Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary

sights / Parks & gardens

Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary information

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admission BZ$8
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Lonely Planet review

Between December and May, migrating birds flock to the lagoons, rivers and swamps of the massive Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary, which is managed by Belize Audubon. The best bird-watching is in April and May, when the low level of the lagoon draws thousands of birds into the open to seek food in the shallows.

That said, at any time between December and May, bird-watchers are in for hours of ornithological bliss. Boat-billed, chestnut-bellied and bare-throated tiger herons, Muscovy and black-bellied whistling ducks, snail kites, ospreys, black-collared hawks and all of Belize's five species of kingfisher are among the 276 species recorded here. Jabiru storks, the largest flying bird in the Americas, with wingspans of up to 12ft, congregate here in April and May, and a few pairs nest in the sanctuary in the preceding months.

At the entrance to the village, just off the causeway, stop by the CTWS visitors center to browse the interesting displays, books and information materials for sale. It's here that you'll be asked to pay your admission fee. The helpful, knowledgeable staff will provide a village and trail map, as well as information on expert local bird guides.