donald Anthony for rainforest guide
Sh: Going for the Terns
Bob: Using Gilberto as our guide every time we could get him
Worst Decision Bob: trying to find Red-cockaded Woodpeckers w/o recent info. Bob: Going on the PAX Guest House/Mt. St. Benedict "hike"

Bob: Not dumping Mr. Jack sooner
Sh: none

Bob: depending on kitchen staff for next day's picnic lunch Bob: can't think of any.
Most Underfoot Both: Eurasian-collared Dove Bob: Bananaquit Bob: Rufous-vented Chachalaca
Sh: none
Bob: Zenaida Dove
Sh: Lesser Antillean Bullfinches
Bob: Melodious Blackbird
Prettiest Common Bird Both: no vote Bob: White-necked Jacobin (hummer) Bob: Blue-crowned Motmot
Sh: Red-crowned Woodpecker
Bob: Green-throated Carib
Sh: Antillean Crested Hummingbird
Bob: Ocellated Turkey
Overall Favorite Bob: Wood Stork
Sh: Snail Kite
Bob: White-bearded Manakin Bob: Blue-backed Manakin
Sh: White-fringed Antwren
Both: Trembler
Bob: Lovely Cotinga
Best Name Both: Limpkin Bob: Gray-throated Leaftosser Bob: White-fringed Antwren
Sh: White-tailed Sabrewing
Bob: Pearly-eyed Thrasher
Sh: Trembler
Bob: Bare-throated Tiger-heron
Gotta Get Some Award (Consolation Prize)

Bob: White-crowned Pigeon
Sh: Swallow-tail Kite

Bob: the Blue-backed Grassquit pop-up jump

Bob: Yellow-legged Thrush
Sh: none

Both: St. Lucia Oriole Bob: Great Currasow

(1) - Sharon defines a Parking Lot Bird as any bird that is visible from where we park the car, generally in an area normally designated as a parking lot.



Most Beautiful Lovely Cotinga, Belize  
Worked Hardest For Bachman's Sparrow (Florida, heard only)  
Best of the Rarest Trinidad Euphonia (Trinidad) and Agami Heron (Belize)  
Best Parking Lot Bird(1) Red-billed Tropicbird (Blue Waters Inn, Tobago)  
Most Fun to Find Lovely Cotinga (Belize)  
Biggest Relief to Find Blue Dacnis (Trinidad)  
Wanted Most, Not Found Rufous-throated Solitaire (St. Lucia)  
Wanted Most, Heard Only Blue-headed Euphonia (St. Lucia)  
Biggest Surprise Size of tiny Tufted Coquette hummingbird (Trinidad)  
Most Incredible Montezuma Oropendola (Belize)  
Best Use of Color Tie: Blue-crowned Motmot (Trinidad, Tobago), Ocellated Turkey (Belize)  
Noisiest Rufous-vented Chachalaca (Tobago)  
Best Call or Song Spotted Wood-quail chorus (Belize)  
Best Decision Switching from Stick Shifts to Automatics in all our car rentals. No wait, taking Sharon along.  
Worst Decision Taking advice from David Rooks about a birding guide  
Most Underfoot Bananaquit (Trinidad)  
Prettiest Common Bird White-necked Jacobin (Trinidad)  
Overall Favorite White-bearded Manakin (Trinidad)  
Best Name Gray-throated Leaftosser (Trinidad)  
Gotta Get Some Award the Blue-black Grassquit's pop-up jump (Trinidad)  
Best Host/Hostest Tom and Josie Harding, Chan Chich (Belize)  
Best Food Chan Chich (Belize)  
Best One-Liner "It's Not a Dress Rehearsal -- This Life." Derek Hitchcox at Chan Chich  
Best Trip Segment Tie: Chan Chich (Belize) and Asa Wright (Trinidad)  
Scariest Moment Depressing brake pedal and not slowing down, in Sofriere, St. Lucia, going downhill towards center of town  



Preparing for this trip would have been impossible without several great references, listed below, by trip location.


"A Birder's Guide to Florida," an ABA Birdfinding Guide by Bill Pranty. URL for ABA Sales is

Trinidad and Tobago:

"A Birder's Guide to Trinidad and Tobago," by William L. Murphy. I bought this book directly from him. The latest contacts I have are, or I would not have attempted all the birding Sharon and I did on our own without this absolutely necessary book.
"BIRDS of Trinidad and Tobago," also by William L. Murphy, a helpful cassette of recorded bird sounds of the country.
"A Guide to the Birds of Trinidad & Tobago," second edition, by Richard ffrench. I bought two of these books from, gave one to Kinko's, who cut out the color plates, and made them into a stand-alone booklet for us. We took both copies, left the complete book in the car or room, and carried the plates with us in the field. Great weight- and time-saver. But sometimes, you needed the full book to read about behaviors, etc. THIS BOOK IS A "MUST." I put tabs on the key plates for easy lookup.

St. Lucia:

"Birds of the West Indies," by James Bond. I think I bought this from
Got my best bird-hunting information directly from Donald Anthony (email, of the Forest Service. Donald is also a great guide, and I would have to say, a "required luxury" in getting us to the right place at the right time, without getting lost, running out of gas, needing to arrange permits, etc. He could recognize the sounds, and imitate the calls of the forest birds.


"Mexican Birds," by Roger Tory Peterson/Edward L. Chalif, a Peterson Field Guides reference. Thoughtout these reports, I erroneously called this book "Peterson's Birds of Mexico." I bought mine from I think. THIS BOOK IS A "MUST." I used this book, together with a Belize birdlist and a couple of Belize internet trip reports to narrow down the possible birds at Chan Chich. I marked the possible ones, so we didn't have to try to pick one hummingbird out of three pages of possibilities, every time we saw a new hummingbird. I also put tabs on the key plates for easy lookup.
"100 Birds of Belize," available from the Belize Audubon Society, 12 Fort Street, Box 1001, Belize City, Belize. We actually picked this book up in Belize City after our Chan Chich visit, but it would have been helpful. Sharon likes photographs better than paintings, and that is a feature of this book.
"A Bird Walk at Chan Chich," by John V. Moore, an incredibly helpful cassette of recorded bird sounds at Chan Chich. You might reach him at 333 W. Santa Clara Street, Suite 1212, San Jose, CA 95113.

Forward for the Life Birds at Each Major Trip Location

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