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April 8

Sam Williams, PhD | Apr 09, 2006


It’s quite clear from their activities that the parrots are not breeding yet. This is good news as it means there is more time to get things in order before it gets busy. The birds are hanging around in pairs and the different pairs are loosely associated with larger groups. Sometimes they are all friendly with each other, but at other times there is loads of shouting and body language going on between pairs. Compared to something like a Cuban Amazon the yellow-shouldered may seem quite plain, but when they start flashing their eyes, fanning their tails and raising their wings, the plumage is spectacular.

For my PhD I will be on Bonaire for, hopefully, three six-month field seasons. Rental car costs over that period would be through the roof, so I’m trying to buy a decent car as financially it makes a lot more sense. It also shows the local community the commitment we are putting in here to conserve these parrots.

WPT, as part of its support of the PhD project, will be paying for the majority of the vehicle cost, so the WPT palm cockatoo logo will definitely be going on the side of the car. In addition I think it would be really fun to get some parrot paintings done, so the project car becomes the “parrotmobile”! All of a sudden there are plans to try and hold a competition in the schools for the best design.  George and Laura DeSalvo, who run one of the island’s newspapers (and have helped me out endlessly), are really encouraging the idea. Jan Huckaby, an artist, has offered to help judge the entries and there are already prizes being offered. People on Bonaire are so positive and helpful, it blows me away.