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 Animals  Belize Project #23359

Help keep Belize Bird Rescue up and running

by Belize Bird Rescue
Help keep Belize Bird Rescue up and running
Help keep Belize Bird Rescue up and running
Help keep Belize Bird Rescue up and running
Help keep Belize Bird Rescue up and running
Help keep Belize Bird Rescue up and running
Help keep Belize Bird Rescue up and running
Help keep Belize Bird Rescue up and running
Help keep Belize Bird Rescue up and running
Help keep Belize Bird Rescue up and running
Help keep Belize Bird Rescue up and running
Help keep Belize Bird Rescue up and running
Dyna
Dyna

Greetings from Belize,

A few good news updates since our last monthly report. The red lored whose eye was destroyed by a pellet or sling shot was finally released last week. It’s a difficult call to make to release a one-eyed bird of any species, but parrots have an advantage of living in a strong social structure so we hope that will compensate for his half-vision when it comes to predator awareness. He was extremely agitated in a captive situation, and birds like him are almost impossible to habituate, so we felt it only fair to give him a chance to be free again rather than condemn him to life in a cage.

We also had a visitor to one of our feeders: an un-banded white-front with a large chunk of her beak missing. She was skinny and quite desperate. She allowed herself to be caught (although now she’s stronger I bet she regrets that decision) and has been eating smoothies like there’s no tomorrow. No band means she’s either wild-born or an escaped pet. Whatever she is she encountered something strong and aggressive to have chewed up her beak like that. Oscar said it looked as if her face had been remodeled with a stick of dynamite – so that’s her name! Dyna continues to thrive and hates us for keeping her captive, but without a beak she wouldn’t last long outside.

We had a couple of fast turn-arounds which we always enjoy. One was a purple gallinule that we picked up from Orange walk. He had mild head trauma and was found wandering in the middle of the town. After first-class room and board he was released fitter and fatter a couple of weeks later. We were called out to check on a bat falcon hit by a bus in Biscayne Village. He was stunned for a few hours, but otherwise uninjured. We took the risk of releasing on site that afternoon and thankfully it worked out perfectly. We’ve also had the usual flurry of migrants heading back north that have encountered windows or vehicles along the way. We humans don’t make their difficult journey any easier, that’s for sure.

We anticipate releasing a royal tern soon, who has been with us for far too long already. He was banded in Hampton Beach, Virginia USA 7 months ago, and flew 1500 miles to Belize. Somewhere along the way he injured his food and become debilitated by parasites. He was very lucky the caring folks of The Bliss Centre in Belize City put him in a box and called on our assistance for him.

And finally, just yesterday we received 3 yellow-headed amazon chicks – our first of the season. It always breaks my heart to think of the parents returning to empty nest, but as the team in the field keep reminding me, better that we take them than the poachers. It’s still awful knowing that the parents have invested so much physical and mental resources into raising them to this 7 or 8 week stage only to return to an empty nest. I can’t imagine their heartbreak.

Thank you so much as always for your generosity and support. You make it all possible!!

Gallinule
Gallinule
Gallinule release
Gallinule release
Royal Tern
Royal Tern

Links:

Wild baby white front brought
Wild baby white front brought 'home' for dinner

2018 was a record year for our little rescue, in many ways.

We saw more intakes than ever with 309 cases, 93 of which were released during the same year. 108 of them are still undergoing rehabilitation, with 35 transferred to other facilities or to authorized carers. Amongst the intakes were 119 parrots, 60 raptors, 29 water-birds and 73 passerines, toucans and woodpeckers. Of those 309 cases, the general public generated 150 of the rescues from their reports, and the Forest Department and other organisations generated another 93 birds.

Our releases throughout the year included 92 parrots and 39 owls! Of the 166 birds still undergoing rehabilitation, all but 12 of them are parrots.

Our 2018 expenditure was slightly higher than usual at around $85,000US, but that’s to be expected with the increase in cases, however with our Annual in-country fundraiser, the support of the wonderful GlobalGiving donors, and financial and operational support from Rock Farm Guest House, our income was also a considerably more than usual. We also had much more in-kind support in the form of vets and interns than we have even had before. We received 168 days of veterinary care from 4 vets, and 770 days of intern assistance from 18 wonderful people from around the world.

We are delighted to say that our parrot rehab programme is growing and growing, and the ‘wild’ flocks around BBR are growing too! Many of them brought back babies this year, and the off-site releases of endangered yellow-heads were the fastest and most successful yet.

This coming April we will be sending 27 hand-reared yellow-head babies back to the wild, and we cannot wait to see this fabulous flock of youngsters flying free where they truly belong.

Once again, we could not do what we do without the financial and moral support of our GlobalGiving Community. We can never find the ways to thank you enough, certainly not with words along, but maybe if you go to our Facebook page or website and see the photos and videos of the birds you have helped us to heal and to grow and find their way to freedom, then you will know that every single dollar counts and it IS worth it and we simply couldn’t do what we do with you, the donor.

Thank you - from the bottom of every feathery little heart at BBR.

Nikki & the BBR Team

Three pionus taking a rain bath
Three pionus taking a rain bath
Pre-release farewell to whistling duck baby
Pre-release farewell to whistling duck baby
Education programme - thank you Anabela!
Education programme - thank you Anabela!
It
It's all about the release!
Released white-front up close
Released white-front up close

Links:

Toto the red lored
Toto the red lored

Dear all

This quarter has been a lot quieter than the crazy baby season (just as it should be!) with only 40 intakes

We took in a couple of escapees, which tends to happen this time of year. Pepperoni, a red lored, flew into a school and attacked the kids and stole their pizza. He’s going to be a handful to rehabilitate: he’s already teaching everyone in the red lored enclosure to sing and whistle, as if they needed any more encouragement. He is the naughtiest of 3 red loreds we received that were quite clearly ex-captive escapees.

Another red lored was brought to us very close to death with an environment-related respiratory infection. After 3-yr old Tito suffered his third and most severe attack, his owners asked us to take him on. Lucky he was a fighter and eventually pulled through. He’s a great release candidate and has already made friends in the red lored aviary.

This week we are overjoyed to welcome back Dr Gemma and Dr Sophie for a short spell at BBR. As I type they are going through our 179 current cases: checking, medicating, releasing, taking notes, doing their vet stuff! It’s wonderful to have them back.

We also welcomed back Anabela, a primary school teacher from Canada. She volunteered with us for 2 months earlier in the year and decided to return for another two months in order to bring her humane education programme to some local schools. Great job indeed!

One of our 23 release highlights for the period was when Dr Sophie took a brief trip out to Half-Moon Caye to return one of the boobies we raised this season. He was delighted to be home and after making several circuits of the area to orientate himself, he was later seen hanging out with another family. A successful release indeed!

Two barn owls rescued from the hot sun on Carnival day back in early September were also recently released. A very dedicated and long-suffering friend risked life and limb to collect these lucky babies from Belize City during the worst possible time for her personal safety! It’s also wonderful that two guys in the city cared enough to call in the rescue, picked up the birds and kept them cool and safe for the day, and then hiked half way across town to get home in time to meet our friend for the handover. This from a city that has historically harboured superstition and ill feeling toward these birds. The times are a-changing!

Once again, a massive thank you to all of our donors this quarter. We simply couldn’t do what we do without you!

Nikki & the BBR Team

Red Foot Booby juvenile
Red Foot Booby juvenile
Dr
Dr's Sophie & Gemma removing the pin on a stygian
Anabela and her wonderful class
Anabela and her wonderful class
Sophie & Gemma sorting the white fronts out!
Sophie & Gemma sorting the white fronts out!

Links:

Hi there

Hope your summer is going well and you’re avoiding any of the awful extremes we are reading about all over the world. Thankfully Belize is experiencing a ‘normal’ rainy season, with the rains coming exactly when they should and not leaving any destruction behind. No hurricanes or major storms either so far, thank goodness.

Breeding season is drawing to a close and the count for parrots so far this year is 99… Wow. It felt busy but I had no idea it was THAT busy! 39 of them were yellow-heads, which is staggering, and all down to the amazing dedication of the field teams: TIDE, Belize Bird Conservancy, Fabio Tarazona, Dr Sophie Herbert, Belize Forest Department and so many boots-on-the-ground local guys. You are all heroes. Every one of those parrot intakes would have perished or entered/remained in the pet trade. Now most of them get a chance to be wild birds again.

We were also blessed this summer with an incredible group of interns: 10 in total throughout the season. They are all incredible ladies (and one gent) and we certainly would have been an exhausted pile of mush without their dedication and wholly professional help.

We will leave you and this brief report with some incredible photos of the yellowhead babies being fed in their aviary. Thank you to the talents of Conch Creative for these delightful images. These babies are destined for release at the start of next breeding season (April 2019) and we absolutely can’t wait to see them fly free. We hope they will hurry up and wean themselves, but in the meantime we enjoy seeing their eager food-covered faces for their afternoon comfort food!

Talk soon with some of the release highlights of the season. Keep an eye of the facebook page for more up to date news, and if you get chance, please vote for us in the Global Giving photo competition over the next couple of weeks!

With extreme gratitude as always to you, our beautiful donors and sponsors.

Nikki & the BBR Team

Links:

Dr Sophie and one of the release yellowheads
Dr Sophie and one of the release yellowheads

Hi there,

The first 4 months of 2018 has been our busiest ever. We have no idea why – hopefully it’s greater awareness and not greater incidences of birds in peril. Whatever the reason, we have 3 times the number of cases and it’s certainly kept us on our toes. We have been incredibly lucky to have had the wonderful Dr Sophie Herbert with us. She’s a Canadian avian and exotic specialist, and my goodness she knows her stuff! We’ve witnessed some amazing life-saving surgeries and treatments and I have learned a huge amount. I wish she would stay in Belize for longer, but sadly we lose her at the end of June. We’re pretty sure she’ll be back before long though. Once Belize gets under your skin, you just can’t stay away!

We have just come into baby season, and the parrot chicks are coming in thick and fast. Most are the endangered yellow-headed Amazon removed from the buffer areas of the protected nesting grounds. The Rangers pull any chicks that will certainly get poached or predated and they bring them to us to hand-rear for release 12-14 months later. We just returned last year’s 10 chicks to the Payne’s Creek National Park. They will be released from their pre-release enclosure tomorrow. Keep an eye on Facebook for their story. This marks 70 yellow-headed parrots we have returned to the wild. The population estimates are as low as 1200 individuals, so 70 birds is a respectable percentage of the population to save. This year though, we already have 14 chicks, we are receiving 15 more on Friday and possibly more next week. This is all down to an amazing field team who have installed many extra nest boxes and are monitoring the nests carefully for overcrowding and poaching risk. Given the extra responsibility for BBR, your donations have more and more significance with every month. I know I say this repeatedly in my thank-you emails, but you have absolutely no idea how crucial that monthly disbursement is to our operations. You are wonderful and I really can’t say thank you enough.

Please keep an eye on the Facebook page for updates of our activities. We are about to get a flurry of interns for the season, so I will make sure they are all busy posting as well as working! Also check out our Mother’s Day Campaign. We may just have the perfect gift for that unique and special woman in your life.

Bless you for caring and sharing your hard-earned dollars. You are all our heroes!

Nikki & the BBR Team

One of the new chicks of 2018
One of the new chicks of 2018
Interns feeding the babies
Interns feeding the babies
Yellow-headed chick
Yellow-headed chick

Links:

 

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Organization Information

Belize Bird Rescue

Location: Belmopan, Cayo - Belize
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @BirdBelize
Project Leader:
Nicola Buxton
Belmopan, Belize
$27,073 raised of $80,000 goal
 
555 donations
$52,927 to go
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