RIO GRANDE VALLEY, Texas – With most of us spending more time at home these days during the corona crisis, our backyards can provide a much-needed connection to the outdoors. As Richard Moore shows us, it is “raining parrots” at his backyard feeder.
This chachalaca better look out as it is raining parrots in San Benito at my backyard feeder. The Red-crowns just keep falling out of the sky, and pretty soon they have almost completely filled all available space at the feeder. Finally, the chachalaca has had enough of all this raucous greenery and departs, along with most of the parrots.
But, it doesn’t take long for the feathered peanut lovers to return, and I believe they are setting a record this morning, as they reach maximum feeder capacity at a dozen or so, which constantly changes with their landings and takeoffs.
These Red-crowns are wonderful breakfast companions, but at the ravenous rate they are consuming peanuts, I will soon have to resupply.
With marvelous dexterity, the parrot deftly clutches a peanut, and using its strong bill easily cracks the shell and tongues out the tasty nut.
Suddenly, in a burst of screeching flight the parrots scatter. Well, there is always one or two that stick around for another peanut.
Finally, all the red- crowns take flight, and the next visitor is a solitary Yellow-headed parrot. The lonely yellow-head is a regular, and usually comes twice a day in the morning and afternoon.
I am not sure if this is a male or female, but for some reason I think it is a male. This time last spring he was half of a bonded pair, but apparently has lost his mate.
Parrots form strong pair bonds and many mate for life. Yellow-headed parrots are rare in the Valley, and it will be difficult for this bird to find a new mate. Even if he finds another yellow-head, how do you replace your bonded bird?