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
"Sunshine" one of the red lored babies
"Sunshine" one of the red lored babies

I can’t believe it is September already. Where is this year going?

We are certainly slowing down now as we come out of the main breeding season. Since the last report we have had just 32 intakes including 8 parrots, 4 raptors, 14 garden/forest birds, and 5 water-birds. 9 of those birds were released and 14 are still in care, giving us a total of 168 birds undergoing rehabilitation, the vast majority of which are parrots. BBR travelled 608 miles for rescues, with a further 1076 miles of rescues donated by volunteers.

Speaking of transport, I think we are finally in a position to tell the whole sad story of our new Nissan truck we purchased back in February. You may have read in our last report that another car pulled out on our truck and caused a 3-car collision, thankfully without injury to persons, but the truck was a write-off after only 4 months of use. We were completely devastated, and right back where we started before you all generously donated toward this amazing purchase.

It has taken 3 months of paperwork and negotiation to sort out insurances and Government permits for tax exemptions, but we are finally back on the road. Thanks to some appalling instruction from our own insurance company, this entire fiasco cost us a little over $7,000US to fix. The less I say about the company the better. Needless to say we did not reinsure with them

We are horrified that a portion of your generous donations has been wasted on this accident, but short of taking the other driver or the insurance company to court, there is nothing we can do about it. But, at least we are back on the road.

Your contributions through GlobalGiving enabled us to continue with our enclosure refurbishments, and thanks to one incredibly generous donor we were also able to implement some substantial predator proofing measures to many of them.

Our babies are all weaned and integrated into their respective flocks. We were ecstatic that we had zero clipped-wing babies this year, until last week when two were dropped at our door with horribly hacked feathers and one sporting a broken leg. So begins ‘surrender period’ where people realise that the little cutie-pie they stole from the nest has become a biting, angry juvenile. This is where the newly-built transition enclosures come into force, providing a safe space for these little ones to grow back their plumage without fear of falling, damage, predation or bullying. Our gratitude to you for giving us those options now. Hopefully within 8 or 10 months they will be able to join the rest of the flock, although if previous years are anything to go by, they will be getting some clipped-wing company very soon.

As always, the congratulations are all yours, as you continue to help us to help them to Fly Free. Don’t forget this week is Little-by-Little week where your GlobalGiving donations up to $50 are awarded a 50% match, making your money work even harder for the Birds of Belize.

With our warmest regards and gratitude,

Nikki and the BBR Team

white-front babies enjoying their new space
white-front babies enjoying their new space
Life's better with a friend
Life's better with a friend
someone can't wait for the new perch to go up
someone can't wait for the new perch to go up
Bella and Kat enjoying a moment
Bella and Kat enjoying a moment
Walter enjoying the attention
Walter enjoying the attention

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Yellow-headed Amazon babies
Yellow-headed Amazon babies

Our baby bird season is slowing down a little now (although I probably shouldn’t speak too soon!)

Since our last report we had 147 intakes. 58 parrots, 21 raptors, 53 garden/forest birds, 4 aracaris and 5 water-birds. 31 have been released, 88 are still in care, with sadly 28 succoming to injuries. BBR travelled over 4800 miles for rescues, with a further 2900 miles of rescues donated by volunteers.

We managed to construct two glorious new enclosures which we have been using for the white-fronted and red lored parrots. We are embarking on refurbishing some of our existing enclosures, making them more secure and upgrading the perching and shelter areas. After two months of waiting the country was finally resupplied with plywood, so we can also start to replace some of the tired roost boxes.

We were lucky enough to have returning ‘interns’ Lauren Yang and Bill Wasserman visit again, each bringing their unique expertise to the centre. Jonathan Urbina also contributed several weeks of his time to the rescue, for which we are very grateful as always.

You may have seen mention in our last newsletter of the truck disaster. On June 4th, a careless driver pulled out onto the highway, causing so much damage to our lovely new Nissan that it’s now an insurance write-off. As always with insurance companies they leave us pathetically short of the expense of a replacement vehicle. The anguished battle continues, and in the meantime we are back to an ancient old truck and a depressing sense of deja-vu. We will keep you updated.

We are as always, so very grateful for your continued donations and support, without which we could not have helped those 147 intakes, or the 168 birds which were already undergoing rehabilitation at the start of the season.

Thanks to you all, Belize Bird Rescue continues to flourish, providing essential avian rescue and rehabilitation services to the country of Belize. The congratulations are all yours. You are quite literally helping us to help them to Fly Free.

With our warmest regards and gratitude,

Nikki and the BBR Team

collared aracari fledgling
collared aracari fledgling
white-fronted Amazons enjoying the new enclosure
white-fronted Amazons enjoying the new enclosure
young tropical kingbirds
young tropical kingbirds
hatchling white-fronted parrots
hatchling white-fronted parrots
Lesson's mot-mots
Lesson's mot-mots
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One lucky white-front
One lucky white-front

The first quarter of 2021 followed our familiar pattern of barn owls, pelicans and lost ‘pet’ parrots, interspersed with “who knows what’s next”. We’ve treated 70 patients so far this year with over half of those coming in through April.

We’re raising 4 adorable pygmy owls after their tree-cavity home was destroyed in a freak storm. The mom abandoned the site unfortunately, despite the best efforts of the home owner to re-nest. Of our 15 barn owls this year, we lost two due to injuries, 4 are not yet fledged and the remaining 9 have been released.

Our tiniest patient was a nestling rufous-tailed hummingbird who was rescued from the mischief of a domestic cat. He is now enjoying his second chance life around the BBR property.

We’ve been making excellent use of our new truck for rescues, especially for our 9 lost parrots. The saddest case is a white-fronted adult female that suffered such neglect in captivity she had a bacterial infection and parasite issues, weighed only 119g (typical weights 180-220) and had a wing and leg fracture in her weak bones caused by chronic nutritional deficiencies. Her escape is a miracle, her discovery in a low bush in a small Cayo village is even more miraculous. She is quite the fighter!

Other lost pets, although not in as poor shape as this one, are equally as fortunate to have escaped to be discovered by someone who knows to call us, and not just decide to recapture the bird.

We took our new truck on its first trip down south to the yellow-headed Amazon nesting grounds in Payne’s Creek National Park to carry out a long-overdue overhaul of our release enclosure. It was a long and brutally hot day. Every time I visit I am in awe of the work that the TIDE rangers do in that area with nest monitoring and protection, anti-poaching efforts, fire control and replanting management.

Only a few days later, our truck was back again to pick up the first at-risk chicks of the season. Mario, the Head Ranger had decided to extract these chicks due to a high risk of predation – the old nest tree cavity was completely exposed and open to both aerial and land predators. It’s always a difficult call to make, but we completely trust Mario’s judgement based on decades of experience.

A fourth chick was brought in by the Belize Bird Conservancy monitoring team – this little guy was so tiny they feared his huge siblings would squash him or out-compete him for food. It’s rare that more than two birds fledge from these cavities in the best of circumstances, so this was also a good decision. Relocating was explored, but there were no other nests containing only one chick of comparable size.

We also received a gorgeous olive-throated parakeet chick which sadly came down in a legal logging operation. As always we are truly thankful that people call us rather than selling or keeping these birds as pets.

So into the hard dry season we go, with temperatures rising and water in short supply for the wildlife of the country. It’s a hard life for these birds, and we are as always forever grateful to you all for providing us with the means to help them. We couldn’t do any of this without your generosity and support, and this year we are exceptionally grateful for our reliable vehicle which is entirely down to you. It is a complete joy to be able to relax on every journey, knowing we will make it there and back successfully!

With our warmest regards,

Nikki and the BBR Team.

Three more 'lost pets'
Three more 'lost pets'
Enclosure refurbish in Payne's Creek
Enclosure refurbish in Payne's Creek
Pygmy owl babies
Pygmy owl babies
Three at-risk chicks extracted by TIDE
Three at-risk chicks extracted by TIDE
Tiny next to his giant siblings
Tiny next to his giant siblings

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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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Organization Information

Belize Bird Rescue

Location: Belmopan, Cayo - Belize
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @BirdBelize
Project Leader:
Nicola Buxton
Belmopan, Cayo Belize
$75,902 raised of $112,000 goal
 
1,507 donations
$36,098 to go
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