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Sunday, July 20, 2014

The Parrot of Pedralba

Hello Hyacinth! The largest of the Macaw Parrots

Normally, we don't get much peace and quiet because of one of the families in our neighbourhood.  They are usually very animated and extremely loud while just holding a normal conversation. However, on a particular day we were enjoying a very welcome break because the family were away from home. Suddenly that precious peace was shattered by a  loud screech. What on earth was that?  I ran outdoors but saw nothing.

Over the next few days the screeching was repeated several times but I was never able to see what was making the noise. However, the neighbours did get a glimpse and very excidedly called out, Parrot! Parrot! It is a macaw parrot, and a hyacinth,  the largest of the 17 species. It is magnificently blue with a massive wingspan that must stretch about four feet across. She comes to visit everyday, and by now I think we have all come to see her. The loud call electrifies everybody, and no matter what you are doing you have to go and have a look.

These are wonderful and playful creatures whose natural homes are in Central and South America. Their brilliant colouring makes them attractive as pets, leading to an active market in breeding and selling. The fact that some are able to mimic human speech makes them even more exotic to have in one's home, but once you have seen them soaring in flight, holding them in captivity seems very wrong indeed.

In my previous blog I spoke of the emotonal impact upon an owner to lose a pet. I assume that this bird is someone's pet who has escaped and seems to be quite happy on its own and enjoying its freedom. In the area close to our home is our answer to the Grand Canyon. It is a massive hole that attracts birds, so my guess is that the macaw has made that her home base. From there she pays us a visit everyday as she does a flyby. I think that all of us in our neighbourhood consider ourselves the priviledged few. Her visits are truly a time of excitement.

Ten years ago when we first moved into our home we were told to look out for an eagle who could often be seen overhead. One of the local photographers made it his project to document in pictures the life of the eagle, both in the air as well as  in the Big Hole in the ground. It was while he was making his way to that site that he came across the eagle. It had been shot, presumably by a person who is a pigeon fancier. The eagle most probably would have been taking the pigeons. However, the whole town mourned the loss of our magnificant eagle.

I can only hope that nothing untoward happens to The Great  Parrot of Pedralba!

Copyright (c) 2014   Eugene Carmichael