Photo-Essay: Brooklyn's 8th Avenue Parrots
On a chilly morning in February, a bird from the "8th Avenue Gang" soaks up some sunshine.
Brooklyn's 8th Avenue Parrots are a small but hardy crew of monks who live less than 100 yards from the Gowanas Expressway at the intersection of 8th Avenue and 72nd Street. They live in a classical pole nest built under a Con Ed transformer sited in a tiny park called Anthony Mondello Triangle.
The 8th Avenue Parrots are often active in the late morning, gathering twigs for nest construction from the trees planted along the Gowanus Expressway. But sometimes they unaccountably vanish. Often, they spend time visiting their relatives to the North based in Leif Ericson Park.
As we've documented elsewhere on this site, it's a fact that Brooklyn Parrots love pizza, so I found it less than coincidental that these parrots decided to build their nest across the street from an Italian restaurant.
How long have the 8th Avenue Parrots been on the scene? According to a friendly employee of the restaurant, "at least five years." Where did they come from? My guess is that they are a spin-off "satellite" of the main wild parrot colony in Leif Ericson Park.
Without further ado, here are some photos of the 8th Avenue Parrots taken in February, 2006. Please click on any image for an expanded view.
The 8th Avenue Parrots live in a classic pole-nest chosen by the birds because of the warmth given off by its transformer. This view is looking West; the trees at the rear of this view are planted along the Gowanas Expressway.
The best place to get action shots of the 8th Avenue Parrots is actually on 7th Avenue, directly below the trees used by the parrots to provide construction materials. But be very careful: cars often speed down this strip and there's no sidewalk to offer a photographer much protection.
An 8th Avenue Parrot glides into the pole nest with a good looking thorny twig in his beak.
A moment later, he's working the twig into the nest structure.
Another bird comes in with another twig. Watching these little birds work is an inspiring experieence.
Many beaks make light the work on 8th Avenue.
But the 8th Avenue Parrots pace themselves, and are more than willing to take a short snuggle break to add variety to their long workdays.