Naturalist Journeys Announces Trinidad Ornithology Seminar Featuring Bill Murphy

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Caligo Ventures, a program of the top-rated Naturalist Journeys birding and wildlife travel company, announces a new Trinidad Ornithology Seminar, led by ornithologist Bill Murphy, author of “The Birdwatcher’s Guide to Trinidad & Tobago.”

Scarlet Ibis

Trinidad’s ornithological legacy is impressive, having hosted such scientists as David Snow, Don Eckleberry, and William Beebe. The famed verandah of the Asa Wright Nature Centre in Trinidad, along with many of its iconic natural sights, will be the classroom location for this July 19-25 educational trip. From this verandah, first-time visitors might add 30 new species of birds to their life lists during the first morning. Birds to be seen on the trip include the nocturnal fruit-eating Oilbird, the mysterious Bearded Bellbird, and the showy Scarlet Ibis.

In announcing this new opportunity, Ann Sealey, CEO of the Asa Wright Nature Centre, shares her excitement that Bill Murphy will teach the course. Bill has led 92 tours to Trinidad over the years, and is also a professional entomologist. Ann says, “Seminar participants will investigate the birdlife in a wide range of ecosystems including seacoast, mangrove, tropical savannah, and tropical evergreen forest, at elevations from sea level to 2,000 feet.” Bill will also lead a two-night extension to Grand Riviere for those interested in observing the endemic Trinidad Piping-Guan as well as nesting and hatchling Leatherback Turtles.

Murphy plans to share with participants his avid knowledge of tropical birding, from evolution of species to communication and territoriality. The course covers the basics of ornithology: history of ornithology, birdwatching in Trinidad, origin and evolution of birds, feathers (types, molt, coloration) and flight, taxonomy and systematics, social behavior (communication, territory, roosting, courtship, breeding), migration, ecology (distribution, population dynamics, extinction), and conservation (habitat destruction, pet trade, pollution).

When asked about visiting the tropics in summer, Bill Murphy exclaims, “It’s summer in the tropics year round!” He points out that June and July are ideal times to visit Trinidad, which lies out of the active hurricane zone. In summer, fewer visitors book time at the Centre, allowing more one on one time with experts, and a perfect atmosphere for education.

The Asa Wright Nature Centre is the oldest established nature center in the West Indies, and has a mission that includes conservation as well as education.

This educational seminar, as well as three others on subjects ranging from Nature Photography to Biodiversity, begin at Port of Spain airport, Trinidad, and are limited to 14 participants.

For more information on Naturalist Journeys’ Ornithology of the Tropics Seminar, see The course is offered July 19-26, 2015 with the optional Grande Riviere extension July 26-28. The trip begins and ends at Trinidad’s Port of Spain airport.

About Naturalist Journeys
Naturalist Journeys is a nature-travel company based in Portal, Arizona. They strive to support eco-tourism throughout the U.S. and beyond, through small-group guided journeys, often in co-operation with local non-profit groups and communities.

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