When we went to the Belize Zoo on a day trip from Lower Dover Jungle Lodge, we got a lot of “cheap shots”, which is fine because wildlife photographers have been taking them at the Belize Zoo for years. Because of the zoo’s unique natural setting, National Geographic used to shoot jungle action videos from the cages of the Belize Zoo.
Plain Chacalaca at the Belize Zoo
This time we didn’t have a cage, but this Plain Chacalaca decided to stop at a feed dish to eat some of the fruit left for one of the animals. These birds have it nice at the zoo with cut fruit! They have to pick it off the trees at Lower Dover, but that makes for a bunch of opportunites.for great bird pics.
Cheap Shot!! Chacalaca eating from fruit bowl at the Belize Zoo
While on our day tour to the Belize Zoo from Lower Dover Jungle Lodge we noticed something. There were just as many animals outside the cages as inside! The Belize Zoo is located in native habitat to many of these birds and other various small mammals, so it is not uncommon to get a few unexpected wildlife photographs on your trip.
Male Russet Antshrike bird photo from Belize
In this case, we saw both the male and female Russet Antshrike. We found it difficult to identify this bird species. The red eyes helped. So did the bill. In the end we settled with Russet Antshrike given the similarities between sexes as noted by Birds of Belize, by H. Lee Jones.
According to Birds of Belize, by H. Lee Jones, the Hooded Warbler is only around the Cayo District during the winter months, but has been seen from late July through April. They migrate all the way to the southern Great Lakes and southern New England in order to nest for the summer. Thanks for eating all the bugs while getting fat vacationing in Belize bird friend. Mi casa es su casa.
Birding in Belize at Lower Dover Jungle Lodge
We know this is a male Hooded Warbler because Jones tells us of it’s distinct yellow mask framed with a black hood which is clearly seen in these bird photographs.
Bird Watching is best in Belize from November until March
Birders in Belize will find Lower Dover Jungle Lodge especially rich in migratory birds from November through March. These bird photos were taken in the middle of February.
Hooded Warbler Bird Photography from Lower Dover Jungle Lodge
Lower Dover Belize Jungle Lodge is the ultimate bird watching vacation
Birding has been great at Lower Dover Jungle Lodge lately. The Wild Grape trees that line our jungle hotel grounds are prime habitat for all kinds of birds, especially when the trees are fruiting. Recently, two birds stopped by to eat it’s seeds while we were bird watching on the 100 jungle acres in Belize.
Male Yellow Throated Warbler and female White Collared Manakin bird photo
The olive and yellow bird is a female White-Collared Manakin. The other bird is one of two subspecies of Yellow-Throated Warblers found in Belize, Dendroica dominica. We know these birds in the picture are not the same species because of their different shaped bills.
Bird Watching Photography at Lower Dover Belize Jungle Lodge
H. Lee Jones describes the female White-Collared Manakin as olive with a yellowish body in his book, Birds of Belize. Jones helps birders differentiate the male Yellow Throated Warbler between subspecies by noting the yellow fore-half of the supercilium of the subspecies seen. The other subspecies, Dendroica albilora is without yellow on the supercilium (above the eye).
Two tropical birds on one branch in Belize
Click on the image above for a close up to see the yellow over the Warbler’s eye.
Notice the bright orange lower mandible of the flycatcher
According to Birds of Belize, by H. Lee Jones, the Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet does not have the colorful markings common in flycatchers. Rather, it is the distinct, bright orange lower mandible, that identifies this jungle bird (click on the photo for a better look). Tropical birdwatchers will find the Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet sometimes hanging upside down while gleaning insects. Maybe you can get that bird photograph while visiting Lower Dover Jungle Lodge!