Birds are one of the most iconic wild creatures that can be found in Belize. Ranging from tiny, iridescent hummingbirds to the elegant majesty of giant Jabiru storks, more than 600 species of birds have been recorded in Belize. Birds thrive in Belize‘s warm, subtropical climate, and the pristine nature of the different habitats in the country, including grasslands, savannas, rainforests, coastal regions, and wetlands, make Belize an ideal place for birds to thrive.
But when it comes to spotting birds in Belize, the process can sometimes be quite frustrating. The jungles and rainforest have thick vegetation which makes it hard to see birds. And many birds live high up in the jungle canopy, forcing human observers to strain their neck looking upwards. And because nature is so wild in Belize, the presence of predators makes many birds zip about in quick, furtive movements that offer tantalizing glimpses of their presences.
Fortunately, expert bird guides in Belize who are native speakers of English are masters at knowing where to set up in order to more easily spot birds. These expert guides know where birds will go to feed or where they will move to new locations, making the birds a lot easier to see. With expert guidance, even first-time bird watchers can spot dozens of different bird species in a single session.
See Also: Belize Birding Vacations
One of the easiest bird species to spot in Belize is the country’s national bird, the keel-billed toucan. Much like the beloved mascot of Froot Loops cereal, the keel-billed toucan has neon bright feathers, including luminescent yellow body head and a bright green bill that the toucan uses to nibble on succulent fruits.
Other birds that are a bit rarer include ocellated turkeys, an endangered species of turkey with highly distinctive colors. Other endangered birds that can be found in Belize include the yellow-headed parrot and the brown pelican. Some interesting and unusual birds to keep an eye out for in Belize include the king vulture, an enormous bird that can grow up to 32 inches (81 cm) in length and the scarlet macaw, an oversized member of the parrot family with brilliantly colored rainbow feathers.
If you‘d like to see some of the amazing birds in Belize for yourself, one of the best places to spot them is at Caves Branch Jungle Lodge. Over 300 species of birds have been spotted on the Lodge property, and Caves Branch regularly organizes birdwatching tours led by expert naturalists.