Monday, August 04, 2008

The Cayman Parrot

Parrots are one thing I know about. Growing up we always had a Senegal Parrot around (very popular in India), and later in Dubai even added on two African Greys (the smartest parrots) on the face of the planet! In Toronto, my parents now have a Green Cheek Conure (native to Brazil and Venezuela) - and boy does he give you a run for your money. Anyway, when I do come across a parrot I've noticed how they instinctively let me run their neck - a sign that they trust you. They must smell the parrot on me! It's like dogs, right? Other dogs just know you are a dog person/owner.

While at the Turtle Farm, we got to see these three Cayman Parrots in an enclosed aviary
. And even though I am a parrot person, I was a bit wary of these guys. We were advised not to use the flash while taking pictures, as this tends to irritate them. And since we were already in an enclosed space with them, I didn't want to take my chances. But pose all three of them did as you can see, and we did get to feed them which was really neat for Hubby, as he didn't grow up around pet parrots. And while they were quite calm you can see from the pictures how wary they themselves are looking at us wondering what our next move was. I was almost sorry to leave them. The sign outside their enclosure read as follows:

National Bird of the Cayman Islands

RANGE: Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac
STATUS: Endangered (limited geographical range)

There are 2 endemic sub-species of the Rose-throated Amazon Parrot in the Cayman Islands. The Cayman parrot is a protected species and was declared the National bird in 1997. The population of approximately +/- 2000 parrots on Grand Cayman was significantly reduced after Hurricane Ivan in 2004, but numbers seem to be recovering. The Cayman Brac population seems to be holding steady at approximately +/- 400 birds.

The 3 male birds in this cage are friendly and will usually pose for photographs. Our national bird displays all the colours of the Cayman Islands flag when in flight. Note the hidden colours in the folded wings and tails.

1 comment:

MarkD60 said...

So- how was your weekend?