Belize February 3-11, 2018
The small tropical country of Belize is a magical place. About the size of Massachusetts, 468 species of birds have been reported in the three districts we will be visiting in this trip in February. February is the perfect time to visit, its far enough out of the rainy season that we won’t see much if any rain but it hasn’t become dry and dusty yet. Some of the great birds we can expect are Keel-billed Toucan, Orange-breasted Falcon, Black Catbird, Lesson’s Motmot, Jabiru, King Vulture, Russet-naped Wood-Rail, and Red-legged Honeycreeper. This itinerary typically finds between 220 and 260 species.
Number of Days (Length of Tour)
9 days / 8 nights
$2000.00 per person based upon double occupancy from Belize International Airport (BZE). Although we will eat our meal as a group, meal costs are not included in this trip for light to average eaters, this will save you money rather than adding in an “average” food cost per person.
If a single room is preferred, or we are unable to get a roommate for you, a single supplement fee of $450 will be assessed.
What is included / Not Included in the Cost
Included in the cost are all accommodations, transportation, entrance fees, and permits, from Belize International Airport (BZE). Participants will be responsible for purchasing their own meals and making their flight arrangements.
$700,00 check, PayPal, or credit card, along with your completed registration form.
The balance due or full payment is due December 1, 2017.
Day 1 – Arrivals at Belize International Airport (BZE)
Arrivals at Belize International Airport (BZE), orientation at dinner. If all our flight arrive early we will bird at the lodge before dinner.
Day 2 – El Pilar
After breakfast, we will head for El Pilar, a Mayan site located close to the Guatemalan border. This site has been excavated “under the canopy” and still has trees covering it making a great birding site. On the road to El Pilar we can expect Gray Hawk, Roadside Hawk, Barred Antshrike, Brown Jay, Yellow-faced Grassquit, and Olive-throated Parakeets. At El Pilar we can expect Squirrel Cuckoo, Slaty-tailed Trogon, Black-headed Trogon, White-whiskered Puffbird, Pale-billed Woodpecker, Ivory-billed Woodcreeper, Ocher-bellied Flycatcher, Long-billed Gnatwren, and Yellow-throated Euphonia.
We’ll eat breakfast early and head to Caracol, the largest Mayan site in Belize on the Vaca Plateau. Along the way we’ll watch for King Vulture and Swallow-tailed Kite. At Caracol we’ll be looking for White Hawk, Short-billed Pigeon, White-necked Jacobin, Gartered Trogon, Yellow-bellied Tyrannullet, White-throated Thrush, Golden-crowned Warbler, and Golden-hooded Tanager. While they are rare, this is our best shot at Lovely Cotinga. On the way back we will stop at Thousand Foot Falls looking for the nesting Orange Breasted Falcon, White-collared Swift, Grace’s Warbler, and Rusty Sparrow.
We’ll bird around the lodge before breakfast then head south to Mayflower-Bocawina National Park. On the way we will stop at St. Heerman’s Cave to bird. This is an excellent site for hummingbirds, Dot-winged Antwren, Royal Flycatcher, and White-collared Manakin. If time allows afternoon birding around the lodge.
We’ll bird Mayflower-Bocawina NP. We will look for lowland species like Great Tinamou, White Hawk, Long-billed Hermit, Black-faced Antthrush, Bright-rumped Attila, White-winged Becard, and Crimson-collared Tanager.
The Cockscomb Basin Nature Reserve was established to protect a population of Jaguars in Belize. This site never fails to produce great birds. On the entrance road, we will look for White Hawk, Keel-billed Motmot, and Chestnut-headed Oropendola. At the reserve, we’ll look for Crested Guan, Scaled Pigeon, Laughing Falcon, Great Anshrike, Buff-throated Foliage-Gleaner, Cinnamon Becard, and Gray-headed Tanager.
We’ll head to Crooked Tree Village after morning birding around the lodge before breakfast. On the way we’ll bird the mangroves near Dangriga for Mangrove Warbler, Mangrove Vireo, Yucatan Vireo, and Common Blackhawk. Back on the Hummingbird Highway we stop at Blue Hole National Park for lunch and birding. This is a great site for Long-billed Hermit and Purple-crowned Fairy. Rufous-tailed Jacamar is common here, we’ll look for Nightingale Wren and Green Honeycreeper. We’ll finish the day at Crooked Tree Village, where Russet-naped Wood-Rail and Northern Jacana are yard birds.
We’ll start with an early morning birding by boat trip. This boat trip could yield 80-100 species. Target birds will be Limpkin, Black-collared Hawk, Snail Kite, Crane Hawk, Jabiru, and American Pygmy-Kingfisher. Afternoon we will seek Black Catbird, Green-backed Sparrow and Yucatan Jay.
The tour is over, morning birding around the lodge and departures from Belize International Airport.
These lodges are the planned lodges. Because bookings can’t be made until the trip makes an equivalent lodge might have to be substituted. Every effort will be made to bird all the same destinations though.
Black Rock Lodge, Tripavisor Rating 5 Stars, http://www.blackrocklodge.com/
Bocawina Rainforest Resort, Tripadvisor Rating 4.5 Stars http://www.bocawina.com/
Bird’s Eye View Lodge, Tripadvisor Rating 4.5 Stars http://birdseyeviewbelize.com/