A Birder's Guide to Belize

Barton Creek and Caesar's Place

[February 24]  Olive-throated Parakeets and Orchard Orioles adorn the pink cassia trees at the entrance gate.  Walking along the orchard road, we see lots of birds, but are relieved to get out of the hot sun and into the cool shade of tall trees bordering Barton Creek.  A Collared Trogon calls nearby: a double, sometimes triple, hoot.  The call is often intermingled with those of Gartered and Black-headed Trogons.  By the time we’ve completed our morning walk and stopped for a 10:30 brunch at Caesar’s Place, we’ve identified 55 species.

Ecoregion and habitats: Appendix A, Ecoregion 11, Cayo central lowlands and foothills. Habitats include: lowland broadleaf forest (BFL1), farm pastures, and orange groves (AG4) along Barton Creek at the foothills of Maya Mountains, climbing in elevation to Barton Creek Caves (BFF1).

Description: A minor birding stop along Western Highway, Caesar’s Place has one of the best art and gift shops in the country, offering excellent hand-crafted items.  Stop here for a meal at the open-air restaurant and ask for permission to bird their five-acre property.  They also offer guest rooms and RV parking.  For more Barton Creek habitat, visit Barton Creek Archaeological Reserve, 4.8 miles south on the Chiquibul Road from its origin on Western Highway.

A lot of the birds are relatively common Belizean species but still a pleasure to see, centered on a meal break or a shopping stop.  Among the better finds are Short-tailed Hawk, Mealy Parrot, Northern Potoo, White-necked Jacobin, Collared Trogon, Collared Aracari, Ivory-billed Woodcreeper, Yellow-bellied Elaenia, Common Tody-Flycatcher, Tropical Pewee, Vermilion Flycatcher, Great Crested Flycatcher, Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, Thrush-like Schiffornis, Rose-throated Becard, House Wren, Chestnut-sided Warbler, Red-legged Honeycreeper, Black-headed Saltator, Yellow-faced Grassquit, Yellow-tailed Oriole, and Scrub Euphonia.

Contact: Caesar’s Guesthouse, Mile 60 Western Highway, Cayo District; (011) 501-824-2341 or 824-3296; fax (011) 501-824-3449; guesthouse@belizegifts.com; www.belizegifts.com/guesthouse/.

Location: N 17 12.20' W 88 57.21' at parking lot. On the Western Highway log, Caesar’s Place is between Georgeville and Unitedville at mile 45.2.

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  Website created by Bert Frenz.  Last updated January 18, 2012.