Parrots Over Puerto Rico

By Washington Post

Open this book, after you have admired its gorgeous, wordless cover, and you will need to turn it sideways. The paper-and-fabric collages and the succinctly informative text are laid out so that you lift up the pages, rather than turn them. All the better to take in the great heights of Puerto Rico’s green forests, the deep drop of one of its waterfalls and the lofty altitudes flown by its green-and-blue parrots; each spread presents a layered and distinctive view of the island. But for all its intricately textured loveliness, the book also tells two dynamic stories: One describes Puerto Rico’s human inhabitants, while the other depicts the decline and eventual resuscitation of its parrot population. . . . The book’s authors describe their varied scientific efforts, including creating two aviaries, bringing in Hispaniolan parrots to help raise the chicks, and training captive-bred parrots to hide or stay still if a red-tailed hawk approached them in the wild. Even though hurricanes often batter the island, wild populations of parrots are soon likely to be found in three separate locations on Puerto Rico — a remarkable upswing from 13 lonely creatures back in 1975.