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Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary

Belize District

Between November and April, migrating birds flock to the lagoons, rivers and swamps of the massive Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary, which is managed by Belize Audubon. The best birdwatching 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, birdwatchers are in for hours of ornithological bliss.

Boat-billed 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 some 300 species recorded here. Jabiru storks, the largest flying bird in the Americas, with wingspans of up to 8ft, congregate here year-round but are particularly easy to spot in April and May.

At the entrance to the village, just off the causeway, stop by the CTWS Visitor 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.

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