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The Top 10 Birds to See in Belize

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Jabiru Stork at the Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary in Belize
Belize is home to some of Central America’s most spectacular bird species, as well as the largest tracts of protected rainforest.  With over 600 documented species, Belize is the ideal place to cross off species on your lists, or simply enjoy spending time in nature.  Even if you’re just beginning your journey into birding, Belize is a great place to start.  

Travel to the wetlands of the northern part of Belize to find the formidable Jabiru Stork (the Americas’ tallest species and second largest wingspan), Vermillion Flycatcher, Yellow Warbler, Blue-Grey Tanager, White Ibis, Snowy Egret and the beautiful Rosette Spoonbill. These are just a few of the striking species found in this region.

Then soar into the southern broadleaf tropical rainforest of Belize to discover a whole new world.  You can spot birds like the Keel-Billed Toucan, or its smaller cousin the Collared Aracari.  Remember to keep a look out for the Yucatan Nightjar or the colourful Violaceous Trogon.  

Some of the rare but spectacular species you might see throughout the country include the Harpy Eagle, Crested Guan, Great Curassow, Keel-Billed Motmot and the brilliant Scarlet Macaw. 

Here is a list of 10 magnificent birds to see in Belize and where you are likely to spot them: 

1. Jabiru Stork

Jabiru Stork at the Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary

The Jabiru Stork at the Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary. Belize has the largest nesting population of these magnificent birds in all of Central America.

2. Keel-Billed Toucan

Keel-Billed Toucan

The Keel Billed Toucan is the national bird of Belize. They are found throughout the rainforest of Belize.

3. Black-Collared Hawk

Black-Collared Hawk
Photo credit: Robert Belshe 

This Black-Collared Hawk was spotted at the Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary

4. Harpy Eagle

Harpy Eagle Bocawina Belize

Although the picture quality is poor, a Harpy Eagle was positively identified at the Bocawina Rainforest Resort in 2016. This was a significant event, as the harpy eagle was thought to be extinct in Belize since 2000 and classified as "Near Threatened" by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and considered "Critically Endangered" in Belize. 

5. Rufus Tailed Hummingbird

Rufus Tailed Hummingbird
Photo credit: Robert Belshe 


The Green Hills Butterfly Ranch is well known for its butterflies but also for the hummingbirds. Two feeders positioned near the visitor's centre, attract a large number of hummingbirds and over 15 different hummingbird species have been observed.

6. Scarlet Macaw

Macaw Belize

The Scarlet Macaw - the most magnificent bird of the parrot family. This endangered species can be found at the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary

7. Vermillion Flycatcher

Vermillion Flycatcher
Photo credit: Robert Belshe 

This stunningly beautiful Vermillion Flycatcher was spotted at the Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary. 

8. Spectacled Owl

Spectacled Owl Belize

This rare Spectacled Owl was seen close to the Bocawina Rainforest Resort.

9. Frigate Birds

Frigate Birds

10. Red Footed Booby

Red Footed Booby at Half Moon Caye, Belize

The red-footed booby birds live on Half Moon Caye, Lighthouse Reef starting from mid-December and leave in August, with about 4000 breeding birds calling the caye home during this time.

Watch this video on birding at Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary and visiting Half Moon Caye on Lighthouse Reef:


Are you planning a birding trip to Belize?

Contact us at 1.800.667.1630 or email: info@islandexpeditions.com and discover the rare exotic birds of Belize.

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