Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary
Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary is a birder’s wetland paradise, established in 1984 for the protection of resident and migrant birds.
Located 33 miles out of Belize City on the northern highway, the sanctuary consists of a network of inland lagoons, swamps and waterways near the village of Crooked Tree. also resident in the Sanctuary are Black Howler Monkeys, Morelet's Crocodiles, Coatimundi and several species of turtle and iguana.
- The Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary has the regions’ largest nesting population of Jabiru Stork. The largest flying birds in the western hemisphere, with a wingspan of 10-12ft. The storks arrive in November to nest atop the trees in the lowland pine savannas.
- The sanctuary is home to thousands of migratory birds here from November to June. Some 260 species of birds have been recorded with the most diverse species between February and May. Species include the nocturnal Boat-billed Heron, Chestnut-bellied Herons and Bare-throated Tiger-Heron the Black-bellied Whistling and the Muscovy duck.
- Snail kites, feeding exclusively on apple snails, the beautiful Snowy and Great Egrets fishing along the shoreline, all five species of Kingfishers, as well as Ospreys and Black-collared Hawks diving toward the water's surface for a catch, are only a few of the birds that can be seen.
- The lagoon is a natural reservoir in the Belize River Valley, providing valuable flood control in the rainier months.
- Crooked Tree Village, established during the logwood era of Belize’s history was one of the first inland villages and for many years was only accessible by boat, however a 3 1/2 mile causeway now connects the village with the Northern Highway.
A visitor center located on the banks of the Crooked Tree Lagoon acts as a check in point for visitors and an introduction to the sanctuary with guides and boats available for tours.
Crooked Tree Village is well-known for its mango and cashew plantations and each year hosts an Annual Cashew Festival.