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Music for the birds

May 01, 2020

Belize Raptor Center is a rehabilitation and education site to promote knowledge of raptors by lowering human incident conflicts such as shooting, poaching, poisoning and habitat destruction.
When needed, rehabilitation of injured and orphaned birds of prey will be conducted at the onsite facility to release them back into the wild. But, like with all Wildlife organizations, it is pricy, and fundraisers are necessary to continue the great work. So The Bluff, a Restaurant and Bar located just outside San Ignacio in the rolling hills, organized Music for the Birds.

The Belize Raptor Center is dedicated to educating and inspiring the conservation of raptors and their habitat. Rescue and rehabilitate injured and orphaned birds of prey.

The Belize Raptor Center

As we stayed at San Ignacio at Mana Kai Casita campground, we found out from fellow travellers about an open-air Blues concert, a fundraiser for The Belize Raptor Center. There was also an opportunity to park The LuvShk overnight after the show. So off we went to check out what the fuss is all about. It only takes about 10 minutes to drive through pretty rolling hills to the Cedar Bluff Ranch, where Court and Sandra Roberson, the hosts, welcomed us and showed us where we could camp for the night.

Photo credit to Romario Pech.

Next, we headed to the fundraiser event up the hill to the Bluff, Food and bar, where we purchased a $30.00 ticket which we gladly paid.

Photo credit to Romario Pech.

Then, behind the little gate, we entered the open-air restaurant and backyard. There was a lot of the hustle and bustle, and the restaurant was busy serving pizza and beer. As we ordered our food and drink, we could hear live blues music. We turned around, and there was The Captain Coconut and the Sand Crabs Blues Band with their lead singer Steev Inglish rocking into the night.

Behind was the most fantastic native Belizean pine forest and rolling hills backdrop touched by a beautiful sunset.

Photo credit to Romario Pech.

As we ate our pizza and enjoyed our beer, we visited with many guests, had many laughs, bid on fantastic art for the fundraiser and listened to an incredible night of Blues music. The night raised $5000.00 for a new enclosure.Learning so much about the cause awakened our curiosity to learn more about the Belize Raptor Center.

Photo credit to Romario Pech.

We got introduced to the Director of the center, Sarah, who promptly invited us to the facility the next day.

Enjoy some Blues

Wild at Heart

Belize raptor center

“The hawk was everything I wanted to be: solitary, self-possessed, free from grief, and numb to the hurts of human life.” – Helen Macdonald

People have always been fascinated with birds. Who has not looked up and possibly gasped in awe at the sight of a bird flying freely overhead? Whether it’s a rare sighting of a black hawk-eagle, an owl or a bat falcon, there is just something about birds that never fails to draw our curiosity and attention. Yet, most of us observe them glide in the air only from afar. The Belize Raptor Center is one of the rare places you can see and learn about these fantastic creatures at a close-up. The Centers’ goal is to educate as many people as possible at no charge to lower human conflicts such as shooting, poaching, poisoning and habitat destruction. If needed Rehabilitation of injured and orphaned birds of prey will be done at the onsite facility to release them back into the wild. Sarah welcomed us to the center and invited us to park overnight. Then she gave us a tour of the beautiful property. There is a nature trail following the tropical forest to the river. In the middle of the property, there is a large grassy area with a few buildings, including a flying and education building. While Sarah showed us the aviaries and the feeding facilities, we saw a rare sighting of a gibnut, a nocturnal and solitary animal that mainly lives near water sources and in dense tropical forests. This rat is also known as the paca or royal rat in Belize. We were very excited to see it running across the grass. As we continued our tour into the giant aviary to have some fly demonstrations, Akna, a Black Hawk-Eagle and his handler, Ghost the Barn Owl, and Skylar, the Plumbeous Kite, greeted us. We learned about their personalities, feeding them, physical appearances, and how much exercise they needed. Most surprisingly, we humans are not crucial to the birds and that they genuinely have no attachment to us even though we think we can build bonds with them. We saw them fly over our heads and hear their magnificent flapping wings. It was an afternoon of learning and experience on of the majestic wonder of nature showed to us.

We visited with Sarah and her family deep into the night, and it felt we left as friends the following day. Thank you, Belize Raptor Center, for your dedication and all you do. We are so glad we had a chance to know all about your great cause.

listening to the sounds of wild birds above us

Trail around the property

A Gibnut running across the grass

Feeding Skylar, the Plumbeous Kite

Flying exercise

Birds of Prey

Their shadow dims the sunshine of our day,
As they go lumbering across the sky,
Squawking in joy of feeling safe on high,
Beating their heavy wings of owlish gray.
They scare the singing birds of earth away
As, greed-impelled, they circle threateningly,
Watching the toilers with malignant eye,
From their exclusive haven–birds of prey.
They swoop down for the spoil in certain might,
And fasten in our bleeding flesh their claws.
They beat us to surrender weak with fright,
And tugging and tearing without let or pause,
They flap their hideous wings in grim delight,
And stuff our gory hearts into their maws.

 

If you visit San Ignacio, Belize Raptor Center is well worth visiting. Be sure to take a close look at Birds of Prey that are non-releasable and show a willingness to be an ambassador for their species. If you want to find out more, please check out

http://www.belizeraptorcenter.com/

Or on Facebook @belizeraptor

or go find a local raptor sanctuary. You, too, may find that they are genuinely fascinating birds and we all need to learn more about these magnificent creatures