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Coming Round the Sun Through Hard Times

Updated: Sep 17, 2020

Macaws nesting in Paraguay (photo by Luis Cortez)

When working with parrots we are mindful of the earth’s rotation around the sun. We need to know when sunrise and sunset occur to do population counts and nest watches, and to keep our teams safe. Marking the length of days and the seasons informs us of when the birds will be nesting, what they will be eating, and where they might need to move for food and protection. Administratively we also mark time so we can see how our fundraising compares to our costs, and if we have accomplished the goals we set out to do for the year. With that in mind, we offer up a summary of our projects as we head into the last quarter of 2020.

Last chick to fledge in La Moskitia, Honduras, September 11, 2020

(photo by Santiago Lacuth)

La Moskitia Honduras: We registered over 138 scarlet macaw nests in La Moskitia, Honduras, a 33% increase, at least from last year. Our last scarlet macaw chick fledged on September 11, the latest recorded since we began working here 10 years ago. This year we registered our first great green macaw nests, a species that is even more endangered in Honduras than the scarlet macaw. We now have a several-months break from the 8-month breeding season, during which we will do our annual population counts and equipment repair. Communities experienced illness and much restriction of movement to the only town in the area, and we are still having a hard time getting funds to them. Our partners are INCEBIO (Honduras Biologic Investigation Organization), Wildlife Conservation Society, FINZMOS (indigenous territory federation), and many local communities in the area.

On the way to counting parrots last week, Guanaja Island (photo by Anuar Romero)

Pacific Island of Honduras, Guanaja: Our partners conducted a very successful nest monitoring and nest protection program and just finished their annual parrot population count on September 13. It appears that the population is significantly increasing. Our main partner is Green Island Challenge.

One of the counting points, Guanaja Island (photo by Anuar Romero)

Pacific Coast of Honduras: We are renewing our collaboration with Cuerpo de Conservation Omoa. This organization will be combining training and community involvement this week to count the parrots in their area that borders with Guatemala, where we also work with partners to monitor and protect the yellow-headed parrot.

Pacific Coast of Guatemala: Some of the yellow-headed parrots in our project fledged here in May, although the pandemic made protecting the nests challenging because movements were restricted. Therefore, we had significant poaching in this area of chicks from their nests for the illegal wildlife trade. Partners are CONAP, and local communities.

Atlantic Coast of Guatemala: In Southern Guatemala, we documented several yellow-naped amazon nests with chicks that successfully fledged and our annual count indicates that the population is increasing (though very slowly)! We helped establish the first ever rescue center just for this species in Guatemala. Restriction of people's movements meant we couldn&#