Thursday, December 18, 2008

Covenanting with Cotorros


Compromiso con Cotorros


Yesterday and today we did promising work.  At the Rio Abajo aviary I watched as Dr. Tom White and others placed radio telemetry collars on the Puerto Rican Parrot for their upcoming release. 




Most of these birds will wear these collars for life.  Perhaps a burden for them to carry with them this extra weight, and it’s a weight too for my heart.  With each placement then, this collar, this ring, is one of promising to do our best to use the data it sends to give to the Cotorro chicks of the future a flying chance. May they fly free!   


At this same aviary I spoke with the manager, Ricardo de la Valentin Rosa ( 



He explained to me how the work they do there is one of sharing their lives intimately with the birds, in some fashion melding into a community of mixed species.  The work is detailed, yet nuanced.  It is of exacting science, and is of intuition.  Living and loving with the birds they see how to gently guide the reproduction of the birds, and the birds in turn seem to respond to their human counterparts with an unspoken agreement.  El aviaro is a place of promise, of covenant, of compromiso. 


The God of the Hebrew Scriptures flooded the earth, destroying it except for an ark that held a small remnant of what once was.  Upon the falling of the floodwaters a rainbow appeared in the sky, a sign of the new covenant between heaven and earth that God would never again bring destruction upon creation.  Instead we humans have taken up that mantle, reducing parrot numbers to but just a fragile ark that holds a small remnant of what once was. 


Upon the falling of yesterday’s sun, I stood upon a mountain overlook with the field biologists to see if we might spy free flying Puerto Rican Parrots.  There in the midst a rainbow appeared in the sky, a sign of the new covenant between human and nonhuman that we would never again bring such destruction upon our beloved earth. 




With every bird banded, collared, treated, captured, counted, and set free these people of the promise renew their vows.  


Come, come, whoever you are.

Wonderer, worshipper, lover of leaving.

It doesn't matter.

Ours is not a caravan of despair.

Come, even if you have broken your vow

a thousand times.

Come, yet again come.


- Rumi (Sufi Poet)





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1 comment:

  1. I love parrots!!!
    I´ from ARGENTINA!!!!!!!!!!!