I thought I'd give you all a peek into our local bird population. I'll just show you the cool ones, and I won't bother talking about piegons and morning doves, which are equally overpopulous here.
are very beautiful, and kind of exciting because they're so exotic to me. But looks can be deceiving. These things are DAMN annoying. They come out around sunrise. I'm convinced that they have gangs and alliances. They pick petty fights with each other (usually 2 against 2 on opposite sides of the street) and they screech at each other in this horrendous call that sounds like an old crabby man shouting at some kids in a falsetto voice. I don't know how else to describe it. The little hooligans wake me up a lot. They screech at me when I walk to my morning classes. Good thing they're so pretty, because I would've taken up bb-gun practice a long time ago.
unique calls, and partly because of their bright yellow color. At first, I heard the calls all the time. I thought it was so cool. Then I got annoyed by it when it woke me up in the morning or during an afternoon nap. But now they've mixed into the background noise with the motorcycles and the "water gas water gas!" megaphone trucks. I got a picture of one outside of our apartment once, killing a huge grasshopper/locust thing. But the picture is trapped inside my broken computer, so you get this Google images shot for now.
These guys aren't so nice. In Portuguese, they're called "urubu," which may just translate to vulture or buzzard. They're HUUUUGE. They're creepy because they're all black and because they perch on the top of buildings and we're the tallest building in our area, so we can see them all the time, scanning the streets from the tops of satellites. Alexandre's worried that one might see the cat on our balcony and come in to attack. I've never seen such a large vulture population in a city before. I try not to overthink the metaphor. They're still pretty cool, though, in an Edgar Allan Poe sort-of way.
There's also this black and white goose-type thing that flies around in big groups and has a pretty call, but neither of us knows what it's called. There are toucans here, but I've only seen them once, when we were at a party kind of far out from the big city. Plus, there are these surprisingly large black hummingbirds that are too fast for me to get a picture of.