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It’s days like these…

Nikki Buxton | Sep 29, 2011


Reading an article about Foster Parrot's Marc Johnson today, I had one of those wonderful moments. I felt sorry for Marc, then I sympathised, then I empathised.  And then I thought - hang on a minute: there's poor Marc struggling like crazy to place captive-bred birds in far too few homes, and look at me - my birds already have a home. And it's a pretty big one: almost 9 thousand square miles. I have a potential home for each and every one of the birds that will ever pass through our gates. How unbelievably, amazingly lucky can you get?

Of course, you're all saying - 'well, duh'! But seriously, it hadn't struck me exactly how fortunate I was to be in this situation. I cannot imagine taking in bird after bird with no hope of release, reprieve or advancement. Instead, we have the perfect objective for these hapless creatures: freedom in their natural environment. I have several critics that say I shouldn't be releasing these birds, and I suppose when something inevitably goes wrong, they are justified in their annoying, tutting head shake.

But when it goes right, and it so often goes right, it's like no feeling on earth to witness the sheer joy these birds experience. I adore their first head-tilt as they gaze at unbroken sky for the first time in their lives. I can't get enough of the cacophony that accompanies their first flight. I wish I knew exactly what they were thinking in those moments, but I can probably give a good guess.

So on those days when I really, really don't want to get out of bed, on the days when the rain comes down and the money stops coming in and my favourite bird bites me for no good reason, on those days when I feel like I could just lock the gates and change my phone number... I will think of Marc and the scores like him who struggle to provide the best home they can for far too many beautiful, smart creatures, and look out of my window at what I have to offer the captive birds of Belize: and I’m ready to face the day again.