Belize Bird Watching: The Thrill of Spotting Unique Birds!

Birding Paradise - Pygmy Owl

Gain exclusive insights into Belize Bird Watching as shared by Laura McDermott, an enthusiastic birder and esteemed author. Laura, a valued member of the Belize Birding Network, has generously contributed an article delving into Belize’s status as a Birding Paradise for our blog audience to enjoy.

In this blog post, Laura provides a captivating glimpse into why Belize is a haven for bird enthusiasts. She highlights Belize’s impressive diversity of over 580 bird species, its accessibility for travelers, and the abundance of avian wonders found in various habitats, from lush jungles to coastal areas. Laura also shares personal experiences of spotting unique bird species.

So, take flight into Belize bird watching . . . with Laura’s full article below!

Belize Bird Watching

When it comes to choosing the perfect spot for birding, there’s a lot to consider. For many of us bird enthusiasts, it boils down to a simple equation – birds per something. Maybe for you, it’s birds per mile, birds per travel dollar, or life birds per day. Well, let me tell you why Belize is the ultimate birding paradise, offering an abundance of feathered wonders at every turn.

Belize Bird Watching
Mot-Mot at Lucky Dreamer Lodge
Belize Bird Watching
Blue-Grey Tanager at Lucky Dreamer Lodge
Belize Bird Watching
Squirrel Cuckoo at Lucky Dreamer Lodge

Birds per mile / life birds per day

Belize truly earns its reputation as a birding paradise, boasting an impressive array of over 580 bird species that either migrate through or call this tropical haven home. Nestled between Mexico and Guatemala, with the Caribbean Sea touching its eastern shores, Belize serves as a vital migratory route for countless avian species. From coastal seabirds to the diverse habitats of lush jungles, orchards, mangroves, and mountains, Belize has it all.

Boat-Billed Heron
Boat-Billed Heron Courtesy of Dhaz McNabb
Boat-Billed Heron
Boat-Billed Heron Courtesy of Glenn Koppel
Black-Collared Hawk
Black-Collared Hawk Courtesy of Glenn Koppel

On a recent Belize bird watching expedition to northeastern Belize, I embarked on a thrilling boat tour that left me awe-struck. In just a couple of hours, our expert guide led us to spot with about 100 unique bird species. I couldn’t believe my luck as I laid eyes on magnificent creatures like the Boat-billed Heron and the Black-collared Hawk. It was a personal record for me, and I was utterly breathless with each new sighting. Then, one of my fellow birders handed our guide their life bird list, ensuring we stopped at all the right spots to maximize our chances of spotting those elusive species.

Cinnamon Hummingbird
Cinnamon Hummingbird Courtesy of Mark Miller
Violet Sabrewing Hummingbird
Violet Sabrewing Hummingbird Courtesy of Mark Miller
Rufous-Tailed Hummingbird
Rufous-tailed Hummingbird Courtesy of Eric Pike

Additionally, my love for hummingbirds led me to a delightful discovery in the Cayo district. At the Green Hills Butterfly Ranch, I marveled at the sight of not one or two but ten different hummingbird species! From the vibrant hues of the Cinnamon and Rufous-tailed to the graceful flight of the Violet Sabrewing, each encounter was pure magic.

Birds per travel investment

One of the things I love most about Belize bird watching is how accessible and traveler-friendly it is. As a former British colony, English is the official language, making communication a breeze for English-speaking visitors like me. Whether you’re exploring the bustling cities or the remote countryside, language barriers are practically non-existent.

And let’s talk about those views – Belize is a visual feast for the senses. The azure waters that hug the coastline are nothing short of mesmerizing, offering a stunning backdrop for any birding expedition.

Bare-Throated Tiger Heron
Bare-Throated Tiger Heron at Lucky Dreamer Lodge
Slaty-tailed Trogan
Slaty-tailed Trogan at Lucky Dreamer Lodge
Crimson-Collared Tanager
Crimson-Collared Tanager at Lucky Dreamer Lodge

Hospitality is another hallmark of Belizean culture. Belize thrives on tourism and Belizeans are extremely welcoming of tourists.  Belizeans as well as ex-pats are friendly and willing to help, oh say, someone who gets lost on their way to the airport.  Hypothetically, if it happened to someone.  (Yes, it did, to me.)

Whether you’re staying inland or on one of the idyllic Cayes, you’re in for a treat the moment you set foot in Belize.

While my trips to Belize have primarily revolved around birding, I’ve also had the opportunity to delve into its rich tapestry of cultures and history. Exploring Mayan ruins and learning about the country’s diverse population have been eye-opening experiences. From the vibrant Creole culture to the ancient Mayan heritage, Belize is a melting pot of traditions waiting to be discovered.

Black-headed Trogan
Black-headed Trogan at Lucky Dreamer Lodge
Collared Aracari
Collared Aracari at Lucky Dreamer Lodge
Baltimore Oriole
Baltimore Oriole at Lucky Dreamer Lodge

Belize Bird Watching Environment and Climate

As a self-proclaimed fair-weather birder, I’ll admit I prefer warmer climates for my birding adventures. Thankfully, Belize’s tropical climate provides the perfect backdrop for birding year-round. With average temperatures hovering around 84 degrees Fahrenheit, it’s definitely a birding paradise for those who enjoy balmy weather.

Sure, Belize has its rainy season from June through November, but don’t let that deter you. Migratory birds like Hooded Warblers and Yellow Warblers stick around, adding to the excitement of birding in Belize.

Hooded Warbler
Hooded Warbler Courtesy of Glenn Koppel
Yellow Warbler Courtesy of Isaias Morataya (Cayo Birders Club)

Birding Bird Watching Conclusion

For any avid birder seeking adventure in a breathtakingly beautiful setting, Belize is a dream come true. With its unparalleled birding opportunities, warm hospitality, and stunning landscapes, it’s easy to see why Belize is hailed as a birding paradise. So, pack your binoculars, lace up your hiking boots, and get ready for the birding experience of a lifetime in Belize!

Note from Lucky Dreamer Lodge:

You won’t believe the incredible variety of birds we’ve spotted on our property – over 90 varieties and counting! Join the excitement on eBird and see for yourself!

About the Author

Person climbing in jungle

Laura enjoys birding, writing and photography in her free time.  She has written 5 books, including a book on birding in Belize.  Laura’s other career is in Information Technology Program Management and she is also passionate about building technology solutions to solve business problems.  Let’s just say these two careers help balance the right and left sides of the brain. 

Discover the captivating world of birding through Laura’s books, available now via the links below. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to delve into the wonders of Belize’s birding paradise!

Belize Lessons from a Birdbrain Paperback

Belize Lessons from a Birdbrain Kindle

Lessons from a Birdbrain Website

Connect with Laura on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn and/or Tiktok via links on Linktree or the individual links below:



Beyond Belize Bird Watching: Uncover More Hidden Charms of Belize

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