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#426046 - 12/24/11 08:17 AM The Birds! – Belize
Marty Offline

With huge tracts of protected forest and jungle and more than 400 species of birds that either live in or pass through these areas it’s almost impossible not to turn into a bird watcher while you’re in Belize.

Karen Birdwatching at La Milpa Field Station where we saw 50 different species of birds we'd never seen before in just two days.

During our nearly three months in Belize we saw hundreds of species we’d never seen before in stunning natural places like Chan Chich Lodge and La Milpa Field Station in the vast Rio Bravo Conservation and Management Area. That’s where we met guide and naturalist Vladimir and dubbed him the bird ninja. Then there’s Lamanai Outpost Lodge and the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary. Some birds simply appeared by the side of the road.

We saw the flashy colors of trogans and aracaris and the shimmery, orange-dotted get-up of the ocellated turkey. We learned to recognize the frog-like call of the toucan, marveled at the near-perfect camouflage of the great potoo (which still looks just like a tree limb even after you know it’s there) and tried and tried and tried to see a harpy eagle in the wild.


Here are just a few of our favorite feathery finds, no binoculars required.

Orange-breasted Falcon, birds of Belize

A rare orange-breasted falcon.

Ferruginous Pygmy Owl, Birds of Belize

A ferruginous pygmy owl.

Collared Aracari, birds of Belize

A pair of collared aracaris.

Toucan, birds of Belize

A toucan spotted at La Milpa Field Station in Belize.

Lineated Woodpecker, birds of Belize

A lineated woodpecker.

Great Egret, birds of Belize

A great egret.

Ocellated Turkey, birds of Belize

An ocellated turkey on the grounds of Chan Chich Lodge in Belize.

Pygmy Kingfisher, birds of Belize

A pygmy kingfisher tucks in for the night near the Lamanai archaeological site in Belize.

Black-headed Trogan, birds of Belize

A black-headed trogan seen in the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary in Belize.

Laughing Falcon, birds of Belize

A laughing falcon along a rural road in southern Belize.

Black-collared Hawk, Birds of Belize

A black-collared hawk heads out to hunt near the Lamanai archaeological site in Belize.

Violaceous Trogan, birds of Belize

A violaceous trogan spotted in the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary in Belize.

Slaty tailed Trogon, birds of Belize

A slaty-tailed trogon in Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary in Belize.

Red-footed Booby, birds of Belize

A red-footed booby and fledgling on Half Moon Caye Natural Monument in Belize.

White-necked Jacobin (hummingbird), birds of Belize

A white-necked jacobin (hummingbird) in Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary in Belize.

Tiger Heron, birds of Belize

A tiger heron in Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary in Belize.

Great Potoo adult + juvenile, birds of Belize

Look close. There are two great potoos (an adult and a juvenile) sitting on that branch.

Yucatan Nightjar, birds of Belize

Yucatan nightjars nest on the ground where they practically disappear into the foliage.

Roadside Hawk, birds of Belize

An aptly-named roadside hawk on the grounds of Hidden Valley Inn in the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve in Belize.

Osprey Eagle, birds of Belize

An osprey eagle spotted in Belize.

Magnificent Frigatebird, birds of Belize

Magnificent frigatebirds (these are courting on Half Moon Caye Natural Monument) have a seven foot wingspan and can stay in the air for weeks.

An orange oriole, birds of Belize

An orange oriole seen from the epic bird watching platform built 100 feet up a ceiba tree at Jungle Camp, part of Belize Lodge & Excursions.

Boat-billed Heron, birds of Belize

A boat-billed heron along the river that runs through the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary in Belize.

Northern Jacana, birds of Belize

A northern jacana seen near the Lamanai archaeological site in Belize.

Great Blue Heron, birds of Belize

A great blue heron seen near the Lamanai archaeological site in Belize.

Harpy Eagle, Birds of Belize

We'd hoped to see an endangered harpy eagle in the wild while in Belize but we had to settle for this one in the Belize Zoo.

Crested Guan, birds of Belize

A crested guan in the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary in Belize.

 Wood Stork - Birds at Crooked Tree wildlife sanctuary, Belize

Wetlands in the Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary attract enormous wood storks (with the black heads), herons, egrets, cormorants and other water birds.

Chestnut-headed Oropendola, birds of Belize

A chestnut-headed oropendola.

King Vulture, birds of Belize

A group of rare king vultures way off in the distance on land owned and preserved by the Hidden Valley Inn in the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve in Belize.

Ornate Hawk-Eagle, birds of Belize

An ornate hawk-eagle in deep jungle.


#426147 - 12/26/11 12:01 AM Re: The Birds! – Belize [Re: Marty]
ScubaLdy Offline
Thanks so much for the really exotic photos! Mine are nothing like this (well, one or two) but here's what I had.

Today, Christmas, I was blessed with many very young birds; several species. There were many baby Bananaquits, American Redstarts, Northern Parulas, Cape May Warblers and one each White-sided Dove, Black and White Warbler, Tropical Mockingbird and two Hooded Warblers.

My 500mm lens is not working but I set up my 200mm with a bird feeder about 20 feet away and marveled at how many and how many different species visited me today. I was able to snap 150 images and look forward to processing them.

The visiting adults today included year round residents of a flock of Hooded Orioles, lots of Banaquits, a couple of Golden-fronted woodpeckers, Hummingbirds (maybe Cinnamon), Melodious Blackbirds, Tropical Mockingbirds and a beautiful Osprey who ate his fish lunch on top of the new high electric post.

The seasonal adults included a small flock of Yellow-backed Orioles who usually stay for a month or two and a pair of Great Kissadees who have a nest in the Sea Grape tree. Although I have yet to see him the Great Horned Owl is hooting away at me right now and the female is once again on eggs; they come for Thanksgiving and stay quite a while. I haven't heard the Chachalaca yet tonight but she has been around for about a week. Some species of the Heron family has been visiting my pond at night. She's always gone before I can get alight on her.

I know you don't want to read about the lizards, Iguanas, Geckos, Ants and snakes that seem abundant here. This is a real wild life sanctuary.

Since my laptop with my hundreds and hundreds of GREAT images was stolen I have been heartsick and reluctant to start over. A new camera body is due here for new years and so I broke the ice today by beginning taking some with the 200. Now I just have to process these.

All bird lovers are welcome to stop by Birdland and enjoy the birds with me. HAPPY NEW YEAR.
Take only pictures leave only bubbles

#426150 - 12/26/11 06:58 AM Re: The Birds! – Belize [Re: Marty]
elbert Offline
The Chan Chich Lodge and its surrounding 135,000 acres of rainforest is a magic spot on the planet. You just can't help becoming a birdwatcher if you visit there.
The Dive Shops Daily Blog

#427154 - 01/08/12 11:39 AM Re: The Birds! – Belize [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Bird Watching at Lower Dover Jungle Lodge in Belize
White-Collard Seedeaters

Flower Garden at Lower Dover in Belize

During the fall of 2011, the flower garden outside the bunkhouse at Lower Dover Field Station and Jungle Lodge was in full bloom with Zinnias. It was a great time to view all kinds of tropical butterflies and a bird’s nest up close in personal.

Butterfly near Dormitory at Lower Dover Jungle Lodge

I sat one afternoon, on the dormitory porch, knowing that I could get a great photo of what ever bird came back to it’s nest. Luckily I was able to see both mom and dad. I consulted Birds of Belize by H. Lee Jones to find out just what I was photographing. Turns out this was a breeding pair of White-Collard Seedeaters (Sporophila torqueola). Both approximately 10 cm in height.

Baby White Collared Seed Eaters

According to Jones (A bird watching god in Belize), the male is identified two ways. This male had alternative markings, characterized as “boldly patterned black and white with a white throat, black breast band, and white wing-bars and rump.”

Mr White Collard Seed Eater

The female of the species is identified as being “olive brown, with light brown to whitish wing-bars.”

Mrs White Collared Seed Eater -Lower Dover Belize

These two were feasting on the drying flower seeds, an easy picture for even novice birders at Lower Dover Jungle Lodge. The babies grew amazingly fast! I checked them once early in the week only to be attacked by the parents, but not before getting a great shot of these youngsters. Only 3 days later they were gone! Please grow up fast little guys for more exciting Lower Dover birding opportunities in the future…

Mr White Collard Seed Eater - Birdwatching in Belize

Lower Dover Field Journal

#427227 - 01/09/12 02:35 PM Re: The Birds! – Belize [Re: Marty]
ScubaLdy Offline
I had a pair of the White-Collared Seedeaters here at Birdland last year. They were shy and only stayed a few days. Thanks for sharing your photos.
Just today I discovered two new very little American Redstart young ones. I've had a lot of babies of all kinds here the last part of the year.
Take only pictures leave only bubbles

#427247 - 01/09/12 04:44 PM Re: The Birds! – Belize [Re: ScubaLdy]
BeBelize Offline
Lovely seedeater photos. We just saw a male for the first time ever right outside the road to Grand Belizean Estates yesterday.

Former Belize expat traveling the USA & Mexico

#427249 - 01/09/12 04:56 PM Re: The Birds! – Belize [Re: BeBelize]
Loansum-Al K Offline
To me the Great Kiskadee is my favorite bird....their unique call can not be mistaken.
I'm happier than a pig in s__t...a foot on the sand...and a Belikin in my hand!

#427348 - 01/10/12 12:48 PM Re: The Birds! – Belize [Re: Marty]
ScubaLdy Offline
Al stop at Birdland the next time you come by. I have a pair of Great Kissadees that visit me a couple of times a day. They had a nest in my Sea Grape tree that blew away in the last big storm.
Take only pictures leave only bubbles

#427367 - 01/10/12 02:50 PM Re: The Birds! – Belize [Re: Marty]
Judyann H. Offline
Agreed the Great Kissadees have been my favorite since I read about them in Bubbas' Birdwatching Book. However they made my number one list a few years back on a hot July day. My dog and I were trying to nap on our balcony when a few flies paid us a visit, enough to stir us both. Only a few minutes went by when 2 Bright Yellow and Black Kissadees joined us on the porch and relieved us of the nasty insects.....
My friends call me Judyann



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