Saturday, February 13, 2010

Green Parrots in Honduras

When I returned from Christmas break Debbie informed me that a flock of green parrots had arrived and were roosting in the evenings in one of the two trees next to the street below our apartment. So that evening when we heard the commotion of squawking outside we went to the balcony to watch. The tree branches were bouncing as the almost invisible birds vied for choice spaces to sit and nibble at the seed pods hanging from the tree.

Soon, small white “flakes” were drifting down from the tree and being caught by the breeze and carried along almost like snow. Everything was quiet as they birds were busy nibbling. Every once in a while a branch would bounce and there would be some rustling and fluttering as the birds moved on to better pickings.

After awhile there was more and more rustling and a bit of squawking getting louder and louder until they all swooped up into the air and flew in formation around the tree, swooping in a big circle several times, showing off their bright green plumage against the blue sky, and then landing in the next tree. Where the bouncing and squawking started again until everyone settled in for the next course and the white flakes started drifting again.

As I sat and watched I was transported back to my first morning in Karachi when I awoke to the same squawking and squabbling of green parrots outside my bedroom window. Even though they were only a dozen or so feet from my window they were still all but invisible in the leaves of the tree. I never needed an alarm clock in Karachi.

I tried taking pictures of these Honduran cousins but they would never swoop into the sky on cue and even though the leaves are sparse on the tree they are still well camouflaged. So the above picture reminds me of the “hidden picture” puzzles in the old Highlights children’s magazines – which they still have by the way. See if you can spot one of the twenty or so parrots in this tree.