Saturday, February 21, 2009

Camera Critter #46

During my Air Force career, I was asked if I wanted to go on an adventure. I said yes, and in early 1989, I found myself somewhere in Honduras. My first impression of the area was that it looked a lot like the High Lava Desert of central Oregon.

However, a week after I arrived, I realized it really wasn't anything like central Oregon. In the hootch I lived in, we had an iguana which lived under one of the common room couches. We called him George and he would come out and gobble up the massive number of dead flies we left lying on the floor after a good swat. I kept trying to get a photo of him, but any movement around and he darted back to his hiding place.

However, there were a couple of creatures of the Honduran jungle which weren't as shy.

Early one morning, I was awakened by a loud screeching sound. Puzzled by the sound and realizing it was close to my set wake-up time, I got up and headed to the showers. On the way, I found out what made the screeching sound. It was a Scarlet Macaw. I stood there watching bird for a few minutes, admiring its beauty and then continued on my way to the showers.

A couple of days later, I was returning from the chow hall, eating an apple and the Macaw landed on a rail near me. In a chair nearby, sat our First Sergeant and he fed the bird something. I walked over and was about to ask the First Sergeant about the bird, when it reached down and took what was left of the apple out of my hand. Surprised, I stepped back and the sergeant began laughing. "Paco loves apples," he said.

He then explained to me that Paco was a wild bird who only liked a few a people...and it appeared I was one of them since he didn't fly off when I approached. After that, I would regularly see Paco and would always have an apple and knife with me so we could share the treat. One day, Paco let me take his photo. He was, and probably still is, a majestic bird as you can see.

After a while, I would find Paco waiting for me on the perch above (yes...at the First Sergeant's hootch). And every day, we shared an apple. My only regret was I left Honduras without saying goodbye to Paco.

Then, a couple of weeks before I was due to leave Honduras, I was sitting outside, talking with some friends. The sun was setting and the bugs were out in force. There were several crawling on me and as I would swipe one away, another would take its place somewhere else on my body. As I prepared to swipe a new bug away from my neck area, a Green Parrot appeared out of nowhere, landed on my chest and grabbed the insect. Needless to say, I was a bit startled and a friend of mine was able to snap this image of me as I recovered.

The parrot perched on my chest for a few moments, looking around, spotted another bug on my right arm, walked across my chest and grabbed it also. The bird then looked me over again, and seeing nothing, flew back to where it came from...a nearby tree.

Needless to say, the other three friends of mine were rolling across the ground laughing so hard, I thought they would never stop. After that, I was butt of a lot of jokes.

Misty Dawn's Camera Critter Meme is family fun for everyone. If you're interested in more fun, go there and check out the rest of the players. And then, join the fun!

25 comments:

Your EG Tour Guide said...

Paco certainly is a magnificent bird and your story about the bug on your chest will likely be the most entertaining one today. ;-)

Craig Glenn said...

Great story and beautiful birds. What an adventure.

Craig

T said...

Great story. Very beautiful birds. I would have been startled too, having a bird fly out from nowhere and landing on my chest.

Rose said...

Good story and beautiful birds!

i beati said...

great stories Thanks Sandy

the daily said...

Lovely bird...

My entry for CC this week : in HERE. Hope you have time to visit . Thanks

Tink *~*~* said...

I thoroughly enjoyed reading about your avian adventures in Honduras. :) Thanks for sharing the stories. I have to say I am shocked at the length of Paco's tail feathers! I guess when you see them at the zoo, they've been clipped. Must be an awesome sight in flight!

Tink *~*~*
NEW at My Mobile Adventures *~*~* :
Of Mice and Mutts - Disney’s Flower and Garden Festival

Carla said...

what a cool story!!! Thanks for sharing:)

Jedediah said...

Paco is a gorgeous bird. Thanks for sharing his story and the photos. Insect hunting parrots...I knew that they ate meat, but that's an unusual way to get it :)

Denise said...

What a hoot, the story was great and so were the photos.

Carolina said...

Gosh, you attract birds!?! You must be so happy ;-)
Great story! Nice photos. Shame there is no photo of George.

Lilli & Nevada said...

That is one beautiful bird, Loved the story as well. Are you going to the Eagle Watch this weekend at Billy Chinook?

Snap said...

Thanks for sharing the story and the birds. Nothing like an adventure!

kden said...

What a beautiful bird. I would much rather see them in the wild like that, then in cages.

Janie said...

You must be a true bird magnet. Paco is gorgeous, and the green parrot is cute, too. Funny stories.

Tammy said...

That is so neat! I can't believe that wild birds loved to hang out with people so much. That is so cool!

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

Bird magnet! Great story and pictures.
Thanks

fishing guy said...

ASh: Neat story and great photos from your adventure.

Dianne said...

great story - animals are wonderful judges of character so they were truly complimenting you

Paco is magnificent

Misty Dawn said...

Dude! The Macaw is waving at the camera!!! That is SO cool!!!

Did you teach him to say "Hi Bear!"??? Huh? Huh? Did ya?

Villas Girl said...

Paco is amazing. Beautiful colors. This was a great story. Thank you for sharing.

Anna said...

Paco is a gorgeous bird!

I loved the story and picture of the green parrot that came to save your from the bugs.

Rhea said...

Cool Honduran critter photos and memories!!

Babooshka said...

Wonderful narrative and those images. You just can't beat a wild bid landing on you.

G. Crappy said...

Very cool!