Fire burning in the night

Remember our first patient, the bare-throated tiger heron? Well after the swelling went down in his shoulder it became apparent that he had fractured something, even though the radiograph didn’t show anything obvious. He started drooping his wing and when we test flew him, he couldn’t fly. After consulting with the amazing and incredibly generous Dr Shannon Riggs, we got him in a body wrap and kept him in the shower for 2 weeks on cage rest. We moved him to a small aviary at the beginning of the week when he figured out how to get out of the shower and was found standing in the middle of the bathroom! Foreseeing an unpleasant surprise for those going in and out of that bathroom we decided it was time to get him outside. Today we test flew him in Nikki’s large flight aviary and he not only flew, but flew gracefully as herons do! We are so excited about this! Hopefully he will be released next week.

Last night the power went out while we were on our evening walk (saw some great birds!) We cooked and ate dinner by flashlight. When we stepped outside to get some air we saw that there was a large fire burning just past the edge of Nikki’s property on the other side of the river. The night sky was glowing bright orange and we could hear the fire cackling from the veranda. The fire, coupled with the power outage and the single gun shot we heard echo across the property, made for a rather unnerving night! Thankfully the power returned after a few hours and the fire burned out before we went to bed. It is very common for there to be fires burning at this time of year in Belize. Nikki and Sam have explained that it is cheaper to burn the brush than to hire people to clear it so we often see fires burning in the distance. We were all commenting on how different this is from home – if a fire starts in California someone quickly puts it out!

We didn’t make it to the zoo last week but are going to try again this Friday. Apparently Friday is National Tapir day and the zoo will be celebrating the 30th birthday of their tapir, April, the most famous tapir in Belize. Sounds like fun! Friday is Kathy’s last day with us as well – she has been such a great help here! We are really going to miss her!

Black-headed trogon!

Black-headed trogon!

Masked tityra - a really awesome looking bird!

Masked tityra – a really awesome looking bird!

Red-lored flying to their roost at sunset.

Red-lored flying to their roost at sunset.

Okay - if you look closely, see that pink petal? There is a leaf cutter ant carrying it! We saw a whole trail of them yesterday!

Okay – if you look closely, see that pink petal? There is a leaf cutter ant carrying it! We saw a whole trail of them yesterday!

Orb weaver living in the large flight aviary.

Orb weaver living in the large flight aviary.

Plantains growing near the river.

Plantains growing near the river.

Our now flying tiger-heron! Yay!

Our now flying tiger-heron! Yay!

The fire at the edge of the property last night.

The fire at the edge of the property last night.

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