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).

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Brooklyn Parrots: The Motion Picture!

On this page, you can watch videos of the world famous Brooklyn Parrots. Most of these clips will be included in our soon-to-be-released movie about these incredible avian invaders. Enjoy!

This project is a joint project between the Brooklyn Parrot Society and New York Tails Magazine. We are always interested in talking with potential Executive Producers and Distributors: if you'd like to participate, please e-mail Diane West. If you or or your Quaker Parrot would like to be in the movie, please e-mail me.

Production Update:

03/31 - New version of "Ballad of the Brooklyn Parrots" completed. This version finally matches full-motion images with the song lyrics.

12/24 - A cute video of a pair of "Brooklyn Boids" under the mistletoe at Green-Wood Cemetery.

12/14 - A video message from Monkzilla (one of Brooklyn's oldest and most influential wild parrots) on the current Wild Parrot Crisis in Yacolt, Washington.

12/8 - A new mini-movie entitled "Holiday Hassle" shows the Brooklyn Parrots trying to plan their Christmas Wish Lists in the midst of deadly danger.

11/16: A special video Thanksgiving Greeting from the Parrots to you and yours!

11/10/07: "Hawk Attack in Brooklyn" depicts the wild parrots' reaction to an attack by a Red-Tailed Hawk.

8/23/07: Part 1 of the "Great Baby Quaker Parrot Rescue, shot on 6/7/2007, edited and uploaded (see below).

Our team completed a new music video using a lot of clips shot earlier this year: it's called "The Little Green Parrots of the Argentine" and can be viewed below.

Our team shot a lot of footage at the Great Baby Quaker Parrot Rescue in the Bronx and plan to get this footage onto YouTube sometime in July. I also will be shooting more this weekend as we get up close and personal with these rescued birds in their secure out-of-state location. Please stay tuned: this will be an incredibly dramatic sequence in the movie.

Production Update 3/31/2008: NEW CLIPS (many of which will appear in our upcoming documentary):

Ballad of the Brooklyn Parrots: The (Definitive) Full-Motion Video Version

Quaker Parrots Under the Mistletoe (Holiday 2007 Video Christmas Card)

Monkzilla Addresses the Quaker Nation

"Holiday Hassle" (Starring the Brooklyn Parrots)

A Brooklyn Parrots Thanksgiving

Video: Hawk Attack in Brooklyn!

Video: The Great Baby Quaker Parrot Rescue (Part 1)

Music Video: The Little Green Parrots From the Argentine

Video Clip: Interview with Mark Bittner and Judy Irving in New York (Complete Interview), Part 1

Video Clip: Interview with Mark Bittner and Judy Irving in New York (Complete Interview), Part 2

Video Clip: Interview with Mark Bittner and Judy Irving in New York (3 minute edited interview)

Video Clip: Wild Parrots in the Bronx!

Video Clip: Wild Parrot Pizza Party!

Video Clip: Bay Ridge St. Patrick's Day Parade 2007

Video Clip: Wild Parrots at Brooklyn Bird Feeder

New Brooklyn Parrots Trailer!

The Amazing Wild Quaker Parrots of Edgewater, New Jersey!

Wild Quaker Parrots in the Snow!

Lunch with the Brooklyn Quakers!

Quaker Parrots Frolic in Freezing Cold

Love Under an AC Unit

Quaker Parrot Repels Starlings

Wild Quaker Parrots "Rumble" in Brooklyn

Quaker Parrots Evacuate Nest and Sound Alarm

Marty Markowitz Discusses Wild Parrots of Brooklyn

Ballad of the Brooklyn Parrots

2/5/07: Lots of productinve activity over the past few months. Assembling this footage is taking a long time but it will be worth it. In the meantime, we're uploading more clips to give an indication of what will be in the final movie. New Trailer coming soon!


7/22/06: Despite the flaky weather, our crew spent a productive day in Edgewater, New Jersey, interviewing Alison Evans-Fragale, who has been a primary force in the attempt to reform the laws which stigmatize monk parrots as a "potentially dangerous species." We got some great pix of the quakers and a terrific interview with a local restauranteur for whom the parrots have been a business boon. We also got Alison to demonstrate the construction and operation of an alternative nesting platform "monk bunker."

7/17/06: We completed a shoot at Greenwood cemetery on 7/17. I have not screened it yet but believe we have some wonderful footage of the "shaking quaker" babies.

We are working to complete a 2-hour feature, deliverable sometime in 2007. We have two main tasks:

1. Getting interviews (right now, we have a lot of "street interviews" and a great "authority" interview with Ken Taylor, of Green-wood Cemetery. We hope to interview Marty Markowitz, reps from Con Ed and PSE&G, parrot authorities, and other Brooklynite who remembers the time when the Quakers came to Brooklyn.

2. Getting video of birds in action in NYC, NJ, Connecticut. We have very nice footage now which has been distributed on Animal Planet and is being evaulated by the BBC in connection with a documentary scripted by Adam Gopnik. We are working with Marc Johnson, of, to trade footage; Marc made a good video documentary of the crisis which affected the monk parrots in late 2005. We plan to shoot in all good weather in Brooklyn, New Jersey, and perhaps Connecticut through the Fall of 2006.

BrooklynParrots wishes to thank Diane West, of New York Tails, for financing this film. If you want to know more about the movie, please Send E-mail to learn more. We'd love to interview you if you would like to share your experiences with wild parrots in urban areas.

(original copy)

I'm very glad to say that an independent movie about the Brooklyn Parrots is now in production.

I'm a big fan of recent movies about birds, notably The March of the Penguins and The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill. They have proven that there is a new-found interest in nature among film-lovers, and I was inspired by both of these wonderful films to try something with a small team, which now includes Diane West, editor of the New York-based New York Tails magazine, who has access to an excellent crew. I believe that the story of the Brooklyn Parrots includes many dramatic elements which will not make this "just another bird movie." The struggles of these birds -- so far from home, strangers in a strange land -- a jungle of stone, really -- subject to predators ranging from hawks to poachers to utility companies, makes for a fine drama.

But Brooklyn Parrots will not just be a film about exotic birds in an exotic location, but a film about the people of New York who love them, rescue them, obsess over them, feed them in February, fight over them, write stories and poems about them, and otherwise find their lives altered by these exotic avian invaders. Like Brooklynites from the beginning of time, they've taken the cause of these scrappy underdogs (underbirds?) by going to bat for them, organizing citizens committees for them, and otherwise protecting them from the harshest sides of the urban machine. So this is as much a film about these unsung urban heroes and the extraordinary diversity and humanity of Brooklyn as it is about these wacky, endearing urban parrots who, according to legend, say "Fuhgeddabouddit" when they're up in their high nests, conversing about the events of the day.

We are in the very early stages of production now. We've shot some footage in Brooklyn, will be returning soon, and will continue to follow the birds and their human admirers throughout the winter.

We know that independent films are a difficult game to win at. That one can produce a perfectly fine movie but have it fail or worse -- remain unfinished and forlorn unless one has all one's, er "ducks in a row." We are interested in executive producers and distributors who may want to lend their weight to this project, not because they want to make a fast buck, but because they believe in it, and can see the potential for this film as a teaching tool, an effective, appealing drama, an insight into the people who make Brooklyn tick, and an entry for people of all ages into one of the greatest urban survival stories ever told.

If you are one of these people, or know someone who's interested in pitching in to this project in terms of being an Executive Producer, Distributor, or other film industry pro, I invite you to call or email me. We plan on offering fair profit participation to those who help, but do not think of this film as a purely profit-driven enterprise. We fully expect to donate a sizeable share of profits to institutions which are dedicated to studying these birds and educating the public on the issues affecting them.

Thank you,
Steve Baldwin
646 361 2879

Dushka, Diane, Janelle, and Steve pose after a hard day's parrot shoot. Donald, behind the camera he controls so well, is a key member of the Brooklyn Parrots video team and one of these days, we'll make him show his beak!

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