I Never Really Thought of Parrots Until I Moved to Belize
Before I moved to Belize 15 years ago, I never really considered parrots. Or…to be honest…birds in general. Sure…parrots and pirates. Or parakeets in cages….odd pets that only seem to scream and poop. Those claws…those beaks…those beady eyes. And it’s hard to forget those attention seeking guys (they are always men) who walk down the city street with a parrot on their shoulders.
New York City – my old home – is filled with these sorts of people.
But then I moved to Belize. A country with 9 native parrots, with 2 types of toucans and an emerald toucanet, and where scarlet macaws, almost impossible to believe, fly in the wild.
And my life slowed down considerably so I could actually enjoy them.
Just outside our home, we have flocks of screaming olive-breasted parakeets in the afternoons and honking chachalacas in the morning and I love it. And when driving, almost daily, I shout at Jeff to STOP THE CART…
Because that’s who I am now – a person that says STOP THE CART for a cool bird.
Sooo…when I saw that it was World Parrot Day (thank you Caribbean Lifestyle- Belize), I thought I’d share some of my encounters with parrots. Because that’s also who I am now. A person with a surprising number of encounters with parrots.
Who woulda thought?
Parrots of Belize. (#2 is the parakeet)
The parrots you see on Ambergris Caye are most likely the olive-throated parakeets (picture above). They seem to travel in flocks of maybe 4 to 15…and they make a ton of noise.
Way up north – and west – we have parrots. I have only seen them once! A pair chattering and squawking in our kinep tree at Cayo Frances Farm and Fly. They were most likely yellow lored – a bird endemic to only the Yucatan – but it’s hard to tell! You need a very good look. They are much bigger than the parakeets…
Man do they love kineps.
This book below is A MUST and for some reason, at least on my computer, the Kindle version is only $2.99 today (if you have a color kindle! What a deal!)
So let me first share my visit to Belize Bird Rescue outside of Belmopan, Belize where Nikki and her team are rescuing and rehabilitating birds and educating the public. It’s an incredible place doing incredible work.
We were traveling with some momma-less barn owls that had been turned in at the Belize Zoo.
Her organization and her property are just incredible. We sent two injured hummingbirds to BBR a few years ago – via Tropic Air – for some care.
In case you were wondering how you ship hummingbirds…apparently we named them Kibbles and Bits.
My other incredible experiences with parrots – I traveled into the Chiquibil Forest to sit with (and protect) scarlet macaws from poachers. I did it for a few days…but there are volunteers and rangers that do it for months. To protect Belize’s scarlet macaws…
My second trip was a bit longer – I was expecting to stay for about a week. But then we got evacuated for Hurricane Earl!
Go-Pro photo taken of the protected babies
A once-in-a-lifetime experience…or in my case twice. I’m lucky.
If you want some more bird content, check out these posts:
My Guide to Beautiful Crooked Tree, Belize and the incredible water birds as the fresh water lagoons dry out
Or for unexpected wildlife on Ambergris Caye (like an anteater and deer) see this post:
Let me amend my statement – I am VERY lucky.