Will be in Belize in March 2020, any recommendations for where to go birding and associated hotels?
Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary is probably considered the #1 place for birding in Belize as you can see many species of Waterfowl, Orioles, Jays, Doves, ect. If your in central Belize there is a great place called Mayan Sky Canopy Tour off the Southern Highway next to Cockscomb Wildlife Sanctuary (Another great place!) which has a large orange grove near the entrance where you can see multiple species of Parrots, Montezuma Oropendola, lots of Grackles, Doves, multiple species of Woodpeckers, and much more… There is also a nice waterfall there once you drive a ways into the jungle with many more species of birds, plant life, and bats… Monkey River is a great place to see the different species of waterfowl, and shorebirds as well, (Herons, Anhinga, Kingfishers, ect.) you can also see Howler Monkeys, Crocodiles, Toucans, and Bats too. The temples also seemed to have a lot of bird life (I guess it is in the jungle :-).) As for associated hotels I know there is one at Crooked Tree but not sure how good it is
I just got back from a birding tour in Belize with Paradise Expeditions which was excellent. We went to Crooked Tree, La Milpa, and Pine Ridge - each area was beautiful and distinct. At Crooked Tree we stayed at Bird’s Eye View Lodge, at La Milpa the lodge there, and at Pine Ridge at Crystal Paradise. La Milpa and Crystal Paradise had active bird feeders.
I didn’t go on any particular birding expeditions, but there was some lovely bird life on some of the islands - Frigatebirds, Ospreys, Cormorants, Pelicans, Terns, Herons, Mockingbirds, all without really trying. I especially loved the Frigatebirds! We were on Caye Caulker.
Inland, if you’re in San Ignacio for tours etc. then I can recommend Mana Kia Camping and Cabins - they have a decent amount of land and there are often woodpeckers, vultures, Collared Araçaris too just outside cabins. :)
Again, none of this was specifically birding focused, but there’s a lot of birdlife to be found just around about!
i’ve never been to Belize but I did go to Costa Rica and as a non-birder person, seeing these was probably one of the top bird experiences of my entire life. They are basically massive versions of the smaller orioles we have where I live in the US, and the sounds they make are …unreal. Heard them from afar when on a hike and didn’t have a clue what sort of animal they were, doesn’t even sound real. So yeah, I don’t know that they are particularly rare or anything but I hope you get to see those :)
Totally agree. We saw them at some ancient Mayan ruins, and whilst I unfortunately lost my camera I did manage to get a sound recording of them (https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/26485197) The display the males do is just fantastic, the way they swing upside down…!
Were they the lamanai ruins? There’s an excursion there and it seems to be a good birding opportunity, plus the possible howler monkeys.
They were in the Caracol Ruins: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caracol. It was a long drive to get there from San Ignacio, but well worth it. The road was covered in butterflies as we were driving there, which was a really nice experience!