Yesterday we were doing a little afternoon bird watching near the cabanas at Lower Dover Belize Jungle Lodge. The birding was excellent near the Horseballs Tree that was bearing ripe fruits. Horseballs is also known as Grandpa’s balls by some locally. Imaginations are creative here in Central America.
At first we spotted this Red Crowned or perhaps Red Throated Ant-Tanager. Birds of Belize claims the Red-Crowned Ant Tanager is rare or absent in the lowlands, but based on the photos we believe this is what we saw.
Both the male and female version of the tropical birds were seen eating the inner orange fruit. The female seemed to be the lighter version of the Ant Tanagers. Birds of Belize claims that both birds are best identified in direct comparison. To the best of our knowledge these were only one bird species.
That was until the Golden Fronted Woodpecker decided to stop by and enjoy the fresh fruit feast.
Lower Dover Jungle Lodge in Belize has an excellent Medicinal Plant Trail along Little Barton Creek. Each of our clearly identified mature plants, trees, and vines of the Maya has large signs that these birds contently landed on for a photograph.
Then we hit the bird trifecta when a Toucan stopped overhead and made sure his photo made the web this week.
The Maya used this medicinal tree for removing the larvae of botfly. When the outside of the fruit is punctured a very strong latex substance is secreted. This latex is used to suffocate the botfly and allow for easy removal.
As you can see it is also a one of the many mature trees we have to attract bright tropical birds in close for a great photos. The large trees make birding at Lower Dover much easier, and the jungle hike on the Maya Plant Trail more memorable.