Birding Belize and Guatemala March 11, 2018 Coastal Caribbean – Mountains -Tikal and Mayan Ruins

Recent photo taken on Ambergris Caye, Belize

The Mangrove Warbler is part of the Yellow Warbler family

YBT – Belize ebird_2017_life_list

YBT – Guatemala field trip 2016 sightings

YBT Guatemala field Trip 2014 sightings

The  March 11, 2018 Belize Field trips are OPEN for registration.

YBT – Belize 2018 Field Trip Participant Registration.

Yellowbilled Tours is a proud supporter of the BBC – Belize Bird Conservation: Belize, once British Honduras, is a sparsely populated, English-speaking country.  Known for its biodiversity, Belize is a birder’s paradise with over 600 species of birds to be found including 40 species of raptors.  We will be birding a variety of habitats from majestic tropical rain forests, fertile farmlands, fresh water marshes and swamps to pine-cashew tree savanna regions.   We will explore the National Parks of Belize – Mayflower, Blue Hole and Cockscomb, using the groomed trails within the parks, seeking out Squirrel Cuckoo, Yellow-winged Tanager and Rufous-tailed Jacamar.  Over 200 birds species may be spotted.  On the banks of Crooked Tree Preserve, we will look for Jabiru, Stygian Owl, and stop at a few “hot spots” to see several Seedeater species, Bunting and Grosbeak species. We will hike the trails through grasslands and forests to see Summer Tanagers, Wedge-tailed Sabrewing, Spot-breasted Wren, Gray-necked Wood Rail, Black-colored Hawk and Bat Falcon, to name just a few in this area.  We will boat along the Crooked Tree Lagoon seeking Tri-colored Heron, 4 Kingfisher species, as well as several more raptors and many marsh species.  We will spend an additional day exploring the northern countryside, then travel south to the more tropical region along the Caribbean coast.

Red-lored Parrot

Red-lored Parrot Belize

Observed at Hanna Ranch, Belize

Observed at Hanna Ranch, Belize

Client Testimonials are located at the bottom of this page. On YBT field trips many friendships are formed by being on this adventure. 

Bat Falcon observed at Crooked Tree Preserve, Belize

Bat Falcon observed at Crooked Tree Preserve, Belize


The March 11, 2018 trip is limited to 6 participants.  A minimum of 3 will be required to proceed with the trip. This field trip offers new birders and birders with limited Central American birding experience a great introduction into birding the tropics.

Arrival: Day 1:  3/11/2018:  Birding Belize begins with us meeting at the Belize International Airport no later than 4PM.  I will have a van waiting to shuttle us to the Crooked Tree Preserve where we will check into our rooms at The Bird’s Eye View Lodge. The drive will take 1.5 hours and we will bird along the way.  After dinner, time allowing, we will take a bird walk on the grounds of the lodge.  We will look for Common Pauraque,  Boat-Billed Heron, Northern Jacana, Rufous tailed Hummingbird, Social Flycatcher, Purple Martin, Gray-breasted Martin, Clay-colored Robin, Yellow-throated Warbler, Magnolia Warbler,  American Red-start, and more.

Day 2:  3/12/2018:  We will take a boat trip on the Crooked Tree Lagoon and up Spanish Creek seeking the Great Black Hawk, Belted, Pygmy and Green Kingfishers, many wading bird species, and we’ll look for the Wood Rail and the Jabiru. We may find sandpipers staging for their migration north.  White-rump Sandpiper is possible as is Semipalmated Sandpiper. On our return we will walk local trails where we may see two species of Woodcreeper, Orchard and Yellow-tailed Oriole, Great Kiskadee, and Boat-billed Flycatcher.   Later in the afternoon we will walk the Savannah Pine habitat looking for Crane Hawk plus Yellow-headed and Yellow-lored Parrots and Olive-throated Parakeets.

Day 3 & 4:  3/13 & 14, 2018:  After breakfast we depart to the Southwestern part of Belize. Our destination is the Cayo District driving the Hummingbird Highway.  We will stop to visit the renown Belize Zoo with lunch in the visitor center.  The Blue Hole National Park will be our next stop, then on to Mayflower National Park and Lodge (Toledo District) near the Caribbean Sea . We’ll spend the next three nights & two days at The Mayflower National Park, also visiting Cockscomb National Park, the Maya Mountains to the west and other hotspots in the area. seeking grassland species, soaring raptors, forest birds like the Scarlet Macaw and wetlands species.  We can expect to see several species of Puffbird, Toucans, Toucanet, Hummingbirds, Manakins Flycatchers, Vaux’s Swifts, Euphonias, Saltators, Pigeon, Doves, Golden-hooded Tanagers,  Warblers and Orioles.

Day 5: 3/15, 2018:  We drive into the The Maya Mountains. The broadleaf rainforest scenery here is spectacular, and there will be a great variety of bird species. During our stay we will make a visit to one or more of the Mayan farming villages and Blue Creek Field Station. Species to look for will be Keel-billed Toucans and Chestnut-headed Oropendolas in their inland jungle habitat.  We will bird the open fields, meadows and riparian habitats seeking Lesser Yellow-Headed Vulture, Sun Grebe, Mangrove Cuckoo, and Trogons.  We will also watch for several raptors such as White Hawks, Ornate Hawk Eagle, Gray-headed Kite, Swallow-tailed kite and Laughing Falcon.  Forest mountain species of interest will be both the White-collared and Red-capped Manakins, Orange-billed Sparrow, Ivory-billed Woodcreeper, Lineated Woodpecker, Collared Aracari, Wood Thrush in breeding plumage, both Northern and Louisiana Waterthrush, Golden-hooded Tanager, Crimson-collared and Passerini Tanagers and Yellow-backed Oriole. 

Day 6 and 7:  3/16-17/2018:  We leave mid-morning from The Mayflower Lodge driving to the Hanna Ranch near the Guatemala boarder. The Hanna Ranch is  working cattle and horse ranch. The birding very good and horses could be rented for trail rides.  It has a mixture of grasslands, forest and riparian habitats. Key species here are Euphonias, Tityra’s, Band-backed Wren, Thick-billed Seed Finch, Variable Seedeater, Grassland Yellow Finch and Giant Cowbird, Laughing Falcon and Bat Falcon and possible Grey-headed Kite.  There will be an optional hike to the Mayan Xunantunich ruins nearby.

Or the optional trip to Bird Guatemala Tikal National Park – Day 7:  3/ 17 /2018:

Day 7:  3/17/2018:   Optional Birding Guatemala Tikal Maya Ruins extension. This is an early morning drive to the Guatemala National Park Tikal ruins.  This is a bird-rich habitat and is suggested for all birders.  We have recorded 112 species with a day in Tikal, including Orange-breasted Falcon (2), Kentucky Warbler (6), Wood Thrush (5), Ivory-billed Woodcreeper, Ocellated Turkey (15). This is a single day of intense birding in Tikal with a local guide before returning to Hanna Ranch Lodge. We need 3 persons to have the Tikal Birding option. | Tikal | Guatemala is $790.00 as an optional extension and includes your Guatemala bus driver & Tikal bird guide, an extra night’s stay in Belize Hanna Ranch and breakfast plus transportation back to the Belize City airport. Your return flight to the USA will be the afternoon Sunday, March 18th..

See attachment for the Tikal 2016 bird species list observed.

YBT – Belize 2018 Field Trip Participant Registration.

The cost of the field trip is $2990.00.  Minimum of 3 participants for the trip to go. Covered is lodging, lodge meals, transportation, fuel, airport pick-up & drop off, Zoo entrance fee and field guides. Not covered are airfares, alcoholic beverages, food not provided by the lodges. Gratuities are optional.  A $1,690.00 deposit is required upon registration. The balance is due January 15th, 2018, if you cancel after the balance is paid you can roll this into a guest account for a future YBT field trip of your choice within 13 months, or every effort will be made to find a suitable replacement. 
 During the search for a replacement, $200 per search week will be taken against your deposit up to $1,690.00.  If you cancel, I will encourage you to help me find your replacement.
Please contact Rich with questions and support in airline reservations.

Richard Cimino – c/o Yellowbilled Tours                                           Phone 925-353-0266

60 Elizabeth Circle

Greenbrae, Ca. 94904                      

                                                                 Clients Testimonials

March 2017 field trip we explored the southeastern district of Belize and finished with 183 species a good time was had by all.

Tony and Alan

Belize field trip – 2016

I love to travel and have recently retired which gives me the time.  I also decided to learn more about the birds I have always loved. I met a nice man and his wife on Audubon Bird walk. I discovered he (Rich Cimino)  leads field trips to a number of locals. As well he and his wife (Janet) also volunteer for the Marin Audubon Society leading trips, and in conservation and native plants habitats. I attended a few of his local walks. I wanted to visit Belize and was able to find a spot on Rich’s small field venue of four birders, which made the trip very comfortable. This was a magical trip–a beautiful county with warm people.  Yellowbilled Tours uses good lodges. With Rich’s ever-present good spirits and attentiveness to the beginning birder, his encouragement, (“see how good you are getting”) and sharp eye and ear for every movement and sound, we found over 250 species of birds.  I had a short wish list of a Bat Falcon and a Roseate Spoonbill.  Rich went the extra mile to be sure I saw both birds. From the Crooked Tree boat trip on the lagoon, to the Mayan ruins, and horse back riding this was a very special trip with very special people. I highly recommend Yellowbilled Tours.

Jeanine Starritt, Novato, California

There are so many words that I would like to express of how much the Yellowbilled Tours Belize Birding trip has meant to me.  It has been a field trip that I will never forget.

Thank You,  Theresa McGovern, San Francisco, California

Belize field  trip – 2014

What a wonderful, fun and enlightening trip we had with Rich! We can hardly add to all the fine testimonials here, but heartily concur. Rich has eyes like a hawk and never misses a bird or a way to find a good view for you to enjoy it. He’s done all the homework and provides fun lodges, good food, great local guides and most of all super amounts of birds! The entire trip was a big eye-opener for us both for the birding and learning about and enjoying Belize! Lots of laughs, no grumbling.
Dr.Tom and Susie Melvin Lafayette CA.

Recent Birders Testimonial on their 2014 Belize Bird Tour:
Hi all,
What a wonderful adventure we had and many, many thanks to Rich and Janet and also to Bob and Janet #2…you all helped to make the trip a huge success…still thinking about those amazing gorgeous birds in the scope, everyday a “Life” experience for sure.
Thanks for answering a multitude of questions for us everyday and for loving “happy hour” as much as we do too!

Hi new friends, Thanks to each of you, I had a wonderful time. The birds were terrific. The female Harpy Eagle in the Belize zoo will be a lifetime memory!!
Janet Hicks, Napa, Cal.


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