TRAVELLING NATURALIST TRIP REPORT

Belize & Tikal

12 - 26 January 2002


Leaders:
Neil Arnold
Edward Allen

INTRODUCTION

I am grateful to you all for making this an enjoyable holiday. I am most grateful to Ed and the drivers and guides who did so much to enhance our enjoyment. I hope we will travel together again in the near future.

Best wishes

Neil Arnold, January 2002

THE DIARY

SATURDAY 12th JANUARY

We flew from London to Miami where we spent the night.

SUNDAY 13th JANUARY MIAMI

WEATHER : MIAMI Fine

BELIZE Fine, light cloud,slight on-shore breeze. Warm.

The flight from Miami to Belize City arrived in time for us to book into our hotel, have lunch, then take a brief tour of the city with our local leader, Ed.

Highlights of the afternoon included excellent views of a variety of water birds, including eight species of heron. A number of exotic tropical birds were also enjoyed. These included hummingbirds, parrots, tyrant flycatchers, tanagers, warblers and especially orioles. Other delights included sightings of Green Iguana and Yucatan Squirrel.

After dinner, which was full of local flavours, we were glad to catch up on some sleep.

MONDAY 14th JANUARY

BELIZE CITY - FORT GEORGE

WEATHER 4-6/8 cumulus,still, humid, warm.

The day was spent at the Crooked Tree Nature Reserve and at Baker's Ranch. The former is a wide reach of the River Belize which is edged by scrub, light forest and some farmland, the latter is pasture with some forest and a river frontage.

The day started well with a wander around the hotel grounds. This resulted in sightings of two Black Skimmer off the nearby quay and Green-breasted Mango, and Wood Thrush in the hotel grounds.

By 09.30 we had reached Crooked Tree where we met Rubin, our boatman. We then spent two and a half hours on the river enjoying a wide variety of birds ranging from a perched Lesser Yellow-headed Vulture to Prothonotary Warbler, a visitor from North America. The magic moments of the morning included visiting two roost sites for Boat-billed Heron. We were able to see a dozen individuals after a lot of neck straining. We also came across an immature and then a full adult Bare-throated Tiger-heron, an event which is always worth celebrating. Other delights included a close view of a Black-collared Hawk perched in a tree and Snail Kites in flight. There were also a good many species of water birds and birds of prey. It was especially thrilling to see up to ten Osprey, one of which attracted the attention of a passing Peregrine Falcon. Both Green and Spiny-tailed Iguana were much in evidence.

Lunch consisted of Creole chicken, rice and beans, a thoroughly authentic local dish. During the meal we were distracted by a fine Striped Basilisk and a male Hooded Warbler.

En route to Baker's Ranch we found six Wood Stork feeding in a shallow pool. Once at the ranch we watched two Acorn Woodpeckers working on their larder. We then came across a Casta Grande tree in wonderful flower. It was also adorned with three species of oriole and lots of hummingbirds, most of which defied identification as they were constantly chased away by the orioles. Four Aztec Parakeets and a pair of Rose-throated Becard also added colour to the scene. As soon as we had admired a pair of Black-headed Trogon a stork came into view. It was soon evident that this huge white stork with a heavy bill, long white neck and a bright red neck-band was an adult Jabiru. As it circled in bright sunlight it was almost as though the bird knew that it was being admired!

On our journey back to Belize City we came across a delightfully colourful Slider or Ornate Terrapin sunning itself on a stone in a roadside pond.

TUESDAY 15th JANUARY

BELIZE CITY - FORT GEORGE

WEATHER 4/8 cu. Hot. N 1.

The day was spent in a boat, exploring the maze of channels, creeks and lagoons in the Belize City area. Ed picked us up at the quay just outside the hotel, but not before we had seen flocks of fourteen Least Sandpiper and seven Ruddy Turnstone. We also saw two Sandwich Terns and two Brown Boobies, the latter at some distance.

We set off across the bay to the mouth of the Belize River. Here we encountered several West Indian Manatee. Well, to be honest, we indulged in an environmental jig-saw puzzle fitting together several views of nostrils, noses, and bits of back into an animal. We also saw a dolphin which was loathe to display more than a dorsal fin. This may have been a Bottle-nosed Dolphin, but who knows.

The creeks were a delight: it was quite impossible to predict what was around the next bend. It was in fact generally another heron, a kingfisher or a White Ibis. Belted Kingfisher was numerous whilst half a dozen or so Green Kingfishers perched for long enough for us to gain good views. The Red Mangrove which edged most of the waterways also sheltered a number of songbirds including Prothonotary, Hooded, Yellow-throated, Black-and-White and a single Tennessee Warbler. Not to be outdone a Squirrel Cuckoo, a Golden-fronted and a Lineated Woodpecker also graced the scene.

Having crossed the shallow North and then South Lagoons we arrived at the village of Gale's Point, where we had lunch. The birding highlight of this meal was a pair of Summer Tanagers; no they weren't on the menu!

On our return route Ed nosed the boat into a mangrove on a small caye. Once again we were at a heron roost, this time one containing both Boat-billed Heron and Black-crowned Night-Heron.

WEDNESDAY 16th NOVEMBER

BELIZE CITY- FORT GEORGE

WEATHER 4-8/8 cu. Dull, becoming brighter. Calm and warm.

After exploring the environs of the hotel we set off for Lamanai Landing, a small quay at Toll Bridge, a journey of just over an hour. We then boarded yet another boat and made our way slowly south on the New River.

We were again plunged into the world of wetland birding. Ringed Kingfishers competed for our attention with Snail Kites and herons. On one of the few muddy riverside areas we were thrilled to see the very attractive Black-necked Stilt and the much more enigmatic Solitary Sandpiper. Then two fine Roseate Spoonbill flew over the boat. This was followed by an excellent view of an Immature Bare-throated Tiger-heron. Then came more delights, wonderful views of two Sungrebes, showing off their startling bright green head markings and then an encounter with three Limpkin. This was followed by a brief sighting of two immature Muscovy Duck, which, as is their wont, soon disappeared into the marginal vegetation. Not to be outdone, the mammals also had their day: first eight Proboscis Sac-winged Bats roosting in a burnt out tree stump just above the water level and then a Coati eating fruit high in a 'Chewing -gum' tree.

Soon after this Ed stopped the boat under a tree, the branches of which overhung the river. There on a branch was a roosting Lesser Nighthawk, a bird we would never have been able to find for ourselves. He then brought the boat to a sudden stop; he had found a pair of Bat Falcons roosting in a riverside tree. The falcons positively shone even in the diffuse sunlight.

The final delight of the morning was the nest of a Jabiru high in an open tree. Both adults were present, one sitting and the other standing guard. What a morning!

We soon settled in to the Lamanai Outpost Lodge, our home for two nights. After lunch and a siesta we hit the trail, managing to walk at least four hundred metres inland. We would have walked further but we had to keep stopping to look at birds.

Plain Chacalacas called from the trees as we watched parrots, warblers, tanagers, flycatchers, antbirds, orioles, woodpeckers and many more. Golden-fronted Woodpeckers, Black-cowled Orioles, Black-headed Saltators, Royal Flycatcher and Ivory-billed Woodcreeper all vied for our attention. Roll on Thursday!

THURSDAY 17th JANUARY

LAMANAI OUTPOST

WEATHER Dull. 8/8 cu. Very humid. Showers. Still. Cold front passing through

An early morning walk was less productive that expected due to the 'heavy' weather. Good views of Red-throated Ant-tanager, Aztec Parrot and Greenish Elaenia made the walk worthwhile though.

The rest of the morning was spent exploring the temples at Lamanai.

En route we visited a ruined sugar mill which was established in the 1860s. The most notable bird species as we walked on were White-bellied Emerald, Wedge-tailed Sabrewing, Long-tailed Hermit, Keel-billed Toucan and Collared Aracari.

The temples were very impressive, especially the carved faces and inscribed stilae. Yellow-throated Euphonia, Olive-backed Euphonia, Rufous-tailed Jacamar and Masked Tityra also made an appearance.

The other delight of the morning was the mammals. At least two troupes of Black Howler Monkeys put in an appearance; the young ones being particularly admired. We also had a brief glimpse of a Central American Agouti and two squirrel species; Yucatan and Deppe's. The latter were particularly active, racing up and down trees and over the forest floor. Another lunch, another siesta.

The evening walk produced good views of White-eyed Vireo, Sepia-capped Flycatcher and a male Pale-billed Woodpecker at its nest hole. The abiding memory of the walk though is likely to be the flight to roost of flocks of parrots and parakeets whilst Black Howler Monkeys howled in the distance.

The wonders of the Temple were made more lucid by a guided tour of the little museum.

FRIDAY 18th JANUARY

LAMANAI OUTPOST

WEATHER A dull start 2-4/8 cu. Sunny, hot and still.

The 'slow boat' to Lamanai became the 'fast boat' to Lamanai Landing. Despite the speed of the boat ably driven by Ed there were plenty of birds to be seen en route, the most notable of which was Grey-necked Wood-rail, Grey-headed Kite and a pair of Sungrebe.

Our journey to Five Sisters Lodge was broken at the Belize Zoo. Here we were introduced to a variety of local Belizian mammals and birds. There were also wild birds to be seen, notably Green-backed Sparrow and Tropical Gnatcatcher. A Vine Snake was also seen. Roadside Hawk, Laughing Falcon and Bat Falcon were seen well as we approached Five Sisters Lodge.

SATURDAY 19th JANUARY

FIVE SISTERS LODGE

WEATHER 4/8 cu. Breeze and warm.

The pre-breakfast walk in the gardens of the lodge revealed a fine adult White Hawk, Rufous-capped Warbler and Golden-crowned Warbler.

The spectacular 'Thousand Foot Falls' was our venue for the morning; here we came across Plumbeous Vireo, Hepatic Tanager, Golden Hooded Tanager, Grace's Warbler and two fine King Vultures.

At Green Hills Butterfly Farm we were enthralled by a wide variety of local butterflies in every stage of their development. There was also a host of birds. A single tree had been invaded by an Army Ant swarm and attendant birds including Grey-headed Tanager, Bright-rumped Attila, Tawny-winged Woodcreeper and Ruddy Woodcreeper.

After a siesta we set off for the Rio Frio Cave, a spectacular limestone cave. Later at the Rio On Pools, a popular swimming place, we saw Black Phoebe, Rusty Sparrow and the striking Black-faced Grosbeak.

SUNDAY 20th JANUARY

FIVE SISTERS LODGE

WEATHER 8/8 cu. dull, very humid, showers, still.

Yellow-tailed Orioles and Keel-billed Toucans entertained us at first light. By 08.00 we were on our way to Guatemala. As we approached San Ignacio we saw our first American Kestrel.

At 09.30 we crossed the river on a simple hand driven ferry to visit Xunantunich. As we crossed, a Great Black Hawk stood on a tree top and two Blue-grey Tanagers danced around the branch of a fallen tree. There to meet us was a minibus to take us on the short trip to the temples to encounter more glories of the Mayan Empire. Not only did we enjoy the monuments themselves but we were also guided around the museum.

Blue-crowned Motmot, Rufous Mourner, Black-throated Green Warbler and Pale-billed Woodpecker were also 'on the menu'. Talking of menus, lunch was next, at Clarissa Falls.

We then set off for the Belize-Guatamalan border. We were greeted in Guatemala by Marvin, a local guide, and by a heavy downpour. Despite the rain we were able to birdwatch at a number of wetlands en route to Tikal National Park.

The first bird we saw was a hovering White-tailed Kite. Wetland species included Least Grebe, Black-necked Stilt, Killdeer, Lesser Yellowlegs, Least Sandpiper, American Purple Gallinule and a lovely adult Bare-throated Tiger-heron.

As soon as we were inside the Tikal National Park we came across Ocellated Turkeys and then Great Curassow, two species that are difficult to observe elsewhere. We soon settled into Jungle Lodge.

MONDAY 21st JANUARY

JUNGLE LODGE, TIKAL

WEATHER Rain overnight. Misty early. Then 4/8 cu. Sun, humid, a breeze.

Marvin met us for the pre-breakfast walk, the special feature of which were sightings of Grey-necked Wood-rail, Chestnut-coloured Woodpecker, Common Yellowthroat and a host of Montezuma's Oropendola.

The rest of the morning was spent in visiting the Mayan temples. En route, though, we were thrilled to see a roosting Crested Owl. Marvin then found a perched Hook-billed Kite and Crested Guan. Soon after we encountered a mixed flock of birds. There were birds all around us and it was difficult to know where to look first: Worm-eating Warbler, Smoky-brown Woodpecker, Blue-crowned Motmot and Olivaceous Woodcreeper. Then the elusive Black-throated Shrike-tanager took centre stage

On reaching the Mayan plazas and temples we were astounded at their size and the effort they must have made to build them. What was also impressive was the amount of restoration work that had been carried out and was still underway. Some of us climbed the highest temple, which gave us wonderful all-round views - and not a single heart attack in sight - quite! Spider Monkeys, the delightful Deppe's Squrrel and an Agouti were active in the forest.

Later in the day we visited the small, but beautifully arranged museum. Here we wondered at the range of decorated artifacts and the very detailed stilae. One stila engraved with complicated runes explained the dynastic history of the king for which it was created.

A further walk into the forest enabled us to watch Royal Flycatcher and Mealy Parrot. At a small water trough set into the edge of the path there were two birds, a beautifully coloured Kentucky Warbler and a shy female Ruddy Quail-dove. We were able to stand and watch for some minutes as they drank and then washed. We were also delighted to find that the sighting of the dove was a new experience for Marvin.

As we walked back to the Lodge in the failing light a diminutive Brocket Deer approached us along the path, allowing us prolonged views. What a day!

TUESDAY 22nd JANUARY

JUNGLE LODGE, TIKAL

WEATHER Overcast, sunny periods, showers, warm.

In the early morning we met up with Miguel, the most experienced bird guide in the area. We were soon enjoying close views of a wide variety of forest birds. The highlights of the morning were two foraging flocks of birds which included woodcreepers, flycatchers, tanagers and warblers. Two of the most exciting of those birds were the rather shy Eye-ringed Flatbill and the tiny Ruddy-tailed Flycatcher. A male Red-crested Manakin also made a stunning appearance, as did a male Black-throated Shrike-tanager. A shrub in full flower attracted a number of hummingbirds, including the dazzling Purple-crowned Fairy.

There was hardly a moment when Miguel was not finding us a new treasure. A passing troupe of Spider Monkeys was a delight but the really exciting event of the day was the meeting of two troupes of Black Howler Monkeys. Suddenly the relative quiet of the forest was shattered by the aggressive howling of rival male monkeys. The event drew quite a crowd - well, twenty or so people.

After lunch we set off for Flores where we boarded light aircraft for the flight to Belize City where we said 'Goodbye' to Ed. We then flew on to San Pedro, Ambergris Caye. Once in San Pedro we were whisked off to the (sumptuous) Villas in Banyan Bay.

WEDNESDAY 23rd JANUARY

BANYAN BAY

WEATHER 4/8 cu. Sun, heavy showers, NW 4

An early morning walk along the beach revealed Spotted Sandpipers, Grey Plover, Turnstone and Sanderling, all busy feeding on the seaweed-covered tide line. Osprey were busy fishing offshore. The nearby lagoon was also full of herons, storks and Roseate Spoonbills.

Our intention was to spend the day on the reef but the strong on shore wind made this impossible. We therefore arranged for the boat to take us to the islands to the west of Ambergris Caye.

Much to our surprise, when the boat arrived at the 'Villas', Ed was aboard; he had flown over from Belize City to lead our expedition. We made speedy progress towards the creek north of San Pedro and were soon in the lee of the island.

By 09.45 we were off Bird Island revelling in excellent views of perched Brown Pelicans and a flock of Magnificent Frigatebirds which were showing off their mastery of the air.

We then made the short crossing to Cayos Los Salones Nature Reserve, a small mangrove-gripped caye, which was the nesting ground of Roseate Spoonbill, egrets and Yellow-crowned Night-herons. We then discovered two adult and one immature Ruddy Egret, a great thrill. As we watched the herons an immature Arctic Skua harried a Royal Tern, passing right over the boat.

The wind increased so we made our final landfall in a creek on the leeward side of Ambergris Caye, within a couple of hundred metres of the 'Villas'. Once again we said our farewells to Ed, after a couple of beers that is!

The evening walk was somewhat disappointing as the wind made passerine watching very difficult. We did manage to see four Orange Orioles and Indigo Bunting though.

THURSDAY 24th JANUARY

BANYAN BAY

WEATHER 4/8 cu. Sunny, humid NW5

Once again the strong wind made the local morning and evening walks difficult. Although the smaller bird species were in cover we did manage to see seven species of warblers including Northern Parula, Prairie and Palm Warbler. Black Catbird was probably the 'find of the day'. A three metre long American Crocodile in the lagoon also added zest to the proceedings.

FRIDAY 25th JANUARY

BANYAN BAY

WEATHER 4/8 cu. Hot, NW 2.

At last the wind had dropped. The pre-breakfast walk was very different from those of the previous days, and small birds abounded. The most interesting of these was Yucatan Flycatcher, a rather local species. We were also pleased to find another Reddish Egret in the lagoon.

After a short flight to Belize City we prepared for our flight to Miami and on to London. A somewhat ad-hoc lunch was had at Jet's Bar, a snack bar run by Eden (Jet) Holland, a little man with a big personality who insisted on giving us customised napkins before we left. We left Belize feeling valued as visitors.

SPECIES LISTS

KEY

B Belize

G Guatemala

GREBES

Pied-billed Grebe Podilymbus podiceps Noted at Crooked Tree, Lamanai (B) and in (G)

Least Grebe Tachybaptus dominicus Two (G)

GANNETS & BOOBIES

Brown Booby Sula leucogaster Two off Fort George (B)

ANHINGAS / DARTERS

Anhinga / American Darter Anhinga anhinga Common on inland waters (B)

CORMORANTS

Olivaceous/Neotropical Cormorant Phalacrocorax olivaceus Very common except in the mountains (B) (G)

PELICANS

Brown Pelican Pelecanus occidentalis Common on the coast (B)

FRIGATEBIRDS

Magnificent Frigatebird Fregata magnificens Common on the coast (B)

HERONS, EGRETS & BITTERNS

Great Blue Heron Ardea herodias Very widespread (B) (G)

Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis Common near domestic animals (B) (G)

Great [White] Egret Egretta alba Widespread except in the mountains and at Tikal (B) (G)

Reddish Egret Egretta rufescens Four records Ambergris Caye (B)

Tricolored Heron Egretta tricolor Scattered records (B) (G)

Little Blue Heron Egretta caerulea Very widespread (B) (G)

Snowy Egret Egretta thula Widespread (B) (G)

Green / Green-backed Heron Butorides virescens Only near the coast in fresh waterways (B)

Yellow-crowned Night-heron Nyctanassa violacea Several records in Belize City and ten at Ambergris Caye (B)

Black-crowned Night-heron Nycticorax nycticorax Recorded at roost in Belize City area (B)

Boat-billed Heron Cochlearius cochlearia Seventeen records in roosts near Belize City (B)

Bare-throated Tiger-heron Tigrisoma mexicanum On inland waters (B) and (G). Seven records.

STORKS

Wood Stork Mycteria americana Small flocks, widespread. (B) (G)

Jabiru Jabiru mycteria An adult in flight at Baker's Ranch and a pair at a nest Lamanai (B)

IBISES & SPOONBILLS

White Ibis Eudocimus albus Widespread (B)

Roseate Spoonbill Ajaia ajaja Two, Lamanai and up to 50 Ambergris Caye (B)

SWANS, GEESE & DUCKS

Muscovy Duck Cairina moschata Three immature birds Lamanai (B)

Blue-winged Teal Anas discors Forty North Lagoon and thirty Lamanai (B) and six (G)

Lesser Scaup Aythya affinis Twenty Crooked Tree (B).

NEW WORLD VULTURES & CONDORS

Turkey Vulture Cathartes aura Common everywhere except Ambergris Caye where there was a single record (B) (G)

Lesser Yellow-headed Vulture Cathartes burrovianus One Belize City and one Crooked Tree (B) (G)

[American] Black Vulture Coragyps atratus Common everywhere except Ambergris Caye (B)

King Vulture Sarcoramphus papa Two 'The Thousand Foot Falls', (B)

OSPREY

Osprey Pandion haliaetus Common except at Tikal (B) (G)

HAWKS, EAGLES & allies

Grey-headed Kite Leptodon cayanensis An immature near Lamanai (B)

Hook-billed Kite Chondrohierax uncinatus One Tikal (G)

White-tailed Kite Elanus leucurus One (B)

Snail Kite Rostrhamus sociabilis Fifteen records near fresh water (B)

White Hawk Leucopternis albicollis A single bird Five Sisters Falls (B)

Common Black-hawk Buteogallus anthracinus Four records near Belize City (B)

Great Black-hawk Buteogallus urubitinga One at Xunantunich (B)

Black-collared Hawk Busarellus nigricollis Two Crooked Tree and one Lamanai (B)

Roadside Hawk Buteo magnirostris Widespread (B)

Short-tailed Hawk Buteo brachyurus One immature bird near Five Sisters Falls (B)

FALCONS & allies

Laughing Falcon Herpetotheres cachinnans Two sightings near Five Sisters lodge (B)

American Kestrel Falco sparverius Three near San Ignacio (B) and one near Tikal (G)

Merlin Falco columbarius One Fort George and one Lamanai (B)

Bat Falcon Falco rufigularis Noted in the mountains (B) and near Tikal (G)

Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus One Crooked Tree (B)

CURRASSOWS, GUANS & CHACHALACAS

Plain Chachalaca Ortalis vetula Common at Lamanai (B) and Tikal (G)

Crested Guan Penelope purpurascens Four Tikal (G)

Great Curassow Crax rubra Four Tikal (G)

TURKEYS

Ocellated Turkey Agriocharis ocellata Very numerous Tikal (G)

LIMPKIN

Limpkin Aramus guarauna Common on inland waterways (B) (G)

RAILS & COOTS

Grey-necked Wood-rail Aramides cajanea One near Lamanai (B) and up to four Tikal (G)

Common Moorhen Gallinula chloropus One Lamanai (B) and two (G)

[American] Purple Gallinule Porphyrula martinica One (G)

American Coot Fulica americana Sixty at Crooked Tree (B) and twenty (G)

FINFOOTS & SUNGREBE

Sungrebe / American Finfoot Heliornis fulica Two seen near Lamanai on two occasions (B)

JACANAS

Northern Jacana Jacana spinosa Noted in small numbers (B) and (G)

STILTS & AVOCETS

Black-necked/South American Stilt Himantopus mexicanus One near Lamanai(B) and six (G)

PLOVERS & LAPWINGS

Grey Plover Pluvialis squatarola At least two Ambergris Caye (B)

Killdeer Charadrius vociferus Two in (G) and a single bird at Ambergris Caye (B)

SANDPIPERS, SNIPES & allies

Lesser Yellowlegs Tringa flavipes One (G)

Solitary Sandpiper Tringa solitaria One near Lamanai (B)

Spotted Sandpiper Actitis macularia Widespread near fresh water (B)

Ruddy Turnstone Arenaria interpres Only at Fort George and Ambergris Caye (22) (B)

Sanderling Calidris alba Up to six Ambergris Caye (B)

Least Sandpiper Calidris minutilla At least 14 Fort George (B) and two (G)

SKUAS

Arctic Skua Stercorcarius parasiticus An immature bird at Cayos Los Salones 23rd (B)

GULLS

[American] Herring Gull Larus argentatus smithsonianus Two records of a single bird, Fort George (B)

Laughing Gull Larus atricilla Only on the coast (B)

TERNS

Caspian Tern Sterna caspia Several records on the coast (B)

Royal Tern Sterna maxima Common on the coast (B)

Sandwich Tern Sterna sandvicensis Sixteen records on the coast (B)

SKIMMERS

Black Skimmer Rynchops niger Two Fort George (B)

DOVES & PIGEONS

Rock Dove / Feral Pigeon Columba livia In towns (B)

Pale-vented Pigeon Columba cayennensis Several at Lamanai (B)

Short-billed Pigeon Columba nigrirostris Two Tikal (G)

White-winged Dove Zenaida asiatica Several at Ambergris Caye (B)

Common Ground-dove Columbina passerina Two Ambergris Caye (B)

Ruddy Ground-dove Columbina talpacoti Noted throughout the trip (B) (G)

White-tipped Dove Leptotila verreauxi One Baker's Ranch (B)

Grey-chested Dove Leptotila cassini One Belize Zoo (B)

Ruddy Quail-dove Geotrygon montana A female Tikal (G)

PARROTS & MACAWS

Aztec/Olive-throated Parakeet Aratinga [nana] astec Widespread (B)

Brown-hooded Parrot Pionopsitta haematotis Four, Tikal (G)

White-crowned Parrot Pionus senilis Four Tikal (G)

White-fronted Parrot Amazona albifrons Commom (B) (G)

Red-lored Parrot Amazona autumnalis Widespread away from the coast (B) (G)

Mealy Parrot Amazona farinosa Only Tikal (G)

ANIS

Groove-billed Ani Crotophaga sulcirostris Widespread except in the Belize City area (B) (G)

NEW WORLD CUCKOOS

Squirrel Cuckoo Piaya cayana Scattered records (B) (G)

OWLS

Crested Owl Lophostrix cristata One Tikal (G)

NIGHTJARS & NIGHTHAWKS

Lesser Nighthawk Chordeiles acutipennis One en route Lamanai (B)

SWIFTS

Vaux's Swift Chaetura vauxi Five Tikal (G)

HUMMINGBIRDS

Stripe-throated [Little] Hermit Phaethornis [longuemareus] striigularis One Tikal (G)

Scaly-breasted Hummingbird Phaeochroa cuvierii One Tikal (G)

Wedge-tailed Sabrewing Campylopterus curvipennis Two Lamanai (B)

Green-breasted Mango Anthracothorax prevostii Widespread (B) (G)

White-bellied Emerald Amazilia candida One Lamanai (B) and two Tikal (G)

Cinnamon Hummingbird Amazilia rutila Only coastal (B)

Rufous-tailed Hummingbird Amazilia tzacatl Widespread (B) (G)

Purple-crowned Fairy Heliothryx barrot A female Tikal (G)

TROGONS & QUETZALS

Slaty-tailed Trogon Trogon massena At Lamanai (B) and Tikal (G)

Black-headed Trogon Trogon melanocephalus Widespread (B)

Collared Trogon Trogon collaris One Tikal (G)

Violaceous Trogon Trogon violaceus At Lamanai (B) and Tikal (G)

KINGFISHERS

Ringed Kingfisher Megaceryle torquata Common inland and at Ambergris Caye (B)

Belted Kingfisher Megaceryle alcyon Widespread (B)

Amazon Kingfisher Chloroceryle amazona One Xunantunich (B)

Green Kingfisher Chloroceryle americana A dozen records on inland freshwater sites (B)

MOTMOTS

Blue-crowned Motmot Momotus momota Common Tikal (G)

JACAMARS

Rufous-tailed Jacamar Galbula ruficauda One Lamanai (B)

TOUCANS

Collared Araçari Pteroglossus torquatus Common Lamanai (B) and Tikal (G)

Keel-billed Toucan Ramphastos sulfuratus Common Lamanai (B) and Tikal (G)

WOODPECKERS

Acorn Woodpecker Melanerpes formicivorus Only at Crooked Tree and Five Sisters (B)

Yucatan Woodpecker Melanerpes pygmaeus One Ambergris Caye (B)

Golden-fronted Woodpecker Melanerpes aurifrons Very widespread (B) (G)

Smoky-brown Woodpecker Veniliornis fumigatus One Tikal (G)

Golden-olive Woodpecker Piculus rubiginosus Two Five Sisters (B)

Chestnut-coloured Woodpecker Celeus castaneus Three Tikal (G)

Lineated Woodpecker Dryocopus lineatus Only at Northern Lagoon and Lamanai (B) and Tikal (G)

Pale-billed Woodpecker Campephilus guatemalensis At Lamanai and Xunantunich (B) and Tikal (G)

WOODCREEPERS

Tawny-winged Woodcreeper Dendrocincla anabatina Three near Five Sisters (B) and three Tikal (G)

Ruddy Woodcreeper Dendrocincla homochroa One near Five Sisters (B)

Olivaceous Woodcreeper Sittasomus griseicapillus Only Tikal (G)

[Northern] Barred Woodcreeper Dendrocolaptes [certhia] sanctithomae Two Tikal (G)

Ivory-billed Woodcreeper Xiphorhynchus flavigaster Only at Lamanai (B) and Tikal (G)

OVENBIRDS

Plain Xenops Xenops minutus Six records Tikal (G)

ANTBIRDS

Barred Antshrike Thamnophilus doliatus A pair Lamanai (B)

TYRANT FLYCATCHERS

Greenish Elaenia Myiopagis viridicata One Lamanai (B)

Yellow-bellied Elaenia Elaenia flavogaster One Baker's Ranch (B)

Ochre-bellied Flycatcher Mionectes oleagineus One Tikal (G)

Sepia-capped Flycatcher Leptopogon amaurocephalus One Lamanai (B) and one Tikal (G)

Eye-ringed Flatbill Rhynchocyclus brevirostris Two Tikal (G)

Yellow-olive Flycatcher Tolmomyias sulphurescens One Tikal (G)

[Northern] Royal Flycatcher Onychorhynchus [coronatus] mexicanus One Lamanai (B) and one Tikal (G)

Ruddy-tailed Flycatcher Myiobius erythrurus Two Tikal (G)

Least Flycatcher Empidonax minimus One Tikal (G)

Black Phoebe Sayornis nigricans Two near Five Sisters

Vermilion Flycatcher Pyrocephalus rubinus Widespread in open country (B) (G)

Bright-rumped Attila Attila spadiceus One near Five Sisters (B)

Rufous Mourner Rhytipterna holerythra One Xunantunich (B) and one Tikal (G)

Yucatan Flycatcher Myiarchus yucatanensis One Ambergris Caye (B)

Dusky-capped Flycatcher Myiarchus tuberculifer One Lamanai (B)

Great Crested Flycatcher Myiarchus crinitus One Xunantunich (B)

Brown-crested Flycatcher Myiarchus tyrannulus Widespread in wooded areas (B) (G)

Great Kiskadee Pitangus sulphuratus Very common (B) (G)

Boat-billed Flycatcher Megarhynchus pitangua A handful of widely spread records (B) (G)

Social Flycatcher Myiozetetes similis Very common (B) (G)

Tropical Kingbird Tyrannus melancholicus Very common (B) (G)

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher Tyrannus forficatus Common Belize City (B)

Fork-tailed Flycatcher Tyrannus savana Noted in grassland areas (B) (G)

Rose-throated Becard Pachyramphus aglaiae At Baker's Ranch and Lamanai (B)

Masked Tityra Tityra semifasciata At Lamanai, Five Sisters area (B) and Tikal (G)

MANAKINS

Red-capped Manakin Pipra mentalis At Five Sisters (B) and Tikal (G)

SWALLOWS & MARTINS

Tree Swallow Tachycineta bicolor At least ten Ambergris Caye (B)

Mangrove Swallow Tachycineta albilinea Common and widespread (B) (G)

Grey-breasted Martin Progne chalybea Widespread (B) (G)

Northern Rough-winged Swallow Stelgidopteryx serripennis Scattered records (B) (G)

Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica One near Lamanai (B)

WRENS

White-browed [Carolina] Wren Thryothorus ludovicianus albinucha Two Tikal (G)

[Southern] House Wren Troglodytes aedon musculus Elusive; one Crooked Tree and one near Belize Zoo (B)

MOCKINGBIRDS & THRASHERS

Grey Catbird Dumetella carolinensis Widespread (B) (G)

Black Catbird Melanoptila glabrirostris At least four Ambergris Caye (B)

Tropical Mockingbird Mimus gilvus Very widespread (B)

THRUSHES

Wood Thrush Catharus mustelinus Six scattered records (B) (G)

Clay-coloured Thrush/Robin Turdus grayi Widespread (B) (G)

GNATWRENS & GNATCATCHERS

Tropical Gnatcatcher Polioptila plumbea Two Lamanai (B) and one Tikal (G)

CROWS, JAYS & MAGPIES

Brown Jay Psilorhinus morio Common (B) (G)

NEW WORLD SPARROWS & FINCHES

Rusty Sparrow Aimophila rufescens One near Five Sisters (B)

Blue-black Grassquit Volatinia jacarina Common Lamanai (B)

White-collared Seedeater Sporophila torqueola Common Baker's Ranch and Lamanai (B); one record (G)

Thick-billed Seed-finch Oryzoborus [angolensis] funereus One Lamanai (B)

Green-backed Sparrow Arremonops chloronotus Two Belize Zoo (B)

Black-faced Grosbeak Caryothraustes poliogaster Six near Five Sisters (B)

Black-headed Saltator Saltator atriceps Widespread in forests (B) (G)

Greyish Saltator Saltator coerulescens Only at Crooked Tree (B) and Tikal (G)

Indigo Bunting Passerina cyanea Small flocks Ambergris Caye (B)

TANAGERS & HONEYCREEPERS

Grey-headed Tanager Eucometis penicillata Five near Five Sisters (B) and one Tikal (G)

Black-throated Shrike-tanager Lanio aurantius A male and a female Tikal (G)

Red-crowned Ant-tanager Habia rubica A pair Tikal (G)

Red-throated Ant-tanager Habia fuscicauda At Lamanai and Five Sisters (B)

Hepatic Tanager Piranga flava Two near Five Sisters (B)

Summer Tanager Piranga rubra Widespread (B) (G)

Blue-grey Tanager Thraupis episcopus One Xunantunich (B)

Yellow-winged Tanager Thraupis abbas Two Belize City and one Lamanai (B)

Yellow-throated Euphonia Euphonia hirundinacea At Lamanai (B) and Tikal (G)

Olive-backed Euphonia Euphonia gouldi At Lamanai (B) and Tikal (G)

Golden-hooded Tanager Tangara larvata Two near Five Sisters (B)

Red-legged Honeycreeper Cyanerpes cyaneus Only at Lamanai, Xunantunich (B) and Tikal (G)

NEW WORLD WARBLERS

Blue-winged Warbler Vermivora pinus One Tikal (G)

Tennessee Warbler Vermivora peregrina One Northern Lagoon (B)

Northern Parula Parula americana One Ambergris Caye (B)

Black-and-white Warbler Mniotilta varia Widespread (B) (G)

Yellow Warbler Dendroica petechia Widespread (B) (G)

Mangrove Warbler Dendroica petechia erithachorides Four records Ambergris Caye (B)

Grace's Warbler Dendroica graciae One near Five Sisters (B)

Yellow-throated Warbler Dendroica dominica Mainly in coastal locations (B)

Black-throated Green Warbler Dendroica virens One Belize Zoo (B) and one Tikal (G)

Prairie Warbler Dendroica discolor Two Ambergris Caye (B)

Palm Warbler Dendroica palmarum Five records Ambergris Caye (B)

Magnolia Warbler Dendroica magnolia Widespread (B) (G)

Yellow-rumped Warbler Dendroica coronata Two Tikal (G)

American Redstart Setophaga ruticilla Very widespread (B) (G)

Northern Waterthrush Seiurus noveboracensis One Lamanai and one Belize Zoo (B)

Worm-eating Warbler Helmitheros vermivorus Fine views of four birds Tikal (G)

Prothonotary Warbler Protonotaria citrea Seven records on inland waterways (B)

Common Yellowthroat Geothlypis trichas One Tikal (G) and one Ambergris Caye (B)

Kentucky Warbler Oporornis formosus Fine views of a male, Tikal (G)

Hooded Warbler Wilsonia citrina Widespread (B)

Golden-crowned Warbler Basileuterus culicivorus Four Tikal (G)

Rufous-capped Warbler Basileuterus rufifrons Four records Five Sisters (B)

VIREOS

White-eyed Vireo Vireo griseus Scattered recods (B) (G)

Mangrove Vireo Vireo pallens Two records Ambergris Caye (B)

Plumbeous Vireo Vireo plumbeus One near Five Sisters (B)

Yellow-throated Vireo Vireo flavifrons Two Tikal (G)

Yellow-green Vireo Vireo flavoviridis One near Belize City (B)

Red-eyed Vireo Vireo olivaceus One Tikal (G)

Tawny-crowned Greenlet Hylophilus ochraceiceps Common Tikal (G)

Lesser Greenlet Hylophilus decurtatus Common Tikal (G)

NEW WORLD ORIOLES & BLACKBIRDS

Montezuma Oropendola Gymnostinops montezuma Widespread (B) (G)

Yellow-billed Cacique Amblycercus holosericeus One Lamanai (B)

Yellow-backed Oriole Icterus chrysater Scattered records. Only common at Five Sisters (B) (G)

Orange Oriole Icterus auratus At least ten Ambergris Caye (B)

Yellow-tailed Oriole Icterus mesomelas One near Lamanai (B)

Baltimore Oriole Icterus galbula Scattered records (B) (G)

Hooded Oriole Icterus cucullatus Scattered records (B)

Orchard Oriole Icterus spurius Common on the coast (B) and one record near Tikal (G)

Black-cowled Oriole Icterus [dominicensis] prosthemelas Two Lamanai (B) and two Tikal (G)

Red-winged Blackbird Agelaius phoeniceus In grasslands near water (B)

Melodious Blackbird Dives dives Common (B) (G)

Great-tailed Grackle Quiscalus mexicanus Common and widespread (B) (G)

Bronzed Cowbird Molothrus aeneus Scattered records in grasslands (B) (G)

AMPHIBIANS & REPTILES

Marine/Cane Toad Bufo marinus At Lamanai (B)

Morelet's Crocodile Crocodylus morelesi Four records Northern Lagoon and Lamanai (B) and one near Tikal (G)

American Crocodile Crocodylus acutus One Ambergris Caye (B)

Common Slider / Ornate Terrapin Trachemys scripta One in a pond on the outskirts of Belize City (B)

Green Iguana Iguana iguana Widespread (B) (G)

Ctenosaur / Spiny-tailed Iguana Ctenosaura similis Near freshwater (B)

Striped Basilisk Basiliscus vittatus One Crooked Tree (B)

Central American Whiptail Ameiva festiva Scattered Records (B) (G)

Cozumel Whiptail Cnemidophorus cozumelae Belize City (B)

Green Vine Snake Oxybelis fulgidus One Belize Zoo (B)

MAMMALS

West Indian Manatee Trichechus manatus Several Belize City (B)

Bottle-nosed Dolphin Tursiops truncatus One Belize City (B)

Short-tailed Fruit Bat Carollia perspicillata One Baker's Ranch (B)

Proboscis Bat Rhynchonycteris naso Eight at Lamanai (B)

Yucatan Black Howler Monkey Alouatta pigra A troupe at Lamanai (B); possibly two troupes Tikal (G)

Central American Spider Monkey Ateles geoffroyi Groups of at least four, Tikal (G)

White-nosed Coati Nasua narica At Lamanai (B) and Tikal (G)

Red Brocket Deer Mazama americana One Tikal (G)

Deppe's Squirrel Sciurus deppei At Lamanai (B) and Tikal (G)

Yucatan Squirrel Sciurus yacatanensis On the coast and at Lamanai (B)

Central American Agouti Dasyprocta punctata At Lamanai (B) and Tikal (G)


© The Travelling Naturalist 2002