Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Parrots of Point Cook

by MJ
Photo of MJ with a friendly parrot at Busch Gardens amusement park in 2007, courtesy of Rog Browning
Will Rogers, comedian, vaudeville performer and one of the most famous celebrities in the 1920s and 1930s, once said, "So live that you would not mind selling your pet parrot to the town gossip." This quote makes me smile. It also takes me down memory lane, to that time in my life when I was a skinny, pimpled 13-year-old and the proud owner of a gorgeous talkative parrot my family and I christened "Jenny."

Oh, our Jenny was something else! She had barely been home from the pet store an entire day when she surprised us all by squawking, "Ha-lloooo! Ha-lloooo!," after only having heard the word "hello" from us a couple of times. The speed at which she picked up new words was impressive, to say the least. Within a week, she was greeting guests to our house with, "How are you? Kamusta?," much to their amazement. We were so proud of her!

Sadly, Jenny, like so many good things, didn't last. And it was my fault really. I still feel a tinge of guilt after all these years when I recall the day I returned that beautiful, talkative bird to her cage after playing with her and failed to hook the latch immediately. A favorite show - MacGyver, I believe - was coming on and I didn't want to miss the first minute or so from trying to work that latch (which was slightly bent, making it a bit difficult to close). I figured I'd come back out (we kept Jenny in a cage on the front porch) and secure the latch during the first commercial. Alas, an empty cage with its door wide open was what met my eyes by the time I went back outside. Looks like Jenny saw her one big chance to escape and took off soon as I turned my back. We never did see her again, although the neighbors reported spotting her in mango trees in their backyard.

I thought about Jenny again recently while watching a special on TV about endangered species of birds. The lovely orange-bellied parrot which can only be found in southern Australia made the list.

The adult male of this species boasts bright grass-green upperparts, underparts the shade of the sun and a distinct orange patch on its belly. The adult female and juvenile sport a duller green color. Both males and females have a blue frontal band and outer wing feathers the color of the deep blue sea.

The orange-bellied parrot has a population of fewer than 50 wild birds and is regarded as a critically endangered species. Things like this fascinate me. I hear the word "endangered," and I wonder right away, "What can be done to ensure this species lives on?" At the same time, another part of my mind goes, "I wish I could see this bird with my own eyes before it totally disappears from the face of the earth."

Point Cook is an excellent place for bird lovers to relocate to, specially if they want a chance to view the endangered orange-bellied parrot. The bird is known to feed in the salt marsh at Point Cook. I think it would be wonderful to watch these lovely feathered friends hang out at their favorite habitat.

Point Cook features a coastal park which boasts a wide array of birdlife, intertidal sand banks, a Marine Reserve and a historic bluestone homestead. Those who are considering Point Cook real estate can call Wyndham Harbour's sales team at (03) 9394-2688.

I wish the Australian government all the best as it takes measures to save the orange-bellied parrot from extinction.

- By MJ
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  1. Cute picture! I would love to see a parrot in its natural habitat sometime. :)

  2. I never have birds as pets! It would be interesting to co-habitat with!

  3. I have only seen parrots in zoo. :p

  4. Many years ago, I spent a week in Argentina. I flew to the jungle and overnighted at the Hotel Internacional so I could see Iguazu Falls on the Argentinian - Brazilian border. It was a most spiritual and overwhelming experience. I was so glad that I overnighted there - to be there after all the tourist buses were gone was, indeed, special. Early the next morning, I got up and walked around some of the neared falls, with no one about, mists rising in the jungle. What was most amazing, were the hundreds of incredible birds flying about - macaws and other colorful parrots, toucans, and many other varieties.

  5. Well me too! If we can save the distinguish species that is awesome!

  6. this post reminded me of my dad once again, he was such a bird lover...

  7. Hi, Can someone please inform list of public schools in point cook area. website address will be helpful too. I don;t want pvt schools as they are very expensive. Thanks.