What a complete hodgepodge of characters that’d be! Of course most of you know I’m somehow referring to birds in my typical, roundabout, over-imaginative fashion. But what if I wasn’t?
Ok, enough of that. I’ll go through this list and you tell me if I’m off target in my version of avian nomenclature.
I photographed this gorgeous Cattle Egret in full force – officially known as “high breeding plumage” – on a cloudy dark day, which went well for an all-white bird. Out of a large flock of perhaps around fifty birds, there were a few that were wearing this dress. Many of you would have seen this bird before, but I encourage you to look out for this extra-spiffy iteration. A rush of hormones causes the exposed areas (legs, bill and lores) to flush with deep, rich colour. Straw-coloured plumes on its neck and mantle complete the outfit. The barren landscape of farmland being prepared for cultivation gave this image its otherworldly appearance.
In grasslands across Trinidad, one would be familiar with the small “Johnny-jump-up”, or Blue-black Grassquit. Males are just as described, while females are brownish overall.
However, in certain areas within recent times, one would find another tiny seedeater – only this one isn’t native to Trinidad – or this hemisphere for that matter. Common Waxbills are African birds that have been shipped here via the cagebird train. Escapees have since etched out residences in a number of grasslands throughout the island.
Drastically different in size and manner is the Giant Cowbird. Somehow every time I’ve seen a hulking male displaying, it’s been in some of the worst lighting conditions. This time was no different.
Lastly, well I’m sure you’ll figure this one out for yourself. A calling Masked Yellowthroat is a treat for the early morning. Thankfully, this one stayed put!