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Mike Bowles & Loretta Erickson | May 11, 2007


From the conures to the amazons, what a fun time of year this is!  Last years young are experiencing their first season without the over-sight of the elder members of the flocks and the older juveniles are to be looked up to.  While mated pairs are off nesting, the youngin’s are having a blast chasing, racing, quarreling and having a rip-roaring good time.  They seem to enjoy the lack of regular baths and many look as though they’ve been rolling in the mud.  A true “home alone” situation!

It’s hard to believe it’s almost been a year since little Blutu (named after her mama ‘Blu’) made her debut.  The only known Blue-fronted young of 2006 among our local flock, she was an instant charmer!  I recall the first morning I saw her and I swear, it had to have been her first day out of the nest.  She was such a precious little thing and so well behaved—she stayed right where she was supposed to while mom and dad flew off to fetch her morning meal. Lucky for me, I was there to watch over her in their absence—not that she needed me a bit, but it was a profound experience for me.

Perched way out on the edge of a limb, little Blutu was perfectly camouflaged among the green leaves—at least from the average eyes. Crows passed by and noticed her—they flew in closer for a look and then went on their way.  That was a blessing, I had no idea how I was going to make it up that tree if she needed protection.  I felt absolutely helpless watching from 15 feet below.  Soon a couple of Red-crowns flew in and landed on a limb above her.  They watched and watched her with quiet vocalizations.  It was as if they had come to see the new little addition and also to introduce themselves.  As mom and dad returned, the Red-crowns flew off in haste as daddy Blue-front ‘Pooch’ warned them to keep their distance.


Little Blutu’s debut (Summer 2006)

Through the last year, we’ve watched little Blutu go from the protection and teachings of her parronts, to her intermediate travels with the other Blue-fronts, to her “off-on-her-own” lone jaunts with the larger mixed flocks.  And recently, her pairing off with Tio (a male BF hatched in 2005).  Blutu and Tio are now, without a doubt, an item.  It’s a little sad though, Tio and his sibling Rio were inseparable for the better part of two years before little Blutu turned Tio’s head.  Rio is without a pal for now, but they are all still among the same small, tight-knit group of four young Blue-fronts along with one teenage Yellow-head.  The five of them stick together and though they will sometimes meet up with the larger juvenile mixed flock, for the most part, the Blue-fronts keep off to themselves. Here’s hoping this year brings Rio a buddy of her own.



Tio (2 years old) and Blutu (1 year old)

It will only be a matter of days now before we hear the first fledglings of 2007—those baby begging sounds are unmistakable.  From that moment through the fall, we’ll have the pleasure of accounting for as many new young as we possibly can and for those adults we are able to keep close track of, we eagerly await what this season will bring.