Monday, January 25, 2010


There’s nothing like a wake-up call to motivate. And did we ever have a wake-up call. This is tough to admit, but I swore I would keep this blog as honest as possible so here goes: Chili got stolen again. Yes I know, I don’t believe it either. Yes, I know, I am crap - but really, what is up with that bird???

Anyhow, the story goes: on Monday morning she flew to the house while I was feeding the rehab birds, ranted and raved as she always does, and then silence. By the time I got back to the house, she was gone. Of course we feared the worst: hawk, iguana, boa… I told the neighbours, just in case by some miracle Chili had forgotten she was not allowed to leave the premises by herself, but there was no sight or sound of her (and believe me, that is one noisy bird!)

On Wednesday evening, day three of mourning, our trusty neighbour and Chief Grapevine Listener reported that a bird fitting Chili’s description – right down to the ring on her leg – was being offered for sale up and down our road by one of the more colourful local characters. Apparently, even comments like “isn’t that Miss Nikki’s bird?” did not deter our super-intelligent thief from his task. Heaven only knows how he got her; I can only imagine that something spooked her and she flew too near the road just as he was passing. Talk about rotten luck.

So, while I printed up posters and spread them all over the area, Jerry met up with our parrot-stealer. He denied all knowledge of any parrot, despite being told that one of the people offered the bird was at this very moment relaying the name, age and shoe-size of the perpetrator to the police.
Half an hour later and he tracked me down and admitted he had picked up the bird, but she bit him and flew away. (aaaarp, strike two).

Then just to demonstrate what a teeny, tiny place Belize really is, Cydie, one of our young volunteers doing a days’ work experience with a vet was taken out on a house call, and spotted none other than Chili the Wanderer perched on a roofing beam. Tan-ta-la-taaaar. Belize Bird Rescue to the Rescue. Enter Jerry The Very Scary and Chili is once again back home, minus the few feathers she had managed to grow since the last time she was rescued. The family that had her say they paid $50 for her. I wouldn’t want to be in the shoes of our thief when they finally catch up with him, but I’d certainly pay $50 to watch.

Okay, so motivated, we managed to get bands on 16 more of our little darlings. We have given up on the rest for a day or two. Word got around that we were creatures to avoid since every bird we touched screamed bloody murder and barely escaped with their lives. Man, we’re nasty. Spike was just about the last straw for me – as he latched onto my face with his claw poised neatly around my eyeball, I figured it was probably time for a rest. I love that bird.

So what other excitements has this year brought us?
Alexandra the termite muncher is still with us. So far the house has not fallen down, but I guess that will take a year or two. Like our house, her fate is still uncertain, poor girl, so she continues to dwell in bathroom-land.

The dogs had one of their regular arguments with a coatimundi this weekend: that was a happy 2 hours at the vet – he had us all in stitches. Hardyhar.

We also managed to get shot of the tinamou: it was a most unspectacular release. It didn’t wave, say thanks or anything. Another ungrateful creature on its merry way.

Oh – and excitement abounds, we had a visit from a wood-stork. I guess news of our little duck pond is spreading, much to the duck’s annoyance. If he’d come for a quiet stroll through the bulrushes, he’d come to the wrong pond. 60 angry muscovies telling “old long-legs” to “get lost” can be a little off-putting, so off he put.

And as you can see, my New Year resolution to blog more often lasted about as long as my ride on the January Wagon.
Resolution number 3 – must try harder.