Certificate Program in Bird Ecology
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.

Cinammon Hummingbird

Northern Waterthrush

Common Paraque at night

Gray-crowned Yellowthroat down by the lagoon

Gray-collared Becard (female) was new for me.

Rose-throated Becard (imm. male)

Hooded Warbler

Masked Tityra

Northern Barred Woodcreeper

Ivory-billed 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 caught.

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 land.

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 rubber.

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 Belize.

Students and faculty squinting into the sun.

Happy graduates!

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 go?


BIG spider

Veined Tree Frog

Gulf Coast Toad


Banded Peacock

White Peacock

Yellow-fronted Owl-Butterfly (maybe)

Tropical Checkered-Skipper

White Satyr

Emerald-patched Cattleheart


Banded Orange Heliconian

Ceraunus Blue

Phaon Crescent

Satyr sp. (possible Common Ur-Satyr)

unidentified skipper sp.

Buckeye (maybe Mangrove Buckeye)

Green-backed Ruby-eye

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:

Gray-headed Tanager,

Black Orchids,

Ficus enveloping a host tree,

another Northern Barred Woodcreeper,

Ruddy Woodcreeper

Tawny-winged Woodcreeper,

Black-headed Trogon,

Violaceous Trogon,

Christine and Marcos conquering the high temple, and this awesome

Variable Cracker.
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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