You’re a ‘birder’, you say?

I didn’t quite get it when they told me: People who travel around the world looking for birds?


“Well, actually…” I thought, realizing I knew where to I could take them to see birds in all colors here in Rio de Janeiro, because, as it is said, the mind records all that it witnesses — even the things in which we are not much interested. Every time I had been to Parque Flamengo, Parque Lage, Jardim Botânico or Pista Claudio Coutinho, I noticed there was an array of colors, songs and squawks.

Today, however, it turns out that the best place to see birds is on my veranda, where I put out some fruit everyday to continue the tradition of an older women, my neighbor, who had cultivated the daily visits of birds of all kinds with a complete buffet of fruit and water over many years. It is a great fortune to have breakfast with tanagers in all colors, who then vanish when the imposing and, at times, carnivorous toucans arrive. Then there is nothing quite like the raucous noise of the party that parrots are capable of throwing.

To have gained the trust of these daily visitors is a great joy: why would anyone want to see them in a cage?

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A native of Chicago, Ricky Toledano has lived in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil for over twenty years as a writer, translator and teacher. [a]multipicity is multi-lingual collection of reflections through the humanities.

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