Peace Shattered as Pesky Parrots Pitch In
March 27: For the past three evenings the coppice around the Club has been full of squawking Abaco parrots. These rare birds have taken a liking to the berries on the trees in the area and have been driving guests and staff mad with their cacophony of chatter. At one point it sounded as if the entire global population (there are only about 3,000 of them left) had descended upon us to loudly debate the, er, politics of the day.
Caroline Stahala, the girlfriend of Club manager Sandy Walker, is a leading expert on these parrots, which she is attempting to get recognised as a separate species in their own right. They are currently classified as a sub-species of the Cuban Parrot, but she has gathered sufficient evidence of genetic and behavioural differences to warrant separate recognition. Unlike their Cuban counterparts, these birds nest underground – a habit that exposes them to predation by feral cats and (introduced) raccoons.
Anyone interested in these annoying but attractive avians can see a superb photo of one taken at the Club by Craig Nash on the new Birding page of the website (see the Info dropdown menu). Rumours that Sandy wants to organise a driven parrot shoot are possibly premature, but parrot pate may be on the menu if this goes on much longer….