Long Caye - Paradise of Birds, Reptiles & Crabs
Long Caye has an abundance of tropical wildlife such as sea turtles, hermit crabs, land crabs, iguanas, geckos, resident and migratory birds, breeding fish, and much more!
We do even have a population of saltwater crocodiles living on the island. One of them is resident just besides Itza Lodge in the pond and surfaces every now and then. Guest named him Elvis although we are not sure if it is a male or female. Besides Elvis there is an American Coot living in the pond as well as a very interesting species of magrove fishes: mangrove rivulus, Kryptolebias marmoratus. Scientists are doing studies about them: It is such fascinating fish because it can survive in environmental extremes of temperature, oxygen, salinity and hydrogen sulphide (toxic to most animals). It is also the only known vertebrate hermaphrodite. It has both male and female bits and can self-fertilize! If that’s not enough, this fish can also breathe air through its skin and will often jump out of water, stuck to exposed mangrove roots. In the dry season, these fish will pack up in damp logs and can be out of water for months! (Team of American and Canadien scientists/ stayed Dec '16)
Find more information about the mangrove rivulus in the following PDF.
Birds in Belize - It's Birdwatching Paradise!
With nearly 600 different species of bird in Belize, Itza Resort is a birdwatcher's paradise.
Belize is noted for its diversity of bird species, from wading birds to the great macaws. About 80% of the birds are native to the island while the other 20% migrate from North America to spend their winters in Belize.
Long Caye serves as an essential rest stop during the long flights north and south. The island plays an important part in this migration as habitats around the world continue to be destroyed.
Visit nearby Half Moon Caye, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and view the frigate birds (below left) and the red-footed booby birds (below right) in their natural habitat.
In the video below you can hear the red-footed booby birds chatting away and pay special attention to the frigate birds drumming their beaks against their red gullets.
To read more about birdwatching and birds in Belize, please visit the Belize Audubon Society website.
Flora and Fauna in Belize: Birds, Nature, Beauty
With over 60% of Belize's land surface being covered with jungle-like forest, and much of the area unpopulated, it makes the perfect environment for expansive lush, tropical and rich vegetation to flourish.
Due to this tropical paradise of vegetation, flora and fauna abound in the Belize climate!
It is said that Belize has over 4,000 species of flowering plants, including some 250 orchid species and approximately 700 different trees.
Flowers of Belize
National Flower of Belize: Black Orchid
The national flower of Belize is the beautiful black orchid. Although, technically, as you can see, it is not black but more of a deep purple with yellow triangulations patterned in the middle of the flower with long spindally light greenish-yellow leaves.
This delicate white and lavendar flower is called sea lavender aka fisherman's tobacco.
This vibrant orange blossom is from the ziricote tree.
The Beginning of a Palm Tree
Where else do you get to see a coconut grow into a palm tree? You'll see this all over the island in a natural state of germination.
The coconut palm thrives in sandy soil, high humidity and lots of sunshine, all of of which we have an abundance of on the island.
Very Big Iguanas are Grown in Belize
Can you see this handsome fella even though he is trying to camoflague with his environment?
Iguanas are native to the island and you will see them in various places around the lodge and elsewhere -- but no fear -- they prefer to keep to themselves.
They can grow up to approximately 5-6 feet long with about one-third of their size being their long tail.
They live in trees and near water and enjoy their sunbathing time in the warm sunshine so often times you will see them just simply doing nothing...but sunbathing.