Paddling around the corner of our small inlet, we discovered the city of angels. Hundreds of Cattle Egrets, Cormorants, and Great-Tailed Grackles gathered in two trees along the shore to usher in the puesta del sol. It reminded me of the movie, The City of Angels, where the fallen angels clustered every evening to greet the sunset.
In observing their winter ritual, there appeared to be a hierarchy of the species of birds. The Cattle Egrets nested together in the middle of the trees. The Cormorants perched on the thickest branches among the Cattle Egrets and the Great-Tailed Grackles segregated themselves from the mass of Cattle Egrets by perching in the tops of the trees. It was kind of like lunchtime in a southern high school after forced integration.
The chattering was incessant. Fights broke out for the best positions. Feathers and bird droppings dusted the trees, resembling a freak snowstorm in the tropics. Late comers circled the area and honed in on a branch, only to be shoved off by dozens of flapping wings. Then, the late comers would renew their flight patterns, circle several times, and try another less populated spot.Chaos reigned!
Yet, when the sun slowly drifted toward the horizon, an eerie silence engulfed the crowd of onlookers. We spun the kayak to the west to see why the squawking and chattering halted suddenly. In awe of the spectacular display, we knew one thing for sure. The City of Angels had the best seats in La Paloma. We can’t wait to see what gifts tomorrow’s sunset brings to the City of Angels.