We are delighted to report that the end of May saw the successful release of last year’s hand-reared yellow- headed chicks. The lovely Dr Sophie accompanied these 28 birds to the National Park in the south of the country where they were finally able to fly free after 12 months of growing up. This brings our grand total of released yellow-heads to 102: more than 8% of the total global population! (and thank you Dr Sophie for the fabulous photos of them being released)
We carried out a total of 87 releases between May and July including (amongst others) 11 olive-throated parakeets, 18 red loreds, 9 owls, 4 woodpeckers, one of our baby red-foot boobies and our globe-trotting royal tern. Of our 126 intakes, 27 were released, 7 were transferred and 59 are moving through the programme. If you do the maths, you’ll see why this is our most loved and our most loathed time of year. While success stories abound, there are also many mortalities, particularly amongst the passerines (songbirds). Nature can be very cruel indeed.
As of the end of July 2019 we have 170 birds undergoing rehabilitation.
One of our favourite stories for this quarter is that Bella finally has a boyfriend. Bella is our resident Blue & Gold macaw. She was captive bred for the USA pet trade, and hand-raised by humans. She’s very bonded to people and we didn’t think she would ever find a soul mate in a parrot, but along came Kat the Catalina – a huge male hybrid that we figure escaped from across the border and was flying free in northern Belize for several months. Thank goodness he was safely captured as there was definitely an effort in several of the villages he frequented to bring him down and cage him for sale. That would not have been a good outcome for him. Now he and Bella occupy one of our larger enclosures and seem to be quite content with one another. The start of something wonderful...?
We also received 16 baby white-fronts this year. They are quite possibly one of the cutest species on the planet. Sadly two of them have clipped feathers, so their recuperation will be more than 2 years, however, they are babies and it will give them time to mature and bond with their fellow rehab candidates.
A huge shout-out and thanks as always to our interns. We are currently enjoying the skill and company of Dr Gemma who is on her 3rd trip now to BBR. We’ve had some fabulous rehab interns throughout the season and hope to welcome more as the year goes on.
And of course, thank YOU, our donors. You know we can’t do it without you!! By the way, you may like to watch our Facebook page, not just for the latest rehab news, but as we are about to advertise our new batch of ultra-soft t-shirts for sale. Get in quick, supplies are limited. A great way to support and to get something out of it other than our usual love and gratitude!
Thank you all once again for your loyal support. You’re amazing!
Nikki & the BBR Team
It's been the longest road ever for a BBR construction project, but we have at long last finished the waterbird enclosure.
In addition to your generous and dedicated donations, we received help from the local power company Belize Electricity Ltd. who donated used power poles for the support structure.
We also received cash donations in the memory of Amanda Autumn Margraves, a talented young rehabber and beautiful soul who passed away earlier this year. The rehab community is still mourning her death, and there have been many rehab-related and garden memorials set up in her name. We are dedicating this enclosure to her memory. Pelicans were one of her greatest loves and I know she would be overjoyed to know that BBR finally has an enclosure specifically designed to help these amazing creatures.
There is still a lot of cosmetic work to do on the enclosure: we will need to dress it up with leaves and bushes to provide a 3-foot high visual barrier all around, to avoid stressing the birds inside. We already know our mighty Jabiru baby is going to be the first customer for the enclosure – very likely in the next day or two. Please drop in on our facbook page where we will post lots of photos of this memorable event. We can’t wait!
Once again, than you SO much for making this such a special project with a fantastic outcome just in time for the 2017/8 pelican season.
Nikki and the BBR Team
In Memory of Amanda Autumn Margraves
The donation of power poles was not quite the gift we anticipated as whatever method of transport we came up with, it was going to cost us $500 to get them to BBR. As we had been donated more poles than we needed for this enclosure, we decided to go ahead and stump up the delivery cost, knowing we could use the remaining poles for so many other structures.
It’s also proven a little more complicated to work with than steel would have been, but nevertheless we are excited about seeing the finished article. Jose and Orlando are doing a fabulous job, and we can now see it taking shape.
We also received an extremely generous cash donation from two of our favourite local supporters as a memorial to a dear friend of ours who passed away last month, and that money will purchase a 100’ roll of mesh wire which should help complete the wiring.
In the meantime, we are anxiously anticipating the roof beams and hoping some woodpeckers and other cavity nesters move into the gorgeous holes in these old power poles.
I will be horrified and mortified if this project is not completed this month and rolls around to yet another status update – and you can remind me of that if it happens!
Once again, thank you all for everything you do for us at BBR.
Nikki and the BBR Team.
My sincere apologies for the late report – I was really hoping for some excellent news and photos and fanfare… but alas, a little longer it seems.
Having sourced the structure for the enclosure in the shape of a very generous donation of 30 power poles from the local electricity company, we are now faced with a new problem: how to transport 30 x 40’ poles to BBR. We know it’s way more than we need, but we are not going to look a gift horse in the mouth, and we know we can use them in many other ways for future projects at BBR.
The quote for moving them is $450. We checked several people and they all said the same. It is what it is. So having made the decision to go ahead with the transport, we are now dependent on the ‘just now’ of Belize Time, which could be any time from a few days to several weeks.
I am so sorry to have to keep extending this project: every time I firmly believe this is the last report before the final fanfare, there’s another hurdle. I really do hope to follow this up with better news in the next week or so. I am so annoyed with myself, I am not even going to post a picture. Actually – I could just show you what your waterbird house is being used for right now – just so you know it’s not a totally wasted effort. If you’re squeamish or love rats as pets, look away now.
Once again, our undying gratitude for your interest, support and encouragement and will definitely talk soon.
Nikki and the BBR Team
onwards and upwards!
Just a quick update at this stage:
We have an exciting development with this project. The elusive framework for the aviary may soon be built. We approached the local electricity company (Belize Electricity Ltd) to request a donation of their used power poles. They have agreed to help us and we should hopefully be getting those in the next few weeks. It is definitely the answer to a big problem for us. We can’t wait to take delivery and will send an update as soon as we have them up and installed.
A functional aviary is looking increasingly likely in the next few weeks!
Thank you all again for your support and patience. Hope to write again very soon!
Nikki & the BBR Team
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