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Field Guides Tour Report
Belize 2014
Apr 6, 2014 to Apr 12, 2014
Peter Burke & Lena Senko

This Double-toothed Kite offered some fine views at Rio Frio. (Photo by guide Peter Burke)

This tour marked the return of Field Guides to two of our favorite birding locales in Belize -- Lamanai Outpost Lodge and Hidden Valley Inn. The great thing about combining both of these is that you are able to see two very different sites within a relatively short distance. Lamanai offers a combination of wetland, savannah, second growth, and primary forest in the northern lowlands, while Hidden Valley takes us to majestic vistas over broad expanses of broadleaf and pine forest in the western Mountain Pine Ridge near the Guatemalan border. As well, both sites offer more than just birds -- Lamanai is the site of one of the Mayan culture's most iconic ruins while Hidden Valley takes you into a tropical conifer ecosystem that is truly unique. Both resorts are run in a way that caters specifically to our needs as well -- great local guides who know much more than just the birds, but also the Belizean culture. The lodges also offer a comfortable, relaxing atmosphere with fine food and drink to help take the edge off of the humidity and heat of the tropics.

Every tour is unique in its particular highlights, and this trip was certainly full of great moments that we all shared. Right from the gate, the trip down the New River into Lamanai offered some super sightings, from a perched Lesser Nighthawk to a scrambling Sungrebe. As we spent more time at Lamanai we got to familiarize ourselves with the more common species, but there were those moments when we saw the spectacular pop right into view -- a perched Collared Forest-Falcon being mobbed by Brown Jays, an inquisitive Black Catbird, a raucous Yucatan Jay, and a pair of scolding Yucatan Woodpeckers. Let's not forget the fact that we were able to stand right at the base of some of the most magnificent structures of Mayan culture --the Jaguar Temple perhaps being the most stunning.

Expecting the unexpected can be a good way to prepare for a tour in Belize. Raptors are always tough to count on, but we did very well on this trip. A perched Orange-breasted Falcon is a bit of a dream sighting, so we all slept well the night after our bird put on a show of a lifetime! I think I'll never forget the Lovely Cotinga that Walter and Ricky produced at Slate Creek Valley -- an electric blue buzz that floated in the middle of the telescope view for over 10 minutes. That is a tough bird to see almost anywhere in its range!

Even familiar species were more than entertaining for our group on this trip -- flocks of Barn Swallows migrating northwards, loose groups of Blue Grosbeaks in weedy areas, treetops full of Orchard Orioles preparing to head northwards after filling up on pollen and insects. So many of the resident birds constantly offer repeated views of their splashy colors -- just what a birder is asking for!

A quick week in Belize after a long winter can be just the right thing to put one's frame of mind into spring. Lena and I hope you enjoyed the tour and all of its exciting moments. We'd like to say 'thank you' for joining us and we hope to see you again out on the birding trail!


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

Tinamidae (Tinamous)
GREAT TINAMOU (Tinamus major) – We heard a few at Rio Frio but only Ricky had the luck of one crossing the road in front of him when he fetched the vehicle for us.
SLATY-BREASTED TINAMOU (Crypturellus boucardi) – Heard clearly at Rio Frio Caves
Anatidae (Ducks, Geese, and Waterfowl)
BLACK-BELLIED WHISTLING-DUCK (Dendrocygna autumnalis) – The first shuttle to Lamanai had a small group along the highway.
MUSCOVY DUCK (Cairina moschata) – A few birds flying around New River Lagoon.
BLUE-WINGED TEAL (Anas discors) – A group migrating overland at Hidden Valley was a nice evening surprise.
Cracidae (Guans, Chachalacas, and Curassows)
PLAIN CHACHALACA (Ortalis vetula) – Seen and heard at both locations during the tour.
Podicipedidae (Grebes)
LEAST GREBE (Tachybaptus dominicus) – A single on a creek near Rio Frio.
Ciconiidae (Storks)
JABIRU (Jabiru mycteria) – The second shuttle from Hidden Valley found an adult along the Western Highway feeding with Egrets.
Phalacrocoracidae (Cormorants and Shags)

Continuing on the raptor theme, this Laughing Falcon gave us full view of the predator-prey relationship (better in this case to be the predator!). (Photo by guide Peter Burke)

NEOTROPIC CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax brasilianus) – Common at Lamanai.
Anhingidae (Anhingas)
ANHINGA (Anhinga anhinga) – Many birds flying in to New River lagoon while we were there.
Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)
BARE-THROATED TIGER-HERON (Tigrisoma mexicanum) – Several flushed as well as a distantly seen perched bird at Lamanai.
GREAT BLUE HERON (Ardea herodias) – Lamanai.
GREAT EGRET (Ardea alba)
LITTLE BLUE HERON (Egretta caerulea) – Small numbers at Lamanai.
CATTLE EGRET (Bubulcus ibis)
GREEN HERON (Butorides virescens)
BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON (Nycticorax nycticorax) – An adult at Lamanai flushed along Butler Creek.
BOAT-BILLED HERON (Cochlearius cochlearius) – Nice looks at perched birds along New River.
Threskiornithidae (Ibises and Spoonbills)
WHITE IBIS (Eudocimus albus) – Incoming roosting birds in the evening at Lamanai.
ROSEATE SPOONBILL (Platalea ajaja) – A couple of flying birds along Dawson Creek.
Cathartidae (New World Vultures)
BLACK VULTURE (Coragyps atratus)
TURKEY VULTURE (Cathartes aura)
LESSER YELLOW-HEADED VULTURE (Cathartes burrovianus) – Wonderful views of a low soaring adult and a perched immature along Butler Creek.
KING VULTURE (Sarcoramphus papa) – The number of birds at King Vulture Falls both perched and in the air was truly impressive.
Pandionidae (Osprey)
OSPREY (Pandion haliaetus)
Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)
GRAY-HEADED KITE (Leptodon cayanensis) – A soaring adult at the Rio Frio Caves entrance.
SWALLOW-TAILED KITE (Elanoides forficatus) – A number of birds on the Mountain Pine Ridge.
SNAIL KITE (Rostrhamus sociabilis) – Several along New River.
DOUBLE-TOOTHED KITE (Harpagus bidentatus) – Superb scope viewing of a perched adult at Rio Frio.
PLUMBEOUS KITE (Ictinia plumbea) – Several great looks of this elegant raptor.
ROADSIDE HAWK (Rupornis magnirostris) – Widespread.
GRAY HAWK (Buteo plagiatus) – A couple of birds including an incubating bird at Hidden Valley.
SHORT-TAILED HAWK (Buteo brachyurus) – A couple of dark morphs on the Mountain Pine Ridge.
Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)
RUDDY CRAKE (Laterallus ruber) – A couple of birds gave their rattle call at New River lagoon.
PURPLE GALLINULE (Porphyrio martinicus) – A bird was seen by the second group coming into Lamanai.
Heliornithidae (Finfoots)
SUNGREBE (Heliornis fulica) – Several seen along the New River; including one that climbed into a bush and perched.
Aramidae (Limpkin)
LIMPKIN (Aramus guarauna) – Common at Lamanai.
Jacanidae (Jacanas)
NORTHERN JACANA (Jacana spinosa)
Scolopacidae (Sandpipers and Allies)
SOLITARY SANDPIPER (Tringa solitaria) – One along New River heading north.
LESSER YELLOWLEGS (Tringa flavipes) – Two birds flying over the pine savannah at Lamanai were mostly likely this species.
Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)
ROCK PIGEON (Columba livia)
PALE-VENTED PIGEON (Patagioenas cayennensis) – Several during the tour.
SCALED PIGEON (Patagioenas speciosa) – Birds were seen flying over at Hidden Valley but never seemed to perch for us!
RED-BILLED PIGEON (Patagioenas flavirostris) – Good views at Lamanai of perched birds.
SHORT-BILLED PIGEON (Patagioenas nigrirostris) – Calling birds at Rio Frio and Mountain Pine Ridge.

A comfortable evening outing on the lagoon at Lamanai (Photo by guide Peter Burke)

PLAIN-BREASTED GROUND-DOVE (Columbina minuta) – A single perched for good views at Lamanai pine savannah.
RUDDY GROUND-DOVE (Columbina talpacoti) – Common at Lamanai.
BLUE GROUND-DOVE (Claravis pretiosa) – Calling at Rio Frio and on the MPR.
WHITE-TIPPED DOVE (Leptotila verreauxi) – Good views at Hidden Valley.
GRAY-HEADED DOVE (Leptotila plumbeiceps) – Calling at Lamanai and Rio Frio but this retiring forest dove was never seen.
Cuculidae (Cuckoos)
SQUIRREL CUCKOO (Piaya cayana) – Good views of birds at Lamanai and Rio Frio.
GROOVE-BILLED ANI (Crotophaga sulcirostris) – Good views of birds at Lamanai and along roadsides.
Strigidae (Owls)
FERRUGINOUS PYGMY-OWL (Glaucidium brasilianum) – Beverly made a terrific spot of a perched bird at Lamanai. What a great view!!!
Caprimulgidae (Nightjars and Allies)
LESSER NIGHTHAWK (Chordeiles acutipennis) – Jorge brought us up to a perched bird on the New River going in to Lamanai. What a view!
COMMON NIGHTHAWK (Chordeiles minor) – Early returning breeders to the Mountain Pine Ridge were already displaying at Hidden Valley.
Apodidae (Swifts)
WHITE-COLLARED SWIFT (Streptoprocne zonaris) – Great looks at a very impressive swift at the MPR.
CHIMNEY SWIFT (Chaetura pelagica) – A small group of migrants went over at Lamanai that Bev, Lena and I spotted one afternoon.
LESSER SWALLOW-TAILED SWIFT (Panyptila cayennensis) – Good views of this slender swift at Lamanai and Rio Frio.
Trochilidae (Hummingbirds)
STRIPE-THROATED HERMIT (Phaethornis striigularis) – A sneaky forest hummer that buzzed us at Lamanai our last morning.
PURPLE-CROWNED FAIRY (Heliothryx barroti) – Superb views of a bird making a nest at Lamanai. Those white tail feathers shone like a beacon!
RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD (Archilochus colubris) – A couple of migrant females at Lamanai.
WEDGE-TAILED SABREWING (Campylopterus curvipennis) – Quick views of an adult at Rio Frio caves entrance.
WHITE-BELLIED EMERALD (Amazilia candida) – Rio Frio caves gave us a couple of looks at this forest hummer.
AZURE-CROWNED HUMMINGBIRD (Amazilia cyanocephala) – Some good viewing of birds at the Hidden Valley feeders and some forest sites.
RUFOUS-TAILED HUMMINGBIRD (Amazilia tzacatl) – The common hummer of the trip.
Trogonidae (Trogons)
SLATY-TAILED TROGON (Trogon massena) – A pair excavating a termite nest at Lamanai offered remarkable views of termites crawling all over the male's bill.
BLACK-HEADED TROGON (Trogon melanocephalus) – A sharp trogon that gave some great views in the scope.
GARTERED TROGON (Trogon caligatus) – Formerly known as Violaceous Trogon; this is a bird of northern Central America. We saw it well at Lamanai outside of the lodge.
COLLARED TROGON (Trogon collaris) – Super views of a pair at Rio Frio; the hardest of Belize's trogons to find.
Momotidae (Motmots)
TODY MOTMOT (Hylomanes momotula) – A calling bird eluded us at Butterfly Falls near Hidden Valley. Quite a difficult bird to spot, we heard another briefly at Rio Frio.
BLUE-CROWNED MOTMOT (LESSON'S) (Momotus coeruliceps exiguus) – Walter picked out a perched bird at Rio Frio; this is a northern form that may merit species status in the near future.
Alcedinidae (Kingfishers)

This Green Shrike-Vireo and its mate put on quite a show for us at the same site as the Double-toothed Kite -- what a great bird! (Photo by guide Peter Burke)

RINGED KINGFISHER (Megaceryle torquata) – Several along the New River.
GREEN KINGFISHER (Chloroceryle americana) – A couple along the New River.
AMERICAN PYGMY KINGFISHER (Chloroceryle aenea) – Wow! Great views of a male along Dawson Creek at Lamanai.
Galbulidae (Jacamars)
RUFOUS-TAILED JACAMAR (Galbula ruficauda) – A spectacular pair of these 'hummers on steroids' (as Rueben called them) at Lamanai.
Ramphastidae (Toucans)
EMERALD TOUCANET (Aulacorhynchus prasinus) – Although it stayed in the treetops, we saw this species well at the Rio Frio caves.
COLLARED ARACARI (Pteroglossus torquatus) – These funny looking toucans were observed occasionally through the week.
KEEL-BILLED TOUCAN (Ramphastos sulfuratus) – Belize's national bird, we had our first encounter with it along the Chiribiqui Road into Hidden Valley. A few more here and there in the MPR.
Picidae (Woodpeckers)
ACORN WOODPECKER (Melanerpes formicivorus) – Common on the MPR.
YUCATAN WOODPECKER (Melanerpes pygmaeus) – A nice score during our evening boat trip at Lamanai; we persuaded a nice pair to come to the edge of the lake for excellent views.
GOLDEN-FRONTED WOODPECKER (EAST MEXICO) (Melanerpes aurifrons dubius) – Widespread
SMOKY-BROWN WOODPECKER (Picoides fumigatus) – After a few quick glimpses we caught up with several at Rio Frio.
GOLDEN-OLIVE WOODPECKER (Colaptes rubiginosus) – A bird attracted by pygmy-owl calls at Hidden Valley.
LINEATED WOODPECKER (Dryocopus lineatus) – Good views of this big woodpecker at Lamanai. We encountered a few more in the area of the lodge.
PALE-BILLED WOODPECKER (Campephilus guatemalensis) – The other 'big woodpecker' of Belize; we saw a pair along the airstrip road at Lamanai and heard others giving their 'double-rap'.
Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)
COLLARED FOREST-FALCON (Micrastur semitorquatus) – An incredible view of a bird being mobbed by Brown Jays at Lamanai on the grounds of the ruins. This was a brown morph adult.
LAUGHING FALCON (Herpetotheres cachinnans) – Some great viewing of this unique bird, including a pair with a freshly killed vine snake.
APLOMADO FALCON (Falco femoralis) – Rueben spotted an adult leaving the savannah and flying over New River Lagoon for its morning hunt as we headed out on our boat trip. He expertly turned the boat and we followed it as best we could.
BAT FALCON (Falco rufigularis) – Perched adults along the edge of New River lagoon at Lamanai as well views of it chasing swallows around the lodge. We were able to study the structure which was very helpful to compare with the next species!
ORANGE-BREASTED FALCON (Falco deiroleucus) – Whoa!! Its not every tour to Belize that we get to study a perched male OBFA!!! This trusting male (unbanded) sat long enough for all to study, photograph and even quickly sketch before we left it in it's peaceful perch overlooking King Vulture Falls.
Psittacidae (Parrots)
OLIVE-THROATED PARAKEET (AZTEC) (Aratinga nana astec) – Widespread and regularly seen in small groups. We had good looks at perched birds.
WHITE-FRONTED PARROT (Amazona albifrons) – Super views of an adult feeding a young bird and others as well at Lamanai.
YELLOW-LORED PARROT (Amazona xantholora) – A single male perched out in the open at the Lamanai pine savannah, giving the opportunity to separate it from White-fronted Parrot.
RED-LORED PARROT (Amazona autumnalis) – The widespread parrot of this tour.
MEALY PARROT (Amazona farinosa) – A distant flying bird eventually perched for us at Slate Creek Valley. It's loud call gave it away.
Thamnophilidae (Typical Antbirds)
BARRED ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus doliatus) – We brought in a pair at Lamanai our last morning there.
Formicariidae (Antthrushes)
BLACK-FACED ANTTHRUSH (MEXICAN) (Formicarius analis moniliger) – Calling birds in both Lamanai and Rio Frio just wouldn't cooperate for us when we tried to pull them in. This is a shy ground dwelling forest bird.
Furnariidae (Ovenbirds and Woodcreepers)
OLIVACEOUS WOODCREEPER (Sittasomus griseicapillus) – A couple of singles at Lamanai and Rio Frio.
NORTHERN BARRED-WOODCREEPER (Dendrocolaptes sanctithomae) – This sharp looking woodcreeper came in well for brief looks at Lamanai.

This female Slaty-tailed Trogon and her mate were busily excavating a nest hole. (Photo by guide Peter Burke)

IVORY-BILLED WOODCREEPER (Xiphorhynchus flavigaster) – Despite hearing them in many places, it took a while to find a cooperative bird at Rio Frio that offered us good looks.
BUFF-THROATED FOLIAGE-GLEANER (Automolus ochrolaemus) – A trio of birds came in tantalizingly close at Rio Frio but just wouldn't offer more than a quick pass overhead. However we didn't go much further before another offered us much nicer viewing inside the forest.
RUFOUS-BREASTED SPINETAIL (Synallaxis erythrothorax) – A skulker of thick vegetation, we heard a couple of these along the New River lagoon.
Tyrannidae (Tyrant Flycatchers)
YELLOW-BELLIED TYRANNULET (Ornithion semiflavum) – This tree-top dweller came in overhead at Lamanai but remained furtive while we were distracted by some other birds.
NORTHERN BEARDLESS-TYRANNULET (Camptostoma imberbe) – A calling bird at the Lamanai savannah that refused to come closer for views.
GREENISH ELAENIA (Myiopagis viridicata) – This drab forest flycatcher (one of a few!) was seen at Rio Frio by a few.
YELLOW-BELLIED ELAENIA (Elaenia flavogaster) – A rather spiffy open country small flycatcher with a great hair-do. In fact we remarked how similar it's crest was to our young guide at Lamanai, Abdul.
OCHRE-BELLIED FLYCATCHER (Mionectes oleagineus) – A forest flycatcher that we saw well at Rio Frio.
NORTHERN BENTBILL (Oncostoma cinereigulare) – This is one of the smallest flycatchers that give a plaintive, dry rattle. We had good looks at Lamanai and heard a few at Rio Frio.
COMMON TODY-FLYCATCHER (Todirostrum cinereum) – A bird at our lunch stop at Cheers restaurant gave a few of us the opportunity to see this small attractive flycatcher. It was heard a number of times along the New River lagoon.
EYE-RINGED FLATBILL (Rhynchocyclus brevirostris) – Yet another forest flycatcher, but this one has a big, wide bill and tends to sit rather still. We saw it well at Rio Frio.
YELLOW-OLIVE FLYCATCHER (Tolmomyias sulphurescens) – Perhaps the most common small forest flycatcher, and one of the least well marked. We saw them a few times, as well as their small, hanging dark nests.
STUB-TAILED SPADEBILL (Platyrinchus cancrominus) – Lena pulled one in at Rio Frio but only a couple folks saw this tiny, short-tailed flycatcher of the understory.
EASTERN WOOD-PEWEE (Contopus virens) – Several of these familiar birds were seen at our stops, getting ready to head northwards.
TROPICAL PEWEE (Contopus cinereus) – Nice studies of this species at Hidden Valley.
YELLOW-BELLIED FLYCATCHER (Empidonax flaviventris) – Wintering birds that are quite common in forested habitat in Belize, much more often heard giving their loud call notes. Some brief views.
ACADIAN FLYCATCHER (Empidonax virescens) – One bird we saw well along the Rio Frio road was felt to be this species, which was migrating north from points further south.
VERMILION FLYCATCHER (Pyrocephalus rubinus) – Males and females were seen in open areas along the Western Highway.
BRIGHT-RUMPED ATTILA (Attila spadiceus) – A large-headed, loud flycatcher of the dark forest; Lena brought in a nice pair at Lamanai.
DUSKY-CAPPED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus tuberculifer) – The smallest Myarchis flycatcher in Belize; here it has rufous in the wings (unlike other parts of its range).
GREAT CRESTED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus crinitus) – We heard a couple and saw one.
BROWN-CRESTED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus tyrannulus) – This is the common large Myarchis of open and forest habitats of Belize.
GREAT KISKADEE (Pitangus sulphuratus)
BOAT-BILLED FLYCATCHER (Megarynchus pitangua) – A Kiskadee look-alike that we saw well at Lamanai.
SOCIAL FLYCATCHER (Myiozetetes similis) – Common.
SULPHUR-BELLIED FLYCATCHER (Myiodynastes luteiventris) – A migrant that had just arrived back in Belize within the past couple of weeks. They were present all along the route.
PIRATIC FLYCATCHER (Legatus leucophaius) – A pair at a roadside stop going into Hidden Valley offered great views. This is another breeder that had just arrived back in Belize.
TROPICAL KINGBIRD (Tyrannus melancholicus)
COUCH'S KINGBIRD (Tyrannus couchii) – Outnumbered by Tropical Kingbird, these two are practically identical in appearance but give different calls. We had them in greater numbers at the MPR.
FORK-TAILED FLYCATCHER (Tyrannus savana) – Roadside birds just outside the airport for the first shuttle to Lamanai.
Cotingidae (Cotingas)

It's not the sharpest pic, but it's unmistakeable: a digiscoped shot of the male Lovely Cotinga that we saw so well! (Photo by guide Peter Burke)

LOVELY COTINGA (Cotinga amabilis) – What a great surprise!! Ricky Romero of Hidden Valley took us to a spot he had seen them recently and there was a spanking male perched in plain view when we arrived. Incredible!!!
Tityridae (Tityras and Allies)
MASKED TITYRA (Tityra semifasciata) – The weird calls of this bird are surpassed by their odd appearance- we saw them well at Hidden Valley.
BROWN-WINGED SCHIFFORNIS (Schiffornis turdina) – Calling birds were heard at both locations but we did pull in a single at Rio Frio for pretty good views.
ROSE-THROATED BECARD (Pachyramphus aglaiae) – A nice pair at Lamanai along the road to the airstrip.
Vireonidae (Vireos)
WHITE-EYED VIREO (Vireo griseus) – Singles were seen a couple days at Lamanai.
MANGROVE VIREO (Vireo pallens) – A pair came in well along the shores of New River lagoon during our evening boat ride.
RED-EYED VIREO (Vireo olivaceus) – Migrants moving north were seen and heard at both of our stops.
YELLOW-GREEN VIREO (Vireo flavoviridis) – This species had recently returned to Belize, singing in many places we visited. It was tough to get a good look at them however!
TAWNY-CROWNED GREENLET (Hylophilus ochraceiceps) – Several along the Rio Frio road.
LESSER GREENLET (Hylophilus decurtatus) – Commonly heard and seen.
GREEN SHRIKE-VIREO (Vireolanius pulchellus) – Fantastic views of a scolding pair while we watched a perched Double-toothed Kite at Rio Frio!! Both of the leaders had never seen this species so well; powdery blue foreheads and their yellow eye-cresent are features not normally seen from below (the usual viewing situation).
RUFOUS-BROWED PEPPERSHRIKE (Cyclarhis gujanensis) – heard clearly in the Lamanai savannah but not seen.
Corvidae (Crows, Jays, and Magpies)
BROWN JAY (Psilorhinus morio) – Common yet loveable birds!
GREEN JAY (Cyanocorax yncas) – A nice trio at Butterfly Trail near Hidden Valley.
YUCATAN JAY (Cyanocorax yucatanicus) – A young bird at the Lamanai savannah was simply stunning in the early morning light.
Hirundinidae (Swallows)
NORTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOW (Stelgidopteryx serripennis) – Common breeder.
PURPLE MARTIN (Progne subis) – Migrants moving north.
GRAY-BREASTED MARTIN (Progne chalybea) – Common breeder that frequents human habitations.
MANGROVE SWALLOW (Tachycineta albilinea) – Common at Lamanai.
BARN SWALLOW (Hirundo rustica) – Many migrants moving north- a wonderful species to observe in active migration.
Troglodytidae (Wrens)
HOUSE WREN (SOUTHERN) (Troglodytes aedon musculus) – Watch for a split of this southern form of House Wren.
SPOT-BREASTED WREN (Pheugopedius maculipectus) – The common wren of Belize.
PLAIN WREN (Cantorchilus modestus) – While we took in the OBFA, a male Plain Wren sang away, but when we turned our attention to him, the bird got quiet.
WHITE-BELLIED WREN (Uropsila leucogastra) – Calling birds at Rio Frio and Lamanai never seemed to respond well to playback.
WHITE-BREASTED WOOD-WREN (Henicorhina leucosticta) – Only a few of us got to see this skulker at Rio Frio; they were heard at a number of locations.
Polioptilidae (Gnatcatchers)
LONG-BILLED GNATWREN (Ramphocaenus melanurus) – Another skulker that eventually offered some views to those who persisted. Heard at a number of locations.
BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHER (Polioptila caerulea) – A bird in the Lamanai savannah.
TROPICAL GNATCATCHER (Polioptila plumbea) – A singing male along Rio Frio road.
Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)
SWAINSON'S THRUSH (Catharus ustulatus) – We heard a singing bird at Butterfly Falls trail. This bird would have been moving north from wintering grounds in South America.
CLAY-COLORED THRUSH (Turdus grayi) – Common.
Mimidae (Mockingbirds and Thrashers)
GRAY CATBIRD (Dumetella carolinensis)
BLACK CATBIRD (Melanoptila glabrirostris) – Rueben expertly took us to a bird that offered super views - this endemic to the Yucatan peninsula is a difficult bird to find in most of Belize.
TROPICAL MOCKINGBIRD (Mimus gilvus) – Along the Western Highway.
Parulidae (New World Warblers)
NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH (Parkesia noveboracensis) – Wintering birds still present in numbers.
GOLDEN-WINGED WARBLER (Vermivora chrysoptera) – A nice male at Rio Frio.
BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLER (Mniotilta varia) – Seen at several locations.
TENNESSEE WARBLER (Oreothlypis peregrina) – Migrant numbers are building at this time in Belize; we saw a few in several warbler flocks.
GRAY-CROWNED YELLOWTHROAT (Geothlypis poliocephala) – Singing birds in the Lamanai savannah proved difficult to see well!
COMMON YELLOWTHROAT (Geothlypis trichas) – A couple of birds in lakeside vegetation at New River lagoon.
AMERICAN REDSTART (Setophaga ruticilla) – Males and females in several warbler flocks.
MAGNOLIA WARBLER (Setophaga magnolia) – The most common wintering warbler in Belize; many were changing into breeding plumage.
YELLOW WARBLER (Setophaga petechia) – Similar to Magnolia, many birds we saw were molting into alternate plumage.
CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLER (Setophaga pensylvanica) – A few birds at Rio Frio.
YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER (Setophaga dominica) – Janet had a bird at the Lamanai boat launch along the Northern Highway.
BLACK-THROATED GREEN WARBLER (Setophaga virens) – Several birds in migrant warbler flocks; one was even singing already!
RUFOUS-CAPPED WARBLER (Basileuterus rufifrons) – A brief look at a bird along the Caracol road.
GOLDEN-CROWNED WARBLER (Basileuterus culicivorus) – Several along the Rio Frio road.
Thraupidae (Tanagers and Allies)
CRIMSON-COLLARED TANAGER (Ramphocelus sanguinolentus) – One of the vehicles had a couple along the Caracol Road going into Rio Frio.
BLUE-GRAY TANAGER (Thraupis episcopus) – Several around Lamanai.
YELLOW-WINGED TANAGER (Thraupis abbas) – Also present in small numbers at Lamanai.
RED-LEGGED HONEYCREEPER (Cyanerpes cyaneus) – This forest jewel was present at many spots; the males had mostly molted into fantastic breeding plumage.
BLUE-BLACK GRASSQUIT (Volatinia jacarina) – A couple of birds around Lamanai.
WHITE-COLLARED SEEDEATER (WHITE-COLLARED) (Sporophila torqueola morelleti) – A common species of secondary growth/ human habitation.
YELLOW-FACED GRASSQUIT (Tiaris olivaceus) – A male gave good viewing at Hidden Valley.
GRAYISH SALTATOR (Saltator coerulescens) – A couple of singing birds at Lamanai seen distantly.
BLACK-HEADED SALTATOR (Saltator atriceps) – Seen well at Lamanai and Hidden Valley.
Emberizidae (Buntings and New World Sparrows)
OLIVE SPARROW (Arremonops rufivirgatus) – It took some patience but we drew out a male at the Lamanai savannah.
GREEN-BACKED SPARROW (Arremonops chloronotus) – The forest equivilent of Olive Sparrow; common at both locations.
RUSTY SPARROW (Aimophila rufescens) – A handsome sparrow, common on the MPR.
BOTTERI'S SPARROW (Peucaea botterii) – A specialist of Belize's northern pine savannah; we saw them well at the Lamanai savannah.
CHIPPING SPARROW (Spizella passerina) – One of the southernmost populations of this species where it is a permanent resident. We saw them along the Caracol road.
GRASSHOPPER SPARROW (Ammodramus savannarum) – Another bird with a disjunct population in this part of Central America; these are brightly colored forms of this species. We saw it well at Lamanai savannah.
Cardinalidae (Cardinals and Allies)
HEPATIC TANAGER (Piranga flava) – We saw a few at Hidden Valley and the MPR.
SUMMER TANAGER (Piranga rubra) – A common wintering bird; we saw them regularly.
RED-THROATED ANT-TANAGER (Habia fuscicauda) – A forest tanager; we saw them well at Rio Frio and heard them at Lamanai.
BLACK-FACED GROSBEAK (Caryothraustes poliogaster) – A smart-looking bird that we saw well at Butterfly Falls Trail; more of a Saltator than a Grosbeak!
NORTHERN CARDINAL (Cardinalis cardinalis) – Seemingly out of place in the vegetation along the edge of New River lagoon.
ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK (Pheucticus ludovicianus) – A few migrants on the MPR.
GRAY-THROATED CHAT (Granatellus sallaei) – Yeah!! A trio of birds came into playback well at Rio Frio.
BLUE BUNTING (Cyanocompsa parellina) – Seen briefly at Lamanai and Rio Frio.
BLUE GROSBEAK (Passerina caerulea) – A nice showing of this attractive migrant; we saw a great flock of about a dozen near Hidden Valley one evening.
INDIGO BUNTING (Passerina cyanea) – Seen throughout the trip, mostly at Lamanai.
Icteridae (Troupials and Allies)
RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD (Agelaius phoeniceus) – A southern, permanent population of this species, the males give a weak, squeaky song and the birds are, in general markedly smaller than North American birds. We saw them at Lamanai.
EASTERN MEADOWLARK (Sturnella magna) – Another bird with a permanent, outlier population. We saw some singing males at Lamanai savannah. Watch for a future possible split.
MELODIOUS BLACKBIRD (Dives dives) – Widespread.
GREAT-TAILED GRACKLE (Quiscalus mexicanus)
BRONZED COWBIRD (Molothrus aeneus) – A couple of males in Lamanai.
GIANT COWBIRD (Molothrus oryzivorus) – A brood parasite of Montezuma Oropendola; we saw them at Rio Frio in an Oropendola colony.
BLACK-COWLED ORIOLE (Icterus prosthemelas) – We saw them well at Lamanai.
ORCHARD ORIOLE (Icterus spurius) – Large groups of migrants at Lamanai, moving through in impressive numbers.
HOODED ORIOLE (Icterus cucullatus) – This is the brightest subspecies of Hooded Oriole ; the males are an intensity of orange that must be seen to be believed!
YELLOW-BACKED ORIOLE (Icterus chrysater) – Super looks at Hidden Valley as well as the Lamanai savannah. A superb oriole.
YELLOW-TAILED ORIOLE (Icterus mesomelas) – A trio of birds in Indian Village near Lamanai. Just as thrilling as Yellow-backed Oriole!
BALTIMORE ORIOLE (Icterus galbula) – Seen occasionally.
YELLOW-BILLED CACIQUE (Amblycercus holosericeus) – We had furtive pair at Lamanai skulking in undergrowth.
MONTEZUMA OROPENDOLA (Psarocolius montezuma) – The colony at Rio Frio was memorable in that the birds just went along doing what they do while we watched just 50 feet away!
Fringillidae (Siskins, Crossbills, and Allies)
YELLOW-THROATED EUPHONIA (Euphonia hirundinacea) – Some great views at Lamanai.
OLIVE-BACKED EUPHONIA (Euphonia gouldi) – A treetop Euphonia that we saw well in the Lamanai ruins.
BLACK-HEADED SISKIN (Spinus notatus) – Out in the open pine of the Hidden Valley grounds we saw a few of these sharp looking siskins.

YUCATAN HOWLER MONKEY (Alouatta pigra) – Who can forget these noisy primates at Lamanai? Or maybe you want to.... : )
YUCATAN SQUIRREL (Sciurus yucatanensis) – A brief view of this shy forest squirrel for some.
WHITE-NOSED COATI (Nasua narica) – A couple at Lamanai.
WHITE-LIPPED PECCARY (Tayassu pecari) – We could smell this species at the Lamanai ruins!
WHITE-TAILED DEER (Odocoileus virginianus) – One jumped out in front of the lead vehicle at Hidden Valley.


Totals for the tour: 218 bird taxa and 5 mammal taxa