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Field Guides Tour Report
BELIZE
Apr 8, 2012 to Apr 14, 2012
Jesse Fagan

NOTE: Due to scheduling considerations, please be advised that our 2014 itinerary will visit Lamanai Outpost Lodge and Hidden Valley Inn instead of the route we followed on our 2012 tour as reflected in the triplist below. Lamanai and Hidden Valley provide similary exciting and productive birding, and we expect the cross section of species seen on our 2014 tour to overlap in all important respects with what is reported below (for example, the waterbirds possible at Lamanai are very similar to those at Crooked Tree). We look forward to seeing you in Belize!


A Northern Jacana shows off its long, slender toes as it picks its way daintily along the shoreline at Crooked Tree. (Photo by tour participants David & Susan Disher)

This was a special tour for me- old friends, a birdy tropical destination, nice lodging, delicious food (pass me the Marie Sharps), and cold beers (Belikin) in the evening-a winning combination. It seemed we never stopped laughing and smiling.

Highlights included the "gun show" at Birds Eye View, a most memorable boat ride down the Crooked Tree Lagoon with Jabirus and nearly every conceivable long-legged wader (and those wood-rails!), Agami Heron, and American Pygmy-Kingfisher(s), the Johnny Jump Up performance, a spectacular Collared Forest-Falcon flyby, an Orange-breasted Falcon taking a Great-tailed Grackle in mid-air on his way to breakfast with the family, Tom's impromptu assignment to captain of the USS Belize, crossing the Belize River in record time, that ice-cream stop in Mennonite country, and the experience that had the greatest impact...Ruddy Crakes attacking Max's feet as he went screaming and crashing into the lake. Not quite, but Max spotted this pair, in the open, as they crept around silently between the tall marsh grasses. And some odd and unique vocalizations afterwards. What a great team!

Thanks so much for spending time with me in the field. Thanks again to Michael (our local guide at Birds Eye) and the staff of both Birds Eye and Black Rock. I look forward to seeing you all again real soon (or on Facebook). ;-)

--Jesse Fagan aka Mot

For more information about this tour, including future departures, visit our website at www.fieldguides.com. And to see this same triplist online, go to https://fieldguides.com/triplists/bze12LIST.pdf and you will find the list in its entirety.


KEYS FOR THIS LIST
One of the following keys may be shown in brackets for individual species as appropriate: * = heard only, I = introduced, E = endemic, N = nesting, a = austral migrant, b = boreal migrant


BIRDS
Tinamidae (Tinamous)


The Gray-necked Wood-Rails at Crooked Tree apparently don't realize that rails are supposed to be shy and hard to see! (Photo by tour participants Davis & Susan Disher)

GREAT TINAMOU (Tinamus major) [*]
Anatidae (Ducks, Geese, and Waterfowl)
BLACK-BELLIED WHISTLING-DUCK (Dendrocygna autumnalis) – Lots around Bird's Eye View Lodge. They could also be heard calling (or whistling!) at night.
MUSCOVY DUCK (Cairina moschata) – A couple of distant flybys on the boat ride at Crooked Tree.
BLUE-WINGED TEAL (Anas discors) – Lots along the banks of Crooked Tree.
Cracidae (Guans, Chachalacas, and Curassows)
PLAIN CHACHALACA (Ortalis vetula) – Mainly heard, but singles were seen here and there including one on the powerline along the entrance road to Birds Eye.
Odontophoridae (New World Quail)
BLACK-THROATED BOBWHITE (Colinus nigrogularis) – A pair quickly flushed by us on our walk in the pine forest near Crooked Tree. A Yucatan endemic except for a disjunct population in Eastern Honduras.
Podicipedidae (Grebes)
PIED-BILLED GREBE (Podilymbus podiceps) – Not big numbers on Crooked Tree Lagoon.
Ciconiidae (Storks)
JABIRU (Jabiru mycteria) – An amazing, powerful looking bird. We had several fairly close on our boat ride on Crooked Tree Lagoon. They literally dwarf the Great Blue Herons and Great Egrets around them.
WOOD STORK (Mycteria americana) – Good numbers on Crooked Tree Lagoon.
Phalacrocoracidae (Cormorants and Shags)
NEOTROPIC CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax brasilianus) – Huge numbers on Crooked Tree Lagoon.
Anhingidae (Anhingas)
ANHINGA (Anhinga anhinga) – The "flying cross" was around.
Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)
BARE-THROATED TIGER-HERON (Tigrisoma mexicanum) – The boat ride on Crooked Tree was a great place to see this species.
GREAT BLUE HERON (Ardea herodias) – Nearly every day of the tour.
GREAT EGRET (Ardea alba) – Nearly every day of the tour.
SNOWY EGRET (Egretta thula) – Fairly common long-legged wader on this tour.
LITTLE BLUE HERON (Egretta caerulea) – Seen nearly every day.
TRICOLORED HERON (Egretta tricolor) – Not real common, but a few were around Crooked Tree.
CATTLE EGRET (Bubulcus ibis) – Seen EVERY day of the tour. Common on our drives through the country and agricultural landscape.
GREEN HERON (Butorides virescens) – Fairly common on tour. Seen most days.
AGAMI HERON (Agamia agami) – A striking and elegant creature. We had excellent studies at several individuals during our boat ride down Crooked Tree Lagoon.
BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON (Nycticorax nycticorax) – This species was fairly common at Crooked Tree, more so than the next species on the list.
YELLOW-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON (Nyctanassa violacea) – Just a couple seen, not real common.
BOAT-BILLED HERON (Cochlearius cochlearius) – This odd creature was roosting in the taller trees at Crooked Tree.
Threskiornithidae (Ibises and Spoonbills)
WHITE IBIS (Eudocimus albus) – Lots of juveniles around. I think they outnumbered the adults.
GLOSSY IBIS (Plegadis falcinellus) – Most were in non-breeding plumage (which is duller and darker overall), but a few were in the striking, and very glossy purple and green breeding plumage.
ROSEATE SPOONBILL (Platalea ajaja) – Hard to miss this one! We had a number around Crooked Tree.
Cathartidae (New World Vultures)


Lineated Woodpeckers regularly feed on ants and termites, and that may be what drew this one to this tree. Look carefully at the underside of the branch: the dark line running up it is a covered termite trail, though the cover is no match for that bill! (Photo by tour participants Davis & Susan Disher)

BLACK VULTURE (Coragyps atratus) – Every day.
TURKEY VULTURE (Cathartes aura) – Every day.
LESSER YELLOW-HEADED VULTURE (Cathartes burrovianus) – Not many, but we had a nice lesson with picking them out with your naked eye. They have a slightly different shape from the Turkeys; a more squared tail, leaner wings (more raptor like), and very silver wing linings. I think I convinced most that this was possible. ;-)
KING VULTURE (Sarcoramphus papa) – Several individuals soaring high during our time at Black Rock.
Pandionidae (Osprey)
OSPREY (Pandion haliaetus) – Mainly at Crooked Tree, but also one soaring over Mountain Pine Ridge (?).
Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)
SWALLOW-TAILED KITE (Elanoides forficatus) – One of my favorites. We saw several near El Pilar and Mountain Pine Ridge. So elegant.
WHITE-TAILED KITE (Elanus leucurus) – Singles here and there around Black Rock.
SNAIL KITE (Rostrhamus sociabilis) – Super common around Crooked Tree. Great studies of immatures and adults. They survive entirely on apple snails which lay there eggs just above water line (red = new, white = old). When the eggs hatch, they fall into the water, and that's when the kites swoop down.
PLUMBEOUS KITE (Ictinia plumbea) – A number were seen in the Mountain Pine Ridge area.
BLACK-COLLARED HAWK (Busarellus nigricollis) – One was seen at the big lagoon near El Pilar. We missed it for the group at Crooked Tree.
CRANE HAWK (Geranospiza caerulescens) – A single Crane Hawk flew quickly by us during our boat ride at Crooked Tree. The long tail and long, orange legs were obvious, but it all happened too fast!
WHITE HAWK (Leucopternis albicollis) – Several nice looks at Black Rock and again of a pair at Mountain Pine Ridge.
GREAT BLACK-HAWK (Buteogallus urubitinga) – I was surprised to find this the common "black-hawk" in the area. The Common preferring more coastal sites.
SOLITARY EAGLE (Harpyhaliaetus solitarius) – One high soaring adult over Mountain Pine Ridge. A very rare and local species. We got it!
ROADSIDE HAWK (Buteo magnirostris) – Common raptor on the tour.
GRAY HAWK (Buteo nitidus) – Just in the Black Rock/Mountain Pine Ridge region.
SHORT-TAILED HAWK (Buteo brachyurus) – One light-morph over Crooked Tree.
Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)
COLLARED FOREST-FALCON (Micrastur semitorquatus) – What an amazing experience to have this bird fly over us several times and perch in a nearby tree. It called to make the experience even more memorable! A group favorite.
LAUGHING FALCON (Herpetotheres cachinnans) – A couple along the entrance road at Crooked Tree.
BAT FALCON (Falco rufigularis) – A pair was nesting in a palm tree along the entrance road to Crooked Tree.
ORANGE-BREASTED FALCON (Falco deiroleucus) – A real highlight was seeing this species so well at 1000 Foot Falls. It was seen distantly (we think, hahahaha) at Black Rock. However, we should remember to pay more attention to grackles in flight. ;-) (thanks, Mary!)
Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)
RUDDY CRAKE (Laterallus ruber) – Can you believe that a crake was the favorite bird of the trip???!!!! What a great experience to see a pair wandering around in open at our marshy lagoon at El Aguacate. Nice work Max! We waited and waite and had nearly given up...NEVER GIVE UP. :-)
GRAY-NECKED WOOD-RAIL (Aramides cajanea) – Crazy to have them in the open along the shore at Crooked Tree. Just craziness.
PURPLE GALLINULE (Porphyrio martinica) – A pair in the tall marshy lagoon near El Pilar.
AMERICAN COOT (Fulica americana) – Loads around Crooked Tree.
Heliornithidae (Finfoots)
SUNGREBE (Heliornis fulica) – A really neat bird to see, and we saw several at Crooked Tree. Uncommon and local.
Aramidae (Limpkin)
LIMPKIN (Aramus guarauna) – A number around Crooked Tree.
Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)
SEMIPALMATED PLOVER (Charadrius semipalmatus) – One at Crooked Tree.
Recurvirostridae (Stilts and Avocets)
BLACK-NECKED STILT (Himantopus mexicanus) – This species can be a little loud and obnoxious at times (and I mean that in a nice way, haha). Seen at Crooked Tree.
Jacanidae (Jacanas)
NORTHERN JACANA (Jacana spinosa) – At Crooked Tree and again near El Aguacate.
Scolopacidae (Sandpipers and Allies)
SPOTTED SANDPIPER (Actitis macularius) – Fairly common at a few wetland sites on tour.
SOLITARY SANDPIPER (Tringa solitaria) – Also fairly common at a few wetland sites on tour.
GREATER YELLOWLEGS (Tringa melanoleuca) – Slightly less common around Crooked Tree than Lesser.
LESSER YELLOWLEGS (Tringa flavipes) – Fairly common along the shoreline at Crooked Tree.
SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER (Calidris pusilla) – Just one picked out of some Leasts while at Crooked Tree.
LEAST SANDPIPER (Calidris minutilla) – The common peep at Crooked Tree.
PECTORAL SANDPIPER (Calidris melanotos) – A few around at Crooked Tree.
LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER (Limnodromus scolopaceus) – Though not studied well because of the light, the few individuals in breeding plumage and the habitat would indicate Long-billed. At Crooked Tree.
Laridae (Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers)
GULL-BILLED TERN (Gelochelidon nilotica) – Three were on a mudflat at Crooked Tree.
CASPIAN TERN (Hydroprogne caspia) – Common over Crooked Tree. Back and forth every day.
Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)
ROCK PIGEON (Columba livia) – A few in the towns along the drive.
PALE-VENTED PIGEON (Patagioenas cayennensis) – Common around Crooked Tree. Not seen in the Black Rock area.
RED-BILLED PIGEON (Patagioenas flavirostris) – Singles on a couple of days. The one without the red bill. ;-)
SHORT-BILLED PIGEON (Patagioenas nigrirostris) [*]
PLAIN-BREASTED GROUND-DOVE (Columbina minuta) – Only in the open country near El Aguacate.
RUDDY GROUND-DOVE (Columbina talpacoti) – Fairly common on this tour. Singles or pairs in different places.
BLUE GROUND-DOVE (Claravis pretiosa) – We tracked a pair down near the oropendola colony at Mountain Pine Ridge.
WHITE-TIPPED DOVE (Leptotila verreauxi) – The most common Leptotila on the tour.
GRAY-HEADED DOVE (Leptotila plumbeiceps) [*]


As if the Keel-billed Toucan's rainbow bill isn't colorful enough, check out its maroon nape, green eye liner, and bright blue legs! Some birds just have it all. (Photo by tour participants Davis & Susan Disher)

GRAY-CHESTED DOVE (Leptotila cassini) [*]
Psittacidae (Parrots)
OLIVE-THROATED PARAKEET (AZTEC) (Aratinga nana astec) – Seen every day and in good numbers.
WHITE-CROWNED PARROT (Pionus senilis) – Not real common. Scoped in the parking lot at Black Rock and again a small flock on our drive to Mountain Pine Ridge.
WHITE-FRONTED PARROT (Amazona albifrons) – The most common "parrot" on this trip. Seen or heard every day around Black Rock.
RED-LORED PARROT (Amazona autumnalis) – A few during our time at Black Rock.
YELLOW-HEADED PARROT (Amazona oratrix) – Not common, but a pair were seen one day at Crooked Tree, and a single bird the next.
Cuculidae (Cuckoos)
SQUIRREL CUCKOO (Piaya cayana) – Surprisingly, just one or two at Black Rock.
STRIPED CUCKOO (Tapera naevia) – Crooked Tree. [*]
PHEASANT CUCKOO (Dromococcyx phasianellus) – Black Rock. [*]
GROOVE-BILLED ANI (Crotophaga sulcirostris) – Nearly every day.
Strigidae (Owls)
FERRUGINOUS PYGMY-OWL (Glaucidium brasilianum) – We had one in a tree cavity along the entrance road to Black Rock. Cute.
MOTTLED OWL (Ciccaba virgata) [*]
Caprimulgidae (Nightjars and Allies)
COMMON PAURAQUE (Nyctidromus albicollis) – Heard many nights, but one near the lodge at Birds Eye View was accommodating.
Apodidae (Swifts)
WHITE-COLLARED SWIFT (Streptoprocne zonaris) [*]
VAUX'S SWIFT (RICHMOND'S) (Chaetura vauxi richmondi) – Seen around Black Rock.
LESSER SWALLOW-TAILED SWIFT (Panyptila cayennensis) – There was a nest along the entrance road and under the dining room roof. We also saw them briefly in flight.
Trochilidae (Hummingbirds)
WHITE-NECKED JACOBIN (Florisuga mellivora) – Briefly at the feeders at Black Rock.
PURPLE-CROWNED FAIRY (Heliothryx barroti)
GREEN-BREASTED MANGO (Anthracothorax prevostii) – A few around at Black Rock.
RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD (Archilochus colubris) – Fairly common during our stay at Birds Eye, especially at their feeders.
CANIVET'S EMERALD (Chlorostilbon canivetii) – Nice looks at a female above Black Rock, but then a splendid male on Mountain Pine Ridge in the pine forest.
WEDGE-TAILED SABREWING (Campylopterus curvipennis) – A regular visitor to the hummingbird feeders at Black Rock. A near endemic to the region. Also found disjunctly in E Honduras.
WHITE-BELLIED EMERALD (Amazilia candida) – Fairly common at birding sites around Black Rock.
AZURE-CROWNED HUMMINGBIRD (Amazilia cyanocephala) – One was at the feeders at Birds Eye, but also seen again on Mountain Pine Ridge.
RUFOUS-TAILED HUMMINGBIRD (Amazilia tzacatl) – The most common hummingbird on the tour. Seen every day.
Trogonidae (Trogons)
SLATY-TAILED TROGON (Trogon massena) – A few in the mixed humid forest around Black Rock lodge and El Pilar.
BLACK-HEADED TROGON (Trogon melanocephalus) – At Birds Eye View lodge.
GARTERED TROGON (Trogon caligatus) – Heard mainly around Black Rock, but eventually seen. This used to be called Violaceous Trogon, but was recently split into several species.
Momotidae (Motmots)
BLUE-CROWNED MOTMOT (LESSON'S) (Momotus coeruliceps exiguus) – The common (and only seen) motmot on this tour. Now, officially split as Lesson's Motmot.
Alcedinidae (Kingfishers)
RINGED KINGFISHER (Megaceryle torquata) – A large kingfisher that was seen nearly every day on this tour. Especially common around Birds Eye View.
BELTED KINGFISHER (Megaceryle alcyon) – One of the best tours for kingfishers, we saw 5 species!
AMAZON KINGFISHER (Chloroceryle amazona) – A pair were seen on our day to El Aguacate.


Another bird with more than its share of brilliant color: a male Red-legged Honeycreeper. (Photo by tour participants David & Susan Disher)

GREEN KINGFISHER (Chloroceryle americana) – Great looks at this smaller kingfisher on our boat ride around Birds Eye View.
AMERICAN PYGMY KINGFISHER (Chloroceryle aenea) – A real treat for the group and a lifer for several folks. Seen very well from our boat on Crooked Tree Lagoon. As the water levels go down, this species is forced to the edge making it easier to find. We lucked out.
Bucconidae (Puffbirds)
WHITE-WHISKERED PUFFBIRD (Malacoptila panamensis) – One was around the lodge at Black Rock on our last morning.
Ramphastidae (Toucans)
EMERALD TOUCANET (EMERALD) (Aulacorhynchus prasinus virescens) – Seen very well over several days of birding in the Black Rock area.
COLLARED ARACARI (Pteroglossus torquatus) – Also seen on numerous days in the Black Rock area. A somewhat regular visitor to the feeding station.
KEEL-BILLED TOUCAN (Ramphastos sulfuratus) – A couple of these vicious carnivores (just kidding, sort of) were usually perched in the bare tree over the parking lot of Black Rock each morning.
Picidae (Woodpeckers)
ACORN WOODPECKER (Melanerpes formicivorus) – A few of you were surprised to find this typically Western US species around the Crooked Tree area, where they nest and forage in the pine-savannah. Also at Mountain Pine Ridge.
BLACK-CHEEKED WOODPECKER (Melanerpes pucherani) – Around the Black Rock area, and in the more humid forest, this is the most common woodpecker.
YUCATAN WOODPECKER (Melanerpes pygmaeus) – We found a pair in the pine-savannah near Birds Eye View. A Yucatan endemic.
GOLDEN-FRONTED WOODPECKER (EAST MEXICO) (Melanerpes aurifrons dubius) – Much different looking than other subspecies of Golden-fronted. A common woodpecker on this tour. Seen nearly every day. Recent taxonomic work on this group will split "Golden-fronted" into several species.
CHESTNUT-COLORED WOODPECKER (Celeus castaneus) – One was over the cabins at Black Rock, possibly nesting.
LINEATED WOODPECKER (Dryocopus lineatus) – Heard at Crooked Tree, but seen numerous times around Black Rock.
PALE-BILLED WOODPECKER (Campephilus guatemalensis) – Seen well a couple of times while at Black Rock.
Furnariidae (Ovenbirds and Woodcreepers)
PLAIN XENOPS (Xenops minutus) – Excellent looks were had in the scrub forest behind Birds Eye View Lodge. Seen again on Mountain Pine Ridge.
OLIVACEOUS WOODCREEPER (Sittasomus griseicapillus) – A pair very close and at eye-level while inside the ruins of El Pilar.
IVORY-BILLED WOODCREEPER (Xiphorhynchus flavigaster) – The most common woodcreeper on the tour. Sounds like a Canyon Wren!
STREAK-HEADED WOODCREEPER (Lepidocolaptes souleyetii) – One on the grounds at Birds Eye View Lodge.
Thamnophilidae (Typical Antbirds)
BARRED ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus doliatus) – Heard most days, but seen very well in the dry forest scrub behind the lodge at Crooked Tree. We called in a male that leap-frogged over us in the trees.
Formicariidae (Antthrushes)
BLACK-FACED ANTTHRUSH (MEXICAN) (Formicarius analis moniliger) – A nice encounter with a bird that walked right up to us while birding at El Pilar. This one can be difficult to see.
Tyrannidae (Tyrant Flycatchers)
YELLOW-BELLIED TYRANNULET (Ornithion semiflavum) – A pair were seen pretty well at El Pilar.
NORTHERN BEARDLESS-TYRANNULET (Camptostoma imberbe) [*]
GREENISH ELAENIA (Myiopagis viridicata) – Seen a couple of times, but the best looks were at eye-level while birding the forest scrub behind Birds Eye View Lodge. This was also at the Bright-rumped Attila spot.
YELLOW-BELLIED ELAENIA (Elaenia flavogaster) – Common at both lodges. More often heard than seen. Call is sort of like a woman screaming.
OCHRE-BELLIED FLYCATCHER (Mionectes oleagineus) – Seen at El Pilar.
SEPIA-CAPPED FLYCATCHER (Leptopogon amaurocephalus) – Seen along the entrance road to Black Rock during our morning walk.
NORTHERN BENTBILL (Oncostoma cinereigulare) [*]
SLATE-HEADED TODY-FLYCATCHER (Poecilotriccus sylvia) – Seen nicely at Birds Eye View Lodge. A tiny flycatcher with a short tail and a very large bill (for its size).
COMMON TODY-FLYCATCHER (Todirostrum cinereum)
EYE-RINGED FLATBILL (Rhynchocyclus brevirostris) – One was a surprise along the entrance road to Black Rock. Its pale eye-ring and flat bill were obvious. An appropriate name!
YELLOW-OLIVE FLYCATCHER (Tolmomyias sulphurescens) – Fairly common and seen most days of the tour.
ROYAL FLYCATCHER (NORTHERN) (Onychorhynchus coronatus mexicanus) – We lucked out finding this species along the entrance road to Black Rock, but also again (for the entire group!) at El Pilar.
SULPHUR-RUMPED FLYCATCHER (Myiobius sulphureipygius sulphureipygius) – A flighty "fly"catcher that we saw pretty well at El Pilar. It never did perch for very long.
TROPICAL PEWEE (Contopus cinereus) – More often heard, but seen a few times around Black Rock. It has a shorter primary projection than the transient Eastern Wood-Pewee. Call is also very different.
YELLOW-BELLIED FLYCATCHER (Empidonax flaviventris) – A fairly common wintering species in Belize. Seen well a few times.
LEAST FLYCATCHER (Empidonax minimus) – Not super common, but a couple seen on tour. One was in the pine-savannah near Birds Eye. I had a bet that I could get it to sing. Instead, it called. Does that count?
BLACK PHOEBE (Sayornis nigricans) – One the rocks of the Macal River at Black Rock.
VERMILION FLYCATCHER (Pyrocephalus rubinus) – Very common at Birds Eye View. We watched a few males doing their butterfly display flight.
BRIGHT-RUMPED ATTILA (Attila spadiceus) – Seen nicely and very close behind Birds Eye View.
YUCATAN FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus yucatanensis) – A couple were seen in the dry forest scrub behind Birds Eye View. A Yucatan endemic.
DUSKY-CAPPED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus tuberculifer) – Certainly around Black Rock, we may also have heard one at Crooked Tree but remarkably similar sounding to Yucatan.
GREAT CRESTED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus crinitus) [*]
BROWN-CRESTED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus tyrannulus) – Fairly common around Black Rock.
GREAT KISKADEE (Pitangus sulphuratus)
BOAT-BILLED FLYCATCHER (Megarynchus pitangua) – Similar looking to Great Kiskadee, but sounds very different. Seen well at Black Rock and surrounding birding sites.


Long considered members of the warbler family, the three species of Granatellus chats are now thought to be more closely related to the cardinals and grosbeaks and are now included in the Cardinalidae. This is the Yucutan endemic Gray-throated Chat. (Photo by tour participants Davis & Susan Disher)

SOCIAL FLYCATCHER (Myiozetetes similis) – Common. Seen/heard every day of tour.
STREAKED FLYCATCHER (Myiodynastes maculatus) – Slightly less common than Sulphur-bellied (which it resembles), but seen a few times at Black Rock.
SULPHUR-BELLIED FLYCATCHER (Myiodynastes luteiventris) – Pretty common during our time at Black Rock. Its squeaky call is like a rubber duckie.
PIRATIC FLYCATCHER (Legatus leucophaius) – This nest parasite was common around Black Rock and other nearby birding sites.
TROPICAL KINGBIRD (Tyrannus melancholicus) – One of the more common flycatchers seen on the tour.
COUCH'S KINGBIRD (Tyrannus couchii) – Also common on the tour. It's nearly identical in appearance to Tropical, but the calls are very different. It also prefers more wooded habitat than Tropical.
EASTERN KINGBIRD (Tyrannus tyrannus) – A few migrants were seen around the cabins at Black Rock.
FORK-TAILED FLYCATCHER (Tyrannus savana) – A very striking and elegant looking bird. We had them on the drives around El Pilar and El Aguacate.
Pipridae (Manakins)
WHITE-COLLARED MANAKIN (Manacus candei) – A lek was found along the entrance road to Black Rock.
RED-CAPPED MANAKIN (Pipra mentalis) [*]
Tityridae (Tityras and Allies)
MASKED TITYRA (Tityra semifasciata) – Seen a number of times at both lodges.
THRUSH-LIKE SCHIFFORNIS (Schiffornis turdina) [*]
ROSE-THROATED BECARD (Pachyramphus aglaiae) – Our first was a close male in the pine-savannah on our last morning at Crooked Tree.
Vireonidae (Vireos)
WHITE-EYED VIREO (Vireo griseus) – A common wintering species in Belize. Several individuals were singing.
MANGROVE VIREO (Vireo pallens) – On the Caribbean slope, this species is also found in dry forest scrub. We saw it well at Crooked Tree. The subspecies here is "salvini."
PLUMBEOUS VIREO (Vireo plumbeus) – Seen well in the Mountain Pine Ridge area, where oddly quiet. The subspecies (and potential split) is "notius."
RED-EYED VIREO (Vireo olivaceus) – A couple (not common) of transients in the Black Rock area.
YELLOW-GREEN VIREO (Vireo flavoviridis) – Very common breeding vireo in Belize, especially in the taller humid forest in the Black Rock area.
TAWNY-CROWNED GREENLET (Hylophilus ochraceiceps) – Seen nicely at El Pilar.
LESSER GREENLET (Hylophilus decurtatus) – More often heard than seen. They are often in the canopy, but we had a few down low.
RUFOUS-BROWED PEPPERSHRIKE (Cyclarhis gujanensis) [*]
Corvidae (Crows, Jays, and Magpies)
BROWN JAY (Psilorhinus morio) – Very common. Seen and heard every day.
GREEN JAY (Cyanocorax yncas) – Briefly on the road to Mountain Pine Ridge.
YUCATAN JAY (Cyanocorax yucatanicus) – This endemic was seen well at Birds Eye View Lodge on a couple of days.
Hirundinidae (Swallows)
NORTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOW (Stelgidopteryx serripennis)
PURPLE MARTIN (Progne subis) – A pair were seen during our day to El Pilar and El Aguacate. They winter in South America so these were transients.
GRAY-BREASTED MARTIN (Progne chalybea) – A common resident in Belize. Seen every day.
MANGROVE SWALLOW (Tachycineta albilinea) – Especially easy to observe on the grounds at Birds Eye View Lodge. Often perched on the barbwire fence.
BARN SWALLOW (Hirundo rustica)
Troglodytidae (Wrens)
SPOT-BREASTED WREN (Pheugopedius maculipectus) – One of the more common wrens on this tour.
CAROLINA WREN (WHITE-BROWED) (Thryothorus ludovicianus albinucha) – This possible split from Carolina Wren was seen on the big hill behind Black Rock and again near Mountain Pine Ridge. It is less rufous (more brown) above than Carolina. Song is very similar to Carolina, but the call is quite different.
HOUSE WREN (SOUTHERN) (Troglodytes aedon musculus) – Seen almost every day. Common.
WHITE-BELLIED WREN (Uropsila leucogastra) – Seen nicely near the lodge at Birds Eye View. Endemic to the Yucatan and N Honduras.
WHITE-BREASTED WOOD-WREN (Henicorhina leucosticta) – Always tough to see, but we had good looks along the entrance road to Black Rock. "Oh, jeesh, another wood-wren..." (guide sighs)
Polioptilidae (Gnatcatchers)
LONG-BILLED GNATWREN (Ramphocaenus melanurus) – We struggled to see this species well, but it was heard a bunch around Black Rock.
BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHER (Polioptila caerulea) – Pretty common wintering species in Belize.
TROPICAL GNATCATCHER (Polioptila plumbea) – One seen very nicely (nearly at eye-level) at El Pilar.
Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)
CLAY-COLORED THRUSH (Turdus grayi) – Almost every day. Common.
Mimidae (Mockingbirds and Thrashers)
GRAY CATBIRD (Dumetella carolinensis)
TROPICAL MOCKINGBIRD (Mimus gilvus) – Pretty common on this tour. South of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec this species replaces Northern Mockingbird.
Parulidae (New World Warblers)
NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH (Parkesia noveboracensis) – Very common wintering species. We had one on the grounds of Black Rock, just outside the cabins. We saw it like clock-work each morning.
BLUE-WINGED WARBLER (Vermivora cyanoptera) – A nice surprise, and very brief, was a male in a mixed species flock behind the lodge at Crooked Tree.
GOLDEN-WINGED WARBLER (Vermivora chrysoptera) – A male was in a large mixed-species flock within the ruins at El Pilar.
BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLER (Mniotilta varia) – Common. Nearly every day.
PROTHONOTARY WARBLER (Protonotaria citrea) – In the marshes and along the edge of Crooked Tree lagoon.
TENNESSEE WARBLER (Oreothlypis peregrina) – Not real common, but seen on a couple of days.
GRAY-CROWNED YELLOWTHROAT (Geothlypis poliocephala) – We picked this one up from the van along the entrance road to Black Rock.
KENTUCKY WARBLER (Geothlypis formosa) – Briefly and not seen well. Along the entrance road to Black Rock. It stayed back in the shadows and didn't approach us.
COMMON YELLOWTHROAT (Geothlypis trichas)
AMERICAN REDSTART (Setophaga ruticilla) – One of the more common wintering species in Belize. Seen every day of the tour.
MAGNOLIA WARBLER (Setophaga magnolia) – Very common on this tour. Most were still in a non-breeding plumage, but a few had begun their spring molt.
BLACKBURNIAN WARBLER (Setophaga fusca) – A pair in the Mountain Pine Ridge area.
YELLOW WARBLER (Setophaga petechia) – Around in pretty good numbers. More common in the open, drier country at Birds Eye View.
CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLER (Setophaga pensylvanica) – Fairly common, but seen only at Black Rock in the more humid forest.


A close relative of the familiar Palm and Blue-gray tanagers, the lovely Yellow-winged Tanager has a much smaller range than its widespread cousins, being found only in northern Central America and southern Mexico. (Photo by tour participants Davis & Susan Disher)

GRACE'S WARBLER (Setophaga graciae) – Fairly common in the Mountain Pine Ridge area. We also saw them in them in the pine-savannah near Birds Eye View.
BLACK-THROATED GREEN WARBLER (Setophaga virens) – Fairly common around Black Rock and other sites.
RUFOUS-CAPPED WARBLER (Basileuterus rufifrons) – This is the nominate subspecies, rufifrons. It is intermediate between northern groups (with limited chestnut on the crown and face) and southern groups (which are entirely yellow below). We saw one at Mountain Pine Ridge.
Thraupidae (Tanagers and Allies)
CRIMSON-COLLARED TANAGER (Ramphocelus sanguinolentus) – Just one briefly in the parking lot of Black Rock.
BLUE-GRAY TANAGER (Thraupis episcopus) – Common at both birding lodges.
YELLOW-WINGED TANAGER (Thraupis abbas) – Fairly common, but only at Black Rock and other sites nearby.
RED-LEGGED HONEYCREEPER (Cyanerpes cyaneus) – A nice looking bird, especially the males, that is fairly common around the Black Rock area.
GRAYISH SALTATOR (Saltator coerulescens) – Super common by voice at Crooked Tree. Seen a few times. Likes the more open, second-growth scrub.
BUFF-THROATED SALTATOR (Saltator maximus) – Seen at Black Rock. This species prefers more humid, second-growth forest.
BLACK-HEADED SALTATOR (Saltator atriceps) – Also at Black Rock.
Emberizidae (Buntings, Sparrows and Allies)
BLUE-BLACK GRASSQUIT (Volatinia jacarina) – Will we ever forget Johnny Jump Up?
WHITE-COLLARED SEEDEATER (WHITE-COLLARED) (Sporophila torqueola morelleti) – Seen every day. Common on our tour.
YELLOW-FACED GRASSQUIT (Tiaris olivaceus) – Seen well on more than a few days.
GREEN-BACKED SPARROW (Arremonops chloronotus) – Pretty common in the Black Rock area. One was constantly around the garden near the cabins. Likes the humid understory.
RUSTY SPARROW (Aimophila rufescens) – Seen poorly in flight from our van at Mountain Pine Ridge.
CHIPPING SPARROW (Spizella passerina) – In the pine-savannah at Crooked Tree and Mountain Pine Ridge.
Cardinalidae (Cardinals and Allies)
HEPATIC TANAGER (Piranga flava) – Mountain Pine Ridge only.
SUMMER TANAGER (Piranga rubra)
SCARLET TANAGER (Piranga olivacea) – One male near the pine-savannah at Crooked Tree. An uncommon migrant.
RED-CROWNED ANT-TANAGER (Habia rubica) – We had this species on the entrance road to Mountain Pine Ridge. Very similar to Red-throated, but voice is different.
RED-THROATED ANT-TANAGER (Habia fuscicauda) – More common at Black Rock than Red-crowned.
BLACK-FACED GROSBEAK (Caryothraustes poliogaster) – A few times. At Black Rock on the big hill and again on the entrance road to Mountain Pine Ridge in the taller, humid forest.
NORTHERN CARDINAL (Cardinalis cardinalis) – Hard to believe this species is found in Belize. This is the southern most extension. At Crooked Tree, but not at Black Rock.
ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK (Pheucticus ludovicianus) – Just a couple during our tour.
GRAY-THROATED CHAT (Granatellus sallaei) – A lovely looking bird. This Yucatan endemic has a sweet song, too. We heard the song and saw it well near the Birds Eye lodge.
BLUE-BLACK GROSBEAK (Cyanocompsa cyanoides) – A pair (the female is chocolate brown) along the entrance road to Black Rock.
BLUE BUNTING (Cyanocompsa parellina) – Seen in a couple of different spots, first on the big hill behind Black Rock, but again at El Pilar.
BLUE GROSBEAK (Passerina caerulea) – Not many, but a migrant group was seen in the pine-savannah near Birds Eye View Lodge.
INDIGO BUNTING (Passerina cyanea) – Lots around the Black Rock area.
Icteridae (Troupials and Allies)
RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD (Agelaius phoeniceus) – A few in the marshes at Crooked Tree.
EASTERN MEADOWLARK (Sturnella magna) – People are surprised to find this species in the tropics, but it ranges down through Central America.
MELODIOUS BLACKBIRD (Dives dives) – Very common. Every day of the tour.
GREAT-TAILED GRACKLE (Quiscalus mexicanus) – Ditto above. I love it when the males display with their heads held high. Cool.
BRONZED COWBIRD (Molothrus aeneus) – A few here and there, but found in open country and disturbed areas.
GIANT COWBIRD (Molothrus oryzivorus) – A couple were around the oropendola colony at Mountain Pine Ridge.
BLACK-COWLED ORIOLE (Icterus prosthemelas) – The common tropical oriole on this tour. Seen on several days.
ORCHARD ORIOLE (Icterus spurius) – A fairly common winter visitor to Belize. Seen a few times on this tour.
HOODED ORIOLE (Icterus cucullatus) – One at the feeders at Black Rock.
YELLOW-TAILED ORIOLE (Icterus mesomelas) – Three or four birds were in the tops of the trees along the river during our boat trip at Crooked Tree.
BALTIMORE ORIOLE (Icterus galbula) – Common. Seen almost every day.
YELLOW-BILLED CACIQUE (Amblycercus holosericeus) – This species can often be tough to see. We had several, however, in good views along the Crooked Tree lagoon.
MONTEZUMA OROPENDOLA (Psarocolius montezuma) – We saw this species at a large colony in the Mountain Pine Ridge area. One large alpha male was doing his tipping display.
Fringillidae (Siskins, Crossbills, and Allies)
SCRUB EUPHONIA (Euphonia affinis) – Not real common. Just a couple of individuals.
YELLOW-THROATED EUPHONIA (Euphonia hirundinacea) – The most common euphonia seen/heard on the tour, but only in the Black Rock area.
OLIVE-BACKED EUPHONIA (Euphonia gouldi) – Just singles. Their calls are very similar to Yellow-throated (remember when the Yellow-throated came into the tape of Olive-backed during our birding at El Pilar?). Seen at the feeders at Black Rock a few times.

MAMMALS
YUCATAN SQUIRREL (Sciurus yucatanensis)
GRAY FOX (Urocyon cinereoargenteus)

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS


Totals for the tour: 250 bird taxa and 2 mammal taxa