Birding Factoids

572 species
in 56 families
No endemics 
2 of the 21 species 
endemic to 
Central America are 
represented here. 
1 endangered species

Checklist of Belize BirdsConservation, Biodiversity and the EnvironmentTours and GuidesEco-LodgesSpeciality BirdsMap and General Country Information
Check out Mahlon Hale's images of the Birds of Belize
as well as Belize Birds on Stamps
Belize Specialities
(Pause your cursor on the photo to see the species name.)
Keel-billed Toucan - Belize National Bird - Photo by Kevin Loughlin
Photo copyright Kevin C. Loughlin/Adventure Camera, Inc.

Oscellated Turkey - Photo by Martin Reid

Photo copyright Martin Reid

Blue-crowned Motmot - Photo by Kevin Loughlin

Photo copyright Kevin C. Loughlin/Adventure Camera, Inc.

Ringed Kingfisher - Photo by Kevin Loughlin

Photo copyright Kevin C. Loughlin/Adventure Camera, Inc.

White Hawk - Photo copyright Arthur Grosset

Photo copyright Arthur Grosset

Scarlet-rumped Tanager - Photo copyright Jean Coronel

Photo copyright Jean Coronel
    ....Protected Areas Managed By The Belize Audubon Society
      includes additional information on:
      • Half Moon Caye Natural Monument
      • Shipstern Nature Reserve
      • Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary
      • Guanacaste National Park
      • Blue Hole National Park
      • Tapir Mountain Nature Reserve
      • Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary
    ....Another site on Shipstern Nature Reserve - managed by
      the Belize Audobon Society
    ....Birding in Belize - this commercial site provides information on 
      birding sites, as well as a brief checklist, and fgeneral information about birding in Belize.
    ....Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary - Located 33 miles northwest of
      Belize City and just 2 miles off the Northern Highway, Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary provides an opportunity to view some of Belize's magnificent waterbird populations. See also the Birds of Ambergris Caye by Elbert Greeg.
    ....Slate Creek Preserve is functioning as an important buffer for the
      adjacent Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve and forms a wildlife corridor between the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest to the north and the Tapir Mountain Nature Reserve to the northeast.
    ....Guanacaste National Park - a fifty acre parcel of tropical forest 
      located on the northside of the Western Highway just to the east of the Roaring Creek Bridge, administered by the Belize Audubon Society.
    ....Five Blues Lake National Park - Two hundred seventeen species of
      birds have been identified in the park and all five of Belize's wildcats make their home within the park's boundaries.
    ....Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary - The lush jungle of the basin
      is a birder's paradise, with over 300 species recorded. Some of the more interesting species include the scarlet macaw, great curassow, keel-billed toucan and king vulture.
    ....Half Moon Caye Natural Monument - The western half of the caye 
      is densely vegetated. The soils are made rich and fertile by guano from thousands of sea birds nesting in the area.
    ....Birds of Belize...The Halfmoon Rookery - the island has been 
      protected since 1928. The rookeries can be reached by boat from San Pedro by hopping aboard one of the dive boats heading for the "Blue Hole".
    ....Birding in the CAYO District of Belize - Bird watching is great in 
      Cayo! More than 600 bird species live year-round or visit                    Belize as part of their migratory pattern. Birds from the north visit Belize during the winter months, while the summer months are great for spotting visitors from South America.
    ....Trip Report: Central America (A birding travel report on: Mexico,
      Guatemala and Belize) - 16 March - 12 April 1991, by Michiel de Boer. This is a report of a birding holiday of four weeks in Mexico, Guatemala and Belize. We didn't book anything in advance (except for the flight) didn't rent a car and still visited all the good spots we wanted to visit. It was a great pleasure and a terrific experience, we would recommend to any birdwatcher or nature-lover. The planning of this trip relied on sources like travel-reports. By writing this report I hope I can contribute to the planning of trips of other people.
    ....Nine Days in Belize - Trip Report by Steven Mumford, 1995. 
      "Depart Miami at 4:26pm, arrive in Belize City at 4:13pm. A negative 13 minute airplane ride! What a way to fly!" An excellent trip report detailing both birds spotted and locations.
    ....Trip report for Belize - November 10-20, 1996 by Roy and Jill Jones.
      Belize is a nice country to get an introduction to birding in Central America as they speak English and there is some good habitat for birds. The people were nice everywhere we went. 
    ....Trip Report-Northern Belize - January 10-18, 1997. By Kevin
      Loughlin. This was my first birding tour of 1997, and a very successful endeavor with 200 species in seven full days of birding (plus the time to/from the airport. I even included a few lifers of my own though I have been leading tours to Belize since 1993. In fact, one of the Belizean guides I use got a couple of lifers, and he has been birding Belize all his life! See also Kevin's trip report from the March 27 Tour.
    ....Trip Report: Belize, November 2000 - by Mary Beth Stowe. 
      Thought I'd do an overview of the trip this time rather than a blow-by-blow recount ( if you'd LIKE that, then e-mail me and I'll send you a copy of the journal ! ), thinking this format might be more useful to prospective visitors to Belize.
    ....Trip Report: Birding and Duding in Yucutan and Belize, July 26 to 
      August 31, 2003. By Tim Allwood and Claire Stephenson. There’s no feeling like that of the roar and pull of the engines of a jet as you travel down the runway, and this year our destination was the endemism hotspot of the Yucutan peninsula in Mexico, and Belize. After last year’s epic expedition into darkest Peru we fancied a slightly more sedate trip with the chance to relax, swim, meet a few people and generally doss about with a beer or two. This area has many endemic species and subspecies (a fair few probable splits in the pipeline) along with many more species endemic to the wider area of Central America. 
    ....Belize Trip Reports - Blake Maybank's great trip report archive 
      holds many more trip reports on various parts of Belize.

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Conservation, Biodiversity

and Environment

Lesser (Thick-billed) Seed-finch - Photo copyright Jean Coronel
Photo copyright Jean Coronel
    ....Program for Belize Bird Conservation Development, Belize  - 
      Program for Belize (PFB) was established in 1988 with help from the Massachusetts Audubon Society and numerous international organizations and individuals. PFB has built a reputation as an extremely effective conservation organization through its management of the Rio Bravo Conservation and Management Area - the largest private reserve in Belize. The reserve is home to 390 bird species of which 20% are neotropical migrants (such as the declining Wood Thrush and Orchard Oriole).  Working in partnership with The Nature Conservancy, PFB has now established a community outreach and bird education program to involve neighboring communities in the protection of birds, including the endangered Yellow-headed Amazon. PFB will be hosting bird conservation training workshops, developing an ecotourism promotion project, and identifying bird conservation and monitoring priorities. Visitor facilities are available. To find out more about Program for Belize visit the website. 

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Tours and Guides

>>>>>> A Birding Pal is not a paid guide, but someone who likes to help out of town visitors. You can become a Birding Pal today! Help someone to enjoy your local birding spots and find a pal to help you when you travel. Click here for Belize Birding Pals, or join to be a Birding Pal!
Ornate Hawk-Eagle - Photo by Martin Reid
Photo copyright Martin Reid

Lesser Yellow-headed (Savannah) Vulture - Photo by Kevin Loughlin

Photo copyright Kevin C. Loughlin/Adventure Camera, Inc.

Clay-coloured Thrush - Photo copyright Jean Coronel

Photo copyright Jean Coronel
    **..Exotic Birding - Tours for Bird Lovers!  Our tours are for people who
      want more from a trip than additions to their life lists. Experience tropical birding in Belize with a Master Guide who does more than find and identify the birds for you. He explains how he identifies the birds we see, sharing his methods and knowledge so participants can enhance their own birding skills while discovering the marvels of birding in the tropics. We offer 2 week-long spring tours plus a 4-day extension in-between, so you can readily choose the duration of your trip. Each week we stay at two ecologically different locations, with a single hotel change mid-week, to increase the number of birds seen while affording  a more relaxed pace of travel. We then fan out on day trips to discover and explore the best birding areas nearby. Discover our favorite birding spots at Pook's Hill and Hidden Valley in the Maya Mountains, Caracol and Lamanai Archeological Sites, Crooked Tree, Cockscomb Basin Jaguar Reserve, and Sittee Point during our spring tours. We welcome all skill levels and also non-birding companions. All tours limited to 8 participants.
    **..Birding Belize with Amazilia Tours - This small country, despite 
      the fact that it does not vary much in elevation still offers a considerable variety of habitats (high humid forest at 1000m, pine forest, tropical dry forest, mangrove, savanna, swamps and of course the Atlantic coast with the longest coral reef in the world after Australia. With a passion for birds and the experience acquired through exploring these regions for the past 15 years, Amazilia Tours offers you a trilingual guiding experience during your birding trip to the Neotropics. Good field knowledge is essential to maximize the number of observed bird species during the bird tour that you have chosen.
    **..Belize Birding with Neotropical Journeys - The tours and programs
      offered by Neotropical Journeys are designed to visit destinations with rich avifaunas, outstanding wildlife, wilderness and cultural significance at their seasonal best. Neotropical Journeys is actively involved in regional and local conservation projects and organizes tours aimed to raise funds for bird and nature conservation. 

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Gray-headed Tanager - Photo by Kevin Loughlin
Photo copyright Kevin C. Loughlin/Adventure Camera, Inc.
    **..Crystal Paradise Resort - nestled amongst tropical hardwood
      forest and the picturesque Macal River makes the perfect back drop for your home away from home experience with Victor Tut and family. The family members all speak English, the official language of Belize, as well as Spanish and they treat their guests like one of the family. The sons, who are avid bird watchers and nature lovers, will also serve as your naturalist guides on a variety of tours including hiking, horseback riding and mountain biking through jungle trails rich in wildlife.Bird watching can be done early in the morning from your porch or on nearby trails. Try night Birding and look for owls and parques with a guide or just listen to the night life sounds of the jungle.
    **..Mama Noots Resort - Remote and isolated, in the jagged Maya
      Mountains of Central Belize, this resort is surrounded by pristine rainforest, waterfalls, crystal clear streams and untainted air. Belizean owned and operated, we are Belize's newest eco-tourist destination. Within walking distance to Maya ruins, granite lined 400-feet-high waterfalls, close encounters with exotic flora and fauna, and only a few miles from the Caribbean coastline, this resort opens a doorway to understanding your connections to Mother Earth. This is the wildest and most pristine rainforest on earth. Our remote location in the Mayflower Bocawina Archeological & Waterfalls National Park gives the visitor a truly exhilarating sense of the richness and splendor of the most diverse environment on earth.

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Central American Specialities in Belize

Information on endemics and specialities is derived from Sibley & Monroe checklists and bird distribution lists in Thayer's Birder's Diary - Version 2.5. Information on endangered birds is derived from the IUCN Red List, Birdlife International, and supporting data bases developed by Ian Patton, of Merlin Species Watcher.  The endemic, endangered and speciality birds may be uncommon, extremely rare vagrants, may be extirpated in the country now or may only be present in migration. However, documented sightings of each species noted below have been made in Belize. 

Central American Endemic Specialities in Belize - No  National Endemics

___ Nicaraguan Seed-Finch ___ Ridgway's Rough-winged

Endangered Birds in Belize

Breeding Birds

Non-breeding Birds
___ Yellow-headed Parrot

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Links checked October 14, 2001