Friday, August 5, 2011

In happier parrot news - wild scarlet macaws

I've had just about enough (or, quite accurately, more than enough) sad parrot news this week.  So instead I will write a bit about a parrot success in Costa Rica.  I intended to write about this last month when I got the May 2011 issue of PsittaScene -- the magazine members in the World Parrot Trust receive, but then life (and work) intervened.

When I looked at the cover -- wild scarlet macaws!  It reminded me of our trip to Costa Rica in 2009.  Imagine my surprise when I turn to the article: not only was it about scarlet macaw releases at the place we stayed (Tiskita Jungle Lodge -- highly recommended!), but it was written by the biologist who spent several days with us.  She was an incredibly nice and knowledgeable person. She talked for hours with us about the macaws that had been released.  It just so happened that we were there the week in May 2009 when scarlet macaws were being released, which was very exciting (though for security reasons, in case we were poachers, we were not allowed to know where the release site was.)

She had a photo album with pictures of all of the wild scarlet macaws in the area and she knew each of the approximately 50 individuals by name -- she could tell them apart at a glance.  When we showed her pictures of the macaws we saw, she identified them and told us their stories -- the male was Dylan and the female was Red.  Apparently there has been a shake-up, as the article mentions that Red is now with Big Boy -- there was no mention of Dylan.  (You can see pictures of them here, which is the same as the second link above.)

She often joked that the lives of the scarlet macaws could be on a soap opera, and she regaled us with stories.  We asked her to start a blog, and she said she'd been thinking of it.  I'm not sure who's writing it, but there is one that has some stories of the wild scarlets now!

What an amazing trip we had; I would recommend a trip to Tiskita for anyone who is looking for a relaxing wildlife vacation.  We can't wait to go back!

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