The Cayo district welcomed over two-hundred participants at the 2nd Annual Belize Birding Festival 2019, this past weekend October 19th and 20th at the San Ignacio Resort Hotel.  The two-day festival included presentations, panel discussions, workshops, birding tours, vendor booths, and an evening cocktail.

In partnership, the Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA), Belize Audubon Society (BAS), and bethe Belize Hotel Association (BHA) comprise the organizing partners of the annual Belize Birding Festival.  This festival welcomes local and international birders and wildlife enthusiasts to enhance their appreciation of Belize’s spectacular natural habitat were over 500 bird species have been recorded. Belize continues to grow as exciting birding destination that hosted over 30,000 birding enthusiasts in 2018 (BTB, 2019). 

At this event, three (3) exceptional guest speakers were featured, including Dr. John Fitzpatrick’s, Director of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, as the keynote speaker with his address titled, “How Birds Can Save the World.” Joining the slate, Dr. Lee Jones, author of Birds of Belize, facilitated a workshop on the identification of shorebirds of Belize on Sunday morning. Lastly, Mr. Serge Arias of Costa Rica, CEO of Birdwatching Central America, focused on the development and sustainability of bird-based tourist destinations regarding international markets and opportunities for Belize and Central America.  Dr. Fitzpatrick and Mr. Arias also participated in a panel discussion with Belize’s very own bird expert, Mr. Roni Martinez, to discuss Birding and Tourism: how to use E-bird as a marketing tool in Belize’s growing niche market. 

Saturday evening included a cocktail mixer for all attendees to enjoy and to recognize partners, guest presenters, and sponsors with a certificate of appreciation. Sunday morning included an opportunity to participate in a ‘VIP Tour’ with guest presenters alongside expert Belizean birding guides to various locations of the greater Cayo area. Throughout the course of the two days, participants also visited the 26 vendor booths on the exhibition floor – learning more about the products and services they had to offer and taking advantage of the special deals available at the event. Throughout both days, a number of great prizes were given away – from overnight accommodations for two to free flights! 

The organizing committee of the Belize Birding Festival would like to extend a special thank you to sponsors – Belize Tourism Board (BTB), Protected Areas Conservation Trust (PACT), The Cornell Lab of Ornithology, National Audubon Society, San Ignacio Resort Hotel, My Beautiful Belize, Muy’ono Resorts, Tropic Air, Atlantic Bank, Bowen & Bowen, Travelers Liquors, and Barb’s Belize.  Your support contributed towards a successful 2nd Annual Belize Birding Festival for all participants and for the country of Belize. Thank you for your support!

Save the date for the 3rd Annual Belize Birding Festival scheduled for October 24-25th, 2020 and learn more at our official website, www.belizebirdingfestival.bz. See you there!