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“Such a well run park with a multitude of birds”

Caroni Bird Sanctuary
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Caroni Bird Sanctuary
Reviewed April 13, 2013

Being on a one day trip from a cruise ship we asked what we could do here. The answer for the 6 of us was take a taxi to Caroni. Se we did. The first great happening was that the taxi drivers were helpful and agreed to leave us for 3 hours and return to take us back to the ship or elsewhere. The second was that the Caroni Park was agreeable to give us foreigners their price for seniors which was sooooo small.
Into the park and immediately noticed how clean and well kept everything was. One of our group was a member of a rescue bird place in Western Australia and was bird crazy. He drooled at the wealth of species and spoke to them all lovingly. A keep pointed out the notice to not put fingers through holes in wire but when he saw our friend he realised that he had a connection and after a chat let him stroke and speak to the birds.
We walked through the aviary and had the birds alight on our arms shoulders and heads while they waited to be fed., We stayed in the aviary to watch and it was a glorious site.
Then to the bird show. The strangest we had ever seen with the type of birds not normally see doing turns in a show.
A relaxing cup of coffee and snack in the coffee shop and outside to our waiting taxis. A lovely time that had not been pre organised. This still gave a a few hours at the shopping area before the ship sailed. A Great Day

Thank Prudence-kitten
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed April 5, 2013

I've been out twice with Darin and Sean who run the family owned business. They are very knowledgable on the ecosystem and are great at spotting various animals and birds. I have seen an anteater, camin, boa constrictors and many birds. Watching the ibis come in is an event not to be missed. Absolutely wonderful!

1  Thank MLOUSEmb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 29, 2013

We visited Caroni Swamp Bird Sanctuary in March, which is a great time to see the scarlet ibis. The boat trip down the mangrove channels and into the more open part of the swamp is lovely and there are other things to see, such as crabs, oysters, the mangroves themselves, or even boas in a tree. Most of the channels are man-made and used to be used for irrigation, but after time, the routes to the sea and the man-made channels have allowed the fresh/salt water to mix and the mangroves have moved in. After some navigation in the swamp, the boat "parks" facing the island, along with several other boats, of course, and you set up to watch the birds roost for the night. At first there are a few egrets and maybe a heron or two, then some groups of egrets and tri-color herons, but then more and more, and larger and larger groups of scarlet ibis. They dot the trees like flowers, and it is a breathtaking sight to see them fly over in large groups.

This is very enjoyable trip regardless; however, it will be enhanced by a high quality pair of binoculars, because then you can see the fine details (such as the legs, beaks, and black wingtips) of the birds, and note the differences between the adults and juveniles which aren't deeply colored yet. If you are a photographer, you will want to have a telephoto lens and something for stability... the boat will be pretty still, but as the light fades it gets more challenging to get the shot in focus (we tried it through the binoculars with a smaller digital camera and it was ok, but we wished for better equipment -- there are not waves or spray to endanger the camera).

There are a variety of boat tour leaders, it probably doesn't matter much which you take if you just want to see the birds, but the boat captain/guide does give a narrative as you take the ride, and even within companies, the quality of narration can vary. You need to hire the tour as a permit is required to enter the sanctuary. They all leave at pretty much the same time, to give you time to tour a little and then end up in the viewing location right at sunset, so don't arrive late, though I do note that our boat "delivered" a couple to the rest of their group that had left without them in another boat. In addition to the above-mentioned photography equipment, a hat/sunglasses are a must since you are looking into the sun a lot at that time of day, and though we didn't have much trouble with mosquitoes that particular day, long pants and some repellent are good recommendations! One steps down into the boat/up onto the dock, and sits on open benches without backs, so travelers with physical limitations should keep this in mind -- others in our boat had brought cushions to sit on.

Thank Amy L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 24, 2013

We took the tour ($10US/each) in the afternoon to see the flocks of Scarlet Ibis returning to the trees to sleep for the night. The boat tour in the swap is really nothing special, but it is very relaxing and is interesting if you have never seem mangrove trees before. The time to get to where the Ibis roost was well worth the trip. What a sight – seeing hundreds of birds flying in high and low to roost on the trees for the night. A truly unique experience.

We took this tour from Nanan’s – when planning our trip, they were the most responsive to our emails than the other vendors. Their tour guide was informative and their boats were clean and comfortable.

Thank Looneyman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 22, 2013

A birder's dream - hundreds of brilliant red ibis nesting in the same area. It was wonderful watching the multiple small flocks returning watch evening to nest.Many other water birds, egrets, herons, dot the shoreline with a backdrop of lush green trees dotted with hundreds of the ibises. Do not miss this.

Thank PennyBinKC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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