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Sunday, July 31, 2005

New: The Wild Parrot Map of Brooklyn!



(Update 2/2006: I have disabled this map because I do not want to enable any wild parrot poaching. Read more about this here.)

I've been playing with the Google Maps API this week; it's a wonderful program that lets Web site users easily add custom maps to their sites. Of course, my first effort is an attempt to map all the wild parrot colonies in Brooklyn. Click here to view the map! You can move the map by dragging it, use the zoom buttons, select satellite or street mode, and otherwise have fun with it. I hope to be steadily adding features and info to this map in the next few months. I might even wind up adding a GPS unit to my wild parrot field kit.

Oh, if you've seen a wild parrot nest, have a photo of one you'd like to share with me, or have a wild parrot report, please send me e-mail - I'll add your siting to the Wild Parrot Map of Brookly.! Soon to come: Wild Parrot Maps of New Jersey and possibly Connecticut!

Saturday, July 23, 2005

More Pix of the Parrots


I developed and scanned a few new photos of the wild Brooklyn parrots today. Click on any photo to see an enlargement. What are wild parrots doing in Brooklyn? Well - it's a long story!


Grazing in the grass is a gas!


Monk Parakeet VSTOL (Very Short Take-Off and Landing)!


Ah, the magic that warm weather exerts on a young birds's heart. What sweet promises could this male be whispering to this female? Should she believe him?


Hey - she used to be my girl (Mating Season Aggressiveness doesn't just happen to humans).


Three happy residents of Avenue I catch some Brooklyn sunshine.


Wild Monk Parrots often nest in threes. The "odd bird" out is usually the child, although it's often very hard to distinguish the child from Mom and Dad. My bet is that the kid is the callow youth to the left.


It's amazing to me how these industrious little creatures, which aren't very heavy themselves, can airlift so much material to their nests in so little time.


Coming in for a landing at a nest on Brooklyn's Avenue I.


A happy pair of wild parrots perches on a well-insulated power wire.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Tango in America: Free E-book Excerpt


Tango (on the left) is very happy living with her Mom and Dad in Argentina before men capture them and forcibly sell the family into the North American pet trade.

I've uploaded the first four chapters of my new book, Tango in America, so that folks can get a sense of what the story is about. Click here to read the excerpt (requires Adobe PDF reader). You can also buy the book online.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Diary of a Wild New Jersey Parrot

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

My name is Jorge. I'm a Jersey Parrot and I live in the "Big W" tree just up the street from the pizzaria.


I'm on guard duty today, with my buddy Eduardo. For Monk parrots, it's a pretty important job. One of us is always watching, and if we see or hear something that seems to be a predator, we sound a special alarm to warn the rest of the flock.


I'm ordinarily a very cheerful parrot, but I'm a little tense today.


See that sign written in chalk on the sidewalk? Some friendly neighborhood kids put it there this morning -- it says: "Watch Out for Cat - Beware: Cat in Neighborhood." Well, I guess I'm not going to be gathering any food from the ground this weekend!


"GRAK GRAK GRAK!" - that's Eduardo, screaming like a banshee. "RED ALERT!"


SCRAMBLE! Oh man, I'm not looking forward to tangling with a feral feline!


Whew - I should have known. It's just a high altitude flyover by one of those Red-tailed hawks that lives up in the cliffs. That bad boy cruises over our nest at least twice each day. I've never seen him take a strafing run at us, but nobody's taking any chances. Word on the street is that Pale Male and Lola, who live just across the river, can eat up to five pigeons a day!



Whenever we issue a hawk warning, a crew of three or four parrots will immediately fly off in on an evasive flight path, alerting the whole colony, which ranges for quite a distance up and down River Road, and drawing the hawk away from the main nest, where the young and the females are. It's dangerous work but it's got to be done. That's just the way we Jersey parrots are: we watch each other's backs!


Are we clear up above now, Eduardo? Everything Copasetic?


I sure hope so. I'd really like to get back to what's really important - my feathers!

To learn more about the continuing struggle of the embattled tribe of Jersey Parrots to free themselves from "outlaw parrot" status, please visit EdgewaterParrots.com.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Brooklyn Parrots Cheer Proposed New Jersey Reforms



The wild parrots that live in Brooklyn loudly cheered today's announced introduction of legislation that will basically decriminalize their New Jersey cousins. If approved, it would remove the parrots from a state list of potentially dangerous species.

The bill, which is now before the Assembly's Agriculture and Resources Committee, will not be considered until the fall because the legislature is moving to its summer recess.

The legislation, also sponsored by Assemblyman Robert Gordon, states, "This bill would provide that the Monk Parakeet (aka Quaker Parrot) shall not be considered or listed by the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), or any other state agency, as a potentially dangerous species". The bill would also provide that any wild Monk/Quaker, including any nest or egg thereof, must be protected by the DEP, any other state agency, and any local government entity in the same manner, and to the same extent as any nongame species of bird indigenous to the state.

Thanks to Alison Evans-Fragale, of EdgewaterParrots.com, the Jersey Parrots' defender and dauntless advocate, for sending word about this positive development. Alison, along with Edgewater's Mayor, Nancy Merse, the six Council members, Maureen Holtje, David Jordan, Neda Rose, Lois Fein, James Moriarty, and Valory Bardinas, all have done a very good thing, and the wild parrots of Brooklyn salute you!

Sunday, July 03, 2005

New T-Shirts and Stickers!


For all the people who keep asking me about T-shirts, I've come up with some new designs. Click on the shirt to check it out - they're just $10.99 and if you buy one, I'll donate $1.00 to the Quaker Parakeet Society - a worthy cause. You can browse through some other Brooklyn Parrots stuff at the Brooklyn Parrots Online Store.

Also new is the "Support Your Local Invasive Species Bumper Sticker. Put one on your car to show the guy in back of you that Wild Parrots are OK with you.