Lat:00o00´S/00o00´W ha topography msl 

Protected/registered status 

Best Time for visit (5-7th December, 2004)


Birding Site Guide

Entering Belize by land from Chetumal, Mexico in the north, first take a bus to Orange Walk. Express buses to Belize City pass the junction for Crooked Tree but will not stop, so check with the driver first. From Orange Walk you can take another bus towards Belize City which will drop you at the junction. In Crooked Tree I stayed at Sam Tillet's Hotel and they picked me up from the junction. It's about 3km so you could walk it. There are another couple of places in this small town but I didn't check prices. Sam Tilett's place is comfortable and I paid about US$30 for a private cabin. They cook great meals, although they're a bit expensive at about $8. There is a bar nearby that serve drinks and burger. There is a direct bus from Crooked Tree to Belize City leaving in the early morning and returning in the afternoon. Ask locally for times.

The area has fantastic birding and I saw close to 100 species in a day. The area is managed as a wildlife sanctuary by the Belize Audobon Society and there is a visitors centre just after the lagoon on the right as you enter Crooked Tree. There is a map there showing the network of trails all named after birds. The Limpkin Trail runs alongside the lake and (funnily enough) is a good place to see Limpkin. Further round the lake in this direction is an open area with some boats tied up. Here I saw a Southern Lapwing. A bird not found on the Belize list. One of the trails goes a long way off and about 5km from town I found a board walk and tower which had been built by Operation Raleigh. This was a fantastic area for birding with Yucatan Jay and possibly White-fronted Parrots. This area can also be reached by boat and Sam Tillet brings people here. 97 species including 12 lifers. 

Species seen 

  • Pied-billed Grebe Podilymbus podiceps
  • Neotropic Cormorant Phalacrocorax brasilianus
  • Great Blue Heron Ardea herodias
  • Great Egret Ardea alba
  • Little Blue Heron Egretta caerulea
  • Snowy Egret Egretta thula
  • Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis
  • Green Heron Butorides virescens
  • Bare-throated Tiger-Heron Tigrisoma mexicanum
  • Wood Stork Mycteria americana
  • White Ibis Eudocimus albus
  • Black-bellied Whistling-Duck Dendrocygna autumnalis
  • Blue-winged Teal Anas discors
  • Black Vulture Coragyps atratus
  • Turkey Vulture Cathartes aura
  • Lesser Yellow-headed Vulture Cathartes burrovianus
  • Osprey Pandion haliaetus
  • Snail Kite Rostrhamus sociabilis
  • Black-collared Hawk Busarellus nigricollis
  • Roadside Hawk Buteo magnirostris
  • Short-tailed Hawk Buteo brachyurus
  • American Kestrel Falco sparverius
  • Limpkin Aramus guarauna
  • Yellow-breasted Crake Porzana flaviventer
  • Common Moorhen Gallinula chloropus
  • American Coot Fulica americana
  • Northern Jacana Jacana spinosa
  • Southern Lapwing
  • Wilson's Snipe Gallinago delicata
  • Solitary Sandpiper Tringa solitaria
  • Spotted Sandpiper Actitis macularia
  • Least Sandpiper Calidris minutilla
  • Red-billed Pigeon Patagioenas flavirostris
  • Ruddy Ground-Dove Columbina talpacoti
  • White-tipped Dove Leptotila verreauxi
  • Olive-throated Parakeet Aratinga nana
  • White-fronted Parrot Amazona albifrons
  • Red-lored Parrot Amazona autumnalis
  • Groove-billed Ani Crotophaga sulcirostris
  • Lesser Nighthawk Chordeiles acutipennis
  • Canivet's Emerald Chlorostilbon canivetii
  • Rufous-tailed Hummingbird Amazilia tzacatl
  • Buff-bellied Hummingbird Amazilia yucatanensis
  • Belted Kingfisher Ceryle alcyon
  • Ringed Kingfisher Ceryle torquata
  • Acorn Woodpecker Melanerpes formicivorus
  • Yucatan Woodpecker Melanerpes pygmaeus
  • Golden-fronted Woodpecker Melanerpes aurifrons
  • Rufous-breasted Spinetail Synallaxis erythrothorax
  • Tawny-winged Woodcreeper Dendrocincla anabatina
  • Streak-headed Woodcreeper Lepidocolaptes souleyetii
  • Yellow-bellied Elaenia Elaenia flavogaster
  • Vermilion Flycatcher Pyrocephalus rubinus
  • Yucatan Flycatcher Myiarchus yucatanensis
  • Dusky-capped Flycatcher Myiarchus tuberculifer
  • Great Kiskadee Pitangus sulphuratus
  • Boat-billed Flycatcher Megarynchus pitangua
  • Social Flycatcher Myiozetetes similis
  • Tropical Kingbird Tyrannus melancholicus
  • Couch's Kingbird Tyrannus couchii
  • Fork-tailed Flycatcher Tyrannus savana
  • Rose-throated Becard Pachyramphus aglaiae
  • Mangrove Swallow Tachycineta albilinea
  • Northern Rough-winged Swallow Stelgidopteryx serripennis
  • Spot-breasted Wren Thryothorus maculipectus
  • White-bellied Wren Uropsila leucogastra
  • Clay-colored Robin Turdus grayi
  • Blue-gray Gnatcatcher Polioptila caerulea
  • Brown Jay Cyanocorax morio
  • Yucatan Jay Cyanocorax yucatanicus
  • White-eyed Vireo Vireo griseus
  • Yellow-throated Vireo Vireo flavifrons
  • Northern Parula Parula americana
  • Yellow Warbler Dendroica petechia
  • Black-and-white Warbler Mniotilta varia
  • American Redstart Setophaga ruticilla
  • Northern Waterthrush Seiurus noveboracensis
  • Mourning Warbler Oporornis philadelphia
  • Common Yellowthroat Geothlypis trichas
  • Hooded Warbler Wilsonia citrina
  • Red-crowned Ant-Tanager Habia rubica
  • Summer Tanager Piranga rubra
  • Blue-gray Tanager Thraupis episcopus
  • Red-legged Honeycreeper Cyanerpes cyaneus
  • White-collared Seedeater Sporophila torqueola
  • Olive Sparrow Arremonops rufivirgatus
  • Grayish Saltator Saltator coerulescens
  • Indigo Bunting Passerina cyanea
  • Great-tailed Grackle Quiscalus mexicanus
  • Hooded Oriole Icterus cucullatus
  • Baltimore Oriole Icterus galbula
  • Orchard Oriole Icterus spurius
  • Black-cowled Oriole Icterus prosthemelas
  • Lesser Goldfinch Carduelis psaltria

Other Fauna 

A total of -- species of mammals. 

There are -- recorded species of amphibians and reptiles. 


Author: Charles Hesse