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December, 1998

by Tom and Carol Bishop

For my trip to Belize this December, I merged together 3 birdlists from the archives (winter only), to help me study the birds I was likely to see.  I also added the plate number from Howell and Webb, some Christmas count numbers, comments from the bird lists, and the latin and common names.  A combination of all this data was surprisingly accurate in forecasting the birds we saw.  Since we came back, I add the birds we saw.  Be forewarned that these data won't be as helpful in S.Belize or in the summer.

We loved Belize, the birds, the country, the people, the weather.

We decided to go to a minimum of places and relax.  We birded steadily but only about 1/2 of the day.  We did not go on a tour, thus saving money, and relaxing more.  I think we would have seen more birds on a tour, but not that many more, and we used local guides (excellent) quite a bit.  We stayed at ChanChich for 7 days, which was wonderful.  It is a little expensive, but for us (3 in a cabana designed for 2) it worked out.  The food was great, water ok (as everywhere we went), and people very nice, particularly the guides Gilberto and Luis.

We stayed at Caribbean Villa on Ambergris Caye for 4 days, and this was great too.  Snorkeling there was wonderful, and a productive birdpath too.  The salt water was good to heal all the bug bites we were accumulating.  Alphonso was a great guide and boatman, we were handling nurse sharks out there.  We stayed at Colton House in Belize City for 2 days.  It was wonderful, inexpensive, and a safe neighborhood.  From there, in the day, we went to Crooked Tree, where we met Robert Crawford; he took us the next day to the Belize Zoo and Monkey Bay.

Altogether, 219 species of birds; favorites were the Trogons, Toucans, Tanagers, and Manikins, as well as the variety of flycatchers.  We also saw a lot of tropical fish, redrocket deer, tarantulas, gray fox, kinkajou, howler monkeys, spider monkeys, possums, basilisks, leafcutter and army ants, rhinoceros beetles, coatis, brown toads, green tree frogs, green iguanas (huge), and various dogs and cats.

If you go, bring Peterson's more portable Mexico book, or perhaps cut out the more detailed plates from Howell and Webb and bind them.  Bring long-sleeve shirts and pants, as the no-see-ums and mosquitos seem to get you no matter what you lather on your skin.  You wont need as many clothes as you think, but you will need more money.

Here is the list of birds seen:

C is ChanChich;
A is Ambergris Caye/Belize City; and
T is Crooked Tree/Belize Zoo/Monkey Bay.

If any one wants my total spreadsheet of tons of information on Belize birds, I will be glad to send.  It is an EXCEL spreadsheet.


T1 Boat-billed Heron  (Cochlearius cochlearia)
C1A2 Yellow-crowned Night-Heron (Nyctanassa violacea)
T1 Black-crowned Night-Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax)
C1 Hook-billed Kite (Chondrohierax uncinatus)
C5A1T2 Roadside Hawk  (Buteo magnirostris)
C1 Grey Hawk  (Asturina plagiata)
C1 Short-tailed Hawk  (Buteo brachyurus)
C1T1 Great Black-Hawk (Buteogallus urubitinga)
C1T1 Black-collared Hawk  (Busarellus nigricollis)
T1 Snail Kite (Rostrhamus sociabilis)
C1A1T2 Common Black-Hawk  (Buteogallus anthracinus)
C4 Ornate Hawk-Eagle  (Spizaetus ornatus)
C2 Black Hawk-Eagle (Spizaetus tyrannus)
C2 White Hawk (Leucopternis albicollis)
C4 Bat Falcon (Falco rufigularis)
C1T1 Laughing Falcon  (Herpetotheres cachinnans)
C2 King Vulture (Sarcoramphus papa)
T2 Lesser Yellow-headed Vulture (Cathartes b. burrovianus)
C2T2 Black Vulture  (Coragyps atratus)
C7A1T2 Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura)
A1T1 Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus)
C6 Crested Guan (Penelope purpurascens)
C2 Great Curassow (Crax rubra)
C2T1 Plain Chachalaca (Ortalis vetula)
C7 Ocellated Turkey (Agriocharis ocellata)
C1 Great Tinamou  (Tinamus major)
C4 Short-billed Pigeon  (Columba nigrirostris)
C1 Blue Ground-Dove (Claravis pretiosa)
T1 Plain-breasted Ground-Dove  (Columbina minuta)
C2A2T2 Ruddy Ground-Dove  (Columbina talpacoti)
A3 Common Ground-Dove (Columbina passerina)
T1 White-tipped Dove  (Leptotila verreauxi)
C3 Grey-fronted (-headed) Dove  (Leptotila rufaxilla)
A2 White-winged Dove  (Zenaida asiatica)
C7 Mealy Parrot (Amazona farinosa)
C2 White-crowned Parrot (Pionus senilis)
C7T1 Red-lored Parrot (Amazona autumnalis)
C2 White-fronted Parrot (Amazona albifrons)
C1A2T2 Olive-throated (Aztec)  (Parakeet Aratinga nana)
C5 Squirrel Cuckoo  (Piaya cayana)
T1 Groove-billed Ani  (Crotophaga sulcirostris)
C1 Mottled Owl  (Strix virgata)
C1 Grey (Common,Northern) Potoo (Nyctibius griseus)
C7 Pauraque (Nyctidromus albicollis)
C1 Lesser Swallow-tailed Swift  (Panyptila cayennensis)
C2 Vaux's Swift (Chaetura vauxi)
C1 Scaly-breasted Hummingbird (Phaeochroa cuvierii)
C6 Little Hermit  (Phaethornis longuemareus)
C3 Long-tailed Hermit (Phaethornis superciliosus)
C1 Wedge-tailed Sabrewing (Campylopterus curvipennis)
C5 Purple-crowned Fairy (Heliothryx barroti)
C7T2 Rufous-tailed Hummingbird (Amazilia tzacatl)
A3T1 Cinnamon Hummingbird (Amazilia rutila)
C2 Black-headed Trogon  (Trogon melanocephalus)
C6 Slaty-tailed Trogon  (Trogon massena)
C4 Violaceous Trogon  (Trogon violaceus)
C7T1 Collared Aracari (Pteroglossus torquatus)
C6 Keel-billed Toucan (Ramphastos sulfuratus)
C3 Rufous-tailed Jacamar  (Galbula ruficauda)
C1 White-whiskered Puffbird (Malacoptila panamensis)
C1 White-necked Puffbird  (Notharchus macrorhynchos)
C1 Tody Motmot  (Hylomanes momotula)
T2 Belted Kingfisher  (Megaceryle alcyon)
C2A1T2 Ringed Kingfisher  (Megaceryle torquata)
C1 Green Kingfisher (Chloroceryle americana)
C6 Black-cheeked Woodpecker (Melanerpes pucherani)
C1 Smoky-brown Woodpecker (Veniliornis fumigatus)
C4 Golden-olive Woodpecker  (Piculus rubiginosus)
C1 Chestnut-colored Woodpecker  (Celeus castaneus)
T1 Yucatan Woodpecker (Melanerpes pygmaeus)
A4T2  Golden-fronted Woodpecker  (Melanerpes aurifrons)
C6 Pale-billed Woodpecker (Campephilus guatemalensis)
C1 Lineated Woodpecker  (Dryocopus lineatus)
T2 Acorn Woodpecker (Melanerpes formicivorus)
C1 Barred Woodcreeper (Dendrocolaptes certhia)
C1 Strong-billed Woodcreeper  (Xiphocolaptes promeropirhynchus)
C3 Tawny-winged Woodcreeper (Dendrocincla anabatina)
C2 Olivaceous Woodcreeper (Sittasomus griseicapillus)
C4 Ivory-billed Woodcreeper (Xiphorhynchus flavigaster)
C5 Dot-winged Antwren (Microrhopias quixensis)
T1 Barred Antshrike (Thamnophilus doliatus)
C1 Dusky Antbird  (Cercomacra tyrannina)
C1 Plain Antvireo (Dysithamnus mentalis septentrionalis)
C2 Plain Xenops (Xenops minutus)
C2 Scaly-throated Leaftosser  (Sclerurus g. guatemalensis)
C1 Yellow-olive Flycatcher  (Tolmomyias sulphurescens)
C2 Ruddy-tailed Flycatcher  (Myiobius erythrurus)
C1 Royal Flycatcher (Onychorhynchus coronatus)
C1 Eye-ringed Flatbill  (Rhynchocyclus brevirostris)
C4 White-throated Spadebill (Platyrinchus mystaceus)
C1 Sulphur-rumped Flycatcher  (Myiobius barbatus)
C3 Yellow-bellied Tyrannulet  (Ornithon semiflavum)
C2 Northern Bentbill  (Oncostoma cinereigulare)
C3 Ochre-bellied Flycatcher (Mionectes oleagineus)
A1T1 Common Tody-Flycatcher (Todirostrum cinereum)
T1 Yellow-bellied Elaenia (Elaenia flavogaster)
C4 Tropical Pewee (Contopus cinereus)
C2 Bright-rumped Attila (Attila spadiceus)
C4A2T1 Dusky-capped Flycatcher  (Myiarchus tuberculifer)
C1 Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher (Myiodynastes luteiventris)
C2 Great Crested Flycatcher (Myacrachus crinitus)
C4T1 White-collared Manakin (Manacus candei)
C6A1T2 Social Flycatcher  (Myiozetetes similis)
C6 Red-capped Manakin (Pipra mentalis)
C1T1 Fork-tailed Flycatcher (Tyrannus savana)
C3A3T2 Tropical Kingbird  (Tyrannus melancholicus)
A1T2 Great Kiskadee (Pitangus sulphuratus)
A1 Scissor-tailed Flycatcher  (Muscivora forficata)
C2 Masked Tityra  (Tityra semifasciata)
C2 Rufous Piha  (Lipaugus u.unirufus)
C2 Rufous Mourner (Rhytipterna holerythra)
C5 Thrush-like Schiffornis (Schiffornis turdinus)
C3 Cinnamon Becard  (Pachyramphus cinnamomeus)
C1 Black-crowned Tityra (Tityra inquisitor)
C3A1T1 Mangrove Swallow (Tachycineta albilinea)
A1 Grey-breasted Martin (Progne chalybea)
A2 N. Rough-winged Swallow  (Stelgidopteryx serripennis)
T1 Yucatan Jay  (Cyanocorax yucatanicus)
C1T2 Brown Jay  (Psilorhinus morio)
T2 Blue-grey Gnatcatcher  (Polioptila caerulea)
C4T2 Spot-breasted Wren (Thryothorus maculipectus)
C2 White-bellied Wren (Uropsila leucogastra)
C5 White-breasted Wood-Wren  (Henicorhina leucosticta)
T2 House Wren (Troglodytes aedon)
C1T2 Clay-colored Thrush (Robin)  (Turdus grayi)
 A4  Black Catbird  (Melanoptila glabrirostris)
 A4T2  Tropical Mockingbird (Mimus gilvus)
C4T2 Lesser Greenlet  (Hylophilus decurtatus)
T1 Mangrove Vireo (Vireo pallens)
C2 Tawny-crowned Greenlet (Hylophilus ochraceiceps)
T1 Rufous-browed Peppershrike (Cyclarhis gujanensis)
A2 Yucatan Vireo  (Vireo magister)
T1 White-eyed Vireo (Vireo griseus)
A2 Grey-crowned Yellowthroat  (Geothlypis poliocephala)
C1 Yellow-throated Euphonia (Euphonia hirundinacea)
C3 Olive-backed Euphonia  (Euphonia gouldi)
C3 Golden-hooded Tanager  (Tangara larvata)
C3T1 Yellow-winged Tanager  (Thraupis abbas)
C3 Red-crowned Ant-Tanager  (Habia rubica)
C1 Grey-headed Tanager  (Eucometis penicillata)
C5 Red-throated Ant-Tanager (Habia fuscicauda)
C1 Black-throated Shrike-Tanager  (Lanio aurantius)
T2 Blue-grey Tanager  (Thraupis episcopus)
T1 Crimson-rumped Tanager (Ramphocelus passerinii)
C4A1T1 Summer Tanager (Piranga rubra)
C4 Black-headed Saltator  (Saltator atriceps)
C2T1 Greyish Saltator (Saltator coerulescens)
C2 Blue-black Grosbeak  (Cyanocompsa cyanoides)
C2 Green-backed Sparrow (Arremonops chloronotus)
C7A2T2 White-collared Seedeater (Sporophila torqueola)
T1 Lesser Seed-Finch (Oryzoborus angolensis (funerus))
C1 Blue-black Grassquit (Volatinia jacarina)
C7T2 Melodious Blackbird  (Dives dives)
C7 Montezuma Oropendula (Gymnostinops montezuma)
C2 Giant Cowbird  (Scaphidura oryzivora)
A2T2 Yellow-billed Cacique  (Amblycercus holosericeus)
C1A4T2 Great-tailed Grackle (Quiscalus mexicanus)
A1 Bronzed Cowbird  (Molothrus aeneus)
C4A2 Black-cowled Oriole  (Icterus dominicensis)
T1 Yellow-backed Oriole (Icterus chrysater)
T1 Yellow-tailed Oriole (Icterus mesomelas)
C5T1 Baltimore Oriole (Icterus galbula)
C3 Orchard Oriole (Icterus spurius)
A1 Blue-winged Teal (Anas discors)
A1 Yellow-billed Cuckoo (Coccyzus americanus)
C1 Barn Owl (Tyto alba)
T1  Limpkin  (Aramus guarauna)
T1 American Coot  (Fulica americana)
A3T1 Spotted Sandpiper  (Tringa macularia)
C1T1 Northern Jacana  (Jacana spinosa)
A2 Grey Plover  (Pluvialis squatarola)
A3 Killdeer (Charadrius vociferus)
A3 Laughing Gull  (Larus atricilla)
A1 Caspian Tern (Sterna caspia)
A3 Royal Tern (Sterna maxima)
A1 Sandwich Tern  (Sterna sandvicensis)
A1T2 Osprey (Pandion haliaetus)
T1 Least Grebe  (Tachybaptus dominicus)
T1 Pied-billed Grebe  (Podilymbus podiceps)
C1T1 Anhinga  (Anhinga anhinga)
T1 Neotropic Cormorant  (Phalacrocorax brasilianus)
 A4  Double-crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus)
A1 Reddish Egret  (Egretta rufescens)
A2T1 Tricolored Heron (Egretta tricolor)
C5A3T1 Little Blue Heron  (Egretta caerulea)
A1T2 Snowy Egret  (Egretta thula)
 A4T1  Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias)
C1A2T2 Great Egret  (Casmerodius albus)
C2T1 Cattle Egret (Bubulcus ibis)
A1T1 Green Heron  (Butorides virescens)
A2T1 White Ibis (Eudocimus albus)
 A4T2  Brown Pelican  (Pelecanus occidentalis)
T1 Wood Stork (Mycteria americana)
 A4T1  Magnificent Frigatebird  (Fregata magnificens)
C1 Yellow-bellied Flycatcher  (Empidonax flaviventris)
T2 Vermilion Flycatcher (Pyrocephalus rubinus)
C3 Wood Thrush  (Catharus mustelinus)
C1 Veery  (Catharus fushsr)
C6T2 Grey Catbird (Dumetella carolinensis)
T2 Tree Swallow (Tachycineta bicolor)
C1 Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica)
C1 Blue-winged Warbler (Vermivora pinus)
A2 Tennessee Warbler  (Vermivora peregrina)
A1T1 Northern Parula  (Parula americana)
C2A4T2 Yellow Warbler (Dendroica petechia)
C3A2T2 Magnolia Warbler (Dendroica magnolia)
C1 Yellow-rumped Warbler  (Dendroica coronata)
C2 Black-throated Green Warbler (Dendroica virens)
C1 Yellow-throated Warbler  (Dendroica dominica)
C1A3T2 Palm Warbler (Dendroica palmarum)
C4A1 Black-and-white Warbler  (Mniotilta varia)
C3A4T2 American Redstart  (Setophaga ruticilla)
C2T1  Northern Waterthrush (Seiurus noveboracensis)
C4 Louisiana Waterthrush  (Seiurus motacilla)
C2A1 Kentucky Warbler (Oporornis formosus)
C3 Hooded Warbler (Wilsonia citrina)
C1 Wilson's Warbler (Wilsonia pusilla)
T1 Eastern Meadowlark (Sturnella magna)
C1 Chestnut-sided Warbler (Dendroica pensylvanu)

Tom Bishop
Date: Mon, 21 Dec 1998 11:56:29 -0800 
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