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!
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.
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.
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