Mass Audubon Tour: Birding in Belize


After leaving the Goldson International Airport, our first stop was just
off the Northern Highway to view a Jabiru nest.

We birded our way to the La Milpa Field Station (Programme for Belize,
Rio Bravo Conservation Management Area) in Orange Walk District.

Sightings there included:

Black Howler Monkey

Central America Spider Monkey

Crested Guan

a.k.a. Elvis

Purple-crowned Fairy

Roadside Hawk

Sulphur-rumped Flycatcher

White-crowned Parrot

Black Orchid, the national flower of Belize

another orchid

(Possibly) Polymorphic Robber Frog

We headed off from La Milpa to the Lamanai Archeological Site,

because there were temples to climb and

birds to see, like this Black-headed Trogon,

Brown Jay,

Mottled Owl,

Pale-billed Woodpecker,

White-whiskered Puffbird,

and this Mangrove Swallow. Of course, it is not entirely about birds -

there's this Brown Basilisk lizard for instance.

We left the Lamanai area by boat down the New River - to see

Anhinga (male),

Black-collared Hawk,

Boat-billed Heron,

Morelet's Crocodile,

Northern Jacana,

Osprey (migrant ssp.),

Tricolored Heron,

and Yellow-crowned Night-Heron.

We boarded our bus again and headed off to Crooked Tree (staying
at the Birds Eye View Lodge) for waterbirds and more.

We saw Bare-throated Tiger-Heron,

Gray-necked Wood-Rail,

Black-necked Stilt,

female Snail Kite carrying an Apple Snail,

Apple Snail eggs,

egrets and Roseate Spoonbills,

lots of 'em,

White Ibis,

Wood Stork,

(possibly the worst-ever photo of an) Agami Heron,

and lots of Neotropic Cormorants. Plus we saw

a young Green Iguana and

a Vermilion Flycatcher.

From Crooked Tree, we headed off to the Cayo District
and DuPlooy's Jungle Lodge. They have great fruit feeders, with

Blue-crowned Motmots (in the very early morning),

(very high ISO photos)

and Brown Jays. Sometimes the light is a bit better

for the Collared Aracari,

Red-throated Ant-Tanager,

and Clay-colored Thrush.

In the evening, there is a family of

Kinkajous that come in to dine.

Of course, there are lots of other sights to see here, including

Band-backed Wren,

White-fronted Parrot,

White-tipped Dove,

bats (maybe Lesser Dog-like Bat),

really weird flowers (Duck Flower?),

and groups of birders....

DuPlooy's is also the home of the Belize Botanical Garden, which is very
nice, good for birding, and well labeled.

We did a day trip to the Mountain Pine Ridge, and saw

the 1000-Foot Falls (really 1600') and the resident

Orange-breasted Falcon (second shot digiscoped),

Black Vultures from above,

the Rio Frio Cave,

"Best Bug" larva,

Olive-throated Parakeet,

and Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl.

Another jaunt in Cayo involved the Xunantunich Archeological Site:

In the surrounding area, we saw

Northern Royal Flycatcher and

Amazon Kingfisher.

Elsewhere in Cayo, we had

Gray-crowned Yellowthroat,

White-tailed Kite, and

the BOSS!

We left the western part of the country and motored down the
Hummingbird Highway toward the mid-coast. Along the way we
stopped and birded at the Blue Hole National Park, where we saw

Tropical Pewee,

White-collared Manakin,

Red-throated Ant-Tanager - male

and female,

Cliff Swallow,

Rose-breasted Grosbeak (female),

and an Orange-billed Sparrow.

We arrived in our next location, Dangriga (Stann Creek District) and
settled into the Pelican Beach Resort. We made a day trip to the
Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary (Jaguar Preserve)

where we saw:

Double-toothed Kite,

Black-faced Grosbeak,

Boat-billed Herons,

including one tending to the three eggs in this nest,

Yellow-tailed Oriole,

goofy leaders Dave and Nathan,

other nuts like this cashew,

and yes, more Red-throated Ant-Tanagers. Last year, this same sign

had a Gray Catbird on it.

Another morning trip lead us to the small village of Red Bank, in search of

Scarlet Macaws. We also had,

Indigo Buntings,

Blue Grosbeaks,

Blue-black Grassquits, and other birds.

We spent a day offshore, first visiting Man-O-War Caye to see

Brown Boobies,

Magnificent Frigatebirds, which were

nesting (cute, well maybe), and

Double-crested Cormorants. Lots of birds,

not much space. Awesome smell!

We headed off to South Water Caye for snorkeling and a little birding.

Ruddy Turnstones

Brown Pelican


Osprey (resident ssp.)

Hanging out on a cayelet



Back on the mainland, here are some of the sights in the vicinity
of the Pelican Beach Resort.

Brown Pelicans

American Oystercatcher


and it is banded (but unreadable)

Spotted Sandpiper




American Redstart

Common Tody Flycatcher

Grayish Saltator

Great Kiskadee

Cinnamon Hummingbird on nest

on twig

Mangrove Vireo

Yellow-bellied Elaenia

Hooded Orioles

Pale-vented Pigeon

Ruddy Ground-Doves

Variegated Squirrel

Collared Peccaries

Horse, Cattle Egret, and commentary

and the famous golden slime mold (or whatever it was).


Return to Birding in Massachusetts