Wildlife in Belize

Old Jul 21st, 2015, 06:12 AM
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Wildlife in Belize

Hey everyone!!!!

Heading to Belize in October (18-25). We will be staying in Placencia, but will be renting a 4wd vehicle so we can travel at our own will. I would love to see a ton of wildlife while there, everything from mammals, reptiles, birds and insects! So I have a few quick questions:

1. Where would be the best places to go to see wildlife? I am okay with guided or self-guided trips.

2. What is a good field guide to bring along? I am having trouble buying a book that I really like. I would settle for just a bird guide, but would ideally find one that has a little bit of everything. I want to identify everything I see

3. Also, a little off topic, but what type of weather conditions should I be expecting in Mid-October?

Thanks for all the help!!!
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Old Jul 21st, 2015, 08:19 AM
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This bird guide, Howell & Webb, is the one I used in Belize, and all the serious birders I know use it, too:
http://www.amazon.com/Guide-Mexico-N...d+guide+mexico
It's big and heavy, but you can cut the plates out and have them rebound and just carry those with you.
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Old Jul 21st, 2015, 09:16 AM
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I respectfully suggest that you take a look at the report of my trip to Placencia in March, 2015, especially in reference to Percy Gordon of Monkey River fame and the good folks at Captain Jak's Rentals in Placencia. I'm sure that they can arrange something to please you. ZZ
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Old Jul 21st, 2015, 09:25 AM
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We use the Garrigues and Dean book for Costa Rica and have found it handy for Belize as well. We also have Birds of Belize. Rainforest Publications makes laminated wildlife cards if you want something simpler. The best wildlife we've seen has been at Tikal (we did it as a day trip from San Ignacio) and Lamanai, not sure if those are options for you. Lamanai is a nice trip up the river and you see wildlife along the way.
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Old Jul 21st, 2015, 09:45 AM
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Thanks for the advice everyone!

Zambezi, I really enjoyed reading your trip report. We are actually staying at the Maya Beach Hotel as well!

volcanogirl, Lamanai looks absolutely amazing, but I'm afraid it might be a really far drive from Placencia. Someone else has recommended Birds of Belize, do you feel this is a good book for an intermediate birder?
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Old Jul 21st, 2015, 09:45 AM
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Thanks for the advice everyone!

Zambezi, I really enjoyed reading your trip report. We are actually staying at the Maya Beach Hotel as well!

volcanogirl, Lamanai looks absolutely amazing, but I'm afraid it might be a really far drive from Placencia. Someone else has recommended Birds of Belize, do you feel this is a good book for an intermediate birder?
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Old Jul 21st, 2015, 09:49 AM
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Yes, k, I think it is.
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Old Jul 21st, 2015, 12:32 PM
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I used Birds of Belize and found it to be a very good resource, though a bit bulky. I can't imagine using a beast like the Howell book in the field.

Lamanai and Tikal are very good for wildlife. Haven't been to the Placencia area.
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Old Jul 21st, 2015, 12:40 PM
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<I can't imagine using a beast like the Howell book in the field.>
That's why you take the plates out
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Old Jul 21st, 2015, 06:59 PM
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Maybe I'm just spoiled by the Cornell Press bird field guides for Costa Rica and Panama.

Also, the idea of tearing a book apart, eh not feeling it.
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Old Jul 21st, 2015, 07:19 PM
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Birders tear guides apart and have the plates (and the rest of the book) rebound all the time. Everyone has their favorite guide, but that technique is well established.

People who refuse to do it end up leaving the whole book behind and missing out on ID's.

Of course, you can buy small individual country guides, but those are not always as accurate as a compendium.
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Old Jul 21st, 2015, 07:56 PM
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We take notes in our book each time we see a certain species and note where we saw it. It's fun to go back and look at everything we've seen and where.
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Old Jul 21st, 2015, 10:04 PM
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You might want to consider these - fun and inexpensive, waterproof, packable, and really easy to use in the field.
http://rainforestpublications.com/be...des/index.html
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Old Jul 22nd, 2015, 02:53 AM
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Yes, those are the ones we have.
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Old Jul 22nd, 2015, 05:48 AM
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Weather

Mostly clear, sunny and HOT.

It's still the wet/hurricane season, so you can expect some rain -- more rain in the western and far southern regions of Belize. Typically, showers are brief and can occur at any time of the day or night. A brief afternoon shower is not uncommon in October. We seldom get all day downpours unless a low pressure system moves in.

Almost all hurricanes that have ever affected Belize have occurred in September or October, but we don't get hurricanes every year. My only advice is stay tuned to local media and in the event of a hurricane, get away from water.

I live in Belize and don't own a raincoat or umbrella, so you can see that rain is not much of a problem.
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Old Jul 23rd, 2015, 02:22 AM
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Lee Jones grt Belize birding book. Cockscomb has logged over 535 species. Ask the hotel to suggest and arrange for a grt birding guide. Cockscomb under an hr drive from MBH. Also ask if the scarlet macaws will be in Red Bank when you are there. 45 min drive.
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Old Jul 29th, 2015, 05:40 AM
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Thanks for the advice everyone! I ended up ordering Birds of Belize, but may pick up a few 'lighter' pocket guides!

Katie_Valk, we def plan on going to Cockcomb =) I didn't even think that Scarlet Macaws would be around, but I am going to look into that as well.
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