Dayana Serrano treating a red-lored amazon in 2016
Sitting down next to Dayana Serrano on a hot day in 2016 waiting for our parrot climb team to return, we were trying to pass the time. It seemed that Dayana had no trouble because, as usual, she was looking down to see what life could be hidden closer to the ground. Casually, she reached for something in the sandy gravely soil between us and showed me what was in her hand - a scorpion! I was amazed that she could pick up the arachnid with such finesse and calm. Without a word she got up and deposited the scorpion a safe distance from us - safe for us and safe for the little one.
Dayana, a veterinary student at UNA (Universidad Nacional de Agricultura) was spending three weeks at our scarlet macaw project site in La Moskitia, Honduras. This meant a lot of time outdoors where all kinds of beings delighted her. One day we were observing some of the villagers clearing some land for a plant nursery when someone startled and then pointed to a young rattlesnake. Again, in went Dayana with quiet and subtle movements and picked up the snake so she could move it to a safe distance.
She also reveled in carnivorous plants, mostly found at river and creek sides that we often had to cross to get to nest trees. Gently touching them, she would describe the plants and their biology. Her ability to look down when so many of us were looking up at parrots added a new dimension to our conservation work, as did her volunteer work for the health of the birds both in the rescue center and in the wild.
(photo by Dayana Serrano)
Dayana returned this year to help once again, this time fully managing the rescue center birds and getting them ready for liberation. She is a tireless volunteer, giving her heart not just to the parrots in the area, but also to the people. The people and the parrots alike flock to her, such as above where she is feeding a rescued wild scarlet macaw chick with the children of the village, while a liberated, free flying parrot comes to investigate.
Dayana reading an "anti-poaching" comic book to the village children
I am so glad to know Dayana and to see her growing into a veterinarian of immense capacity. This still includes her ability to pick up slightly dangerous beings and moving them to safety, such as she did one night in May with this tarantula (below) that was in our path.
Dayana has a bright path forward in Honduras, where touching hearts and healing wounds and injustices is a risky endeavor. I have no doubt that she will pick up this burden and move us all a bit more towards safety.
Thank you Dayana!