by Sue Hughes
In the bird list I include only those species not seen in ABA area to save time/space.
International Expeditions (independent nature travel) 1-800-633-4734, made all in-Belize arrangements for four of us. No hitches. Total cost of hotel, Lamanai Lodge, meals guides, tours/walks at Lamanai were included at approx $3,000 per couple. Radisson fort George Hotel in Belize City was remodeling, but still best in town. Meals and drinks at Radisson for three nights totalled $350 (rooms included in package cost). Breakfast was included. Other expense was $175 per couple for a day-long trip to Crooked Tree Reserve arranged by Melmish Maya and Eco-tours with excellent guide, Lincoln, and his small outboard. Lunch included. Great guide and great birds. 1/2 day would have been enough - afternoon birding was not good. Melmish telephone: 011-501-2-45221. Concierge At Radisson made all the calls for us.
Lamanai Outpost Lodge: tel/fax: 011-501-23-3578. Owners Ellen and Colin Howells. Cannot recommend highly enough. Excellent accomodations, food and guides; two boat tours of river and lagoon, tour of ruins - all included in our Lodge package. Carlos the guide is excellent. We are told by friends that Chan Chich'ls only advantage over Lamanai is the more immediate canopy and more extensive trail system through differing habitats.
Highly recommended: Belize Handbook, 1995, Moon Publications. ISBN 1-56691-030-7. This paperback guide is a gold mine of information - all you want to know abut Belize. $15.95.
Peterson field guide to Mexican birds; Webb & Howell Birds of Belize; Checklist of the birds of Belize, by Wood, Leberman and Weyer; Cassette tape - Bird songs of Belize... by Delaney. All available at ABA bookstore.
Insects: chiggers at crooked tree. No-see-ums in evening at Lamanai. We use pre-applied Permanone and Deet in the field.
Health: internationl health org. recommends protection against malaria, typhoid and hepatitis A. We did all.
Cars can be rented in Belize City, but with only three paved roads and the dirt/stone ones being bone shakes, we opted for boat up New Riuver to Lamanai - the lodge makes all arrangements. Float plane is another option. Since we did not blitz, we cannot advise on short-hop flights to other birding areas in the country. Birdlist: B=Belize City, C=Crooked tree, L=Lamanai area, including New River and road trip to Program for Belize in Orange Walk area.
Trip List Highlights:
Bare-throated tiger heron (tigrisoma mexicanum) C
Chestnut-bellied heron (agamai agami) C
Boat-billed heron (cochlearius cochlearius) -C
Lesser yellow-headed vulture (cathartes burrovianus) - on road to airport
Snail kite (rostramus sociabilis) although seen in Florida, this was almost a dirt bird - L
Great black-hawk (buteogallus urubitinga) -C
Black-collared hawk (busarellus nigricollis) -C
Roadside hawk (buteo magnirorstris) B,L,C
Collared forest-falcon (micrastur semitorquatus) L
Bat falcon (falco deiroleucus) C
Gray-neck wood rail (aramides cajanea ) C
Rufous-necked wood rail (aramides acillaris) C
Short-billed pigeon (columba nigrirostris) L
Plain-breasted ground dove (columbina minuta) L
Ruddy quail dove (geotrygon montana) L
Olive-throated parakeet [Aztec] (aratinga nana) L<C
White-crowned parrot (pionus senilis) L
White-fonted parrot (amazona albifrons) L
Squirrel cuckoo (coccyzus minor) L
Vermiculated screech owl (otus guatemalae) L
Mottled owl (cicciba virgata) L
Common potoo (nyctibius griseus) L
Cinnamon hummingbird (amazilia rutila) B<L
Purple-crowned fairy (heliothrix barroti) L
BLack-headed trogon (t.melanocephalus) L
Violaceous trogon (t.violaceus) L
Slaty-tailed trogon (t.massena) L
American pygmy kingfisher (chloroceryle aenea) C
collared aracari (pteroglossus torquatus) L
Keel-billed toucan (ramphastos sulfuratus) L
Chestnut colored woodpecker (celeus castaneus) L
Linneated woodpecker (dryocopus lineatus) L
Pale-billed woodpecker (campephilus guatemalensis) L
Ivory-billed woodcreeper (xiphorhynchus flavigaster) L
Streak-headed woodcreeper (lepidocolaptes souleyetii) L
Barred antshrike (thamnophilus doliatus) L
Yellow-bellied elaenia (elaenia flavogaster) L
Fortk-tailed flycatcher (tyrannus savanna) -B,L,C
Masked tityra (tityra semifasciata) L
Black-crowned tityra (t.inquisitor) L
Thrushlike manakin (schiffornis turdinus) - Orange walk rd.
White-collared manakin (manacus candei) L
Mangrove swallow (tachycineta albilinea) L
Spot-breasted wren (thryothorus maculipectus) L
White-bellied wren (uropsila leucogastra) L
White-throated robin (turdus assimilis) L
Tropical mockingbird (Mimus gilvus) B
Mangrove vireo (vireo pallens) C
Gray-crowned yellowthroat (geothlypis poliocephala) L [included although we did see it in Texas]
Red-legged honeycreeper (cyanerpes cyaneus) L
Yellow-throated euphona (e.hirundinacea) L
Blue-gray tanager (thraupis episcopus) L
Yellow-winged tanager) t.abbas) L
Red-throated ant-tanager (habia fuscicauda) L
Grayish saltator (saltator corerulescens) L,C
Black-headed saltator (s.atriceps) L
Blue-black grassquit (volatinia jacarina) L
Melodius blackbird (dives dives) - L,B,C
Black-cowled oriole (icterus dominicensis) L
Yellow-billed cacique (amblycercus holosericeus) C
Montezuma oropendola (psarocolius montezuma) C
N.A. migrants were numerous and enjoyable.
Total species seen = 147.
Sue W. Hughes
19903 Doyle Place East
Grosse Pointe Woods, MI