Step aside Abaco: Inagua is the home of the Bahama Parrot
I heard a symphony of screeching birds outside my window. The sound ebbed and flowed as if the birds were swooping back and forth over the house, past my window. I came to know the incessant singing to be the signature tune of the Bahama Parrot.
Hurrying out the front door for a closer look, a flock of birds greeted me with an acrobatic airshow. Their red plumped neck, and the blues and greens in their outstretched wings were immediately visible as they swooped past like bats disturbed by the light.
I always thought of Abaco as the island of the Bahama Parrot. In all my visits, however, I never once saw any evidence of the bird. I was in Inagua for less than 30 minutes and already, I had my own personal Bahama Parrot airshow. They camouflage well inside the leaves of tamarind, guinep and silk cotton trees, but their screeching song is unmistakable.
Travelling around the Family Islands I am always confronted with my own miseducation. Who knew, of all the salt Inagua produces, it only represents one quarter of one percent of North American salt production. Who knew that cold winters in North America, not only indicate the prospect of more tourists visiting the Bahamas, but also the temporary employment of some 60 workers in Inagua to increase salt production for the defrosting of North American roads. And who knew, the Bahama Parrot was such a noisy ass bird.
And just like Inagua has no monopoly on the flamingo (they also live in the West Side National Park in Andros), Abaco has no monopoly on the Bahama Parrot. If you want a guaranteed, no fuss way to see Bahama Parrots, Inagua is a safe bet.