stuff and things

17 May 2010

Spring Fever!

Today, after the end of my early a.m. yoga class, I asked the group if they'd been enjoying the springtime birds lately. No sooner did I arrive home and start eating lunch when ear-splitting screeches reached the table. Chevy, our shy kitty, was outside, so I was a bit worried whether he'd be frightened at the prospect of about 20 wild green parrots making such a racket. It seemed at first as if they were fighting -- but wait... they had all paired off and appeared to be mating, in surprisingly close branches of the huge eucalyptus grove to our north.

Loud always, today's shrieks were different: much more frantic sounding. Maybe they were stimulating each other to mate, a reason for the lack of privacy. Hmmm.

Often, one parrot hung from the beak, and then the talons, of the other, both heads downward towards the ground, trying to bring critical body parts together while smooching (biting?) beaks and breasts. Often a branch prevented contact between the critical body parts, causing much awkward scrambling in the operation. Or, a third parrot would fly down, creep near and bite the toes of the paramour, causing either one or both of the pair to lose grip and plunge to another branch. (This last development I noticed only after grabbing the binoculars, feeling a bit voyeuristic in doing so.)

Soon things had quieted down, and the tree transformed from a feathered fantasia to a perch for grooming. Andy claimed the mates were having a cigarette.

From AvianWeb: The Red-crowned Parrot - also known as Mexican Red Head Amazon or Green-cheeked Amazon (Amazona viridigenalis) - is an endangered Amazon parrot native to the lowlands of North-eastern Mexico to Northern Veracruz.

Apparently they mate for life; Andy suggested we "leave the windows dirty" so we can watch them without scaring them away. Sounds good to me!

Spring ... it's for the birds!


Anonymous said...

First post!

Samantha Zeitlin said...

You might like this blog, written by an expert on birds. She often has great photos.

Anonymous said...

Every mid-April, about ten of these birds appear in the chinaberry tree in my mother's Linda Vista yard. They love to eat the fermented seeds, making quite a mess on the ground below. Their squawking on arrival and departure is loud! But other than that, they are quiet and stealth.

By the end of April, they have stripped the tree of ripe seeds and fly away until the following year.