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Birds of Belize

 Bubbas Helpful ‘Birdwatching Guide’



Bubba over the years has devised an easy way to develop, improve and protect his image as a Birdwatching authority. Using his techniques and with a few of his simple tips an ordinary tourguide can become a birdwatching tour guide almost over night.

    Currently as you walk down your favorite jungle trail or cruise the river and lagoon in your boat your Tourist guest will ask, What is this? or What is that? Caught on the spot to identify the bird in question may put you at odds with being knowledgeable about birds or having to admit an embarrassing ‘I don’t know’ or you could appear a winner buy applying the ‘Bubba technique’.

   To use the Bubba technique you should first ask yourself, in what category should this bird be placed? Example, if its swimming its probably a duck, then ask yourself what’s this bird doing? If the duck is making a whistling sound as it flies away you would be safe in quickly responding, “A whistling Duck! “. As profound as this may seem Bubba has statistics that prove 90% of the time you will be accurate.

     Let me give you this example, While driving your van load of tourist down the road to a Mayan ruin a tourist expecting you to be ever observant might ask,’ What kind of Hawk was that we passed beside the road?’ Trying not to sound facetious reply, ”A Roadside Hawk!”. You’ll be surprised how this satisfies them that you are indeed a well trained Birder Guide. Without having to spend your nights studying field guide identification books. Applying this simple technique can make you to an expert.

    Remember the first step is to categorize the bird in question, is it a dove, is it a duck, is it pecking wood, could it be catching little flies? Then look and listen for special markings, sounds or behavior. Example; A circling gull at the sea side making a laughing sound is most likely a .............‘Laughing Gull’. Imagine this, your leading a group along a path in the rainforest and suddenly in the fruit tree before you are six large birds that look like parrots with yellow heads, ..........Yellow-headed Parrots! I know your thinking ‘It couldn’t be this easy’, well then tell me quickly, what kind of bird is black with red wings? A Red-Winged Blackbird. You’re visiting Mexico and you spy a Chickadee ? A Mexican Chickadee. A new Kingfisher your unfamiliar with shows up, He’s not the normal blue color but an obvious Green. What is your best guess?  Most people know an Owl when they see one and this one has stripes. Don’t scratch your head just say it!

    True story, my neighbor called Bubba up to ask him to identify a large bird he had been seeing in his yard. He said It looked like a common hawk but was black ! He was so impressed that Bubba was such an authority on birds that he could tell him right then on the phone that it was a Common Blackhawk. Am I going to fast for you? 

Try this ,’What is the primary staple in the diet of a Bat Falcon?…………..

If you said ‘bats’, I think you catching on!


Why don’t you try this little test:

1. A Dove in the sea grape tree has white wings it is a . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


2. Your visiting Halfmoon Caye and you come across a colony of Booby birds with red feet, they are . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


3. you’re touring the savanna and discover a small bird with a white collar eating seeds. It is a . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


4. A bird pecking the wood of a coconut tree on the islands has black and white stripes on its back like those of a zebra ? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


5. A tourist runs up to you and asks ,“What’s that bird over there catching flies with the long scissor like  tail ? You reply a . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


If your answers are: White Winged Dove, Redfooted Booby, Whitecolared Seedeater, Zeberabacked Woodpecker, and Scissortailed Flycatcher, I think your catching on .

   For years Bubba has been using this method with great success. I ask him honestly how he came up with such a wonderful technique. Probably because he’s unwilling to give away his secrets he just looked at me and said,’ What has one eye ,one horn, flies, is purple and eats people?