Unlike the famed Emperor Penguins of the wonderful film March of the Penguins
, Brooklyn's parrots don't have to march 90 miles to find a mate. In fact, you'll rarely find them marching anywhere, which is why the procession I witnessed last Sunday at Green-wood Cemetery
was such an unexpectedly strange event. (Click on any image for an enlarged view).
At precisely 10:30 AM, a good number of parrots alights on the pavement just inside the main gateway, where they have constructed impressive colonial nests.
Suddenly, inexplicably, they began marching to the South, following the flock leader (the leftmost parrot).
The parrots form an orderly line on their southerly trek.
After marching about 10 yards, the lead parrot seems to realize that this journey might be more hazardous than initially supposed, thanks to the appearance of a large minivan entering the cemetery. He halts the procession.
An impromptu conference breaks out among the leader's followers. "Should we really go through with this, given the high possibility of being squished?" one parrot seems to ask. "What are we marching for anyway?" another one hypothetically gripes. "Hey - who elected this guy who claims to be leading us?" a third one possibly squawks.
The leader, sensing that the mood of the flock has changed after their close encounter with a two-ton minivan with high squish potential, issues an "about face" command, and his fellow parrots follow. Now that's
On the North side of the pavement, the parrots find a safe spot of turf. They spend a few minutes eating grass and frolicking, safe from the dangerous traffic.
And when it's time to leave their spot, they don't march: they fly, which, as we all know, is the safest way to travel!
(Note: nothing in this short photo-essay is meant to suggest that these parrots are wimps. In fact, as you'll see soon, these parrots think nothing of confronting their enemies, even tough falcons, kestrels and crows, head-on. Even so, they draw the line when it comes to minivans.)
Labels: Greenwood-Cemetery, Greenwood-Cemetery Parrots