Birds main page
Gruiformes
Family: Aramidae - Limpkins
Family: Heliornithidae - Sungrebes
Family: Rallidae - Rails, Gallinules and Coots
Passeriformes
Family: Coerebidae - Bananaquits
Family: Cotingidae - Contingas
Family: Dendrocolaptidae - Woodcreepers
Family: Formicariidae - Antbirds
Family: Fringillidae - Finches, Seedeaters and Grosbeaks
Family: Furnariidae - Ovenbirds
Family: Hirundinidae - Swallows
Family: Icteridae - American Orioles
Family: Mimidae - Mockingbirds
Family: Motacillidae - Pipits and Wagtails
Family: Parulidae - Wood Warblers
Family: Pipridae - Manakins
Family: Sylviidae - Old World Warblers and Gnatcatchers
Family: Tersinidae -Swallow Tanagers
Family: Thraupidae - Honeycreepers and Tanagers
Family: Troglodytidae - Wrens
Family: Turdidae -Thrushes
Family: Tyrannidae - Tyrant Flycatchers
Family: Vireonidae - Peppershrikes and Vireos

Family: Aramidae - Limpkins
This single-species family can be found in freshwater marshes and swampy woodland. Resembles ibises, can be distinguished in flight from ibises by their crane like wing action, a slow downbeat and a jerky upward stroke.
Scientific Name
Local Name
Trinidad
Tobago
Aramus guarauna
Limpkin
X

Top of page

Family: Heliornithidae - Sungrebes
The family is represented in the New World by only one species.
Scientific Name
Local Name
Trinidad
Tobago
Heliornis fulica
Sungrebe, American Finfot
X

Top of page

Family: Rallidae - Rails, Gallinules and Coots
Most species have fairly long bills with very long toes adapted to walking on floating vegetation. They frequently flick their short upturned tails.
Scientific Name
Local Name
Trinidad
Tobago
Aramides axillaris Rufous-necked Wood Rail
X
Aramides cajanea Gray-necked Wood Rail
X
Fulica caribaea Caribbean Coot
X
X
Gallinula chloropus Common Moorhen
X
X
Laterallus exilis Gray-breasted Crake
X
Neocrex erythrops Paint-billed Crake
X
Porphyrula flavirostris Azure Gallinule
X
Porphyrula martinica
Purple Gallinule
X
X
Porzana albicollis
Ash throated Crake, White-necked Crake
X
Porzana carolina
Sora
X
Porzana flaviventer
Yellow-breasted Crake
X
Rallus longirostris
Clapper Rail, Mangrove Hen
X
Rallus maculatus
Spotted Rail
X
X

Top of page

Family: Coerebidae - Bananaquits
With over 30 races, this family is found in a variety of habitats over a wide area. Its short legs and strong toes enable it to cling to vegetation at any angle, often hanging upside down to feed, probing into flowers for nectar or piercing both flowers and fruit with its sharp, slightly decurved bill. It is classified as an energetic and extremely active species.
Scientific Name
Local Name
Trinidad
Tobago
Coereba flaveola
Bananaquit
X
X

Top of page

Family: Cotingidae - Cotingas
They vary in appearance and size, though most members are characterized by their rounded wings, short legs and broad bills slightly hooked at the tip. They habitually turn their heads curiously from side to side while otherwise motionless on a perch. Their food includes both fruits and insects. They are found in the canopy of forest trees.
Scientific Name
Local Name
Trinidad
Tobago
Procnias alba
White Bellbird
X
Procnias averano
Bearded Bellbird
X

Top of page

Family: Dendrocolaptidae - Woodcreepers
This family superficially resembles woodpeckers in that they habitually climb tree trunks supported by their stiff tails. Instead of boring holes however, they explore the wood for insects with their long, slightly curved bills. They are generally brown in colour with streaked heads. They inhabit forests, including mangroves.
Scientific Name
Local Name
Trinidad
Tobago
Dendrocincla fuliginosa
Plain-brown Woodcreeper
X
X
Lepidocolaptes souleyeti
Streak-headed Woodcreeper
X
Sittasomus griseicapillus
Olivaceous Woodcreeper
X
Xiphorhynchus guttatus
Buff-throated Woodcreeper
X
X
Xiphorhynchus picus
Straight-billed Woodcreeper
X

Top of page

Family: Formicariidae - Antbirds
This family has a diverse number of species which may be found in every type of habitat in our islands. Most of the species are small, many are crested, the sexes are usually dissimilar. They are almost entirely insectivorous. They attract attention with their chuckling or high-pitched whistling calls.
Scientific Name
Local Name
Trinidad
Tobago
Dysithamnus mentalis
Plain Antvireo
X
X
Formicarius analis
Black-faced Antthrush
X
Formicivora grisea
White-fringed Antwren
X
Grallaria guatimalensis
Trinidad Antpitta
X
Myrmeciza longipes
White-bellied Antbird
X
Myrmotherula axillaris
White-flanked Ant-bird
X
Sakesphorus canadensis
Black-crested Antshrike
X
Sclateria naevia
Stripe-breasted Antwren
X
Taraba major
Great Antshrike
X
Thamnophilus doliatus
Barred Antshrike
X

Top of page

Family: Fringillidae - Finches, Seedeaters and Grosbeaks
These are mostly nondescript birds with the males being generally more brightly coloured than females. The bill is short and conical, adapted to the main diet of seeds. The song of many species is attractive and musical, leading to a great demand locally for the best songsters as cage-birds. They occur in open areas and light woodland. They are fairly conspicuous and several species habitually flock together.
Scientific Name
Local Name
Trinidad
Tobago
Oryzoborus angolensis
Lesser Seed Finch
X
Oryzoborus crassirostris
Large-billed Seed-Finch
X
Paroaria gularis
Red-capped Cardinal
X
Pheuticus ludovicianus
Rose-breasted Grosbeak
X
X
Saltator albicollis
Streaked Saltator
X
Saltator coerulescens
Grayish Saltator
X
Sicalis columbiana
Orange-fronted Yellow-Finch
X
Sicalis flaveola
Saffron Finch
X
X
Spinus cucullatus
Red Siskin
X
Spiza americana
Dickcissel
X
Sporophila americana
Variable Seedeater
X
Sporophila bouvronides
Lesson's Seedeater
X
X
Sporophila intermedia
Gray Seedeater
X
Sporophila minuta
Ruddy-breasted Seedeater
X
X
Sporophila nigricollis
Yellow-bellied Seedeater
X
X
Sporophila schistacea
Slate-colored Seedeater
X
Tiaris bicolor
Black-faced Grassquit
X
Tiaris fuliginosa
Sooty Grassquit
X
Volatinia jacarina
Blue-black Grassquit
X
X

Top of page

Family: Furnariidae - Ovenbirds
These are small brown birds usually with some rufous colouring in their plumage. They are most diverse in habitats and habits. They inhabit from hill forest to mangrove swamps and forage on the ground or amidst undergrowth. They nest in large complicated structures built of sticks.
Scientific Name
Local Name
Trinidad
Tobago
Certhiaxis cinnamomea
Yellow-chinned Spinetail
X
Synallaxis albescens
Pale-breasted Spinetail
X
Sclerurus albigularis
Gray-throated Leaftosser
X
X
Synallaxis cinnamomea
Stripe-breasted Spinetail
X
X
Xenops rutilans
Streaked Xenops
X

Top of page

Family: Hirundinidae - Swallows
The members of this family are characterized by their short necks, slender bodies and long pointed wings. Several species are gregarious, roosting and breeding in colonies. They inhabit open country where they feed entirely on insects caught on the wing.
Scientific Name
Local Name
Trinidad
Tobago
Hirundo rustica
Barn Swallow
X
X
Notiochelidon cyanoleuca
Blue-and-white Swallow
X
Progne chalybea
Gray-breasted Martin
X
X
Progne dominicensis
Caribbean Martin
X
Riparia riparia
Bank Swallow
X
X
Stelgidopteryx ruficollis
Southern Rough-winged Swallow
X
Tachycineta albiventer
White-winged Swallow
X


Top of page


Family: Icteridae - American Orioles
These birds form a heterogenous family, of which the most notable common characteristic is the long, conical bill. Medium to large size, most are mainly black, often with varying amounts of yellow or red. For many of the species, the sexes are similar in plumage, but the female is noticeably smaller.
Scientific Name
Local Name
Trinidad
Tobago
Agelaius icterocephalus
Yellow-hooded Blackbird
X
Agelaius phoeniceus
Red-winged Blackbird
X
Cacicus cela
Yellow-rumped Cacique
X
Dolichonyx oryzivorus
Bobolink
X
X
Icterus chrysocephalus
Moriche Oriole
X
Icterus galbula
Northern Oriole
X
X
Icterus nigrogularis
Yellow Oriole
X
Icterus icterus
Troupial
X
Molothrus bonariensis
Shiny Cowbird
X
X
Psarocolius decumanus
Crested Oropendola
X
X
Quiscalus lugubris
Carib Grackle
X
X
Scaphidura oryzivora
Giant Cowbird
X
X
Sturnella militaris
Red-breasted Blackbird
X
X

Top of page

Family: Mimidae - Mockingbirds
This family consists of thrush-like birds with long tails and rounded wings. The bill is fairly long and usually decurved. The song is conspicuous and usually musical. Mockingbirds feed on or near the ground, taking insects and small fruits.
Scientific Name
Local Name
Trinidad
Tobago
Mimus gilvus
Tropical Mockingbird
X
X

Top of page

Family: Motacillidae - Pipits and Wagtails
The birds of this family usually inhabit open areas. They are mostly terrestrial and feed on insects and walk or run about busily, bobbing their heads and frequently wagging their tails. Their flight is strong and undulating.
Scientific Name
Local Name
Trinidad
Tobago
Motacilla alba
White Wagtail
X

Top of page

Family: Parulidae - Wood Warblers
These are small, thin-billed birds. Most flit restlessly about outer branches of trees feeding on small insects and berries. Their breeding plumage is brilliantly patterned, mostly yellow, black or white.
Scientific Name
Local Name
Trinidad
Tobago
Basileuterus culicivorus
Golden-crowned Warbler
X
Dendroica castanea
Bay-breasted Warbler
X
X
Dendroica coronata
Yellow-rumped Warbler
X
Dendroica fusca
Blackburnian Warbler
X
Dendroica pensylvanica
Chestnut-sided Warbler
X
Dendroica petechia
Yellow Warbler
X
X
Dendroica striata
Blackpoll Warbler
X
X
Dendroica tigrina
Cape May Warbler
X
X
Geothlypis aequinoctialis
Masked Yellowthroat
X
Geothlypis trichas
Common Yellowthroat
X
X
Mniotilta varia
Black and White Warbler
X
X
Parula americana Northern Parula
X
Parula pitiayumi
Tropical Parula
X
X
Protonotaria citrea
Prothonotary Warbler
X
X
Seiurus aurocapillus
Ovenbird
X
Seiurus noveboracensis
Northern Waterthrush
X
X
Setophaga ruticilla
American Redstart
X
X

Top of page

Family: Pipridae - Manakins
These are small forest birds usually with short wings and tails, and short, broad-based bills. They feed mainly on fruits taken on the wing. The ready availability of fruit year-round in the tropics enables manakins to spend much of their time on other activities. Manakins are noted for their elaborate courtship displays, which vary considerably within the family.
Scientific Name
Local Name
Trinidad
Tobago
Chiroxiphia pareola
Blue-backed Manakin
X
Manacus manacus
White-bearded Manakin
X
Pipra erythrocephala
Golden-headed Manakin
X

Top of page
Family: Sylviidae - Old World Warblers and Gnatcatchers
This family frequents the undergrowth and low branches in the forest and second growth. They are small, inconspicuous, wren-like birds with a very long thin bill. They also possess a long narrow tail which it flicks loosely as it moves restlessly among the foliage somewhat in a manner of certain antbirds. They are insectivorous.
Scientific Name
Local Name
Trinidad
Tobago
Ramphocaenus melanurus
Long-billed Gnatwren
X

Top of page

Family: Tersinidae - Swallow - Tanagers
The single species of this family is characterized by its short legs, long wings and short, wide, flat bill. It feeds partly on fruit but also on insects, catching them rapid in flight like a swallow.
Scientific Name
Local Name
Trinidad
Tobago
Tersina viridis
Swallow-Tanager
X

Top of page

Family: Thraupidae - Honeycreepers and Tanagers
These small to medium sized birds are noted for their brightly coloured plumage. They are widespread in the forest areas and savannah edges, often associating in small, loose flocks.
Scientific Name
Local Name
Trinidad
Tobago
Conirostrum bicolor
Bicolored Conebill
X
Cyanerpes caeruleus
Purple Honeycreeper
X
X
Cyanerpes cyaneus
Red-legged Honeycreeper
X
X
Chlorophanes spiza
Green Honeycreeper
X
Dacnis cayana
Blue Dacnis
X
Euphonia cyanocephala
Golden-rumped Euphonia
X
Euphonia trinitatis
Trinidad Euphonia
X
X
Euphonia violacea
Violaceous Euphonia
X
X
Habia rubica
Red-crowned Ant-Tanager
X
Piranga flava
Hepatic Tanager
X
Piranga olivacea
Scarlet Tanager
X
X
Piranga rubra
Summer Tanager
X
Ramphocelus carbo
Silver-beaked Tanager
X
Tachyphonus luctuosus
White-shouldered Tanager
X
Tachyphonus rufus
White-lined Tanager
X
X
Tangara guttata
Speckled Tanager
X
Tangara gyrola
Bay-headed Tanager
X
Tangara mexicana
Turquoise Tanager
X
Thraupis cyanocephala
Blue-capped Tanager
X
Thraupis episcopus
Blue-gray Tanager
X
X
Thraupis palmarum
Palm Tanager
X
X

Top of page

Family: Troglodytidae - Wrens
They are small and cryptically coloured with short rounded wings, stumpy tails and slender, straight or slightly curved bills. They inhabit undergrowth and low vegetation and are more commonly heard than seen. They are insectivorous foraging among foliage.
Scientific Name
Local Name
Trinidad
Tobago
Thryothorus rutilus
Rufous-breasted Wren
X
X
Troglodytes aedon
House Wren
X
X

Top of page

Family: Turdidae - Thrushes
These are medium sized birds with fairly long, sharp bills and generally sober plumage. The songs of several species are conspicuously musical. They do not seem to be as aggressive as Mockingbirds.
Scientific Name
Local Name
Trinidad
Tobago
Catharus aurantiirostris
Orange-billed Nightingale-Thrush
X
Catharus fuscescens
Veery
X
Catharus minimus
Gray-cheeked Thrush
X
Platycichla flavipes
Yellow-legged Thrush
X
X
Turdus albicollis
White-necked Thrush
X
X
Turdus fumigatus
Cocoa Thrush
X
Turdus nudigensis
Bare-eyed Thrush
X
X

Top of page

Family: Tyrannidae - Tyrant Flycatchers
These species also show great diversity in habitats and habits. They are small or medium sized with nondescript dull green plumage. Many members of this family are recognised by their upright, alert posture at a perch. They feed on fruit and included in their diet is reptiles, rodents or small birds. Their song is not very developed.
Scientific Name
Local Name
Trinidad
Tobago
Arundinicola leucocephala
White-headed Marsh-Tyrant
X
Atilla spadiceus
Bright-rumped Atilla
X
Camptostoma obsoletum
Southern Beardless Tyrannulet
X
Contopus cinereus
Tropical Pewee
X
Cnemotriccus fuscatus
Fuscous Flycatcher
X
X
Elaenia chiriquensis
Lesser Elaenia
X
Elaenia flavogaster
Yellow-bellied Elaenia
X
Elaenia parvirostris
Small-billed Elaenia
X
Empidonomus varius
Varied Flycatcher
X
Fluvicola pica
Pied Water-Tyrant
X
Lathrotriccus euleri
Euler's Flycatcher
X
Legatus leucophaius
Black-banded Petchary
X
X
Leptopogon superciliaris
Slaty-capped Flycatcher
X
Megarynchus pitangua
Boat-billed Flycatcher
X
Mionectes oleaginea
Ochre-bellied Flycatcher
X
Mionectes olivaceus
Olive-striped Flycatcher
X
Myiarchus tuberculifer
Dusky-capped Flycatcher
X
Myiarchus tyrannulus
Brown-crested Flycatcher
X
X
Myiarchus swainsoni
Swainson's Flycatcher
X
Myiarchus venezuelensis
Venezuelan Flycatcher
X
Myiodynastes maculatus
Streaked Flycatcher
X
Myiopagis gaimardii
Forest Elaenia
X
Myiophobus fasciatus
Bran-colored Flycatcher
X
Myiornis ecaudatus
Short-tailed Pygmy-Tyrant
X
Nuttallornis borealis
Olive-sided Flycatcher
X
Pachyramphus polychopterus
White-winged Becard
X
X
Phaeomyias murina
Mouse-colored Tyrannulet
X
Pitangus sulphuratus
Great Kiskadee
X
X
Platyrinchus mystaceus
White-throated Spadebill
X
X
Pseudocolopteryx sclateri
Crested Doradito
X
Sublegatus modestus
Scrub Flycatcher
X
Todirostrum maculatum
Spotted Tody-Flycatcher
X
Tolmomyias flaviventris
Yellow-breasted Flycatcher
X
Tolmomyias sulphurescens
Yellow-olive Flycatcher
X
Tyrannopsis sulphurea
Sulphury Flycatcher
X
Tyrannus dominicensis
Gray Kingbird
X
X
Tyrannus melancholicus
Tropical Kingbird
X
X
Tyrannus savana
Fork-tailed Flycatcher
X
Tityra cayana
Black-tailed Tityra
X

Top of page

Family: Vireonidae - Peppershrikes and Vireos
Birds of this family are small and extremely non-descript greenish yellow birds with rather long, slightly hooked bills. They frequent the more open woodlands and deciduous forests, being found mainly in the lower branches of trees and dense thickets. The song of most species is a musical but monotonous phrase, by which they can be identified more readily than by their appearance, which is well camouflaged amidst thick foliage.
Scientific Name
Local Name
Trinidad
Tobago
Cyclarhis gujanensis
Rufous-browed Peppershrike
X
Hylophilus aurantiifrons
Golden-fronted Greenlet
X
Hylophilus flavipes
Scrub Greenlet
X
Vireo altiloquus
Black-whiskered Vireo
X
Vireo chivi
Chivi Vireo
X
X
Vireo flavifrons
Yellow-throated Vireo
X
X


Top of page

Source: Ffrench, Richard (1991), A Guide to the Birds of Trinidad and Tobago
Cornell University Press
http://www.cornellpress.cornell.edu/