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Tony Rath's
 
PLACES TO SEE > Other > Bird Islands

A couple nesting sites for large numbers of wading birds lie off the coast of Northern Belize. One of the islands, Cayo Escondido, is close by Sarteneja. Cayo Escondido actually consists of two small mangrove islands sitting a couple yards apart. Frigate birds, egrets, boat billed herons, cormorants, and spoonbills roost and nest on this island.

Boat billed heron nest
Boat-billed Heron Nest
Shipstern Caye
Shipstern Caye
Yellow-crowned Night heron
Yellow-crowned Night heron

The two small islands are surrounded by shallow water; boats must use a long pole to move around the island. Although there is a landing to the island, it is best not to go onshore. When the birds are startled and fly away from the nests, there are plenty of predators waiting to pounce on the eggs and chicks. It is best to just pole around island so the ensting birds are not frightened. You can see the baby birds flying from thier nest on first flight. Water around the islands has a distinct green color because of the shallowness and the limestone silty bottom.

Not far from Cayo Escondido in Warree Bight is a good swimming spot. The water is shallow, clear, and has a clean sandy bottom. On shore, a 15 to 20 minute walk along a cleared road leads to a cenote filled with crocodiles and small fish.

Offshore Shipstern Lagoon lies Shipstern Caye, another nesting site for woodstorks, herons and egrets. Within the lagoon sits another major nesting site for woodstorks.

All these islands are accessible from Sarteneja or Corozal by boat.
La Barra CedarBird IslandsAlbion IslandMexico
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