Photos, Video, and Audio of Wild Toucans in Belize

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Wild Toucan and Iguana in same tree!

This morning the Keel Billed Toucans that live at Lower Dover Jungle Lodge in Belize decided to stop by a large Fig Tree located near the entrance to the hotel grounds. Maybe they had a message for the large male iguana also sharing the space. More likely both animals were all there to eat the ripening fruits.

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Hey Iguana what happened?

Normally it is the distinct call of the toucan that alerts guests and birdwatchers that these beautiful animals are nearby. The song of the toucan sounds almost like a croaking frog if tropical birders do not know what they were listening for. When multiple birds get together in the same tree, the noise is unmistakable.

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Multiple toucans in one tree

Each bird was calling and croaking like a frog. They were bobbing their heads and doing the Toucan shuffle, trying to get lucky no doubt…


Because there were so many Toucans we though it might be a great opportunity to hear the audio of the birds with some video, so we rushed for the point and shoot camera and took this quick 1 minute video of the bird calls. This is a nice reference to understand what a toucan sounds like. A top birdwatcher is an even better bird listener.

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Easy toucan bird watching in Belize

It was another great moment in birding that our guests can expect to enjoy every time they arrive at our 100 acre property. It is not guaranteed that you will see 5 toucans in a tree but if you hang around long enough, we are sure you will be happy with what you find and photograph. Here is a run down of some other birdpics we have been lucky enough to get.

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Three’s company and four’s a crowd

Hopefully the lady toucans liked what they saw from the fancy red bird butt feathers this guy was showing off this morning.

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Peace out cuz!

Or maybe he was just telling his sisters to kiss mine before he flew off to the next tree!?!

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Keel Billed Toucan bird call sounds kinda like frogs croaking

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It seems as if this toucan was gesturing with his wing feathers in front. Throwing up his westside gang sign?

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Toucan mating ritual or unknown gang affiliation?

In all seriousness it was likely some form of mating exercise which we were lucky enough to witness. One every guest can hopefully see for themselves by visiting the lovely grounds at Lower Dover located between Belmopan and San Ignacio, only 1/2 mile from the Western Highway. toucan14 toucan15 toucan17

Remember what happened this time last year? We think these toucans might be considering having babies in the Bullet Tree on the Medicinal Plant trail. These baby bird photos below were taken in late May 2012 so only time will tell!

Baby bird photo of Keel-Billed Toucan

Baby bird photo of Keel-Billed Toucan

Baby toucan at Lower Dover Belize Jungle Hostel

Baby toucan at Lower Dover Belize Jungle Hostel

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Bird Trifecta at Lower Dover Jungle Lodge

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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.

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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.

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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.

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That was until the Golden Fronted Woodpecker decided to stop by and enjoy the fresh fruit feast.

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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.

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Then we hit the bird trifecta when a Toucan stopped overhead and made sure his photo made the web this week.

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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.

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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.

Toucan Pictures from Lower Dover Field Station – Belize

Afternoon birdwatching and photographs from Lower Dover with a Cannon point and shoot

Afternoon birdwatching and photos from Lower Dover with a Cannon point and shoot

Toucan's getting ready to breed

Toucan’s getting ready to breed

Toucan in the rainforest

Toucan in the rainforest

Belize Birding Tours at Lower Dover

Belize Birding Tours at Lower Dover

Toucan calling to its mates

Toucan calling to its mates

Toucan pic while "croaking"

Toucan pic while “croaking”

Toucan photos curtosey of Lower Dover Belize Jungle Lodge

Toucan photos curtosey of Lower Dover Belize Jungle Lodge

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Toucan photograph

Birder's Paradise - Toucan at Lower Dover

Birder’s Paradise – Toucan at Lower Dover

Birdwatching at it's best in Belize at Lower Dover Jungle Lodge

Birdwatching at it’s best in Belize at Lower Dover Jungle Lodge

Point and shoot Toucan photo at Lower Dover

Point and shoot Toucan photo at Lower Dover

Toucan photo red markings from below

Toucan photo red markings from below

Bird Butt Shot - Toucan at Lower Dover Belize Jungle Lodge

Bird Butt Shot – Toucan at Lower Dover Belize Jungle Lodge

Belize Bird Video: Collared Aracari family at Lower Dover Jungle Lodge

Since we posted the bird pics of the Social Toucanettes eating last week, we decided to try our hand at some video. I was watering the garden in the afternoon and the birds flew so close to my head I could hear their wings. They were hungry! You can hear me sneaking off to turn the water off 30 seconds into the vid…I’m not sure they even cared.

Tropical Bird Pics – Collared Aracari at Lower Dover Belize Jungle Lodge

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Aracari at Lower Dover Belize Jungle Lodge

Sometimes it is easy to get great bird photos at Lower Dover Field Station in Western Belize.  Today was one of those days…

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Bird Pictures from Lower Dover Belize Jungle Lodge

It seems a family of 5 Social Toucanette’s has been flying around the hotel grounds at Lower Dover. Recently it has been common to see multiple Aracari’s perched on the nearby papaya trees, eating when the fruit is ripe.

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Social Toucanette family at Lower Dover Belize Jungle Lodge

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Tropical birds eating at Lower Dover Belize Jungle Lodge

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Jungle papaya fest for some lucky birds

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Free lunch, serve yourself at Lower Dover Belize Jungle Lodge

Today we noticed the same group of birds feasting on a bee’s nest and got these amazing bird photographs with a point and shoot camera! No tripod even… The Cannon PowerShot SX 260 HS camera is something special!

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Two collared aracari on cedar tree in Belize

It also helps that these birds seem to care less about the photographer and more about the sweet treats that nature provides. I was about 20 feet away, sitting on the ground, when most of these shots were taken.

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Each of the five toucan cousins took turns feasting on what seemed to be honey inside the woodpecker’s hole in a cedar tree. The birds would eat as much as it could for about 30 seconds before flying away due to constant stinging. One gulp of honey, two beak swipes at the attacking bees, rinse, repeat.

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Aracari eating bees from a nest

Occasionally the bird would even catch a bee, and seemingly eat it in one bite! Other times I could see the bees trying to sting the bird through the camera’s zoom finder, only to have the Aracari feast on its brother or sister one second later.

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Aracari with bee in beak at Lower Dover Belize Jungle Lodge

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The colors and lighting were perfect for these bird photos but the camera sure did help. I would suggest anyone looking for an upgrade to look into this model. Only 25% of these photos were minimally altered with photoshop for color and tone.

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Staring contest with a bird

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Anyone that is looking to do some serious birdwatching in Belize would be silly to not stop at Lower Dover in Unitedville.  Occasionally the Aracari are so docile they decide to pose for camera shots in the palm of your hand!

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These jungle birds seem as if they are here to stay, and there is plenty of food on Lower Dover’s 100 acre property to make sure it remains that way.  Our eco-lodge is located between Little Barton Creek and Big Barton Creek, along the Belize River, an ideal location for birders. The numerous fruit trees,  85 acres of jungle, and multiple water sources attract more birds than just the Aracari as you can in Lower Dover’s top bird pictures from last year.