This quarter is typically our lowest activity time because the last bird fledged in September and training for the new breeding season begins at the end of January. During this time period, therefore, we concentrate on Rescue and Liberation activities, repairing equipment, summarizing and checking data, and generally slowing down before the patrols begin in February. The project, people, and parrots were challenged with added stressors this past quarter, including two hurricanes in November, and the continuing Covid-19 pandemic. Your donations will now help the people rebuild and continue to help the parrots, and each other.
Two hurricanes, Eta and Iota, passed over our project area and there was a great deal of flooding, and some damage to homes from falling trees. The agricultural fields of Mabita were completely inundated and they lost much of their future production. A wave of sickness came through in November, and many of the people showed symptoms of Covid-19.There is increased traffic of people in and around Mabita, due in part to the need to replant much of the crops and because of the timber harvest. This causes concern for the security of the birds at the Center where we have had thefts before. For this reason, the Rescue Center's manager arranged for more people to patrol at night around the Center.
All ten macaws from the September liberation are still present in the area and are well. A new batch of seven scarlet macaws were moved into the new liberation cage and training exercises for their liberation began in December. Four fly well and the other three are sluggish. Their release is planned for mid-January. There are currently seven yellow-naped amazons, but perhaps only three that can be trained for release (others have broken wings or poor feather condition). We will work towards their liberation beginning in early February. There have been no additions to or losses of birds this quarter at the Center Some minor repairs were done to the liberation cage and the roof was enlarged.
An increased number of free flying macaws began showing up to be fed in November after the two hurricanes. The number of birds who needed to be fed almost doubled. Currently there are 20 that are in cages and up to 55 more that come in from the wild to feed. This has resulted in needing more people present during feeding, so as to diminish competition for food and to prepare more food tables. We have also had to increase by 50% the amount of food available and costs for feeding. All the birds that come to the food tables appear banded, except for one (there has always been one unbanded bird that was liberated years ago). Some unbanded birds remain in the trees (at least two). There are four juvenile birds that will not come down to feed, because they were hatched and fledged in the wild and then brought to the Center after the hurricanes by their parents, who were birds liberated in earlier years. We can’t say for sure why there has been such a large influx of birds, but we suspect it has something to do with the hurricanes.