Bird Watching: Specialist Guides

Detailed information on Tobago's specialist bird-watching guides

Green Backed Heron

Almost every tour service on the island offers Tobago birding tours. You may even be approached by people on the beaches claiming to be bird and nature experts. Levels of expertise obviously vary. Every guide on Tobago will know more about the island’s natural history and birdlife than the average tourist, so it is very easy to be misled by someone with a nice line of chat. Misleading or incorrect information can often be worse than no information at all, so it is best to avoid these so-called opportunists. After all, no good guide needs to tout for business on the beach.

Our first advice was to ignore the birding tours offered by package holiday reps and larger tour services, whose tours are fine for general sightseeing but not for specialist bird-watching. Coach party tours of 15-20 people are simply not practical; even a dozen people will scare the birds away and on the narrow trails, only the first three or four visitors will be able to hear what the guide is telling you anyway. The truth is that for a really enjoyable and meaningful bird watching tour, the party should ideally be limited to two to four people.

Copper-rumped HummingbirdIf you are serious about bird watching, then we strongly recommend that you stick to the the following specialist guides who have recognised ornithological expertise. Most, if not all, of these birding guides are equally expert and knowledgeable about flora and fauna and Tobago’s general natural history.

It proved easier to produce a list of specialist birding guides than we imagined, thanks to our ever-increasing international list of contacts and well-wishers. The views of this relatively large and disparate group of people could easily have clouded the issue, rather than clarify it. However, much to our surprise a consensus immediately emerged and the list boiled down to just six guides.

In descending order of perceived ranking, the expert birding guides on Tobago are listed below. All of these guides conduct bird watching tours throughout the island and will collect you from your hotel or accommodation, so our normal regional listings are irrelevant.

Hold your mouse over any Reader Satisfaction Rating (RSR) for further information. Click on the RSR rating to cast your own 'satisfaction' with those services you have experience of.

Newton George

Brown PelicanIt is now firmly and widely accepted that Newton George is the premier birding guide on Tobago. With more than 32 years experience as an official rainforest ranger, Newton’s knowledge, experience, and dedication to Tobago’s environment are without question. Over and above this, most birders comment on what a lovely fellow Newton is. This final comment is significant - after all, if you’re going to spend the best part of a day in the company of someone, you want someone you like, as well as respect.

Full details of two tours we conducted with Newton are available via the Newton G and Trinidad tabs at the top and bottom of the page.

In addition to his normal half-day and full-day bird watching tours to the rainforest and all other significant bird watching areas of Tobago, Newton now also offers full day excursions from Tobago to the Asa Wright Nature Centre and Caroni Swamp in Trinidad.

In conclusion, we totally endorse the consensus that Newton George is THE MAN when it comes to birding on Tobago.

Telephone: (868) 660-5463

Email: email now

Cellphone: (868) 754-7881


Peter Cox

A well-established specialist nature tour guide, Peter is sadly no longer offering tour services on a regular basis.

William Trim

A tropical botanist, William has just returned to Tobago after completing a Masters degree in the forest of Guyana. William is another Forester and has twenty years experience in the management of natural resources. His experience 'on the ground' is supported by formal training in agro forestry, tropical forestry, dendrology, silviculture, soil conservation methods and practices, topographic and engineering surveying, nature-tourism and environmental assessment.

Telephone: (868) 660-5529

Email: email now

Fax: (868) 660-4097


Jeb McEachnie

A new addition to our list, on the advice of our bird watching experts, Jeb has more than fifteen years of experience and specialises in bird watching, turtle watching and island nature tours.

Telephone: (868) 660-6228

Email: (not working)

Cellphone: (868) 757-4281

Wayne Gray

Another new addition to the list, Wayne is another North-End guide with specialist knowledge of bird watching and Tobago's natural history.

Darren Henry

Darren is a trained forester, possessing a diploma in tropical forestry and certificate in tropical dendrology. He has a keen interest in avi-fauna, plant life and the environment. He is an experienced guide in birding and rain forest tours. He assists the Tourism Department by conducting lectures on Tobago's Flora and Fauna to tour guides, taxi drivers and schools.

Telephone: (868) 639-4559

Email: email now

Cellphone: (868) 767-9298


Gladwin James

The venerable Mr Adolphus James was Tobago’s most senior and respected birder. Sadly, he is now retired. His son, Gladwin, has taken over and now assists Mr James Snr. on the few occasions that he does take tours. With such pedigree, Gladwin is sure to be a top birding guide in the years to come.

Telephone: (868) 639-2231


Sandpiper          Blue-Grey Tanager

Tobago Satellite Map

Enjoy interactive satellite maps of Tobago. If you have Google Earth download the map here. If not, click the map below to view in a browser window.

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Page Updated: 18 Aug 17