Some birds are easier to photograph than others. You might be looking at a beautiful, green summer field decorated with hundreds of Barn Swallows in flight but trying to capture those swift, erratic birds on camera is another matter. Great shots can be had, it can be done, but the skills of any photographer (and the limits of any camera) would be put to the test.
Much easier, much more cooperative, are the birds that stay still for as long as you want. When such birds also show bright colors, for a birder with a camera, it’s a win-win situation and some of the best of this fun bunch are the trogons.
Lattice-tailed Trogon from Costa Rica.
Cloaked in deep iridescent colors and happy to perch for long periods of time, these beautiful birds are a photographer’s treat. Although one species is regular in Arizona, several more members of this fancy family occur further south. Travel to Belize and we can find four species of trogons. Even better, all of them are fairly common! These are the trogon species waiting to be photographed in Belize:
This small trogon is arrayed in stunning shades of blue, violet, green, and yellow. Much to our good fortune, it often perches at the edge of humid forest.
Similar to the Gartered, we know we are seeing a Black-headed Trogon when the bird has a prominent blue or gray eye ring among other more subtle features.
This beauty of a trogon (aren’t they all!) can be separated from the next species by its smaller size, black and white tail, and yellow beak.
A large trogon of humid forest, listen for its barking call and get the camera ready for some fine shots of this exotic beauty.
The abundance of habitat for these and hundreds of other beautiful tropical birds makes Belize a hotspot for bird photography. It’s not too early to start planning your trip. In fact, since Belize is scheduled to open for tourists in October, start planning now and you can get a head start on a much needed escape. Get ready for the trip with the Belize Birds Field Guide app– see which birds are waiting to be photographed and mark your target species!
Several of the images in this post are screenshots from the Belize Birds Field Guide app.