Many mouths to feed!

Belize Bird Rescue is a wildlife rehabilitation center as well as a sanctuary. Currently Nikki has 60 birds on the property (not including the 30ish guinea fowl, the 100+ muscovy ducks and the one lone goose). Most of them are parrots. Parrot rehabilitation is a very long process – usually the birds come to Nikki with very poor feather condition from being improperly housed or they come in imprinted. If they are pretty wild because they were never handled but their feathers are trashed, Nikki holds them until they molt and grow in new feathers. If they are imprinted – that’s a different story. Some can return back to their wild temperament by being put with others, but others just enjoy (or hate) people too much to ever really be released. Some of these birds have become “house birds” – they are allowed to be free all day and roam the property coming back to the house to eat, sleep,or just to get out of the heat. These are the birds that Rachel and I spend every day with – they all have their unique personalities and are quite amazing to be around.

Besides confiscated or relinquished “pet” parrots, Nikki also takes in any injured or orphaned wild birds. Currently we have the bare-throated tiger heron, who is slated to be released this weekend, the gray headed kite, the white hawk, 3 barn owls, a common nighthawk, and new today, a Central-American pygmy owl. The difference between working with these birds and the parrots is huge – they have different needs, from food to housing to enrichment. I must say, it has been a very interesting experience having to catch the food to feed our birds. The men who work on Nikki’s property catch and kill rats for us almost every day, they also get live fish out of her pond. To supplement all the meat-eaters we have also been chopping up chicken with bones (for the barn owl babies) and offering beef strips to the adult hawks.

Nikki also has 4 very lovely dogs who keep us company. They are also free to roam and just about every other day they take off at dawn and stagger home late afternoon/evening. We aren’t sure where they go or what they do – but they always sleep well the next day. They walk out with us every evening to check on the ducks and happily play in the lawn on the way back. They are sweethearts.

Nikki returns on Sunday – I can’t believe how fast this month has gone by! Her daughter is getting married next Saturday so Rachel and I will be on our own again for a couple of days next week. Matt and Devin arrive on the 14th which will mark the beginning of our vacation! 🙂 We are planning on seeing Mayan ruins, going to the Cayes, caves, waterfalls – it will be amazing!

Blue headed (mealy) parrot - this one is named Buzz. He lived at a resort where he buzzed visitors. He is not releasable - he is beautiful.

Blue headed (mealy) parrot – this one is named Buzz. He lived at a resort where he buzzed visitors. He is not releasable – he is beautiful.

Yellow-headed parrot - Nikki currently has 8 of them. 1 is bonded to a red-lored and has quite a repertoire of songs. The other 7 will hopefully start her breeding program. They are incredibly aggressive and very vocal!!

Yellow-headed parrot – Nikki currently has 8 of them. 1 is bonded to a red-lored and has quite a repertoire of songs. The other 7 will hopefully start her breeding program. They are incredibly aggressive and very vocal!!

This female yellow lored is bonded to a golden crowned conure - Nikki is hoping to rehome them together.

This female yellow lored is bonded to a golden crowned conure – Nikki is hoping to rehome them together.

This golden-crowned conure is my absolute favorite here. He is such a sweetheart! I might just take him and his girlfriend home - if I can figure out how to do that. :)

This golden-crowned conure is my absolute favorite here. He is such a sweetheart! I might just take him and his girlfriend home – if I can figure out how to do that. 🙂

These are two white-crowned parrots (pionus) in one of the aviaries.

These are two white-crowned parrots (pionus) in one of the aviaries.

This is Cho-cho, a red-lored, he just arrived last weekend. The woman who had him is moving back to the States and couldn't take him with her. He is starting to come out of his shell, he has lots of vocalizations and a very over-grown beak.

This is Cho-cho, a red-lored, he just arrived last weekend. The woman who had him is moving back to the States and couldn’t take him with her. He is starting to come out of his shell, he has lots of vocalizations and a very over-grown beak.

Red-loreds in the aviary - this group will hopefully be releasable.

Red-loreds in the aviary – this group will hopefully be releasable.

Milo - a relatively quiet boy who loves having head/back/wing massages. He has cataracts in both eyes and prefers to stay up on his perch.

Milo – a relatively quiet boy who loves having head/back/wing massages. He has cataracts in both eyes and prefers to stay up on his perch.

Sancho - was found and raised by a biologist and her children - they turned him over to Nikki because they knew having him was wrong. We soft released him a few days ago so now he roams the property and comes back at night. Though he does find us while we are feeding the aviaires and hangs out on our shoulders.

Sancho – was found and raised by a biologist and her children – they turned him over to Nikki because they knew having him was wrong. We soft released him a few days ago so now he roams the property and comes back at night. Though he does find us while we are feeding the aviaires and hangs out on our shoulders.

Pepper - a very sweet red-lored, also soft-released on the property. Pepper loves Nikki, her daughter Sam, and Rachel.

Pepper – a very sweet red-lored, also soft-released on the property. Pepper loves Nikki, her daughter Sam, and Rachel.

Sassy - a very fat, one-eyed red-lored that was found walking in the middle of the street. Also a very sweet bird. Likes to put his foot up as you walk by and hitch a ride to wherever he wants to go. If you go in the wrong direction he bites your thumb to let you know.

Sassy – a very fat, one-eyed red-lored that was found walking in the middle of the street. Also a very sweet bird. Likes to put his foot up as you walk by and hitch a ride to wherever he wants to go. If you go in the wrong direction he bites your thumb to let you know.

Harry - a girl - a white-crowned parrot. Loves Nikki's son-in-law Geoff and is making a nest in his apartment for the two of them. Will do anything for cheese.

Harry – a girl – a white-crowned parrot. Loves Nikki’s son-in-law Geoff and is making a nest in his apartment for the two of them. Will do anything for cheese.

Tucker - a very silly dog. Used to be a house dog and will sometimes stay back with us instead of roaming.

Tucker – a very silly dog. Used to be a house dog and will sometimes stay back with us instead of roaming.

Dyson is a very loyal dog, he is always at the front of the line leading the pack.

Dyson is a very loyal dog, he is always at the front of the line leading the pack.

Buster - a very big boy! Part mastiff and surprisingly Sophie's sibling.

Buster – a very big boy! Part mastiff and surprisingly Sophie’s sibling.

Sophie - what a sweet girl! Sophie sits in the kitchen with us in the morning while we prep food.

Sophie – what a sweet girl! Sophie sits in the kitchen with us in the morning while we prep food.

 

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3 thoughts on “Many mouths to feed!

  1. Veronica Bowers says:

    This makes me sooooo HAPPY! Give them all lots of hugs and kisses for me. Miss those gorgeous beings. Hugs and kisses to all the wonderful humans, too! I hope Nikki had a fantastic time away and I wish Sam and Geoff a glorious celebration. Savor these final weeks 😉

  2. Nikki says:

    Brought tears to my eyes! I am forever in your debt. Thanks to your amazing help over the last month, and from Veronica early this year, I have been thoroughly spoiled. I am so grateful for everything you have done, for the knowledge and expertise you have brought to Belize Bird Rescue, and your patience and caring with our crazy avian family. I hope you will all come back and visit the gang as soon as you get the opportunity. Thank you, a thousand times!!!
    Nikki
    https://tropicwonder.wordpress.com/2013/05/01/155/#comment-form-load-service:Facebook

  3. nancymx says:

    Again thank you for taking the time to send out these wonderful blogs. The pictures are great! We are all living vicariously through you two.

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