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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Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Please Sign Our Pro-Parrot Petition

The New Jersey parrots are in a bind: under NJ state law, they're classified as a "potentially dangerous species," which means that whenever their nests are torn down by the utility company, their young must be euthanized, instead of going to a parrot shelter. Please sign the online petition in support of NJ Bill No. A4260, which was introduced in May. You can help save a Jersey Parrot today!

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Monk Parrot High School Rumble!

Welcome to the third 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 and Issue 2 on this site. (Click on any photo to see a larger version).

I am pleased that this incident was deemed newsworthy enough to have made it into the pages of the Atlanta Journal Constitution - one of America's finest newspapers!

Last Saturday, at Brooklyn's Midwood High School, home to three wild parrot nests (you can see one tucked in to the school just to the left of the flag pole), things were getting tense.

It was hot, and muggy, and miserable for man and bird alike, and everybody in the neighborhood was on tenterhooks, especially when a local pigeon began pounding around on the top of the air conditioner beneath which a pair of monk parrots was attempting to stay cool.

"Will you please stop that awful pounding?" asked the female monk parrot, who had been irritable all morning. "Can't you see we're trying to rest here?" "I certainly will not," answered the pigeon. "Do you think that this high school belongs to you?"

Sure, it was a silly dispute, but it was 105 degrees, so the birds decided to take it personally, and soon, "GRAK GRAKK!", out burst the angry female, gunning for the tail feathers of the trespassing pigeon like a little green cruise missile. "You're mad!" yelled the pigeon. "Durn right I am!" answered the monk.

After a few hair-raising seconds of dogfighting, the birds resumed their positions to maintain an uneasy standoff. "Pest!" called the monk parrot. "Invasive Species!" rejoined the pigeon. They growled and glared, and cursed and sweared, but then some one, and I wish it had been me, had a bright idea.

Why suffer and swelter and fight like fools, when you can bathe together and all keep cool?

And so were the inter-species tensions of the day forgotten, in a muddy little puddle by a nearby construction site.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Brooklyn Parrots Dodge a Bullet

If you've been out to Brooklyn College recently, you know that there's a tremendous amount of construction going on out by the Athletic Field, which is of course the site of the main wild parrot colony in the Northeast.

Despite the fears of some that this construction would disrupt the lives of the Brooklyn Parrots, I have been personally assured that great care is being taken not to disturb their nests, which are sited on the high stadium light poles visible in this photo. I have also personally inspected the field in recent weeks, and have noticed no impact on the birds. Happily, this major reconstruction project will not entail removal of the poles!

Kudos to Brooklyn College for their sensitivity to the avians who have made Brooklyn College their home!

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Diary of a Wild New Jersey Parrot - Issue 2

Welcome to the second 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 1 and Issue 3 on this site. (Click on any photo to see a larger version).

My name is Pablo. I'm a Jersey Parrot that lives up the hill from the big W Tree nest in Edgewater.

A lot of the parrots in Edgewater thought I was crazy when I decided to build my nest in this air raid siren pole.

And sometimes I think I'm a little crazy myself, especially when the siren goes off, blasting my little eardrums and scattering every parrot within miles. You'd think it was the end of the world or something!

My buddies who live in the Big W tree, Jorge and Eduardo, are worried about my hearing, so they keep asking me whether I want to move my family down to their tree, where it's a little quieter, but I think I'm going to stand pat right here.

Contingent, of course, on the NDM (Nest Destroying Monster -- what you humans call a PSE&G cherry picker truck) -- not showing up at my humble abode anytime soon.

My noisy home isn't perfect, but it's the best I can do right now and so far, the NDM hasn't come near it.

But as you people in Jersey like to say, "eternal vigilence is the price of liberty."

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

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