October is the start of the Belize Audubon Society’s Urban Bird Watch Program that connects Belizeans and visitors with nature through bird watching. The country currently boasts over five hundred different species of birds including local and migratory birds. According to Publicity Coordinator for the Belize Audubon Society, Dirk Francisco, the urban settings in Belize still do attract many birds because of the diverse ecosystem. Since the beginning of this month and through May of next year, Belizeans and avid birders could travel to various districts for an opportunity to engage and enjoy bird watching.
Dirk Francisco, Publicity Coordinator, Belize Audubon Society
“There are many birds that will be hanging around in people’s yard like the summer tanager, a bright red bird, we get a lot of calls about that bird to find out what’s the name. This is the time that you will see the Baltimore oriole; that’s another bird that Belizeans tend to be attracted to. There are several birds like the eastern wood pee-wee, which is another bird that likes to hang out on sticks in people’s backyard. People are always wondering where did this bird come from and why it is so beautiful. So through the urban bird watch you get to know the names of the common birds that chill out in your backyard, especially in the months of September, October, November; all the way till May. So we always encourage people to join us and participate in the urban bird watch because it is free and you get to know the names of the birds.”
“Now I know that it started this past weekend and you guys went down to Dangriga. Tell us about what you guys saw and the turnout; whether it was successful.”
“Yes, Dangriga was marvelous Duane. If you were there, you would be amazed. What we saw last weekend, October fifth, in Dangriga was thousands and thousands of egrets migrating. We’ve been to Dangriga five times. This is the fifth time we visited Dangriga in the month of October, the first weekend in October, and this is the first time I’ve seen like over thirty thousand cattle egrets, snowy egrets; a smaller population of great blue herons. Great blue herons in Belize don’t normally congregate in flocks, but on Sunday I saw many. I was amazed by the sight and I was also encouraged and happy that students from Ecumenical Junior College showed up to participate. I remembered one students saying he didn’t see what the big deal is with bird watching, but they got motivated to see that it is a recreational activity that engages them to learn about the biodiversity of Belize. So Dangriga I must say was excellent for us; we actually had seventy-three species of birds in Dangriga town itself. So as a tourist destination for bird watching, Dangriga is an excellent choice.”