One More for the Birds


Unabashed nature lovers that we are, and fortunate enough to live in one of the best birding locations in the world, with over 300 avian species recorded at Chaa Creek alone and more than 500 throughout Belize, we were happy to hear that one of our fine feathered friends and one of Belize’s real beauties – the common black hawk, is on its way to Ambergris Caye after being rescued and treated by the good folks of Belize Bird Rescue.

Apparently, the little hawk found itself in strife when its parents built their nest in someone’s yard on Caye Caulker and the protective parents began attacking people after the chick was born. Perfectly natural behaviour, but not very neighbourly for the humans. Even in the land of “no shoes, no shirts, no worries” bombarding hawks can cause concern.

The only solution was to remove the chick, but it was injured in the process, and taken to Belize Bird Rescue’s Roaring Creek rehab centre, where since then it has been cared for by BBR staff, including Sarah Mon, who looked after the bird’s bandages, feeding it and even helping with some flight training.

According to BBR’s Jonathon Urbina, “it’s at the level where it is now ready and good to go; it’s able to hunt on its own, even though we had been its parents…”

Jonathon also made a point of thanking Maya Island Air for providing flight assistance of the more mechanical kind to get the staff and hawk over to Ambergris.

Surrogate mother Sarah told Love FM, “We have a family in San Pedro and they will be the parents for the next three weeks; it’s going to be a soft release.   We will open the kennel, we will let him come out, look at his surroundings, he will stay in that area; the children will find crabs for him, putting him in a pool and what happens is that over time he will stop coming in for the food and that is what we consider soft release; he will get used to the area and know where his territory is.”

Jonathon said that the hawk, which is now between four to five months old, will be released at the northern part of Ambergris Caye and presumably enjoy some of the excellent fishing to be had there.

To us, it’s one more fine example of how people in Belize pull together to protect nature and all her creatures great and small, and hearing about it made our day a little bit brighter. We hope you enjoyed it too…

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