Garden birding was never so good, never so satisfying…at least you wish that were the case! Yes, it’s wonderful to be able to sit back with a fresh cup of coffee, a hot tea, or an ice cold beer and just watch the birds that come to the feeder, listen to the birds that visit the garden. We all love that but there comes a time when you wouldn’t mind a change of scenery, a time when you could go for seeing something different.
Maybe something like Red-capped Manakin different…
If it weren’t for the pandemic, many of us would have been looking for shorebirds, going to birding festivals, traveling to see birds both new and old. Some of us have gone to a few places but it’s just a few and nothing like taking trips to exciting new destinations, locales that require plane rides. And that’s why many of us have stayed home, biding our time and waiting for better, safer days when we can travel once again. When will those days happen? Nobody really knows but there is some hope on the horizon, some signs that we can once again travel for birding and Belize is a perfect place to start.
The following points are why it’s definitely not too early to plan a birding trip to Belize:
- Belize Is Open!
- Belize opened its borders to everyone on October 1st. Visitors need to arrive with a negative PCR test within 72 hours of arrival, download the Belize health app, and can only stay in certain hotels but the country is definitely open to tourism. If you don’t arrive with a test, you can also take a quick one for $50 upon arrival.
And that means seeing fancy tropical birds like this Keel-billed Toucan!
- Although various restrictions had been placed on the movements of tourists, this is no longer the case. If you rent a vehicle, you do have to provide an itinerary and the car must have a GPS tracker but overall, there’s much more freedom of movement than had been previously stipulated.
- Plane Rides – Safer Than You Think!
- Although being stuffed inside a plane with a bunch of other people may seem like a serious no no in the times of COVID-19, studies have shown that plane rides are actually quite safe. Even though planes don’t exactly have a lot of elbow room, they do have excellent air filtration systems that help filter out viruses. This factor combined with wearing a mask (something required on most or all flights) seem to drastically lower one’s chances of catching COVID-19.
- Study Birds Now For Easier Birding Later
- As with any destination, the more you know about the birds you may see, the more satisfying the trip. The only way to get ready is by starting to become familiar with those birds now and the sooner you start to study, the more birds you will recognize when you raise those bins in Belize.
- With around 600 species to choose from, even if you plan a trip for next year, it’s worth it to start studying now. That way, you will have plenty of time to check out birds by region, family, and other fun ways on the Belize Birds App. Not to mention, if you feel like it, you can also listen to more than 575 species.
- A Vaccine
- Perhaps most importantly, one fine day, vaccines will be available. We don’t know when but with several companies racing to produce the most important vaccine in our lifetimes, you can bet that it will eventually happen, maybe by the time you take your trip.
Want to learn more about the birds of Belize? Start learning with the Belize Birds Field Guide app. Don’t forget to mark your target species!