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Half Moon Caye

Half Moon Caye, Belize
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Go Big Red   Belize
For a Day at Half Moon Caye   Belize
For Four-Legged Friends   Belize
Go Big Red   Belize
For a Day at Half Moon Caye   Belize
For Four-Legged Friends   Belize

Go Big Red

The famed red-footed boobies of Half Moon Caye are a sight to see. I had no idea just how large the boobie colony was prior to arriving at Half Moon, but on approach the number of birds riding currents in the sky above the tiny island truly staggered me. The birds nest in the Ziricote thicket on the western lip of Half Moon, alongside massive magnificent frigate birds – the ones with the puffed-up throat sack and their air of self importance.

Anyway, this colony of red-footed boobies is one of the most unique in the world; their plumage is almost totally white, while their beaks, eyes and feet display a distinct coloration found in groups nowhere else in the world. The caye’s viewing deck puts visitors right in the center of the squawking, shrieking masses for a bird’s eye view of bird’s business.

You can usually view the birds here from mid-December through August; chicks hatch in March.

Photo Finish:
Nikon D800 | 24-70mm f/2.8 lens | Aperture f/4 | ISO-800 | Shutter 1/640 sec.

More Recommendations

AFAR Ambassador
almost 4 years ago

For a Day at Half Moon Caye

Half Moon Caye is the tale of two islands; the eastern segment of Half Moon is a sandy sprawl, marked occasionally by the palms of a modest plantation. The western segment is dominated by Ziricote forest – walking from one end of the caye to the other is like escaping an isolated beach and entering a thick jungle expanse.

Half Moon Caye is often paired with a visit to the Great Blue Hole, yet this island itself has plenty of drawing power; rare red-footed boobies nest here for 10 months of the year, Belize’s only endemic reptile species hides in the forest (and on Lighthouse Caye), while four distinct marine habitats have been identified in the sea surrounding Half Moon Caye – which also includes a number of large shipwrecks that can be explored by even novice divers.

Photo Finish:
Nikon D800 | 24-70mm f/2.8 lens | Aperture f/10 | ISO-250 | Shutter 1/320 sec.
AFAR Ambassador
almost 4 years ago

For Four-Legged Friends

You expect to encounter all manner of alien species when exploring the sea. Somehow, it seems like more of a treat to happen upon sometimes-shy land animals. I was excited to come upon all manner of lizards and geckos while exploring the beach and forests of Half Moon Caye. Half Moon is home to spiny-tailed and green iguanas, brown and green anoles, giant anoles which can change color in a flash, and the exceptionally rare Belizean Atoll gecko, which happens to live, - you guessed it – only on Belizean Atolls. Chances are fairly slim that you’ll happen upon one of these critters (they’re notoriously shy, and also happen to be nocturnal) but don’t fret; you’ll come upon more iguanas in an hour than you’ve ever seen before in your life. The reptiles feast on the eggs of both blue footed boobies and other 120+ species of birds that nest on the island.

Photo Finish:
Nikon D800 | 24-70mm f/2.8 lens | Aperture f/2.8 | ISO-1600 | Shutter 1/50 sec.