New Optics at the Asa Wright Nature Centre

Caligo Ventures Announces New Optics for Trinidad’s Asa Wright Nature Centre — in partnership with Birders’ Exchange

Asa Wright Nature Centre
Birding from the AWNC Verandah by Peg Abbott

In March, ten guides and members of the education staff at the Asa Wright Nature Centre (AWNC) in Trinidad’s scenic Arima Valley will have access to 10 brand-new pairs of binoculars. Guides and visitors alike will also benefit from three new spotting scopes and two new tripods thanks to the generosity of the American Birding Association’s Birders’ Exchange!

Birders’ Exchange (BEX) collects donated new and used equipment and distributes it to colleagues working to conserve birds and their habitats in 30 countries throughout Latin American and the Caribbean. Optics and books are allocated based on availability and requests.
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Join Scott Weidensaul at the Asa Wright Nature Centre

Caligo Ventures helps celebrate the Asa Wright Nature Centre’s 50th Anniversary with birding celebrity Scott Weidensaul.

2017 marks the 50th Anniversary of the famed Asa Wright Nature Centre, and we are so excited! We can think of no better way to commemorate this incredible milestone than by celebrating with author Scott Weidensaul in a style that is completely in sync with the mission of this unique non-profit: Inviting YOU to visit, learn, bird, and enjoy — Trini-style!

Scott Weidensaul
Scott Weidensaul by Bill Clark

So, what could be better than a late-winter trip to Trinidad and Tobago? How about a late-winter trip to this warm, bird-full island nation with a birding celebrity? Author, researcher, and educator Scott Weidensaul visits the Asa Wright Nature Centre March 18 – 25, 2017, and you’re invited to join him.
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Chocolate Making at Brasso Seco Paria

We came to the Asa Wright Nature Centre for the birds, but little did we know we were in for a sweet treat — a chocolate making demonstration!

A guest blog post by Kimberly Vetter.

Chocolate making at Brasso Seco
Kimberly Vetter & Richard Gibbon by Lynn Tennefoss

Do you like chocolate? I know I do and was pleasantly surprised when I learned I would be visiting a bona fide cacao farm during my stay at Asa Wright Nature Center in Trinidad for a chocolate making demonstration. (A special treat, this agro-tour is a regular feature on Caligo Venture’s all-day Blanchisseuse Road field trip in the Northern Range.) Although the island country has been growing cacao for more than 100 years, it was only recently that local growers started making actual chocolate.
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Birding the Asa Wright Nature Centre

Asa Wright Nature Centre: Where the birding is only surpassed by the staff.

By guest blogger Kimberly Vetter

Group Birding in Trinidad by Dodie Logue
Group Birding in Trinidad by Dodie Logue

Let me start with a disclaimer: I am a casual birder. I enjoy adding new finds to my life list and I don’t mind going the extra mile to do so as long as I have a guide to help me – OK hold my hand – along the way.

That guide is usually my husband, an avid birder and ornithologist, unless we end up in a place where he is unfamiliar with the birds himself, which is exactly where we found ourselves this October when we took a trip coordinated by Caligo Ventures to bird the Asa Wright Nature Centre in Trinidad.
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The Big Sit! 2016 at the AWNC

The Asa Wright Nature Centre, Caligo Ventures & Martyn Kenefick team up again for The Big Sit!

By Martyn Kenefick

martyn-kenefick-verandah-oct-2016-crop-horiz
Martyn Kenefick

I guess the format of Birdwatcher’s Digest‘s The Big Sit! worldwide bird survey is pretty well known by now. On one designated day every year, you bird-watch from dawn till dusk at one particular site never straying outside of a five meter radius and document the number of species you see or hear. This year, the event took place on the weekend of 8 – 9 October. We chose the Saturday.
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The Big Sit! 2015 at the Asa Wright Nature Centre

The Big Sit! at the Asa Wright Nature Centre.

By Martyn Kenefick, author of Birds of Trinidad & Tobago

The Big Sit! at the Asa Wright Nature Centre
The Asa Wright Nature Centre’s Famed Verandah by Peg Abbott

Once again it was time to participate in The Big Sit! at the Asa Wright Nature Centre verandah. Last October, the sometimes lonely vigil was maintained by Ann and myself, with occasional help from other members of staff. This year we were joined by Conservation Officer Kimberly and had periodic help from trail guides Mukesh, Barry, Brandon, and Elsa together with visitors Dan and Danielle from Massachusetts and not forgetting continual encouragement from the 26 member contingent of Saw Mill River Audubon Society, New York. We certainly were not lonely.
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A Weekend at the American Birding Expo

The beautiful Grange Insurance Audubon Center, site of the American Birding Expo.
The beautiful Grange Insurance Audubon Center.

The 2016 American Birding Expo

This past weekend, a few of the Caligo Ventures and Naturalist Journeys staff ventured to Columbus, Ohio, for a weekend of bird related fun. We had a great time at the American Birding Expo at the Grange Insurance Audubon Center!
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