With huge tracts of protected forest and jungle and more than 400 species of birds that either live in or pass through these areas it’s almost impossible not to turn into a bird watcher while you’re traveling in Belize.

Karen bird watching at La Milpa Field Station where we saw 50 different species of birds we’d never seen before in just two days.

During our nearly three months in Belize we saw hundreds of species we’d never seen before in stunning natural places like Chan Chich Lodge and La Milpa Field Station in the vast Rio Bravo Conservation and Management Area. That’s where we met guide and naturalist Vladimir and dubbed him the bird ninja. Then there’s Lamanai Outpost Lodge and the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary. Some birds simply appeared by the side of the road.

We saw the flashy colors of trogans and aracaris and the shimmery, orange-dotted get-up of the ocellated turkey. We learned to recognize the frog-like call of the toucan, marveled at the near-perfect camouflage of the great potoo (which still looks just like a tree limb even after you know it’s there) and tried and tried and tried to see a harpy eagle in the wild.

 

 

 A few of our favorite birds of Belize

 

Orange-breasted Falcon, birds of Belize

A rare orange-breasted falcon.

Ferruginous Pygmy Owl, Birds of Belize

A ferruginous pygmy owl.

Collared Aracari, birds of Belize

A pair of collared aracaris.

Toucan, birds of Belize

A toucan.

Lineated Woodpecker, birds of Belize

A lineated woodpecker.

Great Egret, birds of Belize

A great egret.

Ocellated Turkey, birds of Belize

An ocellated turkey.

Pygmy Kingfisher, birds of Belize

A pygmy kingfisher.

Black-headed Trogan, birds of Belize

A black-headed trogan.

Laughing Falcon, birds of Belize

A laughing falcon.

Black-collared Hawk, Birds of Belize

A black-collared hawk.

Violaceous Trogan, birds of Belize

A violaceous trogan.

Slaty tailed Trogon, birds of Belize

A slaty-tailed trogon.

Red-footed Booby, birds of Belize

A red-footed booby and fledgling.

White-necked Jacobin (hummingbird), birds of Belize

A white-necked jacobin.

Tiger Heron, birds of Belize

A tiger heron.

Great Potoo adult + juvenile, birds of Belize

Look close. There are two great potoos (an adult and a juvenile) sitting on that branch.

Yucatan Nightjar, birds of Belize

Yucatan nightjars nest on the ground.

Roadside Hawk, birds of Belize

A roadside hawk.

Osprey Eagle, birds of Belize

An osprey.

Magnificent Frigatebird, birds of Belize

Magnificent frigatebirds.

An orange oriole, birds of Belize

An orange oriole.

Boat-billed Heron, birds of Belize

A boat-billed heron.

Northern Jacana, birds of Belize

A northern jacana.

Great Blue Heron, birds of Belize

A great blue heron.

Harpy Eagle, Birds of Belize

We’d hoped to see an endangered harpy eagle in the wild while in Belize but we had to settle for this one in the Belize Zoo.

Crested Guan, birds of Belize

A crested guan.

 Wood Stork - Birds at Crooked Tree wildlife sanctuary, Belize

Wood storks (with the black heads), herons, egrets, cormorants, and other water birds.

Chestnut-headed Oropendola, birds of Belize

A chestnut-headed oropendola.

King Vulture, birds of Belize

Rare king vultures.

Ornate Hawk-Eagle, birds of Belize

An ornate hawk-eagle.

Here’s more about travel in Belize