Certificate Program in
Hill Bank Field Station, Rio
Bravo Conservation Management Area, Belize
26 November to 4 December 2012
Mass Audubon's Joppa Flats
Education Center, in cooperation with Programme for Belize, conducted
our 4th session of the Certificate Program. Although our class
was smaller than usual, they were very
enthusiastic and we had a successful trip. Here are some photos
from the course, Hill Bank, Lamanai,
and, of course, some birds:
Brown Jays were everywhere,
and rarely quiet.
Bat Falcons patrolled the grounds.
Great Curassow strutting on the road.
This Bicolored Hawk had us confused for a bit.
Common Paraque at night
Gray-crowned Yellowthroat down by the lagoon
Gray-collared Becard (female) was new for me.
Rose-throated Becard (imm. male)
Northern Barred Woodcreeper
Ocellated Turkeys were obvious.
So were Pale-billed Woodpeckers.
Black-cheeked Woodpeckers were nice to see.
And Roadside Hawks were always watching....
White-collared Manakins were easy to see.
As were White-fronted Parrots
and Red-lored Parrots.
Empids included Yellow-bellied Flycatchers.
Of course, there were Black Vultures and
Blue Buntings and
the multicolored Collared Aracari.
Banding instruction was
part of this course. Of course, we only banded the Neotropical
migrants, but we got to see some nice resident species as well.
Several Worm-eating Warblers were caught.
This Yellow-breasted Chat was pretty fiesty.
Northern Waterthrush sporting new jewelry
This White-breasted Wood Wren was one of the prettiest birds we
We did a field trip out
of the forested area protected by the Programme for Belize, into
agricultural land owned by Mennonites.
This is the border of the PfB land and newly cleared Mennonite
Open land is better for some species, like this Fork-tailed Flycatcher,
an Austral migrant.
Jabirus were starting the nesting season.
Vermilion Flycatchers like barbed wire fenses too.
Laughing Falcon keeping an eye out for snakes.
Wood Storks keeping an eye on us.
Apparently the local Mennonites prefer steel tractor wheels to
Doubtless they had a hard time figuring us out too.
We did visit with one family.
The course was conducted
over several days, combining lectures, banding, field work, and
leadership skills training.
Early morning birding on the road.
Class in session
Discussing the fine points of identification.
Philip Balderamos presented the lecture on Bird Conservation in
Students and faculty squinting into the sun.
Other interesting stuff:
Anole sp. (maybe Brown)
Devil guts cactus.
army ant swarm (Youtube video)
This scorpion had a close escape from the army ants,
though not from Darcy.
Do you think that Christine is hoping that Darcy does not let
Veined Tree Frog
Gulf Coast Toad
Yellow-fronted Owl-Butterfly (maybe)
Banded Orange Heliconian
Satyr sp. (possible Common Ur-Satyr)
unidentified skipper sp.
Buckeye (maybe Mangrove Buckeye)
Adult and lots of young stinkbugs
Ocelot tracks (slightly overlapping)
Lots of tiny White-tailed Deer
George (Morelet's Crocodile)
Following the course,
a few of us traveled to the Lamanai archeological site by boat
on the lagoon,
past this inactive Montezuma Oropendula nest colony, and saw:
Ficus enveloping a host tree,
another Northern Barred Woodcreeper,
Christine and Marcos conquering the high temple, and this awesome
On the way back to Hill Bank, we saw
a fly-by Jabiru,
a fly-by Snail Kite,
a Scaled Pigeon,
and a Yellow-crowned Night-Heron, to mention a few.
It was a great trip and
I hope that we can find the funding to continue this great program.
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