By avilover

Conuropsis carolinensis

Between a full day of classes and the pouring rain (that we desperately need, admittedly), I didn't get out much today. The wildlife building on campus has a small study room on the second floor, the walls of which are covered in glass cases that hold scores of taxidermied birds. Sometimes I study in there but mostly I just stare at the specimens...a different kind of studying, I guess. I was surprised to discover this one today--a Carolina Parakeet, which went extinct in 1918 and was the United States' only native parrot species in modern history. I've read accounts of how they brought dazzling color to the eastern seaboard in the dead of winter, their green, orange, and yellow brilliance a stark contrast to the snowy white landscape. After European colonization they were hunted aggressively and thoroughly, as they had a penchant for descending en masse into croplands and destroying yields. This is the only kind of Carolina Parakeet I'll ever see. Under the circumstances I at least feel lucky that the university has one that I can spend time with while "studying" on rainy days.

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