Meet the Birds of Belize

Pictures of birds of Belize

With around 590 bird species, it is safe to say Belize is a paradise for birdwatchers. Even regular folks who don’t have much interest in bird watching are drawn to this recreational activity when in Belize because of how easy it is to see them here. Most of the birds of Belize are local inhabitants and about 20 percent are migrants who choose to vacation in Belize during the harsh winter months in North America.

With almost half of Belize being made up of protected areas, it doesn’t matter if you are in the coast, Cayes or inland, you will encounter numerous flying creatures. At most Jungle lodges it is easy to spot birds in the morning and they also usually offer excellent birding tours. Another option is waking up early and going to Mayan sites – the ruckus of the rainforest is absolutely amazing.

Below are a few photos of some of the most beautiful birds you can see in the wild:

Acorn Woodpecker

Acorn Woodpecker in Belize

Agami Heron

Agami Heron in Belize

American Pygmy Kingfisher

American Pygmy Kingfisher

Anhinga

Anhinga bird  in Belize

Azure-crowned Hummingbird

Azure-crowned Hummingbird

Bare-throated Tiger Heron

Bare-throated Tiger Heron

Black-and-white Warbler

Black-and-white Warbler

Black-collared Hawk

Black-collared Hawk

Black-crowned Tityra

Black-crowned Tityra

Black-headed Trogon

Black-headed Trogon

Blue-diademed Motmot

Blue-diademed Motmot

Brown Jay

Brown Jay

Caspian Tern and Gull-billed Tern

Caspian Tern and Gull-billed Tern

Collared Aracari

Collared Aracari

Couch’s Kingbird

Couch's Kingbird

Crimson-collared Tanager

Crimson-collared Tanager

Fork-tailed Flycatcher

Fork-tailed Flycatcher

Violaceous Trogon

Violaceous Trogon

Golden-fronted Woodpecker

Golden-fronted Woodpecker

Gray-necked Wood Rail and Limpkin

Gray-necked Wood-Rail and Limpkin

Great Black Hawk

Great Black Hawk

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron

Great Egret

Great Egret

Green Heron

Green Heron

Green Jay

Green Jay

Green Kingfisher

Green Kingfisher

Harpy Eagle

Harpy Eagle

The above photo was taken in the wild. It’s at The Belize Zoo.

Hooded Warbler

Hooded Warbler

Laughing Falcon

Laughing Falcon

Lesser Yellow-headed Vulture

Lesser Yellow-headed Vulture

Lineated Woodpecker

Lineated Woodpecker

Long-billed Hermit

Long-billed Hermit

Magnolia Warbler

Magnolia Warbler

Mangrove Swallow

Mangrove Swallow

Northern Jacana

Northern Jacana

Pale-billed Woodpecker

Pale-billed Woodpecker

Purple-crowned Fairy

Purple-crowned Fairy

Red-lored Parrot

Red-lored-parrot-belize

Ringed Kingfisher

Ringed Kingfisher

Roseate Spoonbill

Roseate Spoonbill

Rufous-tailed Hummingbird

Rufous-tailed Hummingbird

Rufous-tailed Jacamar

Rufous-tailed Jacamar

Rusty Sparrow

Rusty Sparrow

Slaty-tailed Trogon

Slaty-tailed Trogon

Snail Kite

Snail Kite

Spectacled Owl

Spectacled Owl

Spotted Sandpiper

Spotted Sandpiper

Thick-billed Seed Finch

Thick-billed Seed Finch

Keel-billed Toucan

Keel-billed Toucan in Belize

Tricolored Heron

Tricolored Heron

Vermilion Flycatcher

Vermilion Flycatcher

Violet Sabrewing

Violet Sabrewing

White-collared Manakin

White-collared Manakin

White-fronted Parrot

White-fronted Parrot

White-necked Jacobin

White-necked Jacobin

White-whiskered Puffbird

White-whiskered Puffbird

Wood Stork and Snowy Egret

Wood Stork and Snowy Egret

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

Yellow-headed Parrot

Yellow-headed Parrot

Yellow-throated Euphonia

Yellow-throated Euphonia

If you made it to the end of this post, it means that you’re really into birdwatching and will be interested in knowing where to go birding in Belize. Below are 8 great places the Belize Audubon Society recommends:

Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary

While visitors rarely see a jaguar, the many ecosystems of Cockscomb support a rich and varied bird fauna – forest species, pine woodland and savanna species, species restricted to riverine areas, and birds associated with higher elevations.

Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary

In 1998, this protected area was declared Belize’s first Ramsar site based on the wetland’s international significance for many migratory and non-migratory wetland bird species. Large numbers of wading birds flock into the lagoons during Belize’s dry season (February through May) when food is hard to find in other places.

Aguacaliente Wildlife Sanctuary

These wetlands in the Toledo District attract a number of very visible birds forming the principal attraction for visitors. Aguacaliente protects important breeding colonies for the Wood Stork and Boat-billed Heron. There are a few birds in Toledo District that can’t be found elsewhere in the Belize

Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve

Raptors cruise the valleys of the Pine Ridge and it is the most likely place in Belize to see the rare Orange-breasted Falcon.

Ambergis Caye and Caye Caulker

Of all the habitats in Belize, the littoral forest on the Cayes is the most endangered due to development. Caye littoral forests benefit the Black Catbird and White-crowned Pigeon, both are listed as Near-Threatened species. The Mangrove habitat also attracts many other birds.

Caracol Archaeological Reserve

Caracol is one of the last outposts where the Keel-billed Motmot, a globally vulnerable species is relatively common. Other notable birds seen at Caracol include Ocellated Turkey, Crested Guan, and Great Curassow. While admiring the largest Maya site in Belize you may also see colorful toucans and trogons.

Half Moon Caye Natural Monument

Declared a crown reserve bird sanctuary in 1928, the Red-footed Booby colony of Half Moon Caye is the oldest site for wildlife protection in Belize. Half Moon Caye’s population, an estimated 4,000 birds, is made up almost entirely of white morphs with black on the trailing edge of the wings.

Red Bank Village

The unmistakable Scarlet Macaw flocks to the small Maya Village of Red Bank in South Stann Creek seasonally. As many as 100 birds gather near the village, primarily from January to March, to feed on the sweet, ripe fruits of the annato trees.

 

There are many other birds that I couldn’t feature here since I don’t have the photographs. Let me know if I listed any of  your favourites and if you have a photo of a bird I should add, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

All pictures were taken in Belize by Joe Schelling.

 

About Lorenzo Gonzalez

Lorenzo Gonzalez is the founder of Belizeadventure.ca, a resource for travel information on Belize. He enjoys traveling, social media and Paranda music. Contact him at lorenzo [at] belizeadventure.ca. Learn more...

8 Responses to Meet the Birds of Belize

  1. Jocelyn Plowey September 11, 2014 at 4:20 PM #

    did not realized there were so many beautiful birds in Belize… my sister-in-law would love this, she is an environmentalist.

  2. Jenn Turnbull September 11, 2014 at 1:53 PM #

    Beautiful pictures of beautiful birds! I had no idea half of the land in Belize is protected. That’s awesome. Belize has been on my list for a long time for snorkeling. Hoping to get there soon!

    • Lorenzo Gonzalez November 7, 2014 at 11:52 PM #

      You definitely should visit soon! It’s similar to Costa Rica so you’ll love it.

  3. Mike January 12, 2015 at 6:16 PM #

    Lorenzo,

    I am going to be in Belize one short day on a cruise soon. I would really like to see and maybe get some photos of some of the local hummingbirds. Do you have any suggestions of somewhere in or close to Belize City that I may be able to see some of them?

    Thank you in advance,
    Mike

  4. Maria February 22, 2015 at 10:45 PM #

    I LOVE DEEZ FOTOS!!! DEY ARE AWESOME!!!!
    I just love all those cute little birds and I CANNOT wait to visit belize someday!!!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. The Best Birdwatching in Southern Belize: Laguna Village and the Agua Caliente Wildlife Sanctuary - Belize Adventure - Trusted Local Advice - April 7, 2015

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    […] Birding in Belize is filled with spectacular species!  It’s so stunning to me, since I come from a place where the bird life isn’t so extravagantly colored.  Nearly every morning I would awake to parrots flying overhead, squawking loudly as they do the morning flyby to find a decent resting spot.  Carlton, who we befriended and stayed in a cabana on his property our first month in Belize, mimicked the noise that a toucan makes, and I was always on the lookout.  But it was over a month before I finally spotted a Keel-billed Toucan, the National Bird of Belize.  Brilliant!  Of course that wasn’t enough, and I set my sites on the Collared Aracari, which seemed to be a little more shy.  Finally, after three months living in Belize, at our third rental in Bullet Tree Village outside of San Ignacio, I spotted one.  It was early morning and I was already out shooting birds when I saw this guy!  By looking at them, you wouldn’t think these birds can blend in to its surroundings, but he was well hidden.  This aracari made a trip from the more dense part of the tree out onto this single limb to eat its berries, and I snapped this shot. […]

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