The wildlife in Patagonia is amazing. As we drive around just going about our business, we often spot some really amazing animals. We've taken up bird watching and animal identification as a side hobby. Its also fits nicely and easily into our homeschooling study of science. I never leave the house for trips without our Aves de Argentina [Birds of Argentina] guide book. I try to make our mission trips around Patagonia count. I think they are highly educational in so many different ways; bird and animal study being just one way.
I have found bird identification to actually be really hard, and we're not that good at it. Wikipedia helps. My bird book says these are the Blue-winged Macaw, but they're really not as big as macaws, and yet seem bigger than most parrots. Wiki helped us further identify them as the Burrowing Parrot of Patagonia.
|they are very skittish and very fast, making it hard to get a good picture|
After our first day of outreach in the mountains last month, we drove back into the town of Chos Malal for the night. A pastor we met at a conference our first time in the area offered to let us stay at their house since they were out of town. Their house is located downtown, but surrounded by tons of huge old trees. These trees were the perfect place for a huge flock of parrots to spend the night. From the sounds of them, there were more than hundreds, if not a thousand easily.
Parrots are very noisy. A thousand parrots are extremely noisy. They chirped and chittered and chattered and squawked and screamed all night long. It seems no matter where we go here in Argentina we can't get away from the noise! If it's not the twenty million neighborhood dogs yipping at every leaf that moves, it's motorcycles, cars with bad mufflers, neighbors partying into the wee hours of the morning, or a thousand crazy parrots yapping and squawking. Fortunately, this particular night we were so tired after having been up for almost 24 hours driving then doing this and this, that we passed right out and slept like babies all night long. Or I should say I passed out. The birds woke Tony up several times during the night with their squawking.