Belize: Favorite Images

November 2016

Out of my five months in Central America, I spent the first five weeks exploring Belize. Staged at my friends’ house in the Maya Mountains of western Belize, I hitchhiked and rode buses across the country in search of birds and adventure. While I previously uploaded two blog posts detailing some of my time in the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve (A New Awakening and 30 Days in the Jungle), I have now assembled my favorite photographs from my initial five weeks in Belize.

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Rio on Pools, a series of waterfalls and pools running through the unique Belize landscape of the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve.

A male and female White-necked Jacobin (Florisuga mellivora) independently perched on the same stick at the Green Hills Butterfly Ranch in western Belize. While White-necked Jacobins were the dominant hummingbird species at this location, there were also Long-billed Hermits, Stripe-throated Hermits, Wedge-tailed Sabrewings, Violet Sabrewings, Canivet’s Emeralds, Scaly-breasted Hummingbirds, White-bellied Emeralds, and Rufous-tailed Hummingbirds.

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Bicolored Hawk (Accipiter bicolor) Silhouetted in a Trumpet Tree

Due to the country’s limestone geologic composition, Belize’s subterranean world harbors extensive cave systems. Like many other limestone caves in Belize, St. Herman’s Cave is home to the Ridgway’s Rough-winged Swallow (Stelgidopteryx serripennis ridgwayi), a subspecies of North America’s Northern Rough-winged Swallow.

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Yellow-bordered Owl-Butterfly (Caligo uranus)
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Zebra Longwing (Heliconius charitonius)
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Yellow-winged Tanagers (Thraupis abbas)
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Tropical Gnatcatcher (Polioptila plumbea)
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Rufous-tailed Hummingbird (Amazilia tzacatl)
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Wedge-tailed Sabrewing (Campylopterus pampa)
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After thirty days in the mountainous landscape of western Belize, I was ready for a change of scenery. With new birds and the ocean in mind, I jumped on a bus headed east for the Caribbean coast.
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Yellow-throated Warbler (Setophaga dominica) and Cape May Warbler (Setophaga tigrina)
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Willets (Tringa semipalmata)
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Magnificent Frigatebird (Fregata magnificens)
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Royal Tern (Thalasseus maximus) with a group of Sandwich Terns (Thalasseus sandvicensis)
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Before moving next door to Guatemala, I finished my Belize experience with a magical few days staying with a family on a river completely off the grid. An hour from Punta Gorda via motorboat, the family lives amongst a rugged jungle, mangrove swamps, and a pristine river environment teeming with life. During the day, we explored the river systems and jungle, and during the night, I slept on the family’s sailboat. Beyond experiencing the natural wonders of the river, I experienced the challenges and excitement of living off the grid in the jungle.

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