Twenty two scarlet macaws in their feeding tree, 2nd photo of them flying in a flock
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Sunday June 21, 2020

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Tony Rath
Editorial, assignment & stock photography from Belize. Pictures, images and photos of nature, people, San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Caye Caulker & San Igacio, Cayo. Tony Rath is a professional photographer based along the shore of the Caribbean Sea in the picturesque town of Dangriga, Belize. He is a trained marine biologist and has worked as a diver and underwater photographer for the Smithsonian Institution; diving on oil rigs off California; and captaining a sailboat across the Atlantic Ocean and through the Mediterranean and North Seas. He founded, along with his wife Therese, Naturalight Productions, Belize's premiere Internet marketing company. He now leads the special projects division of the company. The company created and manages numerous award winning websites.
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Twenty two scarlet macaws in their feeding tree, 2nd photo of them flying in a flock

How many birds in this photo? Macaws slowly swarm trees that are fruiting. First a pair will land and begin squawking. Soon another pair arrives. The tree begins to fill as others swoop in. They kinda move in slow motion while feeding, almost clumsily, but with grace. I stood still for a half hour, hand holding my camera, afraid to move so as not to scare them away as the tree filled with crawling color. Can you count how many macaws are in this photo (hint: lots - 22)? This is only a portion of the feeding tree

Belize has a few world-class wildlife events. The few weeks at the end of the dry season at Crooked Tree is one and the scarlet macaws of Red Bank is another. Every year between December and March the macaws feed on the fruit of the polewood trees growing on the hills surrounding the village. You have a 100% chance of seeing macaws.

Second photo: A small flock-one of many-flying in from the west, probably from the Chiquibul, to feed.

Beautiful birds such as the scarlet macaw (Ara macao) belong in the wild!

Areas such as Bladen Nature Reserve and Maya Mountain North Forest Reserve, both co-managed by Ya’axché, are important to these big reds, scarlet. Scarlet macaws can be seen in flocks; they make quite a ruckus when feeding on fruits, nuts and seeds.

Scarlet macaws are monogamous birds – an individual remains with one partner throughout its life. The hen lays two to three white eggs in a tree cavity. The eggs hatch after 90 days; and after a year the young scarlet macaws would leave their parents.

Thousands of tourist come to Belize to see these stunning and elegant birds. Our rangers are doing their part in protecting the homes and feeding grounds of scarlet macaws. You can help too – help us by reporting any illegal activity!

Photographs by Tony Rath

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