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Black-headed Trogon (18)
sandpiper2 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1906 W: 107 N: 4875] (16757)
This is a Black-headed Trogon (Trogon melanocephalus) which we found while exploring the Mayan ruins at Altun Ha (see workshop).

This trogon is distributed in Central America from southern Mexico to Costa Rica and prefers lowland rainforest and gallery forest below 800m where they feed on insects and fruits. They are surprisingly fast fliers and although they like to sit motionless for lengthy periods waiting for prey, once they take off you can forget trying to follow them through the forest.

As often happens in rainforest, this shot has branches in front of the target and there is some flare on the vegetation, caused by the dappled light; but thatís life in tropical forests and I hope you wonít mind me posting this attractive species anyway.

Altun Ha ruins were not ďdiscoveredĒ until 1965, even though it is only 50km north of Belize City which at the time was the countryís capital city. The ruins have been progressively uncovered and restored since then, being entirely overrun with jungle for over 500 years.
This modest Mayan site was home to around 10,000 people during the Mayan classic era of 200 to 900AD, after which time it progressively became less used then totally abandoned in the 1300s, though archaeologists donít seem to know why for sure.

Over 500 structures have been unearthed at the site, with the oldest ruin dating from around 200BC. The largest pyramid (Temple of Masonry Altars- see workshop is 16m (54ft) high and is famous for the discovery of the elaborately carved jade sun god head which weighs nearly 5kg (now in a Canadian museum).
This is a fantastic area and if you ever make it to Belize, donít miss it.

Thanks for looking

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sandpiper2 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1906 W: 107 N: 4875] (16757)
The Mayan ruins
Edited by:sandpiper2 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1906 W: 107 N: 4875] (16757)

The largest of Altun Ha's temple-pyramids is the "Temple of the Masonry Altars" which is 16 m high. A drawing of this structure is the logo of Belize's leading brand of beer, "Belikin", and its a very nice drink after a hard day birding and photographing in the jungle.