Macaw at the zoo

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We salute this gold and blue pennant tapering to its long pointy tail. (We give its beak a wide berth, though.) Darwin thought the macaws' taste of blue and yellow ``inharmonious,'' and wondered at the bad taste of their screams as well. Our words are ``magnificent,'' ``fortunate'' aware that smugglers have reduced its kin left in the wild to rare. How different when Columbus sighted large flocks of macaws streaming southwesterly. Not knowing Florida lay straight ahead, the navigator veered to follow the birds -- arriving at San Salvador, and changing the course of Spanish exploration. ``Never did the flight of birds,'' wrote Baron Alexander von Humboldt, ``have more important consequences.'' Conversely, man has ever had important impact upon the flight of birds.

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