2021 was almost as bumpy as 2020, although we are getting used to this new normal and rolling with the punches. The year got off to a great start with your wish-list items arriving in time for the baby season. We were so well set up with various hand-feeding formulas, I didn’t have to resort to the home-made version which was a lot less work for sure. We took in 96 parrots, almost all babies and 18 of them endangered yellow-headed Amazons that would certainly had perished had the Rangers in the reserves not removed them for hand-rearing. The rest were rescued from poachers, surrendered by people who had purchased them, and there were also a few downed, wild chicks.
Due to the uncertainty of covid-related immigration restrictions and unpredictable flights, our small B&B and our internship programme remained closed. This did not deter our three favourite visitors - Bill Wasserman made his usual trip to lend a hand, Lauren Yang of San Diego Zoo was in capable control for 3 weeks during baby season, and once again the lovely (local) Jonathan Urbina gave up his time for the babies. Also thanks to Geneviève for her first, but hopefully not last trip to BBR. Love you guys!
We released 48 of our former-captive parrots that had been undergoing long-term rehabilitation, plus the 18 yellow-heads we raised in 2020. This brought our total releases for this endangered species to 148 which is a respectable percentage of the wild population estimated to be fewer than 1600 birds country-wide.
Your generosity never ceases to amaze us, and 2021 was a truly incredible year for funds donated specifically for enclosure upgrades and renewals. We built 4 gorgeous new enclosures and finally bullet-proofed 5 others so not even a mouse can sneak in there! Such a relief. We also managed to hire back our 5 lovely employees that had been laid off during covid. This was an even bigger relief as not only did I have continued help, but their families were being provided for once more. It was certainly a worrying time for everyone.
One of the highlights has to be our new vehicle. It has totally changed my attitude to rescues and vet trips, and I no longer dread the journey. Once again, your generosity has been unbelievable and words just don’t convey our gratitude adequately.
All in all 2021 was a good year for the birds of BBR. We saw more wild, baby parrots accompanied by their BBR-released parents than ever before, clearly demonstrating the success of our programme. The flock of white-fronted parrots that congregate around the property morning and night is the biggest we have ever seen and their behaviours as a flock are those of normal wild birds.
We have condensed the highlights of this year into a video which you can see on our You Tube channel, plus there are some exciting things we are looking forward to in 2022, so please do subscribe to the newsletter to keep abreast of all of our activities.
Thank you all once again so very much for all of your support throughout 2021, and wishing you and your loved ones a very, very Happy New Year!
Nikki & the BBR Team
2021 has drawn to a close, and so has our old faithful project Saving Belize’s Birds.
This never-ending funding cycle has been ‘up and running’ in one way or another since 2015. In order to reflect the true needs of BBR, we have decided to renew this operational support project every year, with a funding goal that is accurate to our annual costs minus any pledged funds we have for that particular year. This change will also give our monthly donors the opportunity to revisit their commitments as you will be given the option to transfer the funding over to the new project, change the amount or stop the payments. Some of you have been with us since the very beginning, which is mind-blowing! Thank you so much.
This final report is an emotional one for me as it relates to our very first venture into fundraising. Prior to that the rescue was entirely supported by the founding Director’s (long exhausted) personal income.
Since this project was launched in 2015 you have donated a total of almost $88,000US through GlobalGiving. Your incredible generosity has sustained us through those 6 years and has given a new start to literally hundreds of wild-caught parrots that would otherwise have spent short, miserable lives in tiny cages. You’ve enabled us to implement the licensing programme which brought greatly improved conditions of care to long-term captive parrots. Your generosity has assisted the rescue, hand-raising and release of 113 endangered yellow-headed Amazon chicks that would have otherwise perished in the nest. You have given assistance to more than 2000 imperilled wild birds such as pelicans, barn owls, parrots, toucans – every Belizean species from the tiniest hummingbird to the majestic jabiru stork. You have helped us to create a fully functioning veterinary clinic, a massive prep room, species-specific nurseries and enclosures, and have enabled the evolution of our rescue into the internationally recognised organisation we are today. We cannot thank you enough, and you should be extremely proud of yourselves!
Our goal for “Saving Belize’s Birds 2022” is $36,000. A nice, round, achievable $3,000 per month! Having this target also demonstrates how pivotal our monthly donors are to reaching this goal.
We thank you all so much for your support over the years, and hope that you will continue to help us through your fabulous social media engagments and your donations to Saving Belize's Birds 2022.
Wishing you a happy, healthy and prosperous 2022.
Nikki and the BBR Team
It’s nearly the end of another year. I am still having a hard time figuring out where that went.
Since our September report we have had just 33 intakes including 15 parrots and of course our adorable baby toucan. 10 of those birds were released and 13 are still in care, giving us a total of 164 birds undergoing rehabilitation, the vast majority of which are parrots.
Right now we are receiving several escaped or surrendered captive parrots. It’s a familiar pattern this time of year as the babies grow out of the cute stage and become more difficult to handle and a whole lot louder and messier. Those of you with your own captive-bred companion birds know exactly how that goes! Sadly most of our recent intakes have clipped wing feathers which can extend their rehab time by at least a year, if not longer.
There’s a lot of activity around the centre as our ever-growing flocks reform to cement bonds before the start of the mating season. There’s already a few “boys will be boys” scraps starting which sets my teeth on edge. It’s all part of their natural cycle but it’s still like having bickering kids in the house – you just want to bang their heads together!!
I am sure you’re aware of our monthly newsletter which highlights some of our comings and goings. You can drop in a read at your leisure, or subscribe and have the update delivered straight to your inbox. We have several really exciting things happening toward the end of the year and the Newsletter is a great place to get that information.
And finally, please don’t forget us on November 30th - Giving Tuesday! GlobalGiving has a monster pot for matching funds to round of the 2021 giving season, making your tax-deductible dollars work so much harder for the Birds of Belize.
We are beyond grateful for your continued support and confidence in our organisation. We quite simply cannot do what we do without you all. Thank you!
With warmest regards and gratitude
Nikki and the BBR Team
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
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
Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.
If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating.
We'll only email you new reports and updates about this project.