Belize Bird Rescue is Belize’s only multi-species avian rescue centre working with all species of resident and migratory birds, with a focus on wild parrots rescued from the illegal pet trade.
Belize Bird Rescue has been working in Belize since 2004 to address the illegal local trade in wild-caught parrots. We have liberated over 1000 wild parrots from captivity, and in partnership with the Belize Forest Department have implemented a licensing programme to tag and monitor non-releasable, well-cared-for parrots already in captivity, whilst bringing an end to the captive wild trade.
We provide free rescue services for all species of imperilled wild birds and in conjunction with our partners at Animal Medical Centre in Belize City we provide surgical care and in-house medical care for sick and injured birds.
Our ultimate goal is rehabilitation for release wherever possible.
Like most of Central and South America, Belize has a history of keeping wild parrots as pets. As our environment comes under increased pressure, and species conservation becomes ever-more crucial, we are working to halt this unstainable practice.
The majority of the facilities are given over to the parrots, which make up to 80% of our annual intakes.
Many species of raptor in Belize are under threat from human activities such as habitat loss, rodenticides, and lethal deterrents by poultry farmers. Additional pressures on barn owls in particular are due to ingrained superstition and the owl’s propensity to nest, rather noisily, inside buildings. Barn owls are by far our most common raptor rescues. We have a purpose-built barn with 3 raptor enclosures, a nursery, a flight enclosure, plus our rodent colonies.
The majority of our water-bird intakes are juvenile pelicans. They arrive exhausted and hungry after a migration of over a thousand miles, and then get into difficulties.
We see wing injuries on herons, egrets and seabirds in addition to the usual array of nestlings that are abandoned or imperilled.
We have a dedicated room and aviary for water-bird rehabilitation.
Forest &Woodland Species
This general term encompasses everything that is not a parrot, waterbird or raptor. Toucans and woodpeckers are amongst our most numerous intake of this large species grouping, with flycatchers, grackles and mockingbirds a close second. We breed colonies of worms to feed these special little birds.
Belize lies along one of the world’s major migration routes for multiple species. It is both a stop- over and ultimate destination and as such BBR experiences a jump in intakes at the start of the north to south winter migration. Birds arrive exhausted and starving or get into difficulties due to light pollution or storms. It is important to get these birds in good health and back on their journey as soon as possible.
Yellow-headed Parrot Programme
The Yellow-head parrot is a subspecies unique to Belize. Their startling ability to mimic makes them highly sought-after for the illegal pet trade. Their pine savannah nests are highly visible to poachers and susceptible to natural threats such as flooding, drought, fires, and hurricanes. Yellow-head flocks are also subject to lethal deterrents from citrus farmers and other crop producers.
Learn more about this amazing parrot and the efforts to protect them.
WHERE WE WORK.
We are based 3 miles outside the nation’s capital city of Belmopan, in the Cayo district of Belize, Central America.
Our work takes us all over the country for rescues, releases and outreach programmes.
We maintain 7 soft-release enclosures in strategic areas of the country, primarily for our parrot programmes.