In the early 1990’s I spent two weeks in Belize (at Chan Chich and in San Pedro on the coast).  From there I took a short flight to spend a week at Tikal, Guatemala.  Chan Chich is a great lodge with trails and varied habitat and San Pedro, well San Pedro has replaced the cars with golf carts.  In 2021, I spent ten days at the Lamanai Outpost Lodge in Orange Walk.  This link provides access to a short video of the New River and the area around Lamanai.  Lamanai is a great site for the Guatemalan Black Howler like the one shown below.

Howler, Guatemalan (Yucatan) Black - Belize 2021 f

The video portfolio, The Birds of Belizeprovides access to individual species videos.  (In process of populating the portfolio with material from Lamanai.)  Other video portfolios including non-avian recordings from Belize; Leaf-Cutter Ants and Big Leaf Mahagony, for instance.  A framegrab of the Mahagony video is shown below.

Big-leaf Mahogany Belize 2021

The following photo galleries contain material from my visits to these sites.

The long-form video, Birding Belize - Ruins and Reefs is presented below, it describes my visit to Chan Chich.


It is my birthday.  I am sitting on the porch of our cabana in Belize looking into the jungle. My favorite wine, chips, and cheese have magically appeared from the luggage.  This is what birding must be all about.

This morning I was up early (duh) wandering the grounds, Ocellated Turkey was a target bird for this location, there are three or four walking around.  A male mounted a female, when he was through he strutted around doing that Ocellated Turkey call (which is so cool) - she meandered off as if nothing had happened.


Throughout the world there are birds which seem especially exotic; Hornbills, Kingfishers, Cassowaries, and a few others, fall into this category for me.  To be able to venture to a location and study these birds at leisure is always a thrill, a funny kind of thrill, they are truly exotic, but it can be so easy sometimes.  What have I ever done to deserve watching an Ocellated Turkey while sipping wine?

Being a North American I like my beer cold, and being from the Northwestern part of the US, I like a lot of variety in my beer.  All those Oregon and Washington microbrews go well with fish and chips, with popcorn, with sandwiches, with Ethiopian, with Indian, with pizza, well -- with a lot of things.

There are times when a cold beer makes a lasting impression. Now is such a moment, it is April and I am at Chan Chich Lodge in Belize.  We have been taping owls (like the Central American Pygmy Owl to the right) and trogons this morning and it has been sunny and dusty on the trails.  I am tired, I am sweaty, I am hot, I do not want to move anymore.  I want to sit here on the porch, in the shade, in this comfortable chair, look out over the beautiful grounds of Chan Chich and drink this cold and very good beer. And maybe, just maybe - given the occasion (there must be one somewhere) another one.

We are hiking along a stream near Chan Chich (Belize) when I notice an Ornate Hawk-Eagle only five yards away perched on a limb above the water.  Eventually it lifts and flies down the stream, its wings seemingly taking up all the space between the stream and the overarching canopy.


Magnificent Frigatebird - Fregata magnificens - Belize

© Robert Barnes 2023-2024