With one of the most ecologically diverse landscapes in the world, it's no surprise that Belize is a popular destination for bird watchers. More than 600 species have been recorded in the country, including more than 500 indigenous bird species that include the roseate spoonbill, orange-breasted falcon, endangered Jabiru stork, the scarlet macaw, sungrebe, enormous harpy eagle, solitary eagle, the chestnut-bellied heron, and the endangered ocellated turkey.
Beyond its enormous domestic variety of tropical and subtropical bird species, Belize is also the winter homefor hundreds of bird species from all across North America. With seven different Important Bird Areas managed by the Audobon Society, Belize is one of the best places to see birds in a pristine, natural landscape.
Belize is home to dozens of species of hummingbirds as well as fierce birds of prey such as falcons and eagles. Yet it is often the lesser-known birds which make the most impression on visitors like the lovely cotinga (a bird of paradise with bright blue and purple plumage) and the well-named fulvous whistling duck that uses its unique call to find a lifelong mate.
The country is also home to several species of owls, including the Great Horned Owl (picture an owl in your mind and this is the one) and the strange burrowing owl that lives underground.
Bird watching is an excellent activity to pair with other adventures. Both first-time bird spotters and experienced "twitchers" will appreciate seeing the birds of Belize with the help of experienced local guides. And Belize is the perfect place to add that rare, colorful, or endangered species to their "spotted" list.
Here are just a few of the amazing birds that you can easily spot in the area in and around Caves Branch Jungle Lodge:
- The Keel-billed Toucan (think Froot Loops!)
- The Blue Crowned Motmot (the ancient Maya believed it was the royal cry of the sun god Kinich Ahau)
- The rufous-tailed hummingbird
- Pale-billed woodpecker
- Violaceous Trogan (say that three times fast!)
- Gray-necked wood rail
- Collared forest falcon
- Thick-billed seed finch
- And plenty of brightly colored parrots…
All these species and more add their song and color to the pristine jungle area surrounding Caves Branch Lodge. When you sign up for the Caves Branch guided birding tour or birding vacation package, don't be surprised if you spot up to 100 different species in a single outing!