Saturday, April 2, 2011

B.C.'s Bloedel Conservatory gives parrot lovers a chance to see exotic birds locally

Okay. So you know part of the title of this blog includes "parrots." Maybe, if you don't know me, you're wondering, "Why parrots? The guy's supposed to be writing a travel blog."

Well, I actually do write quite a bit about parrots I encounter in my travels. In fact, I seek them out - parrots that is, and trips that will bring me into contact with wild parrots.

The reason I'm so interested in wild parrots and the conservation of those wonderful creatures stems from my life prior to becoming a travel writer, full time.

Years ago, my wife ended up adopting a Congo African grey parrot named Nikki. He had lived in two different homes before he came to us. Eight years later, a second CAG came to live with us: Coco. He was six months old when we met him, and has been with us for 10 years now. Five years ago, we adopted another parrot, an Amazon named Einstein.

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Coco Puff, the Congo African grey parrot.
Because I've always been interested in enjoying the outdoors responsibly and doing things to help conservation, it was only a matter of time before I began focusing on parrots, writing about companion parrots as well as their wild cousins, in places like Peru, Bolivia, the Cayman Islands, Puerto Rico and Ecuador. Over the next few months, I will post blogs that detail some of my experiences as I travel to view parrots in the wild.

Okay. So by now, you may be wondering, "What's this got to do with Bloedel Conservatory?"

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Grooming time at the Conservancy.
This facility is located in Vancouver's Queen Elizabeth Park. It's the highest point in the city, you can get great views of the north shore mountains. But the Conservancy itself is in a big glass dome that houses hundreds of different tropical plants - several species of birds, including parrots. A pair of macaws, a cockatoo named Charlie, a CAG named Rosie and some others all live there, year round. It's a great opportunity to see these birds up close, not enclosed in a cage, if you can't afford to head to South America or the South Pacific or Africa to see them.

I've included a shot of the two green-winged macaws grooming each other.

Anyways, you can expect to see more posts about "parrot travels" here in the coming months. Enjoy!

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