The Parrot Jungle was one of my favorite old timey attractions growing up in South Florida. To my sisters and I it felt like we had stepped into a vast jungle, with giant birds more glorious than we could have imagined. The bright flurry of feathers, the raucous cries, and the chance to have one sit right on your head kept us coming back for more. There was one bird in particular named Tina, a pretty white cockatiel, who rode a tiny bicycle across the highwire. As soon as I saw her I was hooked. I was convinced she should belong to me. I kept pictures of her in an album and imagined how well I would treat her if only I could bring her home. My little crush. My namesake. I never forgot her. Back now in the place we met, I find I want to sing her a little song.

I want to pay homage, and serenade the bird I was enamored with once upon a time. – Christina Pettersson

South Florida is home to the only subtropical wilderness area in the country, and Artists in Residence in Everglades (AIRIE) is the only program bringing artists to the Everglades. AIRIE’s purpose is to inform, connect, and support artists, writers and musicians who wish to be ambassadors for the Everglades by providing month-long residencies in the Park.