Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary – Belize


Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the Stann Creek District in south-central Belize. Nature photographers and birders travel to this sanctuary that covers over 150 square miles and consists of thick tropical forests. It was first issued its forest preserve status in 1984. The conservation efforts put forth by the locals are critical to protecting the trees, other vegetation, and wildlife. Logging and hurricane damage have been detrimental to the area. The name ‘Cockscomb’ was chosen because of the unique shape of the Cockscomb Mountain ridge that looks similar to a rooster’s comb.

Birders find this sanctuary special as it houses over 300 bird species and even a few that are rarely found anywhere else in the world. The International Union for Conservation of Nature has been able to protect endangered species such as the Golden-Cheeked Warbler and Yellow-Headed Amazon which helps bird tourism stay popular in the area. These aren’t the only species nature photographers will be able to capture, Barred Antshrike, Gartered Trogon, and the Crested Guan are also in the area. This sanctuary is supported by the Belize Audubon Society and the National Audubon.

Along with birds, nature photographers have the opportunity to see the native Jaguars. Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary is the world’s only jaguar preserve established in 1986. But, even with the sanctuary being dedicated to their conservation, the chances of seeing one up close is very rare. Another aspect of the sanctuary that nature photographers and birders find exciting is the vast variety of trails. To see the most wildlife, the River Outlook, and Warrie trails are preferred.

Owen visited Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary in January 2020.

Birds found here