Birding in Belize

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Hotel in Cayo District, Belize - duPlooy's Jungle Lodge

Birding is a wonderfully benign pastime. It has all the thrill of the hunt, with none of the bloodshed.

A country that names it’s main thoroughfare “Hummingbird Highway” must offer something extra to birders, and Belize does not fall short. Here you will find a wide variety if birds such as toucans, parrots, macaws and, of course, hummingbirds. Exotic birds are found throught Belize, but the Cayo District and San Ignacio have special appeal to bird watchers.

Bird Watching in Cayo

ToucanHeron nest

For birders, canoe trips or leisurely walks along the banks of the Macal or Mopan Rivers are excellent for observing waterfowl such as anhingas, kingfishers, herons and swallows. Some of the best sightings can be had simply by staying at one of the area’s many resorts and ranches where the mix of open land, orchard plantings, and jungle edge provide an excellent habitat for yellow-tailed orioles, blue-gray tanagers, and a myriad of other species. Serious birders will want to bring a “Birds of the Cayo District”, check list with them to track their sightings. Even those with a more casual interest in birds will be delighted at the colorful avian displays seen during their travels within the Cayo District.

Blue-gray tanagers

More than 600 bird species live year-round or visit Belize as part of their migratory pattern. Birds from the north visit Belize during the winter months, while the summer months are great for spotting visitors from South America. Cayo’s varied eco-niches, pine ridges, gallery forests, river systems, savanna, and jungle-covered hillsides provide homes for many of these species -from great kiskadees to the Jamaican potoo – making Cayo District a Birder’s Paradise.

For more information on birding go to the page on National Parks

For a complete list of birds found in Belize please click here.

Destinations of interest to birdwatchers:

1: Reefs & Cayes

Ambergris Caye & San Pedro Town

Caye Caulker

Turneffe Islands

2: Mainland Beaches



Punta Gorda

3: Maya Mountains

San Ignacio