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Birding at Green Hills

Visitors to the Green Hills Butterfly Ranch are welcome to extend their stay for some on-site bird watching!

Green Hills as a birding location:

Green Hills Butterfly Ranch and Botanical Collection is not just about butterflies and their food plants. Biodiversity in general is considered a key component of our work.

Nearly two decades of managing the Green Hills Property for biological diversity (starting with an abandoned pasture) to include those plants that attract not just butterflies but also birds, The results have been astonishing.

Keel billed Toucan
Of course the hummingbirds take center stage. Feeders located near the caterpillar buildeing attract dozens of hummingbirds and sometimes really distract from the butterflies. Untill now we have recorded no less than 14 species, of which 11 at the feeders, and its not uncommon to see 6 species during a single visit to Green Hills.

Blue Gray Tanager

Overall we have recorded no less than 290 species on the 100 acres (40 hectares) that we manage. Some of this incredible number includes obvious vagrants such as the odd Brown Pelican now and then, but the majority are more or less regular guests (such as in the case of North American Migrants) or residents. Others are more unique. The first confirmed record of the Great Potoo for Belize was in 2009 at Green Hills (See report).

Since 2005 we have carried out our alternative Christmas Bird count (or "Year-End Bird count) which is being carried out under very strict conditions. The count lasts only 24 hours, is conducted by one observer only, and restricts itself to what can be seen or heard from the Green Hill residence which translates to anything within a 100 m radius from our house. On average 70-90 species of birds are annually being recorded this way. An amazingly large number! Results can be downloaded.

Collared Aracari

Bird observations are just one component of the research being carried out at Green Hills. More research is always in progress. You can check out Biodiversity related projects by Jan Meerman at: The Biodiversity in Belize site or go to the Biological and Environmental Research Data System for Belize (BERDS) for species information and publications.

There are always some interesting birds to be seen at Green Hills. Our pride is the pair of Plumbeous Kites that has been nesting with us for the past 15 years. You have to come in early summer to see them.

Visitors to the Green Hills Butterfly Ranch are welcome to extend their stay for some on-site bird watching!



All pictures taken by Jan Meerman at Green Hills


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Last modified: January 2, 2015