The Beautiful Frigatebirds of Belize

When Nowal, a snorkeling guide in Hopkins, took us out to the Belize Barrier Reef I didn’t expect to go birding as well.  But that’s just what we did.  After spending all day in the water enjoying the beautiful fish and coral, he said we’d be going to Bird’s Caye on our way back to Hopkins.  My expectations were low.  To get there we slowly motored through a narrow passage between stands of mangroves.  As we came out of the cover of the mangroves, I was amazed by the sheer number of birds.  The island was abuzz with hundreds, if not thousands, of frigatebirds and brown boobys.

It was the frigatebirds that amazed me most.

A few of the female frigatebirds sat among the branches of the trees drying their wings.  They looked like statues.

But it was the male frigatebirds that were a sight to behold.  In an attempt to catch the attention of the females, the males puffed up the red pouches of their necks.  Several trees looked like they were covered in bright red apples ready for the picking.

Nowal made my day by adding this unexpected adventure on to our snorkeling trip.

8 thoughts on “The Beautiful Frigatebirds of Belize

  1. Strange birds for me.. never saw any of those here. It would be awesome to see them puffing. I see some cormorants in our place, which dry their wings in similar fashion!!

  2. Great pictures Pam (even for someone like me who’s afraid of birds 🙂 ).

    • I hear you Barb…I’m not sure how this happens, but I have been dive bombed by so many birds…seaguls multiple times, a momma eagle…and, the list goes on. I like them from a distance. the telephoto lens is my friend when it comes to birds.

    • Thanks for the comment. I think their amazing too. The males for their colorful red pouch and the females for how they elegantly yhey dry their wings. I suspect the males have to dry their wings too, but i didn’t see any of them doing it.