Saving Belize's Birds

by Belize Bird Rescue
Saving Belize's Birds
Saving Belize's Birds
Saving Belize's Birds
Saving Belize's Birds
Saving Belize's Birds
Saving Belize's Birds
Saving Belize's Birds
Saving Belize's Birds
Saving Belize's Birds
Saving Belize's Birds
Saving Belize's Birds
Saving Belize's Birds
Saving Belize's Birds
Saving Belize's Birds
Saving Belize's Birds
Saving Belize's Birds
Saving Belize's Birds
Saving Belize's Birds
Saving Belize's Birds
Saving Belize's Birds

Just a very quick line to wish you and your families a very Happy New Year and thank you so much for the incredible support during what has been a very difficult 12 months for everyone. I don’t think there’s a single person that will be sad to see the last of 2020, and I really hope things will improve in the months to come.

That said, we have been completely blown away by your support and generosity throughout the struggles of this year. Without you we literally would have been unable to continue our work, and that would have been devastating for the birds already in our care, plus the 254 new birds we have helped this year, not to mention soul-destroying for us to be rendered helpless in the face of need.

I will send our usual round-up of the year in January which I hope will help you understand the incredible things that your generosity has achieved.

In the meantime, stay safe and well. Enjoy your New Year’s Eve as best you can, and we will see you on the other side!

Warmest wishes from Nikki and the BBR Team

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Three new red-lored parrot intakes
Three new red-lored parrot intakes

We wanted to reach out and thank you for an amazing Giving Tuesday. It is such a relief to know that your donations and support for our fundraiser ensures food and care for our 180 rehab cases through the first couple of months of 2021. Thank you!

We certainly have had some challenges this year, and in keeping with its reputation as a ‘bingo year’, 2020 treated us to some floods. The entire country suffered greatly, and Belize Bird Rescue’s property has gone from soggy quagmire to swimming pool and back again over the last couple of months. We were way luckier than most in Belize as none of our buildings were inundated, but it was touch and go several times. Between closed roads and bridges, Covid travel restrictions and curfews, and waterlogged farmland, it’s been a massive challenge purchasing or foraging produce for the birds. Your donations have certainly helped with the rising costs and our need to purchase expensive pellets and seeds to make up the shortfall.

It’s no secret that 2020 also destroyed both of our trusty old vehicles. Once again, you’ve been astounding with your support in helping us, and we hope that by 2021 we will be back on the road. Watch this space!

Since our September report we have had 46 new intakes, including 12 parrots. We’ve managed a few more releases including 5 more ex-captive yellow-headed Amazons, always our most challenging rehab cases. They were released by David Hilmy at the Kutunza Translocation Facility in the south of the country, making 57 former pet yellow-heads released at this site.

In October we started producing a monthly newsletter highlighting a few of our activities. If you would like to subscribe please go to https://mailchi.mp/0444238cdb8d/subscribe. We will also be in touch shortly with a round-up of the year. I can’t believe it’s nearly over. That was quite the emotional whirlwind!

Finally, as always, I want to try to explain to you how grateful we are for you, our GlobalGiving family. I feel that you really have our backs. You are our source of funding. You are keeping each and every one of the birds here at the rescue alive, happy and healthy. You’re providing our veterinary services, our rescue trips, our power and water. You provide wages for Oscar, Orlando and Carmen to come and help take the pressure off now and then, to re-perch and deep-clean. You are feeding every beak. You are the reason why BBR has managed to release more than 1000 parrots back into the wild over the years. We cannot do this without you. We truly can’t.

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

Nikki & all at BBR

Relentless rain!
Relentless rain!
Our beakless superstar, Babe
Our beakless superstar, Babe
Family rainbath
Family rainbath
Released yellow-head (thanks to David Hilmy)
Released yellow-head (thanks to David Hilmy)

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Baby red lored parrot
Baby red lored parrot

I had to smile reading through my May report. Back then it was Covid and fires. Now it’s Covid and hurricanes. Because things are not tough enough, right? We are watching approaching storm Nana and will likely have to pull in the vulnerable birds and then hunker down until this predicated hurricane passes over, misses us, or fizzles out. I always worry about the released birds, the ones we can’t help or protect, but you know they always manage to find somewhere safe to hide out. Smart birds.

We have been so, so fortunate to have had your support. Since May there’s been 115 rescues, 59 of which are parrots, 7 waterbirds, 17 songbirds and 15 raptors. We released 21 of those birds and 78 are still with us undergoing long-term rehabilitation, bringing our total in care right now to 225.

I cannot stress this enough – there is no way at all that we could have helped any of them without your loyal support. You are incredible. Thank you!

Some of our highlights were 10 gorgeous barn owl releases and the release of Touca the bent-beaked toucan. She’s doing well, visiting about once a week to let us know she’s still alive. We also managed to free our 6 parakeets that had been clipped as young birds and their regrowth had taken what felt like forever. We transferred another 7 ex-captive yellow-heads to our release site on a private reserve. The manager of the reserve does the most amazing job of successfully soft-releasing all of these oddities. He’s given a second chance to 42 ex-captive yellow-heads at this site. Thank you David!

We finally raised 18 endangered yellow-headed amazon chicks that are now weaned and out in the ‘bush’ aviary where they stay until their release in May 2021. We’ve had some roller-coaster cases too. I’ve never had to deal with so many sick and debilitated confiscated parrots, and of course this would be the year with no vets or interns on site. The other challenge has been lack of hand-feeding formula. Usually I get visitors and interns to bring them in their suitcases, but there have been no suitcases this year either. Old-school with the blender!

Covid has finally hit Belize, as we all knew it would, and so our borders remain closed and the end seems to be nowhere in sight. We really hope that you are staying safe and well in this ongoing pandemic. I guess in the end everything else is secondary.

Finally, I want to say once more, we are unbelievably grateful for your generosity and support. Please, if you have the time, share our Facebook page or other social media, and our GlobalGiving fundraising pages. If we are to continue as Belize's only multi-species, avian rescue organisation then we need you now more than ever. The birds need you, now more than ever. Consider yourselves their savior, as without you the 198 birds that have come through our doors this year would have been left to die.

Bless you, and remain safe

Warm regards,

Nikki & all at BBR

Released white-fronted Amazon at BBR
Released white-fronted Amazon at BBR
Release ex-captive yellowheaded Amazons
Release ex-captive yellowheaded Amazons
Touca with that funky beak!
Touca with that funky beak!
Some of the young Barn owls releases at BBR
Some of the young Barn owls releases at BBR
Hand-reared baby yellow-headed Amazons
Hand-reared baby yellow-headed Amazons

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Red lored parrot chicks
Red lored parrot chicks

I must begin this report with a resounding Thank You to all of our GlobalGiving supporters. You are incredible, and we certainly know you have our back. Many of you may know that our biggest source of funding comes via our small B&B which was cut off at the knees in early March as a result of Covid-19. Since then we have been stunned and overjoyed at the support given by corporations, organisations and private individuals. Thank you all so much for alleviating much of the worry for our current situation.

So, yes, thanks to people like you, we are still here and as busy as ever with 163 rehab birds to care for. Personally I am busier than ever, as we are down to skeleton staff for both financial and health reasons, and of course we have no interns, which leaves yours truly to cover the shortfall. I know it’s good for me!

On a side note, the Belize Government has handled this epidemic exceptionally well, and coupled with calm and order amongst the Belizean people have managed lock down the country to keep covid cases to just 18, sadly 2 deaths, but no new positive tests since April 13th and all 16 cases now declared recovered and virus free. There are no flights whatsoever, domestic or international, and we are permitted limited in-country travel only. BBR is classed as an essential service and can attend rescues, releases and vet appointments as usual.

Belize is also experiencing drought for the second year running, which has of course brought fires. Thank you Mother Nature, we know you’re annoyed, but give us a break, will you?
Several of our intakes were rescued from the threat of fires including 3 red lored parrots and a teeny baby white-front. One of the red loreds must have leaped from his nest hole as the fire approached, and was found floating in the river (lucky, lucky bird). He unfortunately sustained a wing fracture, but this is now almost healed, thanks to our wonderful vet Dr Philip Deshield.

We also had 2 pygmy owl chicks that were in the thick of a fire and their fallen tree was doused in water by the Forest Department before they realized the birds were there. Despite this they survived and are now thriving.

We are caring for 4 boisterous barn owl nestlings, which I think are my favourite raptor. The usual story for these guys, evicted from a roof space undergoing repair. Every night they are consuming 5 rats between them, which shows what an amazing job of pest control the parents had been doing at their banana farm home. Incredible birds!

And just this weekend, I spent the day with the rangers in Payne’s Creek National Park removing 17 yellow-headed parrot chicks which were at high risk of being poached or being crushed in overcrowded nests. All are doing well and adapting to the new circumstances of their unusual journey to freedom. We post updates on our rehab cases on our Facebook page. The link is attached if you would like to follow their progress.

We hope you are doing well in whatever circumstances this epidemic has forced upon you, and thank you once again for your unwavering support and generosity for our avian rehabilitation efforts in Belize. I know I keep saying it, but we really can’t do what we do without you.

Warmest regards

Nikki & the BBR Team

Barn owl chicks (yes, 4!)
Barn owl chicks (yes, 4!)
Tiny white-front chick
Tiny white-front chick
Pygmy owl chicks
Pygmy owl chicks
Young yellow-head chick
Young yellow-head chick
Extracting chicks with TIDE
Extracting chicks with TIDE
Chicks in natural nest (Photo TIDE)
Chicks in natural nest (Photo TIDE)

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Red lored babies
Red lored babies

Hi there

As always with the first report of the year, we present a roundup of the previous 12 months.

Your support and generosity throughout 2019 helped us to rescued 244 birds, well over third of which were parrots. Another third were songbirds, toucans and woodpeckers and the remainder raptors and water-birds equally.

The majority of our parrot intakes joined our long-term rehab programme, and of the remaining species, almost 60% were successfully released. We recorded 62 hotline calls, even though time and staffing constraints mean around three quarters of our calls are resolved on the fly and we neglect to keep a record. We are trying to improve on that for 2020 and have already logged 18 calls in January alone.

Most of our parrot intakes were illegally captive and come through owner-surrenders and Forest Department confiscations. We contine with our yellow-headed parrot at-risk chick programme, and currently have 20 birds that we hand-raised last year that would otherwise have been poached or died in the nest. They are due for release back into the southern pine savannah in May, which would bring our total yellow-head releases to 122 (90 hand-raised babies and 32 ex-captive). The count carried out in 2016 estimates the population at 1200 birds, so every bird returned to the breeding population is valuable to the long-term success of this endemic sub-species.

We encountered 40 conflict patients last year, which is 40 too many. One of our major goals for 2020 is to seek grant funding for a full-time mobile education and media officer. Outreach is a crucial part of our work in Belize. Your donations already help us to reach out to the public but we are determined to do more. This is a very small country with less than 400,000 inhabitants, at least 30% of which are in some form of education, and with only a couple of national media outlets, it’s a very easy country to present insightful awareness to. Members of the public reported over half of our 244 intakes. They are our eyes and ears and it’s crucial that we continue to reach out to them for assistance.

Throughout 2019 we released 156 birds. 88 of those were parrots, including 28 endangered yellow-heads. At the end of 2019 we were caring for 148 birds most of which ex-captive parrots undergoing long-term rehabilitation.

Throughout the year we enjoyed the company and expertise of 22 interns and volunteers who between them gave us 577 days of their valuable time free of cost, for which we are forever grateful!

Apologies for the barrage of numbers but it’s important for us to let you know the positive impact that your donations make to our organisation’s work. Once again we have been completely overwhelmed by the backing and encouragement given by our GlobalGiving family. Every year your support grows and 2019 absolutely smashed previous years for donations. Thank you all so very, very much!

We will leave you with a couple of our favourite photos of 2019 and as promised, one of the baby red-foot booby we received last week.

Thank you once again for everything you do for us. We absolutely couldn’t do it without you!

Fondest regards,

Nikki & the BBR Team


Peli buddies pre-release
Peli buddies pre-release
white-front baby
white-front baby
Toucan the toucan checking out the view
Toucan the toucan checking out the view
Those yellowhead babies!
Those yellowhead babies!
Red-footed booby chick!
Red-footed booby chick!

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Organization Information

Belize Bird Rescue

Location: Belmopan, Cayo - Belize
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @BirdBelize
Project Leader:
Nicola Buxton
Belmopan, Cayo Belize
$68,010 raised of $112,000 goal
 
1,276 donations
$43,990 to go
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