Birds and other Wildlife at duPlooy's

More than 300 species have been recorded within five miles of the lodge

Collared Aracaris at Bird Feeder

The Cayo District of Belize is well known for its abundant bird life and duPlooy's Jungle Lodge could not be better placed for Birders with its rich mixture of habitats and equally varied avifauna.

Set in secondary growth rainforest on the edge of the Macal River, duPlooy's offers an unparalleled opportunity to get close to forest birds. The lodge is built on the edge of a fairly steep wooded incline, and the unique wooden walkway takes you up into the canopy and amongst birds not normally encountered at ground level. The canopy walk way extends away from the bar for over 50 meters - Forest Birding has never been so civilized!

We have the best bird guides in Belize on the staff at duPlooy's, and whether you want to explore on your own or take advantage of our Country-Wide Birding Package, we will be happy to give you all the advice and expertise you need to make your Birding trip to Belize an unforgettable one ...

NEW TO BIRDING? duPlooy’s Jungle Lodge Resort in conjunction with Belize Botanic Gardens is offering a
5-day introductory course on identifying birds and their habitat ... Read more

Other Wildlife at duPlooy's

While roaming around you will definitely see exotic birds but you might see other visitors as well. Below are some of the more common wildlife you may encounter on the jungle lodge grounds, in the botanic gardens or on hiking trails at duPlooy's.

Coatimundi
Agouti

Agouti (Top Left) | Grey Fox (Bottom Left) | Coatimundi (Top Right) | Iguana (Bottom Right)

Iguana
Grey Fox


Write-Up & Photos below taken at duPlooy's - by Richard P Fray

Each morning duPlooy's sets out a tempting plate of fruit and throughout the day the birds will come in and feed just a few feet from guests, as they enjoy lunch or a drink at the bar. Early morning is best though, and one of the bird guides is often on hand to help with identification over the complimentary tea and coffee. Species such as Collared Aracari, Wood Thrush, Blue-crowned Motmot and several tanagers are regulars at the fruit table, usually in numbers, bickering over the melon!

Wood Thrush
 
Collared Aracari
 
Blue-crowned Motmot
Wood Thrush
 
Collared Aracari
 
Blue-crowned Motmot

Yellow-winged Tanager
 
Red-throated Ant-Tanager
 
Blue-gray Tanager
Yellow-winged Tanager
 
Red-throated Ant-Tanager
 
Blue-gray Tanager


Other visitors to the fruit include Gray Catbird, Clay-colored Robin, and the noisy Plain Chachalacas that will also double as your daily wake-up call! Whilst around the deck, you will invariably find pairs of Rose-throated Becard, Masked Tityra and several flycatcher species in the canopy, especially if one of the trees is fruiting.

Gray Catbird
 
Rose-throated Becard
 
Masked Tityra
Gray Catbird
 
Rose-throated Becard
 
Masked Tityra

Plain Chachalaca
 
Clay-colored Robin
 
Social Flycatcher
Plain Chachalaca
 
Clay-colored Robin
 
Social Flycatcher


As well as the deck birding, there are many genuine rainforest trails at duPlooy's that offer more possibilities for true forest birding, and the recently opened trails in the outlying forest are potentially even more exciting. Parrots, trogons, toucans, honeycreepers, woodcreepers, puffbirds, tinamou, and many more highly prized birds are all out there, just waiting to be found. The cacophony of tropical sounds is constantly punctuated by the screech of a parrot, and underpinned with the cooing of White-tipped Doves and Red-billed Pigeons.

Violaceous Trogon
 
Black-headed Trogon
 
Emerald Toucanet
Violaceous Trogon
 
Black-headed Trogon
 
Emerald Toucanet

White-crowned Parrot
 
Red-lored Parrot
 
White-fronted Parrot
White-crowned Parrot
 
Red-lored Parrot
 
White-fronted Parrot

White-tipped Dove
 
Red-billed Pigoen
 
Red-legged Honeycreeper
White-tipped Dove
 
Red-billed Pigeon
 
Red-legged Honeycreeper

The river and the forest trail that runs parallel have obvious advantages to birders, with the addition of many more species including swallows, herons, cormorants, five species of kingfisher, and the stunning and often comical Gray-necked Wood-Rail. The river is also a good place to see a dashing Bat Falcon and occasionally the elusive Sungrebe.

Yellow-crowned Night-Heron
 
Bat Falcon
 
Gray-necked Wood-Rail
Yellow-crowned Night-Heron
 
Bat Falcon
 
Gray-necked Wood-Rail


Belize Botanic Garden offers a different habitat again, the lawned areas and plentiful flowering and fruiting trees being home to various hummingbirds as well as species of more open habitat. Flycatchers abound, orioles and anis adorn the trees, and pygmy-owls scowl, whilst the grasses and undergrowth are alive with buntings and other seed-eaters.

Yellow-tailed Oriole
 
Groove-billed Ani
 
Great Kiskadee
Yellow-tailed Oriole
 
Groove-billed Ani
 
Great Kiskadee

Tropical Kingbird
 
Tropical Pewee
 
Dusky-capped Flycatcher
Tropical Kingbird
 
Tropical Pewee
 
Dusky-capped Flycatcher

Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl
 
Swainson's Thrush
 
Indigo Bunting
Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl
 
Swainson's Thrush
 
Indigo Bunting

White-collared Seedeater
 
Blue Bunting
 
Yellow-faced Grassquit
White-collared Seedeater
 
Blue Bunting
 
Yellow-faced Grassquit

The "inland lagoon", complete with bird hide, is an obvious focal point for birders. Look out for jacanas, Least Grebe, Blue-winged Teal, sandpipers, herons, egrets and the odd waterthrush or two.

Blue-winged Teal
 
Least Grebe
 
Northern Jacana
Blue-winged Teal
 
Least Grebe
 
Northern Jacana

Cattle Egret
 
Solitary Sandpiper
 
Northern Waterthrush
Cattle Egret
 
Solitary Sandpiper
 
Northern Waterthrush

Along the approach road to duPlooy's, the open fields and crops are excellent feeding grounds for many species. Large flocks of seed feeders such as grassquits and buntings can be found along the roadside, Ruddy Ground-Doves are plentiful, raptors hunt over the fields and perch on roadside posts and egrets, swallows, martins and flycatchers are everywhere. When ripe the sorghum crop is a particular favorite of the parrots.

Gray-breasted Martin
 
Olive-throated (Aztec) Parakeet
 
Olive-throated (Aztec) Parakeet
Gray-breasted Martin
 
Olive-throated (Aztec) Parakeet
 
White-tailed Kite


The forest and surrounding lands offers excellent night birding as well, with several species of owls and nightjars screeching, hooting and purring their way through the night.

As you can probably tell from the photos, duPlooy's is a fantastic place to enjoy wildlife photography. The range of habitats, the close proximity of the subjects and the stunning beauty of the birds, mammals, butterflies, dragonflies, flowers and other wildlife make duPlooy's one of my very favorite places on the planet. If you get the opportunity, you must visit!

- Richard P Fray