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Collared Aracari Pics #456948
01/31/13 10:16 AM
01/31/13 10:16 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 70,257
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP

at Lower Dover Belize Jungle Lodge


Aracari at Lower Dover Belize Jungle Lodge

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


Bird Pictures from Lower Dover Belize Jungle Lodge

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.


Social Toucanette family at Lower Dover Belize Jungle Lodge


Tropical birds eating at Lower Dover Belize Jungle Lodge



Jungle papaya fest for some lucky birds


Free lunch, serve yourself at Lower Dover Belize Jungle Lodge

Today we noticed the same group of birds feasting on a bee’s nest and got these amazing bird photographs with a point and shoot camera! No tripod even… The Cannon PowerShot SX 260 HS camera is something special!


Two collared aracari on cedar tree in Belize

It also helps that these birds seem to care less about the photographer and more about the sweet treats that nature provides. I was about 20 feet away, sitting on the ground, when most of these shots were taken.


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.


Aracari eating bees from a nest

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.


Aracari with bee in beak at Lower Dover Belize Jungle Lodge


The colors and lighting were perfect for these bird photos but the camera sure did help. I would suggest anyone looking for an upgrade to look into this model. Only 25% of these photos were minimally altered with photoshop for color and tone.


Staring contest with a bird


Anyone that is looking to do some serious birdwatching in Belize would be silly to not stop at Lower Dover in Unitedville.  Occasionally the Aracari are so docile they decide to pose for camera shots in the palm of your hand!





These jungle birds seem as if they are here to stay, and there is plenty of food on Lower Dover’s 100 acre property to make sure it remains that way.  Our eco-lodge is located between Little Barton Creek and Big Barton Creek, along the Belize River, an ideal location for birders. The numerous fruit trees,  85 acres of jungle, and multiple water sources attract more birds than just the Aracari as you can in Lower Dover’s top bird pictures from last year.

Lower Dover Field Journal

Re: Collared Aracari Pics [Re: Marty] #456979
01/31/13 05:05 PM
01/31/13 05:05 PM
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 834
Wandering the USA
BeBelize Offline
BeBelize  Offline

Thanks for posting this, Marty. These Aracari photos are STUNNING! Love seeing them eating the huge papaya.


Former Belize expat traveling the USA & Mexico
Re: Collared Aracari Pics [Re: Marty] #457589
02/08/13 09:51 AM
02/08/13 09:51 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 70,257
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP

Social Toucanette Family at Lower Dover Belize Jungle Lodge

Video of an entire tropical bird flock of Collared Aracaris eating papaya seeds from fruit grown outside the cabanas of Lower Dover's hotel. Photos taken with a Canon Powershot SX260 HS. 2/6/13.

Since we posted the bird pics of the Social Toucanettes eating last week, we decided to try our hand at some video. I was watering the garden in the afternoon and the birds flew so close to my head I could hear their wings. They were hungry! You can hear me sneaking off to turn the water off 30 seconds into the vid…I’m not sure they even cared.

Close up of Collared Aracari Eating Papaya Seeds

From afar it seemed as if the aracari was eating the papaya fruit, but instead they were after the seeds! The Maya used papaya seeds as a contraceptive, but it seems like this bird family is using them to get fat.

Lower Dover Field Journal

Re: Collared Aracari Pics [Re: Marty] #457595
02/08/13 10:09 AM
02/08/13 10:09 AM
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 834
Wandering the USA
BeBelize Offline
BeBelize  Offline
So interesting! I had assumed they were eating the fruit too, from the still photos, but I see it's the seeds. Fascinating creatures. Thanks for posting!

Former Belize expat traveling the USA & Mexico

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