The Real Macaw
The Scarlet Macaw is Still Threatened But .....
This is a story for the Scarlet Macaw Challenge on Vocal. Macaws are found particularly in southern Belize, where they thrive due to the conservation and protection policies Belize has in place. As one of the most beautiful birds in Belize, now macaws are a source of wonder for the tourist. Having been victims of human greed, taken and sold as pets, they are now endangered. This post is to highlight that and to hopefully have a tiny bit of an effect in maintaining the protection areas for Macaws in Belize
They arrived in Belize with cages and a guarantee that they could take back what they came for. All that mattered for them was money and the money they would get for however many Macaws they could take back. They had cages and maps and a recommendation to try an area where the Macaws were nesting in Southern Belize.
They hired an SUV which they drove and then parked and set up camp close to where the nests were.
The map showed the nests on a small steep cliff which was also green with trees that had somehow gained a sturdy foothold in what looked like an impossible situation and the Macaws (ye Scarlet Macaws) were nesting there.
They thought this would be an easy task until they looked at the reality. The lake was only open on this side and the cliff side; the other two sides were impenetrable jungle that encroached into the lake's water. Their only way to the Scarlet Macaws nesting area was to cross the lake and they didn’t have a boat or a dinghy.
The Macaws screeched and flew above the lake almost taunting them , saying “You Can’t Catch Us, Yah Boo Sucks To You”.
“I wonder how deep the lake is?”
“It’s a Lake , not a pond , it will be deep and there may be undesirable life in there , even Piranhas , but I don’t know if they are native to here, but there are mosquitoes or what look like mosquitoes and maybe leeches and worse under there , I don’t fancy swimming”
“Ok I’m going to walk out until it’s up to my waist, I will take a cage just in case I can get across , I might be able to walk all the way round , and if I get there you can come over and join me”
How they were going to cage a Scarlet Macaw was another problem which they didn’t seem to have considered.
He waded out and the water came up to his waist, the Scarlet Macaws flew overhead , screeching and taunting , “You will never cage a Scarlet Macaw”.
He started on a circular path maintaining his depth , toward the Scarlet Macaw nest cliff where his prizes awaited him , well that was the basic plan , but it was full of more holes than a fishing net.
And then it happened.
Something had a hold of his foot , well both ankles now and he fell backwards into the murky waters of the lake. The cage was left floating on the surface.
His companion called out “Are you OK?” , but he had disappeared under the surface of the lake and he could see from this distance but there were bubbles coming from below and they were getting less frequent.
He was a coward , he couldn’t go and see his friend, who unbeknown to him was now becoming sustenance for denizens of the lake who ironically when they died and rotted provided sustenance for the trees and plant that gave nuts and seeds to the Scarlet Macaws for their own food.
His companion was lost , so he packed up the camp and got into the SUV. There was no money here.
The Scarlet Macaw screamed a scream of victory.
Thank you to Julie Lacksonen for advice on Scarlet Macaw's eating habits.