Noteworthy bird sightings: May 2011

In the month of May, two male Muscovy Ducks (Cairina moschata) were observed in the Icacos Swamp.

Muscovy Duck (Cairina moschata)

A wild Muscovy Duck can be distinguished with care from a domesticated bird by the lack of white on its chests and underside. A wild male also has a distinctive crest and several red growths about its face, but lacks the extensive red/pink wattles found on a domestic bird. The Pointe a Pierre Wildfowl Trust operates a breeding programme for this species but it is unclear whether or not these birds in Icacos were released from the Trust or are genuine wild birds, perhaps visitors from the nearby wetlands of Delta Amacuro in Venezuela (approximately 13 miles to the south west).

Elsewhere in south Trinidad, a Mottled Owl (Ciccaba virgata) was seen in Cat’s Hill late in May.

Mottled Owl (Ciccaba virgata)

This rarely seen nocturnal resident of Trinidad’s forest was located just before dawn by its vocalizations.


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