Early morning pre-breakfast birding around the hotel grounds. Walking up to 3 miles throughout the day; about 4.5 hours on our feet total; uneven trails of mud, dirt and grass. Driving approximately 85 miles throughout the day, about 3 hours, with stops. Some of the forest trails might have some bugs and/or mosquitoes. Some bug spray is recommended. Temperatures can be in the high 80s and medium to high humidity is to be expected in this subtropical country.
At the hotel.
Before breakfast, we set out on an early morning walk around the hotel grounds to look for Ringed Kingfishers and Green Kingfishers. After breakfast, we will head southeast to the old Coastal Road, which once connected Belize City with the town of Dangriga. Here we will explore the open pine savannahs and associated wetlands at the foothills of the Manatee Forest Reserve. Around this area we will be searching for Fork-tailed Flycatchers, Azure-crowned Hummingbird, Grasshopper Sparrow, Aplomado Falcon and White-tailed Hawk. This area is a critical corridor, connecting the Maya Mountains and the north western forests expanding into Mexico and Guatemala. As such, many large mammals, including our 5 species of cats, traverse this area.
At a local restaurant.
After lunch, we will stop at the Belize Zoo where we have opportunities to see the critically endangered Yellow-headed Parrot, Aplomado Falcon, White-tailed Hawk and Lesser Yellow-headed Vulture. The Belize Zoo and Tropical Education Center, which was founded in 1983, was born from an effort to provide a safe haven for a number of wild animals that, ironically, had been used in the making of documentaries about tropical forests. The zoo and its education center encompass 29 acres of tropical savanna and house more than 125 animals native to Belize. After the visit to the Belize Zoo, we will walk a forest road leading from the Monkey Bay Wildlife Sanctuary to the Sibun River along several ecotones such as Pine savannah, broken ridge or transition forest, broadleaf forest and riparian habitat. Within such diverse habitats, we will search for Rufous-tailed Jacamar, Scaly-breasted Hummingbird, Black-headed Trogon and a rare chance at Blue Seedeater among the bamboo thickets. Before we head to dinner, we'll listen to a local expert present an overview of birding and conservation in Belize.
At the lodge.