Parrots in the Wild

Much as I love the Monty Python’s Flying Circus skit about the dead parrot, there are no Norwegian Blues. At least, not any more. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-566600/Norwegian-Blue-parrot-really-DID-exist–stiff-bereft-life-ex-parrots.html Currently, some parrots do like cooler weather, yes, and live in snowy climates, but they are the odd ducks, so to speak. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kea 

Featured image  Apparently the Norwegian Blue didn’t like kipping on its back so much.

The kakapo has earned the title of the World’s Strangest Parrot. Because it doesn’t fly and likes to hump the occasional zoologist. They are the subject of books https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7683285-kakapo-rescue and humorous videos https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6A7uFSbRJ5w

Featured image  Kakapo hen and chick.

There are many different types of parrots, all over the warmer parts of the world. Australia and Asia get high marks for managing to not kill off all their native birds. The Unites States does not get that high a mark. The Carolina Parakeet (conure?) is gone for good. The thick-billed parrot is making something of a comeback.

Ringneck Parakeets are beautiful creatures that live in the southern part of India. They display charming personalities when kept as pets, and are every bit as fun to watch in the wild. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fJe9k4JSC8g

Another unusual parrot is the small group of hanging parrots found in tropical Asia, ranging from Burma to the Philippines. They have the prettiest eyes of just about any parrot, and they are cute little things, too. I had the pleasure of hearing artist and aviculturist Gamini Ratnavira talk about how difficult keeping hanging parrots had been, they just wouldn’t breed. He went out to the jungle in his native Sri Lanka, laid down under a tree, and looked up to watch the parrots. He discovered the secret to keeping them in groups with abundant native foods. If you live in the San Diego area, you may have the pleasure of visiting Gamini and his beautiful wife Lisa Albright Ratnavira at Hidden Forest Art Gallery in Fallbrook. http://www.gaminiratnavira.com/index.html And if not, here’s a cute video of a hanging parrot harvesting nectar. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GGk8DTetzTU

The evolution of parrots is constantly being rethought as new evidence surfaces. And the difference between the birds shows the influence of environment, predators, and available food. It’s amazing, really. http://10000birds.com/parrot-bio-geography-and-evolution.htm

One last wild parrot to look at. The island of Saint Lucia is a sovereign country in the Caribbean. The parrot named for the island blends into the tropical forests with green plumage when in the shade, but when the sun hits those feathers, there are sparks of red and and blue. It is an Amazon parrot, and called Jacquot by the co-inhabitants of the island. And here’s a video of this beauty in action. http://www.arkive.org/saint-lucia-parrot/amazona-versicolor/video-03a.html

Featured image Saint Lucia National Bird
Thanks for reading! I will be back on Sunday.

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