Birding in Belize

With over 540 different, colorful species of birds in the country, Belize is a must for the professional or amateur bird-watcher. In the Orange Walk District alone, over 400 species of birds have been recorded. More so than anywhere else in the country, the Orange Walk District is the country’s leader as a birder’s paradise. With its unusually diverse habitats, the famous Maya Ruin area of Lamanai is a must for professional ornithologists or casual bird watchers.

366 bird species have been recorded at Lamanai, and this figure is expected to reach 409 shortly. The uncommon nocturnal Yucatan nightjars, as well as the long-tailed hermit hummingbird, have been spotted at the Lamanai Outpost Lodge. Cruising the New River by boat to the Lamanai ruins is also a birder’s paradise. The waterway teems with bird life. Rare birds abound, like the roseate spoonbills, sun grebes and long-necked anhinga. Near the mouth of the lagoon is a large ceiba tree with a huge nest, home to a five-foot jabiru stork, the largest bird in the country which has a wingspan of approximately eight feet.

Chan Chich Lodge, also in the Orange Walk District, offers delights to birders. Colors abound: the blue-crowned motmot, the brightly colored flocks of ocellated turkeys or the emerald toucanet are only some of the birds visitors will see.