Belize Nature

Birding Belize

Belize should sit near the top of any birder’s wish-list for Central America destinations. This small Caribbean country boasts a whopping 588 bird species, including such dashing common birds as Red-legged HoneycreeperBlue-crowned Motmot, and Crimson-collared Tanager. Some of the harder to find “near-endemics” in Belize include Yellow-lored ParrotYucatan Flycatcher, and the much sought-after Orange-breasted Falcon.  In winter, hordes of neotropical migrant passerines fill the landscape and add to the incredible diversity of the year-round residents.

After declaring its independence from Great Britain in 1981 (hence its former name, British Honduras), Belize has become a model for conservation throughout the Americas. Over 2.5 million acres of protected land—about 26 percent of the country—includes habitat for such endangered species as the Central American tapir, the regionally endemic Bromeliad treefrog, and the endemic clubtail dragonfly, Epigomphus maya. Protected marine areas have also garnered Belize a reputation for world-class diving. In addition to exploring the second largest barrier reef in the world, lucky divers may encounter the endangered West Indian Manatee or up to 8 endemic fish species, including the Dwarf Spinyhead Blenny and Reticulate Clingfish. And all of this—birding, diving, and traveling in general—can be done with relative ease, since Belize is the only Central American country with English as its official language.

What to See in Belize

Notable Birds in Belize (click species name to see related articles)

Notable Mammals and Other Wildlife

  • The endangered Central American Tapir
  • Regionally endemic Bromeliad treefrog
  • Endemic clubtail dragonfly, Epigomphus maya.
  • Endangered West Indian Manatee
  • 8 endemic fish species, including the Dwarf Spinyhead Blenny and Reticulate Clingfish.

Other Attractions

Belize contains the second largest barrier reef in the world. Protected marine areas have garnered Belize a reputation for world-class diving.

Maya ruins at Xunantunich, Cahal Pech, and Caracol.

Where and When to Go

Nature & Birding Hotspots in Belize

  • Aguacate Lagoon Reserve
  • Blue Hole National Park
  • Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary
  • El Pilar
  • Mayflower Bocawina National Park
  • Mountain Pine Ridge


Best Time to Go

Visit Belize

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