Anyone with a passion for birds, endangered animals or just the local wildlife of Belize will have an incomplete trip if they forget to check out the scarlet macaws of Red Bank Village in Southern Belize. The macaws are like most other birds and will migrate southward to survive the winter. It just so happens that the period between November to March also rewards these beautiful birds with numerous delicious fruits growing from the lush greenery of the region.
About the Scarlet Macaw.
Of the estimated total population of less than 5,000, less than 250 scarlet macaws, specifically the subspecies Ara macao cyanoptera still exist within the country. Red Bank seems to be the most popular location for Belize’s scarlet macaws, as most of them frequent the jungles surrounding the village.
Scarlet macaws can fly as swiftly as 35 miles per hours, usually in pairs or small groups. When winter draws near, the macaws fly away from their homes along the Maya Mountains in order to find food throughout Red Bank and the rest of southern Belize. Common foodstuffs of the scarlet macaw include portions of the Prickly Yellow and Wild Annato (whose waxy seed covers have been converted into the condiment known as “achiote” or “bijol”), as well as the fruit of the flowering Xylopia frutescens.
Factors contributing toward the scarlet macaw’s endangered status would be the efforts of poachers looking to capture them as pets, the destruction of their habitat and low birth rates.
About Red Bank Village.
Red Bank is a Maya village located near the southern turnoff of Placencia. The seasonal visits of the macaws are just about the only notable reason why most birders investigate the village. Other than the obvious roadways throughout the country, the local terrain consists of lush jungles and waterways that are perfect for swimming around in. Several villagers oversee the area and are glad to guide tours deep into the jungle, but anyone willing to take them up on the offer should brace himself for a respectable workout as most routes demand a decent amount of hiking to traverse.