RIO GRANDE VALLEY, Texas – The first to arrive at the backyard feeder this rainy morning is one of the resident squirrels that quickly snatches a peanut and departs.
Next up is one more squirrel and then another. At this rate you wonder if there will be any peanuts left for the Red-crowned parrots that will soon be flocking in.
All you can say is that the parrots better start getting up a little earlier if they are going to beat these pesky squirrels to the peanut treats.
Finally, the first parrot arrives, settling down on the platform. This bird is soaked and looks a little bedraggled, but quickly locates a peanut and flies off.
Where there is one parrot there is surely another. Soon, it is raining parrots and the feeder is rapidly filled to capacity with the raucous birds.
The squirrels have thoughtfully left a few peanuts for the flock, and several of the damp birds find the crunchy treasures.
As the parrots come and go, this pair of Red-crowns is suddenly startled by a chachalaca that bursts on the scene.
The big bird has the feeder all to itself for a while, but soon the parrots return in force. Shortly, it is all the chachalaca can do to find a little footing.
After the chachalaca flees, a squirrel arrives only to find that the parrots have finished off all the preferred peanuts.
Settling for a mouthful of sunflower seeds, the squirrel leaps off the feeder leaving the wet seeds to the Red-crowns. They spend the next several minutes happily munching the next best thing to peanuts.
Despite the drizzle, it takes more than rain to dampen the spirits of the vivacious Red-crowned parrots that are a joy to behold in any weather.