The Bountiful Beauty of
Along with stunning scenery and a wealth of Maya temples and archaeological sites, Belize is also known for an amazing diversity and number of birds.
From flocks of migrants attracted to the veritable supermarket of insects and plants found in the country’s pristine rainforests, to the many multihued residents such as parrots, scarlet macaws, falcons and other tropical forest dwellers, little Belize always has a backdrop of delightful birdsong to accompany any activity.
But just how many birds do call Belize home?
Each year the Belize Audubon Society conducts the Annual Christmas Bird Count to get a rough idea of the local population and visitors.
Teams are sent to various sites around the country to count and list the different species of birds each year, spending twelve hours a day in the field over a three day period.
Besides being a labour of love that results in the collection of valuable information, it’s also a fun gig for the volunteers, according to Dirk Francisco, the Society’s Publicity Coordinator.
“What this does is get you into the back country of Belize, like you see the countryside, you see things that you wouldn’t see as an everyday tourist or Belizean in Belize. I always encourage people, if you want to get excited about nature, start with bird watching,” Mr Francisco said.
It also gets some interesting results.
For example, a new species of bird, now called the Townsend’s-Warbler bird. was found at one of our favourite swimming holes, the St. Herman’s Blue Hole National Park, adding to the 579 species of birds known to be in Belize.
And for the latest figures, the results of this year’s bird count will be available by the end of this month.
If you want to get involved with next year’s Christmas count, contact the Belize Audubon Society’s website to get more details and contact information. And if you don’t want to wait a year to learn more about the rich diversity of Belize’s world famous bird population, The Lodge at Chaa Creek has some of the most experienced and knowledgeable birding guides to be found anywhere. They’ll be more than happy to show you around and perhaps get you started on one of the world’s most popular nature-oriented pastimes. Just bring some binoculars, a notebook, camera and a willingness to learn – you’ll be amazed at what’s out there!