Some of the world’s rarest birds call Belize their home! With a variety of eco-systems and an extensive national park system protecting a good portion of the country’s terrestrial and marine habitats, a plethora of birds inhabit this richly diverse landscape.
Belize (a country roughly the size of Massachusetts) has 560 feathered friends, with habitats ranging from ranging from broadleaf forests to wetlands, pine forests to mangroves, and savannahs to rainforests. This makes for a hotbed of avian activity. For comparison’s sake, there are about 700 bird species in all of North America.
Join one of our birding tours in Belize and you might catch a glimpse of one of these very rare species of bird, which still find suitable habitat to reproduce and feed in our beautiful protected areas:
Ornate Hawk Eagle
This magnificent bird of prey can be found in the evergreen forests of the Mountain Pine Ridge and Cockscomb Basin. They are often seen in early morning as they perch on emergent snags or along forest edges. Ornate Hawk Eagles have a distinct call and are known to feed on a variety of prey ranging from other birds to larger mammals, such as monkeys.
This bird is unmistakable both for its size and for its unique and distinct plumage. The jabiru lives in large groups near rivers and ponds, and eats prodigious quantities of fish, molluscs, and amphibians. It will occasionally eat reptiles, bird eggs and small mammals. The plumage is mostly white, but the head and upper neck are featherless and black, with a featherless red stretchable pouch at the base. Measuring in at about 50 inches tall with a wingspan second to only the Andean Condor, this is truly one of the world’s most magnificent birds!
Scarlet Macaws and magnificent birds in the parrot family whose numbers reached close to local extinction. They live in the high ridges of the Maya Mountains and prefer riverine forests. Scarlet Macaws have suffered due to habitat loss and hunting for their brilliant plumage and the pet trade. Now this species is protected throughout Belize and the Belize Zoo which you can visit on one of our cave tubing trips as well as other conservation organizations have made great efforts to save the population of these amazing birds.
This is a lovely bird with brilliant blue and green plumage and a distinctive tail.The bird will wag its tail – flicking those two feathers when they sense predators nearby.That action informs the predator the bird is aware of its presence and is ready to flee if attacked. Caracol is one of the last outposts of the Keel –Billed Motmot. Join us on a fabulous tour and have a chance to see this stunning bird flitting through the forest above the ancient temples.
Ocellated Turkeys are wild turkeys known to inhabit the forest environments in the national reserves of Belize and Guatemala and the Yucatan. They are brilliant birds and the males of the species are multicolored and almost resemble a peacock. Turkeys spend most of the time on the ground and often prefer to run to escape danger through the day rather than fly, though they can fly swiftly and powerfully for short distances as the majority of birds in this order do in necessity. Roosting is usually high in trees away from night-hunting predators such as jaguars and usually in a family group. They can commonly be seen on one our day trips to Tikal.