Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Tuesday in Miami ... or ... A Visit to Parrot Jungle Island

Tuesday morning, we woke to a beautiful sunrise gleaming over the water so, of course, I had to whip out the camera and try shooting a photo through the hotel window.

The promise of a beautiful (though chilly to locals) day for my visit to Miami's Parrot Jungle Island gave an energizing start to this refugee from the cold dark northland. I got the car out of (pricey!) valet parking and headed out over the causeway toward the bridge to South Beach.

According to the map, there should be a turnoff to Parrot Jungle Island. A sign. Whew! Off and out of the heavy traffic I went, but...where was it? I meandered down a little side road, past a children's museum and some parked busses and tractor-trailer trucks.

"Where am I going, already, headed on a dusty little road under the end of the bridge? I don't see any signs. This just doesn't look right--better turn around. Hmmm, maybe I was supposed to go under there after all. What's the worst thing that can happen--I end up going back to the city and trying again. Okay, I'll do that funny under-the-bridge U-turn and see where I end up."

And I'm there...just as they open the doors! I park in the nearly empty garage, pay my entrance fee (with a discount coupon--hurrah!) just ahead of a crowd of adorable little Head Start munchkins.

I picked up a map with a schedule of programs, asked a passing employee to recommend what to see when and then set off to see the feeding of the flock of delightfully noisy flamingos.

They put on a fun show with trained parrots,

talking myna birds, a six-foot-tall Australian Cassowary, and more.

Once through a set of doubled cagelike doors and inside the Manu Encounter aviary, I was fascinated by the very inquisitive little squirrel monkeys

and the parrots, macaws and other birds who live there.

I attended two more shows, one with wild animals and one with reptiles. Along almost all the walkways were parrots on perches--many of them squawking for food. They'd even eat right out of your hand.

One of them, however, seemed a little too hungry--it tried to take a bite out of my signature red hat and pulled it right off my head!

This was such a lovely day that, even though the birds and animals and the special programs were fun to watch, I just kept walking around, reveling in all the green, green foliage and just soaking up the sunshine--particularly in their Everglades Habitat area.


Blogger Sunny said...

Oh what a beautiful sunrise pic. I want to go there. Especially to the parrot place.

11:59 PM  
Blogger Allan said...

Neat pix of the flamingos

12:43 PM  
Blogger Patty said...

Oh I have been to Parrot Jungle, of course that was about 27 years ago on my honeymoon. Still looks like lots of fun

12:19 AM  

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