Today a pair of blue and gold macaws banked in the sunlight just over our heads while my daughter and I waited for her schoolbus. The yellow under their wings flashed gold in the morning light as they screamed, “Braaaak.” A married couple, we sometimes see them cruising the city for fruits, which they found this morning in the top of a tree at the corner.
Novelist Barbara Kingsolver and her husband biologist Steven Hopp traveled to coastal Peru then hiked through the rain forest for a couple of days to find macaws in their native habitat. She describes the thrill of seeing 'pet shop' birds flying free on their own, simply living their lives. They were easy to hear and hard to see in the dense canopy, until they flew together, like a motorcycle gang, out in clear air.
People say the Miami macaws escaped from Parrot Jungle during Hurricane Andrew. Perhaps. But we’ve seen families with young birds flying in threes and fours, so they are established residents by now, making a living and raising young. That makes them feral rather than stranded. Seeing the couples flying together overhead braaaaking at each other is one of Miami's little bits of magic.