by Meryl Sundove
Our Task Force on the Americas delegation, led by Lisa Sullivan, came to Venezuela to observe the presidential elections in April, 2013. Luckily we stayed at Quinta PROUT in Caracas.
The volunteer staff’s hospitality was warm and welcoming, the accommodations comfortable, and the vegetarian food was delicious and varied. Eugenio and his family made us feel like it was our home away from home, adding a personal touch which we loved.
For me an added pleasure was the birds I observed while at Quinta PROUT, in the house’s yards and from the front dining patio. I am a naturalist and bird watcher so this was special for me.
For instance, in the early morning from our bedroom on the second floor, I heard the energetic song of a House Wren which was nesting under the roof on the top floor. In the back yard with various fruit and other trees, one often sees birds and squirrels.
Some of the common birds I observed included Ruddy Ground Doves, Bananaquits, Blue-gray Tanagers, Bare-eyed Thrushes, and a gorgeous Saffron Finch. The Great Kiskadee, a large flycatcher, had babies that had fledged from the nest and were being cared for by the adults. The adult male’s clear strident song, kiss-ka-dee, could be heard often from the back yard as well as the front patio. The trees in the backyard as well as nearby yards were attracting birds to feed on the fruits. Sooty Grassquits liked to drink and feed at a fountain in the lower yard on a small lawn.
During meals on the front patio, I would bring my binoculars and was usually rewarded by seeing birds flying close by or visiting near trees. The Brown-throated Parakeets flew by either in pairs or groups continuously calling noisily to each other. Several species of hummingbirds were also seen.
The view from this patio looked up to El Avila National Park and down into Caracas with a wide vista.
Thanks to Eugenio and his family for all the extra things they did to heighten the enjoyment of our visit to Quinta PROUT and Caracas.
[Source of photos: Wikipedia.]