Bond, Fleming and Kling-klings
One of my favorite birds in Jamaica is the Kling-Kling, a.k.a the Greater Antillean Grackle or Jamaican Grackle. I saw these mischievous birds both times I visited GoldenEye, the resort created from Ian Fleming's winter residence in Oracabessa.
The first time, one was rearranging the napkins at the waterside bistro (above).
One also dropped by unexpectedly while Fleming was being interviewed by the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. (Pic below) and stole the show for a time.
(It was the same day the real James Bond and his wife Mary dropped in unexpectedly. Lots more about that day in my book.)
Kling-Klings play a major supporting role in The Man with the Golden Gun, Fleming's final novel, which he was writing it at the time the CBC and the Kling-Kling met. I doubt it was a coincidence.
Wrote Fleming: "Tiffy took a cloth and cleaned up the messes. She said, 'We call them kling-klings but learned folk call them Jamaican grackles. They're very friendly folk. The doctorbird, the humming bird with the streamer tail, is the Jamaican national bird, but I like these best. They're not so beautiful, but they're the friendliest birds and they're funny besides. They seem to know it. They're like naughty black thieves'."
Bond, of course, wrote about them in Birds of the West Indies (1936, bottom), giving the Jamaican nickname as "Ting-Ting." He added "Cling-cling" by the 1961 edition.
The bird is also featured in Cole Porter's and Moss Hart's "The Kling-Kling Bird on the Divi-Divi Tree" in the 1935 musical Jubilee. The song reportedly came about after a trip through a botanical garden in Jamaica.
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