This post is also available in: Dutch.
As in human society, the animal kingdom knows a large number of different characters and personalities. The shy wallflower, the brave hero, the creative artist, the pragmatic handyman, the chaotic rebel, the organized entrepreneur, the list goes on endlessly. As anyone with an above average interest in nature has done at one point in his or her life, I sometimes wonder which animal I would be. After a long contemplation and analysis of my own personality, considering the romantic idea of being carried by the wind and with the beautiful nature of this island at my feet, two winged examples came to mind, in an almost literal movie-like title ‘The good, the bad(ass) and the intern.
First, let’s have a look at the bananaquit (Coereba flaveola), or sugar thieve if the Dutch name ‘Suikerdiefje’ is translated literally. This adorable little yellow and black bird is one of Curaçao’s favorites. Always on the lookout for natural sweets and leftover sugar, these birds fly, nest, breed and eat in the company of others. With a life that revolves around love, companionship and as many sweet treats as they can get their beaks into, you might understand why the bananaquit is the ‘The Good’ in this little comparison.
Secondly, I present to you the Osprey (Pandion haliaetus). This visitor from North-American regions travels far and long, regularly visiting Curaçao as a stepping stone to other regions and sometimes spending the entire season on the island, . These birds hunt for large fish in spectacular ways and although they eats their prey up in the trees in solitude, the majestic birds aren’t exactly shy. With its white head and amazing wingspan of up to 1.70 meter, this bird’s appearance does justice to its rather bad-ass lifestyle. The Osprey is a true adventurer and truly deserving to be assigned the title of ‘The Bad(ass)’.
That leaves me with the question, which of these am I? If it weren’t for my significant lack of wings (and my rather humanly looks), one might think I am the love child of a papa osprey and a mama bananaquit. Like the osprey, I am keen on traveling, adventure and spectacular activities. During its long flights, the osprey visits areas that are quite different from its natural habitat, and I too enjoy discovering new places far away, marveling at their cultures and natural beauty. On the other side, like the Bananaquit, I could never live my life as happy as I do without the frequent company of my beloved friends and family. And I really do like my snacks.
One of the most interesting challenges in life will be to find my way around this contradiction, but I have no fear my future will include both long and exciting travels as well as a loving family and close friends by my side. Much like the hypothetical results of the unlikely romance between an Osprey and a Bananaquit, I will use my impressive wings to frequently fly out, but also to always fly back to the sweetness of home.