A Web Site About the Wild Parrots of Brooklyn

Quaker Parrot Facts, lore, audio files, video clips, photos, pictures, photo comics, and other information about Brooklyn's flocks of wild Quaker Parrots (AKA Monk Parakeets).

Monday, August 22, 2005

The Surfin' Parrots of Puddle Beach

Welcome to the fourth installment of Quaker Parrot Photo Comics! This photo-story is based on actual events witnessed last weekend in Brooklyn, New York. You can read Issue 1, Issue 2, and 3 on this site. (Click on any photo to see a larger version).

Deep in the heart of Brooklyn, on the campus of Brooklyn College, tucked behind a metal gate, is a private beach for birds. Compared to the great beach at Coney Island, it isn't really much: just a few inches of water a few meters away from a construction dumpster. Still, for many birds in Brooklyn, Puddle Beach is the place to strut one's stuff and cool one's feathers on a hot summer day.

Last Saturday, a bunch of local starlings were cooling off at Puddle Beach, when a young Quaker parrot crept tentatively along the shoreline.

"Hey, kid," said a starling. "Come on in. The water's fine."
"I don't know if I ought to," said the parrot.
"C'mon," said the starling. "It's 95 degrees. Live a little!"
"Okay," said the parrot.

"Wow," said the parrot once he was in the water. "This is fun!"
"Word," said the starling. "Fun it is."

But then the young parrot stopped splashing, and just stood there in the water.

"What's the matter, kid?," asked the starling. "Why ain't you splashing?"
"I was just thinking," said the parrot. "I mean, what if somebody was to come along right now and see us bathing together?"
"What if they did?" asked the starling.
"I mean, it might look bad for you birds. After all, I'm an invasive species and all that."

"Invasive, inshmasive," said the starling. "Kid, with all due respect, we starlings know a thing or two about being an invasive species. I mean, some bonehead released just 100 of us in Central Park back in the nineteenth century, and now, basically, we own America. There are billions of us now."
"Billions?" asked the parrot.
"You parrots don't even come close in the invasive department," said the starling.
"I didn't know any of this," said the parrot.
"Stick with me, kid," said the starling. "I'll learn 'ya some things."

Soon, several other parrots arrived at the beach.
"Paisans!" called the starling. "How's the invasion going?"

"Tolerable," said one of the other parrots, splashing in the water. "Brother, this water is good!"

"Well," said the young parrot after they'd all had a chance to cool off, "this has been a lot of fun. In fact it's been quite educational."

"Birds of a feather should hang out together," said the starling. "Especially two outlaw flocks like ours."

"Word!" answered the young parrot. Then he and his pals took off, circling the dumpster once before heading out across Brooklyn.

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