About Scriber

James “Scriber” Daley has been described as one of Montserrat’s national treasures in much the same way the animals and birds he cares for are nature’s gifts to us.

Scriber is the go to guy for hikers, scientists researching birds and other wildlife, and even the police when they need help with a search and rescue. He has a love for all creatures but his first love is definitely birds.

His love for birds got him a spanking or two from his parents who didn’t understand his preoccupation with the creatures. “I’ve always had a very high interest in birds from a very young age,” Scriber recalls. “I would find a feather and cherish it. I admire them still; anywhere I travel and I find feathers I pick them up and keep them.”

The name Scriber was bestowed upon him during in school days when classmates thought he had a knack for describing things and making the complicated very easy. He later used the name Describer as his moniker from 1977 to 1979 as a participant in local calypso shows. He never made it beyond the semi-finals but today he remains very involved in the art form as a judge and commentator. Over time as with most nicknames, it was shortened to Scriber.

Scriber’s passion for ornithology grew after meeting a technical consultant setting up the Oriole Project for Montserrat in the 80s. By this time Scriber worked for the Forestry Division for the Government and had become quite adept at knowing the various birds which called Montserrat home. When the same technician returned in 1989, the two would scout the Bamboo Forest in South Soufriere Hills searching for the birds. This was when Scriber learned about Field Guides and developed a love for the details and varieties of birds that existed on Montserrat.

“I knew the birds that lived here, but now I was able to understand the differences between them. I remember seeing birds and not recognizing them and the field guide helped me to learn about migrants and regional endemic birds. That field guide opened up a whole new world for me when it came to me and birds,” he said.

Scriber can tell what type of bird is flying past from watching the shape of its wings and listening to its wing beats.

“I just never get tired of looking at birds. They are such wonderful creatures,” says the tour guide. “They are very good indicators of the environment. You can watch their behavior and know if fruits are bearing because of their calls. They are great security alarms as they will tell you if predators are around.”

Scriber’s passion extends well beyond birds and encompasses all of Montserrat’s natural habitats and creatures. You have not seen the island until you’ve seen Montserrat through Scriber’s eyes.

Now through Scriber’s Adventures, a tour guide company which opened in 2010, visitors can have Scriber or one of trained guides take you on scenic tours through the Centre Hills, on turtle watching expeditions or Bat Netting. Scriber is also very popular with educational institutions as a guide for students and researchers.

There is no better way to go searching for Montserrat’s National Bird, the Oriole than on a Scriber Adventure tour.

Search this site to learn more about the many tour packages available or to create your own specially guided tour of Montserrat’s nature trails.

6 Responses to About Scriber

  1. Renny and Gerri Roche says:

    Our hike with you around the north side of the island and the Oriole walk are one of the most memorable times we have had. Good to see your webpage. Hope to be back to Montserrat and another tour with you. Still need to get a shirt for Gerri. Let us know when you will have them available.

    Renny and Gerri Roche

  2. Andy Cassini says:

    Scriber is a true professional and a passionate birder, researcher and naturalist. He knows the island of Montserrat like no other and offers a truly global perspective on birds and other wildlife. His experiences and knowledge of the island are truly profound. As a researcher working on the Montserrat Oriole, I had the privilege to work with Scriber in the field. His knowledge of the local ecosystem and its flora and fauna is impressive. If you are on the island of Montserrat, for research or for fun, and you are planning on getting out and seeing nature, Scriber is your guy. He is personable, knowledgeable and engaging. His stories of the island and its natural history will entertain and amaze you. My relationship with Scriber began with research collaboration and turned into a friendship. I highly recommend without reservation hiring Scriber for your next island adventure on beautiful Montserrat.

  3. Khalid Daley says:

    Everyone should be experiencing the life and nature of the beautiful island of Montserrat. Uncle James is a phenomenal tour guide, and you will remember your experience with him for a long time. Seeing the birds, the bats and the woodland forests of Montserrat, shows how beautiful our island is. I would recommend this to anyone.

    Khalid

  4. RONtheDON of CathRon Products says:

    Excellent work!! you have made us proud to be Montserratian and we give you our full support!!

  5. Angie + Derek says:

    Being Canadians on our 4th vacation in Montserrat we were determined to finally see the rare and elusive Montserrat Oriole. Scriber took us on a hike into the Waterworks Estate property and did his magic whistle. Out of nowhere, 8 orioles flew into the treetop canopy above us and stayed long enough to snap a few photos. Incredible! Several other types of birds appeared on that hike as well. We now know where the name ‘Trembler’ came from – they sit in the tree and tremble! Very cool to see. Along the way Scriber pointed out interesting things about various plants and animals. He’s quite at home in the hills. We recommend Scriber’s tours. Bring water, a snack, wear running shoes that can get dirty, and don’t carry much. He will likely have a walking stick for you. Enjoy!

  6. Wolfgang, Elke und Uli from Austria says:

    We stayed in January in Montserrat, we had two wonderfull and excellent trips with you.
    The walk to Kathy hill was very good.
    Best wish from Austria

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