I hate walking. And that was before I had my accident last year.

To be a really good birder, in my opinion, you need to be willing to stand for long periods of time and often walk for long distances. So because I’m not good at either of those tasks, I suppose I’m not a really good birder. But I love and want to be with my husband and I do love being out in nature, not to mention, I crave learning new things. The challenge is (for me at least), to not get tired or bored in the process. Admittedly, there have been a few times I pooped out by noon and Steve wanted to continue, so I said, “Hey, I’ll just go back to the car and play Scrabble on my iPhone,” and Steve soldiered on.

Let me be clear: I don’t find birding boring. I love it and I see and learn something new every time I’m out in the field. But I have a relatively short attention span, so that’s why I invested in a good DSLR and a good lens to give me more purpose and motivation as we’re searching for a bird. But last year when we went to Belize I found something even better than photography to help make birding more interesting for me–THE CANOE!

Steve and our canoe

“You mean we get to just sit and look at all the birds?” I asked our guide, Eric Tut.

“Why, of course,” he said. “And you get to be the queen!”

And the queen I was.

I was so on board with that idea. Especially since my husband sat in the front and Eric in the back while they both paddled us down the Macal River while the queen (me) sat in the middle and shot these photos, which were the highlights from the canoe trip.

Rufous-tailed Jacamar

Green Heron

Prothonotary Warbler

Black Phoebe caught a dragon fly

Northern Waterthrush

Amazon Kingfisher

Female Blue-black Grosbeak

Neotropic Comorant

Neotropic Commorant

Gray-necked Wood Rail (one of my favorites on this trip)

For this trip, it was like being on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland but instead of salty pirates and other animated characters, we had all these fantastic birds make an appearance at the right time and all I had to do was sit in the canoe, point the camera and shoot.

We had a great day on the river. The following day, some guests at Crystal Paradise–the birding resort where we were staying–ended up being rained on and their canoe took a tumble, getting them all wet.

But for this queen, it was a royal ride. It’s not surprising that I’m wanting one of our next investments to be a canoe.

Macal River

Macal River

Her Majesty's Paddler (Steve)