Monday, April 20, 2009

The "Other" South American Immigrants: The Wild Parrots of Brooklyn.

There is a very funny story about how, sometime in the 1960s, some parrots from Argentina were shipped to a New York City airport, probably headed for a petstore, but somehow the crate got opened and they escaped.

Eventually the parrots ended up in Brooklyn, where they stayed, wild, reproduced, and now have taken over entire neighborhoods.

They must've liked the pizza. And the people.

If this was a book, we could call it "A Parrot Grows In Brooklyn."

The parrots have a wonderful community housing project, much better than we humans manage. Every once in awhile, the owners of structures in which the parrots have built their nests will clean them out, tear them down, leaving these poor parrots homeless, but they immediately begin rebuilding. Wouldn't it be nice if humans worked together to make sure we all have shelter? I wonder if that's why they call them Quaker Parrots -- nonviolent, cooperative.

Green-Wood Cemetery Spire. Parrot nests were removed for cleaning.

Here are some photos from a Brooklyn Parrots web-site. They show the Green-Wood Cemetery spire which was covered with parrot nests. The cemetery owners wanted to remove the nests, and examine and repair the spire if there was any damage. So they cleaned the nests out, found the spire was not damaged, restored it, and now the parrots are re-building. But the funny thing is that before the cemetery began removing the nests, they built a substitute nest area for the parrots -- a mesh box on top of a tall metal pole -- so the parrots would have someplace to live while the spire was being removated. Now why don't we do that for people?

This temporary platform (on the metal pole to the right of the structure) was put up so the Parrots could relocate there while the cemetery spire was being cleaned. Really.

Parrots hard at work with nest reconstruction on the cemetery spire

Cemetery spire after cleaning: They're Baaack! Pretty good-sized nest on the left.

Construction materials being delivered.

Construction well-underway for new Parrot nests.

The people of New York City are very protective of their Wild Parrots. Here's a video of the removal of some baby parrots for the clearing out of some public lights in the Bronx:

1 comment:

  1. These smart little parrots cannot be brought into or bred in the state of California. They like our crops as much as we do...yum!