Tuesday, 19 October 2010
Parrots In Arizona......by Cerélle
Parrots in Arizona ?
Yes, we really do have parrots...
There are two native varieties, very scarce, to be found in Southern Arizona. The Coppery-tailed Trogon is a summer resident of far southern Arizona, and lucky the person who has seen him. Even more rare is the Thick-billed Parrot, who has been found in southeast Arizona. They have tried to reintroduce more of them, but with only limited success due to the large number of resident hawks.
And surprisingly, we here in our neighborhood have some fascinating little squeaky-voiced, colorful guys who have been around for at least twenty years now, and have naturalized quite happily. Some years back, a small private zoo with an aviary caught fire and the only way the firemen could save these birds, was to release them. Lucky for them, lucky for US!
So now, we have these wonderful peach-faced lovebirds who come to the feeder and live in the palm trees and have new fledglings each year. It is delightful to see the "peachies", sometimes in a flock of up to twenty, all in the little tree which holds the feeders. When the sun hits their feathers, it is just breathtaking! We even had a turquoise and white parakeet who joined this flock for a couple of years..and must have been quite well accepted as we can surely identify the offspring who show this whitish head, turquoise-green body coloration in certain members of the flock. Here is a Peachy on the birdbath.
Another visitor we had for at least four years was a wonderful big chartreuse parrot which I finally identified via a web site on parrots. Upon writing to the site with a description and then a photo, she was identified as a ring necked parakeet...a BIG parakeet - about 17 inches long, and as this one did not have the "ring", she was a female. In reading about her, I found that though originally from India and Pakistan, there is a large population of them who were escaped birds and have now naturalized in Bakersfield, California. I wonder if this one blew over here in a storm..as have some brown pelicans from time to time, or if she got away from someone here.
"Our" parrot was a joy to see and became a regular guest at the seed feeder. About two years ago, a new neighbor who was evidently ignorant of the fact that "Greenie" slept in the large hole in their date palm, cut it down and so we no longer have our wonderful guest! I hope she found another good place and is still flourishing. Sure miss seeing her, though.
So it is with pleasure that I add parrots to my collection, whenever I can find them. Among my favorite pieces are these Desvres parrots. They are large, fully 10 inches tall (25 cm) and with great colors and glass eyes.
I also have a charming little parrot which I have been hoping to identify...only 5.75 in (14.5 cm) high and finely painted and detailed. Anyone know this mark? Perhaps it is German?
This HB quimper covered jar sits on my kitchen window sill and is a source of great delight. It has survived in fine condition..lid too, and the colors and the repeating pattern of floral designs with the featured parrot is a favorite of mine.
Then there are parrots on plates and platters and cache pots and wall fonts..and all of the wonderful items with the Rouen designs which I love so well. I think that I can never get quite enough of these. I love the cornucopia, the carnations, and best of all the parrots. These could have been made in Desvres, in Quimper, in Sinceny, or perhaps if old enough, in Rouen itself.
Not too long ago I happened upon a great big soupiere WITH platter on eBay..and fell for it immediately! It was heavy, and perhaps that scared off the competition as I won it easily. I am crazy about the way it is painted, and just discovered it in the book, French Faïence, by Jeanne Giacomotti. It was identified as Sinceny..even perhaps Rouen, as evidently they were so alike.
The date is set at 1760..Oh MY! As you see, it not only has the carnations and rocailles but lots of little parrots, too!
Another piece which is special to me, is a parrot plate which has been identified by one of our club experts as being early Quimper in the Nevers style. I just love the colors in this, and the free-hand flourish in the painting.
I guess that whether a living-free parrot, or a parrot captured in clay and paint, they just bring a lift to my heart!