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Jun 22, 2012

Birdman spots Jabiru Stork at SJC

The country’s preeminent birdmen made a startling observation, startling at least for the birding community. While Rudy ‘Rudybird’ Burgos was registering his child at St. John’s Junior College, the avid birder spotted a Jabiru Stork on the compound. The Jabiru Stork has not been seen in Belize City. It is a prominent bird that was recently embossed on a commemorative edition of the Belize one dollar coin. News Five spoke to the Publicity Coordinator of the Belize Audubon Society, Dirk ‘Birdman’ Francisco about the importance of, what else, birds.

 

Dirk ‘Birdman’ Francisco, Publicity Coordinator, Belize Audubon Society

“The Belize Audubon Society was called out for the sighting of a Jabiru Stork. I was excited to come out here because for my years at the Belize Audubon Society, we haven’t received any reports of sightings of Jabiru Storks here in Belize City. Jabiru Stork is a big and famous bird in Belize. It eats snake, crabs, fish, frogs; it has large variety of diets, but it can be found mostly on wetlands around the country of Belize. So I was excited to actually come here and actually see a Jabiru in Belize City. I always encourage Belizeans to respect birds because they are an icon and a very important biodiversity of Belize.”

 

Jose Sanchez

Dirk ‘Birdman’ Francisco

“Do you think that the current state of the SJC campus is the back resembles the type of environment that this bird thrives in?”

 

Dirk ‘Birdman’ Francisco

“Definitely. The reason why this Jabiru Stork is here is because the SJC’s property is quite conducive for fostering bird behavior. Many water fowls or birds that like water stand around here. As we stand here, I can see some birds that are normally migrating that are already here in Belize wading around in the swamps. I see greater yellow legs, wimbrels, black belly plovers, northern jacanas—several variety of birds are actually on SJC’s property. So I am always excited to be on this campus looking at the unique diversity of birds that exists here.”

 

Jose Sanchez

“Some people may say this story is for the birders and may not grasp the concept of why it is important to let people know. How big is birding?”

 

Dirk ‘Birdman’ Francisco

“Birding is a big recreational activity in North America and other parts of the world. Belize does have a bird watching population but the main purpose of Belize Audubon Society being here is always to educate people about the importance of birds and what birds serve to Belize. Birds are a source of income for Belize because there is a big pool of bird watchers in North America and some people plan their trips to come to Belize just to see birds. So we always try to foster bird appreciation in Belize.”

 

According to a recent release from the Central Bank, the Jabiru Stork was selected to be the symbol of the Central Bank of Belize in 1982 due to the impressive size, dignity and strength of its appearance as these characteristics are retained and enhanced when the bird is in full flight.

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