As before, I searched for one of my favourites, the Amazonian king vulture. He's the gaudy headed one below. Twelve years ago there was a baby king vulture in the nursery, in a baby's playpen. As I was wandering around, trying to see as much as possible before closing time, I heard a maniacal laugh and made for the source of it: two laughing kookaburras. They set the macaws off who screeched at each other and started to do acrobatics on their bars. The whole zoo at that point seemed to wake up and become vibrantly alert, disregarding the humans. It gave me a headache as I dashed from one cage to another watching them.
I returned to the little farm to feed the goats prickly leaves. They licked my hands and I stroked their bristly heads and horns. No keepers were there and families were feeding them crackers and bread. One of my favourite paths is along the owl cages. I love reading their names in French as much looking at them. The eagle owl is 'grand-duc'. The great grey owl looked like a ghost from a Max Ernst forest and the snow owl was still there, though I suppose he's a new one. I particularly love his name 'harfang des neiges', though still prefer the English 'snow owl', and the word 'owl' to the French words for owl, good as they are: chouette, harfang, hibou, effraie (barn-owl, screech owl, fright).
The macaws listen