HALF MOON CAYE

 

One of my favourite sights in Belize was a small island in the Half Moon Caye vicinity.  The island (which the locals simply call Bird Island) appears to have no hard land, and looks like a clump of trees rising from the water. And out of those trees swarmed hundreds and hundreds of birds.

2011 03 18 Bird Island

image

Home to two birds, the Red-footed Booby and the Frigatebird. It happened to be mating season for the Frigatebird, and the males were showing off their magnificent red breasts in hopes of attracting a mate.

image

image

Some were luckier than others.

image

The guides mentioned that the birds have a tough time building nests, as the twigs from the trees are difficult to break off so they must fly significant distances to acquire material … unless a boat and guide were near. He put the nose of the boat near the island, broke off a few twigs and started to throw them in the air causing a flurry of activity as the birds moved to grab the twigs for their nests.

image

image

It appeared to be a harmonious relationship between the Bobby and the Frigatebirds, they sat on the branches often side by side.

image

Which is interesting considering the Frigatebird’s reputation:

Frigatebirds are pelagic piscivores which obtain most of their food on the wing. A small amount of their diet is obtained by robbing other seabirds, a behaviour that has given the family its name, and by snatching seabird chicks. Frigatebirds are seasonally monogamous, and nest colonially. A rough nest is constructed in low trees or on the ground on remote islands. A single egg[citation needed] is laid each breeding season. The duration of parental care in frigatebirds is the longest of any bird.

It was an excellent day out.

2011 03 18 Bird Island-31