Neil Hughes & Pierre Geoffray – “Birding Belize”

Neil Hughes & Pierre Geoffray – “Birding Belize”
by Andrew Bryant, 15 Sep 2022.

We had a treat for our first meeting of the 2022-23 Invited Speakers season.  Neil Hughes teamed up with Pierre Geoffray to revisit their recent birding adventures in Belize – and what adventures they had!

Belize is a small country (about 73% of the size of Vancouver Island) but extraordinarily rich in habitat diversity.  It also has the 2nd largest barrier reef in the world, has the lowest human population density in Central America, and English is the official language.  All of these things make Belize a magnet for tourists – and birders!

Pierre spent five months there last year, driving 3000 km (with 3 different vehicles), visiting 2 cays, and counting 414 bird species.  He saw a few large cats, a few snakes…and got over his fear of the ocean by snorkeling with sharks!

Neil was in Belize for only 13 days, but still managed to drive 1000 km (walking 78 of them) and tallying 265 bird species.

For me, I thoroughly enjoyed Neil and Pierre’s vastly different speaking styles.  Not to mention their extraordinary photographic skills.  The other wonderful trick was that Neil had many of the bird calls on his smart phone…so as Pierre was advancing through the slides we could also hear that bird in real time.

Well done!