Belize’s National Audubon Society was formed in 1969 and has, as their website states, “made Belize a model of a developing country with an environmental consciousness” – through education, legislation and environmental protection.
For the past few years, they have set out to show that bird watching is not just for completely untouched habitats like our Belizean savannas or jungle. As most of us know who live here in San Pedro, particularly in the winter months, our caye is packed with beautiful birds. From the tiniest hummingbirds to majestic egrets and herons to raptors like the osprey to rock doves – aka dirty park pigeons.
This morning was San Pedro’s scheduled event with Roni Martinez as guide.
Roni is a bit of a hero to many…he is not only part of the Audubon Society but he is the Director of the Scarlet Six Biomonitoring Team protecting one of Belize’s most gorgeous animals. The scarlet macaw.
Check out his facebook page (linked above) for photos like this. Almost unreal photos of these birds in the wild.
I mean…HOLY CRAP.
Almost grown chicks in Roni and his teams care…wow.
Protecting these animals, these national resources, in vast areas of unguarded jungle from poachers and predators.
I have been wanting to meet Roni for some time and this urban bird watch was not only a great way to link up with him but…OH WHAT A GLORIOUS MORNING. As of 2 hours into the 3 hour tour, we had spotted 22 birds. I spent much of my time mooning over the gorgeous scenery. Here is some of what I saw…
I saw a gorgeous johnny cake from Celi’s Deli. Warm and cheesy.
And the sunrise…
I was the ONLY one without binoculars…apparently gear is needed for bird watching!
The group gathered…folks from San Pedro, Caye Caulker and Cayo. 6am!
And we headed north along the beach.
I mean WHAT A MORNING. A heron perched on a post.
The new hostel at Sandbar is almost there…
We saw a cinnamon hummingbird and a Merlin.
I’m a fan of the big water birds. A blue heron.
Kids cleaning fish brought in some more birds…
We crossed the bridge to almost a secret little bird oasis.
I spotted birders!
And this handsome boy squatting in the mangroves.
And a quick shadow selfie as I headed back over the bridge and started home…a cup of pumpkin spice coffee and a nap in mind…
Thank you SO much Roni for the tour. And for pointing out things that I see every day but don’t notice. Like the difference between the male and female frigate bird.
Clearly NOT my photo.
And for getting me up early on this gorgeous morning.
BIRD NERDS RULE!