The house we live in was initially the dream home of some serious bird lovers. The story goes that the man and woman who built this house, came to the land with a vision of a massive sanctuary for exotic birds. Thirty years later, what remains of the dream is one abandoned aviary near the mango tree, a stained glass window of a parrot, and an elusive flock of rose-ringed parakeets.

The Good Neighbors have only recently been spotting this group of jewel-green aerialists. They move in sync through air as one, then land deftly in the trees.

It felt like a harbinger of our arrival to the land. That kind of birds-of-a-feather, coming home to roost, sort of thing. Add to it the origin of our soon-to-be-home. The dwelling built atop a hill on remote land, by a man who envisioned ‘netting’ the valley below to create a habitat within which his tropical birds could fly.

As the tale is told, the man and his wife eventually had new dreams. They left the house and moved away. The birds, I’m not sure where they went. These days there is a flock of wild peacocks down the road. And I have spotted the occasional pheasant in our nearby fields.

But as for what The Good Neighbors simply call “The Parrots,” I had only seen them once in a bright, green flash. At the time we had yet to move into our house, and that sighting was the last I’d heard of in the neighborhood.

So I took it as an omen of all good things, when sitting at my desk the other day (now happily moved into our new abode), I looked out the window to see the perfect lime-winged sky dance through the trees. Synchronized swimmers in flight, their wing-tips pointed in dancing perfection, landing them all upon the branches. There they perched, shining in their foreign shade of emerald, looking so out-of-place that one could only think them magical.

I can’t help myself, I gather data. My internet searches narrow their mystique. Labeled “Rose-ringed Parakeets,” they apparently are regularly sighted at the local mall and county legislative building. They enchant tourists and concern wildlife managers. They’re also a menace to agribusiness, as they feast on seed and corn crops at rapid rates.

Perhaps they are the forerunners in the fight against genetically modified crops, as these feathered friends have been warring with GMO corporations since the turn of the century. A 2001 article about these “pesky” parrots details the following:

“…Control efforts already have been launched by farming concerns on the Big Island and on Kaua‘i, where three seed-corn companies have permits allowing them to shoot the pesky rose-ring parakeet.

‘I don’t think they kill them,’ said Tom Telfer, Kaua‘i district wildlife manager for the state Department of Land and Natural Resources. ‘They mostly just scare them away.'”

Hmmm. Not sure how a bird being shot by a gun isn’t deadly, unless the sharp-shooters aren’t sharp, or they’re only playing with BB’s. Seems like more Alice-In-Wonderland logic from the world of GMO’s and land management departments to me. But I will not veer into politics now.

Because I am depicting the fantastical, feathery flight of these airborne acrobats. The ones landing just beyond my window. These harbingers of home. These dazzling dancers making a rare appearance in our world.

Are they remnants left from one man’s grandiose endeavor? Are they angels dressed in jade sent to clear destructive farming from our island? Are they here to stay, or simply passing by?

Of course it’s possible they could nest here, lose all mystic quality and become a garden pest we dread. But for now, we’re still enraptured.

I tell Good Neighbor Mary there’s been a spotting.

“Good. Glad to know they’re still here.”

Yes, right here. The Parrots have a haven.

courtesy of gailhampshire
courtesy of gailhampshire

8 thoughts on “The Parrots

  1. Can you believe we have a large colony of these birds in and around Surrey!! No one knows how they came to be other than from once captive birds escaping and breeding. I first saw them on Hampstead Heath in London and then when friends moved to Surrey they began seeing them as regular visitors to their garden. Joyful to see….however diverse the surroundings!


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