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’101 Birds of Belize’

19 December 2009 No Comment

’101 Birds of Belize’: Order Now

101Birds If you are planning to go Central America — or just love learning about birds — I highly recommend this book by noted Belize naturalist (and good friend) Carolyn Miller.

The book, published by the Belize Audubon Society, is now available in the United States, and the book sells for between $15 and $20.  The descriptions of the birds ring true, and the illustrations are top-notch.

Here’s a link for more information about this invaluable book.


Source: The Celery Farm & Beyond

from the Foreword by Craig Lee of the National Audubon Society
Foreword from the National Audubon Society Belize opened my eyes to the joys of tropical birds and their
environments. And that experience set me on a different course that has shaped my life. This book is a milestone along that course. As a tourist from a northern part of the USA, all the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of Belize were as foreign to me as the humid warmth the first time I visited. The country was full of surprises for every sense. But, together with the wonderful Belizean people, it was the glorious array of birds that captivated me night and day. What I would have given to have this book when I crept out of my room at first light to investigate the incredibly strange calls emanating from a tree festooned with gigantic hanging, woven nests. It would have helped me to quickly figure out that I was seeing my first Oropendula. Instead I had to study the immense Peterson volume Birds of Mexico and Central America to find this amazing creature.

Even though Belize now has its own bird guide, a sure sign that a country is renowned for its avian treasures, it is still a challenge for most people to identify common bird species from among the more than 550 that have been found in Belize. A book like this one can be like a first visit to a new locale. Even if the place is familiar to you, the text and images can serve as a pathfinder to a new way of “seeing” one’s natural environs. Knowledge of birds, or any other part of the world around you, pulls back the curtain on the drama that is everywhere. Much like the beginning of a play, the stage is revealed and
you can witness the action and understand the characters. Carolyn Miller and Belize Audubon offer this newly revised version of 101 Birds of Belize so that citizens and visitors will have the opportunity to see the exciting scene that I witnessed on my first trip. On that trip I also learned an important lesson. It can be paraphrased as “economics rule ecosystems”. Belize has the good fortunes of abundant forests, numerous rivers, healthy fisheries and fertile soils. As a result, it has been able to provide for its relatively small population. But where the population has grown quickly or the commercial demands on the natural world are too great, even Belize’s resources can be depleted. Belizeans, like people everywhere, want to achieve sustainable, dignified livelihoods.

Sometimes these motivations appear to be at odds with the goals of retaining the jungles, estuaries, shorelines and farms on which birds and other animals and plants depend. In Belize, I had the good fortune to see how protecting places for birds and other creatures also benefits human residents. This concept is a fundamental component of the work of Belize
Audubon Society, and now of the International Alliances Program, that I direct, for National Audubon Society, which is based in the USA. Together, our two organizations have produced this book to foster and promote the potential for Belizeans and their marvelous birds to share a prosperous future. When more citizens can see and recognize and appreciate the unique animals with which they share in their country, the more likely it is that they can all thrive. Birds and Belizeans together make the country special. We look forward to protecting both.

Craig Lee, Director
Vice President and Director
International Alliances Program
National Audubon Society


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