On Saturday, October 27, the Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA), in partnership with the Belize Audubon Society (BAS) and Belize Hotel Association (BHA) successfully hosted over two hundred participants at the first annual Belize Birding Festival in the City of Belmopan.

    The festival featured a packed agenda with an Audubon Early Morning Urban Bird Watch, followed by a full day of exhibition and presentations at the George Price Center, an afternoon guided bird walk at St. Herman’s Blue Hole National Park, and closed with an evening cocktail at the Inn at Twin Palms. Participants of the festival included avid and professional birders, bird and other professional photographers, local and international bird clubs, hotels and tour operators, artisans and other guests.

The presentations kicked off with a panel discussion by representatives of the Belize Tourism Board (BTB), BAS and BTIA who shared content and their views on birding tourism in Belize and its growth. Key presenter, Dr. Oliver Komar, spoke about birds and birding in Belize and shared some pointers on the Warblers of Belize field identification tips. Guest presenter, Jason Tiesman, focused his presentation on tips for birding photography for the avid and professional.

“The BTIA is proud to have been one of the leading organizers of the first annual Belize Birding Festival, commented Executive Director, John M. Burgos.” The great turn out of participants and quality of the information shared at the festival, resounded the importance of recognizing birding tourism as a niche market for Belize. We are definitely looking forward to planning for the second annual Belize Birding Festival to be hosted in October 2019, which will see greater participation of international birders wanting to bird watch in Belize,” concluded Burgos.

BTIA gives special thanks to its partners, BAS, BHA and Romaldino Martinez, who selflessly gave of their time and expertise to assist with organizing the festival. We also thank the Belize Tourism Board, main sponsor, and other sponsors of the festival, Atlantic Bank, Turtle Inn, Traveller’s Liquors, Bowen and Bowen Beverages, BMR Lamanai Landscaping Limited, Ian Anderson’s Caves Branch, The Inn at Twin Palms, and Loskot Studios.

We also want to recognize and thank our prize sponsors, Captain Hook’s Shrimp Restaurant and Bar, Caribbean Shrimp Company, Chukka, San Ignacio Resort and Hotel, Programme for Belize, Pine Lumber Co. Ltd., Cahal Pech Village Resort, Victoria House Resort and Spa, and Blush of Eden.