Eight Beautiful Birds in Belize To Spot on Your Belize Vacation

by Larry Waight

Belize is home to almost 600 species of birds. Here are some of the most stunning birds you can spot here, which barely scratches the surface! 

Red-Legged Honeycreeper

This spectacular small bird has a turquoise body, a sapphire-colored head and the red legs that gave it its name. Honeycreepers are sometimes called “sugar birds” because they eat nectar. You can find them in tropical areas, on the edges of forests and in open woodland areas.

Keel-Billed Toucan

toucan pair san ignacio resort hotel

A pair of toucans. Image courtesy San Ignacio Resort Hotel

The national bird of Belize is famous for its large, colorful bill and distinctive calls. Toucans live in the high canopy of the rainforest. Toucans are social birds who fly in flocks ranging from 10 to 20 birds.

Jabiru Stork

wildlife spotting jabiru belize

Jabiru Stork in flight. © Francis Canto Jr.

A jabiru stork stands over five feet tall with an eight-foot wingspan. This tall, elegantly colored stork is endangered in many parts of the world. These storks have found a safe haven in Belize. They migrate to Belize in November to nest in the savannahs, lagoons and marshlands. They typically remain until the rainy season starts in June or July. Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary is the best place to see these striking birds.

Lesson’s Motmot


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This stunning bird boasts blue feathers and a red breast. Motmots inhabit dense, humid forests like those found throughout Belize. Motmots are common throughout most of Latin America. They feed on fruits, insects and seeds. Maricia Mas, the first certified female bird trainer in Belize, said Lesson’s motmots inspired her love of nature as a child growing up in the Toledo District. Mas is a bird trainer at the Belize Raptor Center.

Montezuma Oropendola

Montezuma Oropendola bird

Montezuma Oropendola. Image via eBird © Jeff Maw

This striking bird has a black body, bright yellow tail and orange bill. Oropendolas are known for their hanging nests. When you visit their breeding grounds, you can see rows of these hanging nests that measure up to two feet. These birds live in forests along coastal lowlands. You can see them along the riverbanks of most rivers and on Ambergris Caye.

Scarlet Macaw

scarlet macaw trees belize

Photo Courtesy: Roni Martinez

Habitat loss and the illegal pet trade have destroyed macaw populations, but these gorgeous birds have had a stunning comeback in Belize. Today, scarlet macaws enjoy protection at their nesting sites. In return, the birds are a source of eco-tourism money for the villagers who protect them. The best place to see them is at their main feeding grounds of Red Bank Village in Southern Belize. 

Belize Is a Birder’s Paradise

wildlifewildlife birding urban birders

Photo by Belize Audubon Society

Belize is an ideal destination for birders. It’s many wildlife sanctuaries and nature preserves are wonderful places to spot rare, exotic birds. Learn all about birding in Belize here

Header image shows a Red-legged Honeycreeper. Image via eBird © Andres Vasquez Noboa – Tropical Birding Tours.

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