The Ruddy Woodcreeper (Dendrocincla homochroa) is a species of bird found in Belize and other parts of Central and South America. It is a medium-sized bird, about 18-20 cm long, with a ruddy-brown plumage and a long, slightly curved bill. Its distinctive call is a loud, descending whistle.
Ruddy Woodcreepers are typically found in forested areas, where they use their strong legs and sharp claws to climb trees in search of insects and other invertebrates. Being relatively quiet and secretive, they are frequently spotted alone or in pairs. They build their nests in tree cavities, and lay 2-3 eggs per clutch.
Although the Ruddy Woodcreeper is rather widespread throughout its range, little is known about its ecology and natural history. Unfortunately, habitat loss brought on by deforestation and other human activity puts it in danger, much like it does for many other tropical bird species. To preserve the long-term survival of this species and its ecosystem, conservation activities are required.
>> Next Post on Sunday, 4/16/2023 – Boat-billed Flycatcher
The Gray Hawk (Buteo plagiatus) is a medium-sized bird of prey found throughout Central and South America, including Belize. The Gray Hawk is easily recognizable by its distinctive gray plumage, dark wingtips, and long, barred tail. They have a wingspan of about 3 feet and weigh up to 2 pounds. They mainly feed on small mammals, reptiles, and birds and build their nests high in the forest canopy.
The Gray Hawk can be seen all year round in Belize and inhabits a range of habitats, including forests, savannas, and mangroves. They are frequently spotted scouring the ground for prey when perched atop trees, poles, and wires. The Gray Hawk constructs a sizable stick nest in the canopy during breeding season and lays one to three eggs, which are then incubated for roughly a month.
Despite their wide range and relatively common status, the Gray Hawk’s population has declined in some areas due to habitat loss and hunting. They are protected under Belizean law, and conservation efforts are underway to protect their nesting sites and ensure their long-term survival.
>> Next Post on Friday, 4/14/2023 – Ruddy Woodcreeper
The Bright-rumped Attila, is a species of flycatcher found in the Central American region, including Belize. These birds are easily recognizable by their distinct bright yellow bellies and rumps, contrasting sharply against their dark wings and backs.
These birds inhabit a variety of forested habitats, including secondary growth forests, forest edges, and scrubland. They are known for their loud, melodious calls, which can often be heard echoing through the forest canopy. Bright-dumped Attilas primarily feed on insects, which they catch on the wing or glean from foliage.
The breeding season for Bright-rumped Attilas in Belize normally lasts from June through October. Males woo females with complex courtship rituals that include fluffing up their feathers and bobbing their heads. Females usually construct their tiny nests in the fork of a tree or shrub, using twigs and other plant materials. Two to three eggs form a clutch, which is then nurtured for about two weeks until hatching.
Order: Gruiformes – Rails, Sungrebe, Limpkin and Cranes
About this Bird
The humid forests of Central and South America are home to the Russet-naped Wood-Rail (Aramides albiventris). It is frequently observed in Belize’s mangrove swamps and lowland rainforests, where it consumes a wide range of invertebrates and small animals. This bird is recognized for both its loud and unusual sounds as well as its remarkable look, which includes a patch of russet color on the nape of its neck.
Russet-naped Wood-Rails are known to construct nests on the ground or in low foliage and are frequently found close to water sources including rivers, streams, and wetlands. They are gregarious birds and frequently hang out in pairs or small groups. Due to habitat degradation and hunting pressure in some regions, the Russet-naped Wood-Rail is nevertheless regarded as a conservation priority even though it is reasonably widespread throughout its range.
Overall, the Russet-naped Wood-Rail is a fascinating and distinctive species of bird that is vital to the ecosystem of Belize’s wetlands and woodlands. Its distinctive appearance and calls make it a favorite among birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts alike.
>> Next Post on Sunday, 4/9/2023 – Bright-rumped Attila
The Jabiru (Jabiru mycteria) is a large stork species that is widely distributed throughout the Americas, including Belize. These birds are known for their striking appearance, which includes a white body, black wings, and a distinct red head and neck. They have a long, heavy bill that they use to catch fish and other prey, and can stand up to five feet tall with a wingspan of up to nine feet.
Jabirus are typically found in wetland habitats, such as marshes, swamps, and rivers, where they can feed on a variety of aquatic animals, including fish, crustaceans, and amphibians. They are also known to eat small mammals, reptiles, and birds. In Belize, Jabirus can be found in the wetlands of the northern and central regions of the country, including the Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary and the Lamanai Archaeological Reserve.
Despite being a large and impressive bird, Jabirus are currently classified as near-threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). This is largely due to habitat loss and degradation, as wetland areas continue to be drained and developed for agriculture and other human activities. Conservation efforts are underway in Belize and other countries to protect these magnificent birds and their habitat, which are important components of the wetland ecosystems they inhabit.
>> Next Post on Tuesday, 4/7/2023 – Russet-naped Wood-Rail
Order: Passeriformes – Nightjars, Potoos, Swifts and Hummingbirds
About this Bird
The Masked Tityra (Tityra semifasciata) is a species of bird that is found in Central and South America, including Belize. These birds are primarily found in humid forests and wooded areas, but can also be found in drier habitats such as savannas and plantations. They are known for their distinctive black mask, which contrasts with their white body.
The Masked Tityra feeds on a variety of fruits, insects, and small vertebrates, including lizards and frogs. They are also known for their unique breeding behavior, which involves the male building a nest out of sticks and presenting it to the female. The female then lines the nest with feathers and other soft materials before laying her eggs.
In Belize, the Masked Tityra is considered a fairly common resident bird species. However, like many bird species in the region, they are threatened by habitat loss and fragmentation due to deforestation and agricultural expansion. Conservation efforts, such as protecting and restoring habitat, are crucial for ensuring the continued survival of this species in Belize and throughout its range.
Name in Spanish (Mexico): Martín Pescador Amazónico
ABA 4-Letter Bird Code: AMKI
About this Bird
The Amazon Kingfisher (Chloroceryle amazona) is a stunning bird species found in Belize, a small Central American country with a rich biodiversity. These kingfishers are commonly found along the banks of rivers, streams, and lagoons in the lowland rainforests of Belize. They have a distinctive blue-green iridescent color on their upperparts and a rufous belly and breast.
The Amazon Kingfisher’s diet primarily consists of fish, which they catch by diving into the water from a perch. They are solitary birds and fiercely territorial, defending their fishing territory from other kingfishers. These birds nest in burrows in the banks of rivers or in the soft soil near the water’s edge. Both male and female birds participate in digging the burrow and raising the chicks.
The Amazon Kingfisher is an important indicator of the health of the ecosystems in which it lives. Its presence indicates the presence of healthy fish populations, which in turn are supported by healthy river and stream ecosystems. As such, conservation efforts aimed at protecting the Amazon Kingfisher also have wider implications for the conservation of the ecosystems in which it lives.
Order: Caprimulgiformes – Nightjars, Potoos, Swifts and Hummingbirds
About this Species
The Long-billed Hermit (Phaethornis longirostris) is a species of hummingbird found in Belize and throughout Central and South America. These birds are known for their long, curved bills, which they use to sip nectar from flowers. They are also important pollinators for many plant species in their range.
In Belize, Long-billed Hermits are found in a variety of habitats, including lowland forests, riparian zones, and gardens. They typically build their small, cup-shaped nests in the forks of tree branches, using materials such as spider webs, lichens, and mosses. The female will lay two white eggs, which she incubates for about two weeks before they hatch.
Long-billed Hermits are solitary birds, and males are known for their territorial behavior. They will defend their feeding and nesting areas against other males and even larger birds such as toucans and woodpeckers. Despite their aggressive nature, Long-billed Hermits are a beloved sight for many birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts in Belize.
>> Next Post on Friday, 3/31/2023 – Amazon Kingfisher
The Least Grebe (Tachybaptus dominicus) is a small waterbird that inhabits freshwater wetlands throughout the Yucatan Peninsula. They are primarily found in shallow water bodies, such as ponds, marshes, and slow-moving streams, where they can easily dive to catch prey such as fish, insects, and small crustaceans.
These birds are highly adapted to their aquatic lifestyle, with their lobed toes and waterproof plumage allowing them to swim and dive with ease. During the breeding season, males will establish territories and perform courtship displays, which involve a variety of vocalizations and head bobbing movements.
Although the Least Grebe is not currently considered a threatened species, habitat loss and degradation due to human activities such as agriculture and urbanization pose a potential threat to their populations. Conservation efforts, such as wetland restoration and protection, can help to ensure the continued survival of this unique and important species in the Yucatan Peninsula.
>> Next Post on Tuesday, 3/28/2023 – Long-billed Hermit
Family: Cracidae – Chachalacas, Guans, and Curassows
Order: Galliformes – Gallinaceous Birds
About this Bird
The Plain Chachalaca (Ortalis vetula) is a medium-sized bird that is found in the Yucatan Peninsula, which includes parts of Mexico, Guatemala, and Belize. It is a member of the family Cracidae, which includes other game birds like turkeys and guans. The Plain Chachalaca is generally found in humid and semi-humid forests, as well as in areas of scrub and thorn forest.
The Plain Chachalaca is a social bird that usually travels in groups of 6 to 12 individuals, although groups of up to 20 birds have been observed. They are primarily herbivorous, feeding on fruits, seeds, and leaves, and are an important seed disperser in their habitat. Their distinctive call, a loud and raucous “cha-cha-lac,” is often heard in the early morning and late afternoon, and is used by the birds to communicate with one another.
During breeding season, which typically occurs in the early spring, males will call out loudly and perform courtship displays to attract females. The female will then build a shallow nest of twigs and leaves in a tree or shrub, and will lay 2 to 4 eggs. The chicks are precocial, meaning they are able to walk and feed themselves shortly after hatching, and will remain with their parents until they are able to fend for themselves.Overall, the Plain Chachalaca is an important and interesting bird in the Yucatan Peninsula, with its distinctive call and important role in seed dispersal. However, like many bird species, it is threatened by habitat loss due to human activities such as logging and agriculture. Conservation efforts are needed to ensure that this species and its habitat are protected for future generations.