Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary, Belize
13th - 18th February 2015
My first major trip of the year got off to a bang with 5 extremely productive days at the Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary in the small Central American country of Belize.
The bird diversity around the village and lagoons is fantastic and even while concentrating completely on photography rather than attempting to compile a large list, I still managed to see over 120 species here during my stay.
As always with the tropics, finding trees in flower or fruit is often the best, and most reliable, way of finding a large number of birds and I spent much of my time staking out various trees and shrubs in the hope of something good turning up.
Many of the birds present in the flowering cashew trees were North American migrants, such as Baltimore Oriole, Orchard Oriole, Black-throated Green Warbler, Tennessee Warbler and Northern Parula, that were all fattening themselves up for their imminent migration to their breeding grounds in the northern parts of USA and Canada. These were busily fueling themselves up on both the insects attracted to the flowers and the energy-rich nectar and pollen itself.
Tennessee Warblers are mostly transient visitors to Belize, with the majority of the population wintering further south, and it was noticable that the northwards migration was already underway with the numbers present towards the end of my stay being far greater than when I first arrived.
male Orchard Oriole (Icterus spurius)
Black-cowled Oriole (Icterus prosthemelas)
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