To say that parrots are noisy is an understatement. The raucous calls of the young parrots reverberated around the nursery at the Parrot Ranch. We were doing a tour of the Parrot Ranch at Levin during the weekend and scurried from our cars through the torrential rain to get inside. The babies are all hand reared and were noisily greeting these dripping wet visitors who had come to see them. They clambered up and down the cages, calling at the top of their noisy parrot voices, all seeming to say, “look at me, look at me”.
Next stop was the Reptile House. The animals here were oblivious to the bad weather outside as they basked under their heat lamps. Those who were interested were allowed a hands on experience with the baby Blue Tongued skinks. Both Robin and Peter had no trouble handling these little lizards, but I certainly was not interested – I noticed that most of the ladies did not want to touch these reptiles. Mum and Dad skink were in another cage and seemed huge. They grow up to 2 feet in length and with their little legs tucked underneath they look rather like fat snakes. A Bearded Dragon was brought out of the cage and sat very still on Peter’s hands.
Blue Tongued Skinks and a Bearded Dragon
With everyone holding umbrellas to keep the heavy rain off them, we followed our guide to view the many outside cages. We saw many exotic parrot species from South America, including lots of varieties of McCaws. Then there were the Australian species, with cockatoos, Major Mitchells, and many more varieties. There was also quite a selection of native New Zealand parakeets. Pretty little Tamar wallabies hopped up to meet us and followed us around the zoo, no doubt hoping for more of those food treats that our tour guide was giving out.
We paddled through the puddles to see the new Capuchin enclosure, which housed several of these large agile monkeys. They scampered around the enclosure in the rain, and they seemed almost as wet as we were. One of the monkeys kept well away from the group – our guide told us that this poor animal was bullied by the others.
And still the rain kept falling. Our tour around the Parrot Ranch was at an end so we drove back to the motor camp to change out of our wet clothes. Robin commented to our caravan friends that they went well above the call of duty, to plod about in the atrocious conditions on our outing. We heard on the news that this had been the wettest Queen’s Birthday weekend in 35 years – we can certainly vouch for that!