Trinidad: Caroni Swamp – Scarlet Ibises

The crown jewel of the Caroni Swamp Bird Sanctuary is the chance to see hundreds if not thousands of scarlet ibis birds, the national bird of Trinidad and absolutely unmistakable given its flame red coloration head to toe. Scarlet ibises come flying in groups at sunset and land usually on just one or two trees in close proximity to each other, making for an absolutely surreal nature show. Interestingly, the scarlet ibises are born grey or white and then acquire the red because of a heavy diet consisting solely of red crustaceans (same as flamingoes) that are very high in carotene. As we positioned in front of the roosting trees, at first there was nothing. Then the first group of ibises flew, then another, and soon it was hundreds of them flying from all direction – National Geographic material!