A Weekly Offering of This n That

Rainy Day is my alter ego. She is the little angel that sits on one shoulder and whispers in my ear to forgo that 6" piece of triple chocolate fudge with the four scoops of ice cream on it; she is also the little devil who sits on my other shoulder and convinces me that I can eat just one bite of each and be satisfied, and then laughs with such great abandon when in fact, I eat the whole thing, she falls off my shoulder. Mostly, Rainy Day helps me see the humor in living and, mostly, she encourages me down the right path. Not necessarily the straight and narrow one (how fun is that?) but the path that offers the most adventure and fun.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Rainy Day and the Love Birds

When Rainy Day decided to join Netflix, a good friend of hers suggested she watch the true story of The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill. (Spoiler Alert!) Rainy D loved the movie about a bunch of parrots that escaped a pet store due to some catastrophe, until the end, when one of them died. Rainy Day cried.

Now, Rainy Day knows that there is a food chain, and that most humans think they are at the top. Rainy Day would argue that there are a few species out there that are higher on the food chain than humans, they just aren't as intelligent as humans. Well, maybe they are, but in different ways – sharks and bears come to mind. She is sure some of you can probably come up with more.

Love Birds studying Rainy Day and the Flash!
Anyhow, while Rainy Day and her friend were walking in the park, which is really a 'wash', they heard some screeching overhead and looked up to see a flock of wild parrots busy flocculating around a palm tree. And Rainy Day with no camera! That evening, Kay and Rainy Day went back to the park, and found the parrots in a bushier tree next to their palm tree. The flash unit on Rainy Day's camera came on as it was too dark in the tree, and the flash fascinated the birds. They would chatter, flash!, they would be quiet and study the camera and Rainy Day and then begin to discuss the strange human and her strange mini-sun.

After returning to the hotel room, Rainy Day did a bit of research before heading out the next morning to shoot the little buggers in the palm tree. It seems the wild parrots are Peach Faced African Love Birds. A breeding pair escaped in 1998 and there is now an estimated population of 100,000 in the greater Phoenix area. At first, people were afraid they would push the native species of birds out of their niche, but it turns out they didn't. The native birds were too smart to let go of their habitat.

Parrots in a Palm Tree
The parrots are slow eaters, and when they discovered bird feeders they would swoop down and chase the other birds away; it didn't take long for the other birds to force their way back to the feeders and now the parrots wait their turn and eat in peace. It was also feared they would take over the nesting holes of owls, etc. in the Saguaro cactus, but these are love birds and they prefer larger spaces where they can be together. They like to nest in attics, palm trees, under roof tiles. In short, they are living with, not against, the natives. Rainy Day is quick to note, these are in no way related to Starlings!

One of the fascinating bits about parrots, to Rainy Day's rather odd mind, but odd things fascinate her, as you well know, is that parrots recognize other species of parrots as parrots and will help them find food, shelter, and even invite them into the flock.

Gander who Dislikes Humans
Rainy Day likes birds. She had a grandmother who raised song finches and canaries, an aunt who raised parakeets, and a cousin who raised cockatoos. But she admits, she prefers them in the wild v. in cages. Even when those in the wild are big, white Ganders that don't like Rainy Day and would charge her every chance he got. Actually, he didn't like anyone who came near 'his' territory at the park. He would squawk at bicyclists and hiss at joggers, and if walkers didn't take a wide berth, he would charge them. He snuck up on Rainy Day a couple times because she'd stopped to take a picture of the Great Blue Heron. She turned just before he lunged for her legs and dared him to attack. Fortunately, he backed down from her dare.

Great Blue Heron who only wanted Fish
Rainy Day and Kay are now back in their respective homes. The 100 plus degree days of Scottsdale a thing of the past; the love birds and their fowlish friends memories held in photos. Once again, Rainy Day's puppy has a lap in which to nap, and the world of Rainy Day revolves on its axis.

Rainy Day truly hopes you are as richly blessed with good friends as she is.

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