Collared Aracari munching on papaya
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Sunday February 24, 2013

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Lower Dover Field Journal
Lower Dover Field Station is located in the Cayo District just 1/2 mile off the Western Highway at Mile 59, in the Village of Unitedville in Belize, Central America. Our 100 acre private reserve sits on the Belize River, between Big and Little Barton Creeks. With exotic jungle forests and water on three sides, Lower Dover has the feeling of being its own rainforest “island” full of wildlife and wonder yet still close to civilization. Best bird watching times: 6AM and 4:30PM
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Collared Aracari munching on papaya

Sometimes it is easy to get great bird photos at Lower Dover Field Station in Western Belize. Today was one of those days…

It seems a family of 5 Social Toucanette’s has been flying around the hotel grounds at Lower Dover. Recently it has been common to see multiple Aracari’s perched on the nearby papaya trees, eating when the fruit is ripe.

Each of the five toucan cousins took turns feasting on what seemed to be honey inside the woodpecker’s hole in a cedar tree. The birds would eat as much as it could for about 30 seconds before flying away due to constant stinging. One gulp of honey, two beak swipes at the attacking bees, rinse, repeat.

Occasionally the bird would even catch a bee, and seemingly eat it in one bite! Other times I could see the bees trying to sting the bird through the camera’s zoom finder, only to have the Aracari feast on its brother or sister one second later.

Photograph by Lower Dover Field Journal

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