Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary
If you want to see birds, sometimes you have to get up with them. That’s why the most popular birding tour at the Bird’s Eye View Lodge is the one that happens at first light. Our boat was completely full of passengers when we pulled away from the dock at 545 am. The 16,400 acres of lagoons, creeks and wetlands in Audubon-protected Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary were teeming with wildlife and most importantly bird life. That’s what makes this special place one of the best spots for birding in Belize and one of the world’s best destinations for bird watching holidays.
Note: If you like articles about birding and bird watching holidays, check out our article about bird watching in San Blas, Mexico.
The Jabiru Stork
The jabiru is a very rare bird and Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary is home to the largest population of these rare members of the stork family. They are one of the largest birds in North America standing at 1.53 m (5 ft) and having a wingspan of 2.8 m (9.2 ft). Most people who go birding in Belize at Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary hope they will see a jabiru. We were fortunate to see several during our visit in late March. You can typically see them in the sanctuary from November to June or July. Belize has the healthiest breeding population of jabirus in all of Central America, but even so the largest number ever counted in the country was just 24.
Birds of Belize
Our tour guides had an incredible knowledge of the local flora and fauna in the Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary. There were innumerable birds and so many amazing photo opportunities that time flew by. Here are just a few of the interesting species we saw.
If You Go:
- Rates at the Bird’s Eye View Lodge start at $60 USD per night. There’s an on-site dining room and the food is good. They offer guided tours of the wildlife sanctuary and they can arrange day tours to mayan ruins and other sites in Belize.
- Crooked Tree is a small village 53 km (33 miles) outside Belize city. In addition to the lodge, Beck’s Bed and Breakfast is another good accommodation option in this area.
- You’ll see birds year-round in the lagoon, but they become more concentrated in March and April as the water in the lagoon gets lower during the dry season.The jabiru stork can be seen from November to June or July.