At the time of this writing I hear a wonderful sound. It's the raucous cries of wild Bahama Parrots in my Avocado tree. Real, honest-to-the-Goddess, wild parrots, the ones that are highly endangered and for all my life have only existed in small, potected numbers in the Abaco National Park, and in smaller numbers in Great Inagua - and nowhere else in the world.
But by some miracle there is now at least one flock of these beautiful, rare birds alive and well on New Providence, perhaps two. Sources tell me that the National Trust has known about their presence here for about a year but has chosen to make no public announcements that might bring unwanted attention and perhaps endanger them more than they already are. I'm told that the birds have apparently managed to successfully breed here in these past months.
To me, Bahama Parrots in my back yard is nothing short of a miracle, a sign of great success for all who are working to save these rare, beautiful birds.
The Abaco Bahama Amazon (A. leucocephala bahamensis) is a subspecies of the Cuban Amazon. They have dark green feathers, a white crown and upper cheeks, rose red throat, red sholders and outer wing feathers that are tinged in blue. It onced lived in tremendous numbers in Abaco, New Providence, San Salvador, Long Island, Crooked Island, Acklins and Great Inagua. Their numbers declined because of habitat loss, hunting and capture for pets Today the Bahama Parrot is protected by The Bahamian Wild Bird Protection Act of 1952 and by the Covention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild fauna and Flora (CITES). In 1994 the Bahamian government set aside 20,000 acres in south Abaco creating the Abaco National Park to help preserve the last of these beautiful birds.
The return of these lovely birds to New Providence island means to me that all our efforts to save the Bahama Parrot from extinction and to implement its recovery are proving successful. Personally, that I can now enjoy a morning coffee on the patio in the company of Bahama Parrots in the trees is a joy, a blessing, and reason for hope and enormous gratitude.