Common Black Hawk
Rainforests can be found in Trinidad?s Northern range, near to and inland from the coast in the east, at the Trinity Hills in the south of the island and on the main mountain ridge of Tobago. Trinidad & Tobago's close proximity to South America makes our flora and fauna far richer than any other West Indian island.
In these forest habitats trees may flower in the wet or dry seasons but such production is confined to the drier periods mainly.
The flowers are pollinated by insects, birds and bats. Some huge trees such as the Crapo and Guatacarre produce seeds that are ingested by the Lappe or Labba and the Agouti, the fruit of the Hogplum tree by the Broket Deer. Many trees provide dependable support for myriad orchids, ferns, bromeliads and other varieties of epiphytes. Many trees also support colonies of termites, which provide food for the Tamandua anteater.
Excellent birding is experienced along the roads and many trails in these forested areas featuring all three species of Trogon, Chestnut Woodpeckers, Green Hermits, White-necked Thrush, Channel-billed Toucans, White-bearded and Golden-headed Manakins, and in Tobago, the Blue-backed Manakin, the White-tailed Sabrewing and the Striped Owl.
Between December and March, the mountain Immortelle trees are in full bloom, colouring the rainforest canopy bright orange and red, attracting Parrots and Oropendolas as well as the Black-throated Mango, the Red-legged Honeycreeper and the Blue Dacnis. Fruiting trees attract Black-tailed Tityra and Bearded Bellbirds, whose loud 'bock' call is well known to those who walk these trails. The insects attracted provide food for several species of Flycatchers.
Since a variety of elevations are experienced on the islands (up to over 3,000 ft) an abundance of feeding, staging and nesting areas are available to suit the needs of even those species of birds that require unique niches such as lowland rainforest, montane forest, as well as the drier deciduous type forests in the North West.
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