Macaws thrive in Caracas, Venezuela

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This article (see link below) by Associated Press features beautiful photos of Venezuela’s macaws, by Ariana Cubillos, to illustrate how yellow and blue macaws have become Caracas’ “signature bird,” prompting amateur birders and other animal lovers to form associations dedicated to watch, document, and/or care for these stately birds.

In one of the world’s most-hostile urban jungles, the spectacle of rainbow-colored tropical birds streaking across the late-afternoon sky has become a natural respite from rampant crime and choking pollution. Visitors to Venezuela’s capital of Caracas soon grow accustomed to lifting their heads at dusk and dawn to see the stately birds glide by, usually in a pair.

Indeed, macaws are thriving amid the high-rises and traffic of Caracas — a city of some 6 million people — thanks to a group of amateur birders who feed them and watch out for their nests. Bird-lovers even swap experiences and advice at meet-ups organized by “Macaws in Caracas,” an informal group that has more than 2,000 members.

Wild parrots that escaped or were released are an increasingly common sight in urban metropolises around the world, from the cherry-headed conures of San Francisco’s Telegraph Hill to the thousands of parakeets that have taken residence in London.

Caracas’ signature bird is the blue-and-yellow macaw, one of four species that inhabit the Caracas Valley. Legend has it that it was introduced in the 1970s by an Italian immigrant who nurtured a lost macaw and trained it to fly.

For original article, see http://www.sfgate.com/world/article/Macaws-thrive-in-Caracas-Venezuela-5923730.php

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