Wednesday, December 19, 2012

New Spectacled Owl

This lovely spectacled owl came in from the Caribbean coast. She was injured and someone found her and took her to the local police station. The days went by, shifts of different police came and went and they kept forgetting to call Minaet to pick her up.
She spent four days with no food or water, in pain and loosing her will to survive.
Finally someone remembered her and called. They went immediately to pick her up and drove her several hours to us.
We started fluid therapy right away since she was so dehydrated, my good friend Jenny from was with me every step of the way via skype and e-mails! Thank You!!
We were not sure if she was going to survive, it was touch and go for a few days, I was up at 3am giving fluids and trying to get her to eat some food!  She was a very good patient and cooperated.
She is doing so much better, she is now upright, much more active and has gained 100g. in just a week of being here. She has a head injury and fractured wing. The vet is coming up this weekend to check on her and see if we have to amputate her wing (I sure hope not!) and check to see if she has vision in her left eye. 
Zoom Zoom and Flash are doing great, growing leaps and bounds!  Proud parents are very attentive and doing a great job of caring for these young ones.  
Lately I have been The Owl Rescue Ranch!
Are you looking to "Adopt" one of our beautiful birds, sloths or animals for the Holidays???
My niece was able to fund raise $200 to go towards these lovely baby owls, we are trying to raise $2000 to build a long flight training cage, so that we have an area to train owls and other birds for release.  The cage would be built here on our property by the creek, which is like a mini rain forest.  Is anyone willing to match this donation?  Please help us out, we need just 9 people to match this initial donation to meet our goal.
As you can see, these babies are growing fast, we need to start construction right away!
I will be posting updates and some other "Adoption" ideas for the holidays.
We have a new Face Book page, so sign up!  and you can also follow us on Twitter!!  yes, I am getting help with all of this!!
And new website coming soon.  Check out the links below.
Thank you all for your support!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Breaking News!

Owlets hatched!
We are very proud to announce our first breeding of Striped Owls.
The first chick hatched out two days ago and the second chick today.  She had two fertile eggs.  Mother and babies are doing just fine and the other owls in the enclosure come to visit, one is the proud Dad, but I have not figured out which of the two is the Dad!!
Striped owls are interesting because they nest on or close to the ground.  This mom, has been sitting on her eggs for around 33 days.
They have already been "adopted" by my niece Mari and her friends.  They recently ran a 5K race in honor of the Toucan Rescue Ranch, and asked at the time who they could adopt, they had come up with two names:
Flash and Zoom Zoom, so I said, well, we have this owl on eggs.....and sure enough they have hatched.  Thank you team toucan so much!!
This has been an exciting few days!!  We will be monitoring these babies closely, and will work with a biologist, and my great friend Jenny Papka of
to see if we can eventually release these two owls right here at The Toucan Rescue Ranch.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Rainy season is here!

Remember the three little toucans?  Well they are growing up and are now outside in a nice large space and they are enjoying hopping and moving about.  Rainy season is here and the other night they did sleep inside, it was just so miserable out I was worried about them!
Coco our squirrel has had some ups and downs....we released her and she went up into the tree and built this wonderful nest to sleep in.  This was amazing, it was completely instinctual as she has been in captivity since she was very young.  She was out for several days on her own coming back to visit daily for food and then one day she came back with a broken leg...Not sure how that happened, so we locked her up to limit the movement so that it would heal.  Three weeks later we re-released her.  She has been out for a month now, but with each visit we were noticing her severe lack of weight.  She was not finding food in the wild.  After being gone for three days in a row, she came back horrible weak and thin, so we once again put her back in her cage.  I have noticed that she continues to have issues with her teeth and this is probably the reason she was losing weight, so we are waiting for Janet the vet to come visit.
Another new addition, Nati is a young fiery billed aracari who came into our program with a severely injured wing from being hit by a bus...she is recovering.
Ty is a little over one year  now and enjoying time outside!  He is sharing space with Georgie and soon will have a new enclosure for he and Twili to share.
This Mot Mot came into our rescue program from a neighbors house with this horribly broken wing.  Janet was successful at amputating it and now he is a permanent resident in our new wonderful small bird flight.
In the last blog I talked about all the little birds in traps that we receive, well I had sixteen small cages in my office and had to look at these poor birds unable to even move around in their small traps.
So, we decided to build this flight, it  cost $900 that we paid for, so if anyone can help us with this expense it would be greatly appreciated!!  It is a worthy cause one you will feel good about, check this out...From this:
To This!!
I spent a week in Fort Worth and Dallas visiting friends and giving some lectures about The Toucan Rescue Ranch!  This is from a talk that I gave at Texas Wesleyan University.  The students from there come to Costa Rica to learn Spanish and have volunteered with us.
 I also toured the Fort Worth zoo, Oakridge school, who has adopted one of our owls, and learned about their programs,
and visited friends at the Dallas World Aquarium.
 Richard and Victoria Henderson hosted me, drove me all over to my talks, shopping etc.
Did I say shopping?  they were my taxi service and fed me gourmet meals!
 Thank You!!
They have generously given a donation for Ty and Twili's enclosure.
I was not used to sleeping so much! So I would get up early and every morning there were deer in their back yard! Plus we attended the same fund raiser dinner for the BRIT Botanical Research Institute of Texas that we attended with them last year, it was wonderful and my good friend Terrie flew in from Reno to attend the event with us. (some of these folks are visiting us in January!)
This was so much fun!  I was greeted at the Oakridge School with this yummy toucan cake!!  Thank you!!
Oakridge has sent us great care packages of items for our clinic and first aid emergency, they have adopted one of our owls and are planning a student trip to Costa Rica next spring!  I have skyped to the classroom, so it was great to finally meet everyone in person!  Their school mascot is the owl and they have beautiful owl art everywhere!  I loved it!
I could sit in front of the flamingo pond at Dallas World Aquarium all was great to see so many different animals.
My good friend Vet Cindy, took me to see this incredible Big Cat Sanctuary....  I met Vicky, pictured here, one very brave lady who was receiving kisses from this huge lion!  Their enclosures are incredible, with swimming pools for the tigers, and they do amazing work, check out their website. 
Our new flight has it's residents!  All the toucans seem to like the new enclosure, and although we don't like the walls that much, they seem to like them and are much calmer.  Hopefully in the spring we will have babies for our release program.
Twili is One Year Old!
Happy Birthday dear little one, soon she will be out in her new enclosure with Ty.
Then we just need to find a sponsor for Anderson Sloths Enclosure Next in line!!  If you would like information on this enclosure please write to me at for details.
Abi and Kerry two film graduates from Boston where here at The Toucan Rescue Ranch living with us for a month while they filmed a short documentary!  You can see a sample of what is to come here on youtube, Promo for the Toucan Rescue Ranch
They lived through some very tough times be featured in the documentary, good and bad, sad and happy, that's reality.


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Finally an update!!

We have been so fortunate to have had a busy summer.  Lots of guests visiting the Bed and Breakfast and also lots of animals needing rescue.  So, here goes the update!
Dr. Eric Sher and his daughter Ali came to visit The Toucan Rescue Ranch for the second time.  When they were here the first time Dr. Eric asked if I needed anything....(of course!!) so when he said he was coming down I asked him if it was possible to find a microscope.  His contacts at the various hospitals in San Francisco came up with this wonderful scope and he donated it to us!
We are now able to look at samples right on site to determine if our birds and animals have parasites (very common in toucans).  This donation has literally saved lives.  Along with this one as well:
Yes, computer donations!!  Colleen Melloy and her daughter were so kind to donate funds to be used specifically for computers!  With the help of another guest who did some online shopping for us we were able to buy a laptop, and a desktop with her generous donation.  This also enabled us to purchase an ipad.  With the ipad I can take photos into the microscope and send them directly to the vet who looks at them with her iphone and says, yes, it's a parasite start treatment!  No more waiting for the vet to visit, sending samples to the lab and waiting for results...this has truly saved lives of our birds and we are so thankful for these kind donations.
Meet Poppy, she is a yellow headed amazon, a real talker.  She came into our program from a very caring family who wanted the best for their bird.  They are coming back to visit her soon and I know they will be impressed with her progress.
Coco came in also from a family who had raised her and were concerned when she stopped eating...with a little observation we were able to determine the cause.  Poor Coco had her bottom tooth growing into her nose.  It had also knocked out the top teeth, and the children of the house had given her a poodle cut on the fur of her tail!
I quickly trimmed the tooth and she is eating fine, hair is growing back and when she gets her teeth back in we will try a slow release here on the property.

Another successful Release!!  White tailed kite.
We had several windy days and this kite fell in between two houses in a small neighborhood nearby, he was here for several days recuperating and then we were able to release him down at the creek.

Juvenile collared aracari came in from the Caribbean, flew into someones house!  We quickly put another bird in his cage so that he would feel at home and settle in, it worked!
Little Mikey and little no name, are now out in a large flight with the older Tropical Screech owls getting along just fine.
With all the visitors, we had a lovely trio of teachers from Tenn.  They were here on a biodiversity grant in Costa Rica.  Math and Science and biodiversity were the hot topics of discussion, so they spent 3 days with us filming, watching the day to day operations of the Ranch and also the farm!  We found this juvenile three toed sloth very low on the branch and she did not even want to wake up with people all around her.  They obtained great footage, sloths, howler monkeys and we even took the Sarapiqui River trip with them and filmed on the are some shots from that trip.
Our guests children all volunteering with sloth food preparation!
Prince our barred hawk caught another snake!  We had a few minutes of panic, when we realised the snake was some sort of coral, but after we calmed down and remembered the rhyme, we figured out it was only a false coral and let him polish him off!!
Good friends Charles and Janie, our longest staying guests, 18 days!!!  They became good friends, and we look forward to their next visit.
My family managed to all get together for a great reunion for my mother's 80th birthday!!
We had some old friends of theirs come to visit, hired a festive band and we all had a great time!
Here are some photos, my brother, his wife and three beautiful daughters, my sister came with her lovely daughter and my parents.

Baby Hanna slept during the party and sucks her fingers, just like Georgie!

Little three toed Andy after having a bath with vet Janet!
Take a look at this Sat. morning video!

Famous Father Jorge who runs a rescue home for hundreds of children came to visit with the head of the central valley Minaet/Sinac Jorge Hernandez.  We had a whole group of folks here from the father's office...they would like to have the children care for some animals to encourage responsibility, understanding and love.  Our first meeting of which I assume will be many :)

Biologist Landon Jones who is studying wild toucans in turrialba has come up several times with a volunteer who is here now to do seed retention trials with our toucans.  By feeding them seeds and timing the duration of when the seed is regurgitated back up, they can determine the extent and role of toucans in the Rain forest with seed dispersal!  This very dedicated young biologist feeds the toucans the seeds starting at 5:30am and sits in front of their enclosures for hours on end documenting I thought that I was patient.... this is beyond patience!!

Speaking of toucans....of course we have some new little ones.  The ones in the top picture came in a week ago and just opened their eyes.  A storm hit the tree where they were nesting and the tree fell down.  A concerned farmer called the Minae office and they went to pick them up and drove them 4 hours to us.  The second little one with feathers is once again one of the skinniest toucans I have received, has several health concerns because of the lack of food, was a bird destined for the black market pet trade....very sad.....speaking of which.  This policeman showed up here today with these little song birds, also trapped heavily here in the rain forest by our house.  We released one right here, but the others have been in captivity for years.

We are interested in building a large flight for all these song birds to get them out of their little tiny trap cages, it is really horrible, and very sad.

Our great friend and supporter Jerry Jennings, of Emerald Forest Bird Gardens.,  made a very generous donation for this series of 6 flight cages for breeding toucan pairs, we are almost done with the construction.  They have walls up so that they are not fighting with the other males.  We still have to finish the enclosures and decorate with all natural vines and bromeliads from the farm!
Thank you Jerry for all your support and concern for the welfare for our toucans!

One of our recent guests, Terumi writes a blog, she had this great idea for fund raising, so take a look!

Finally, I am so happy to report that we are now a 501c3 non profit organization in the United States...still working on the paperwork for Costa Rica.  This is an honor to have received this as it is becoming more difficult to obtain, especially in a foreign country since 911.  This will help us with donations, and possible grants.
If you would like to contribute to our efforts please use the paypal feature on the website or please send a check to:
Terrie Velasquez
Secretary, Toucan Rescue Ranch
5974 Shadow Park Dr.
Reno, NV  89523

Some days I wish I was a sloth!
Thanks for all your support, people were writing to me asking if everything was OK since I had not posted a blog!!!  Yes, Thank God, everything is to feed babies....
Oh, and next month several film graduates are coming to stay with us to film a documentary!
Should be interesting, will keep you posted.