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, May 21, 2007

Photo-Essay: Wild Parrots at Brooklyn's Green-Wood Cemetery Thriving in Springtime

The wild parrots of Green-Wood Cemetery live in exquisitely beautiful, yet perilous surroundings, given the presence of multiple predators, ranging from Red-Tailed Hawks to Kestrels and American Crows, each of which represents a threat to this small but thriving wild parrot community. We've discussed "The Green-Wood Gang" of parrots before, and thought it was time for a new photo-essay based on new photos I've taken in the past several weeks. Enjoy (click on any image for an enlarged view)!

A Wild Quaker Parrot cruises near Green-Wood Cemetery's historic entrance gateway
In May, there are already young babies in the Quaker Parrots' enormous nests, so the female parrots generally spend their time inside taking care of their newborns. Consequently, you're likely to find more males than females foraging on the grounds and ferrying twigs to and fro from trees. Here, we see a male heading out to liberate some thorny twigs from a local cherry tree.

A Quaker Parrot examines a branch that needs trimming at Brooklyn's Green-Wood Cemetery.
Quaker Parrots are very picky about the twigs they select for nest building. Only the finest lumber is selected to be part of their homes!

Quaker Parrot chopping at tree in Green-Wood Cemetery
Quakers can put a lot of pressure at their disposal when they clip a twig. If you stand below a bunch of them working on a tree, it sounds like a bunch of toe-clippers being operated high above.

Quaker Parrot Working on Twig, Greenwood Cemetery, Brooklyn, NY
This little parrot has his heart set on trimming a twig which is more than a quarter-inch thick.

A Quaker Parrot at Greenwood Cemetery Takes off with a Fresh Twig
At last - Twig Liberation!

Monk Parakeet in Flight with Twig, Green-Wood Cemetery
Once the twig is separated from the tree, the heavy air-lifting begins. At Green-Wood Cemetery, Quakers often ferry these heavy twigs more than a hundred yards to their destinations high atop the entrance gate.

Life is good for the Quaker Parrots in Spring. Delicious Cherry and Horse Chestnut blossoms are available in quantity, but life is hardly a bowl of cherry blossoms, because there are plenty of predators around to spoil the party.

Two crows attack a Monk Parakeet Nest in Brooklyn's Green-Wood Cemetery.
Most bothersome are the crows, which show up in gangs in the morning, and attempt to break into the Quaker Parrots nests (to eat the eggs). The parrots attempt to thwart this threat by deliberately concealing the eggs in convoluted passageways within the nest.

Johannas, Green-wood Cemetery's fearful Red-Tailed HawkGiant hawks pose a deadly threat to all the "prey" animals at Green-Wood Cemetery. Swiftly, silently, a Red-Tailed Hawk soars overhead like the Avenging Angel of Death.

A Red-Tailed Hawk at Greenwood Cemetery
This hawk, nick-named "Johannas," who makes his nest high above the Catacombs, is the most powerful bird in the area, and all lesser animals in the Cemetery must cower in terror of his awesome powers.

A Monk Parrot raises the anti-Hawk alarm
Except the monk parrots! Although they know they can't confront the Red-Tail directly, the parrots do have the power of raising the alarm so that the other animals can escape. "TAKE COVER!" yells this monk parrot. "THIS IS NOT A DRILL!"

A squirrel heeds the Monk Parakeet's alarm
This squirrel, if he's wise, will heed the Monk Parakeet's alarm call.

A Robin at Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn
This robin has less to worry about than the squirrel (unless the hawk is VERY hungry today).

Bird on Gravestone, Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn, NY
The same is true of this diminuitive local bird, who's too small to represent more than appetizer value on the hawk's rich menu. Still, no animal is completely safe when the Hawk is on patrol.

A Monk Parakeet on the grass, Green-Wood Cemetery
Once the danger has passed and "All Clear" is signalled by the parrots, one can often find the Monk Parrots foraging in the grass. Males will "chow down" for a good long time, and then feed their mates when they return to the nest.

Two monk parakeets have an argument in Green-Wood Cemetery
Most of the time, the foraging males get along, but sometimes small "rumbles" break out. Here, two Quaker Parrots are in "get your beak out of my face" mode.

Parrot decoration at grave, Green-Wood Cemetery
Many visitors to Green-Wood Cemetery leave small decorations at the graves of their departed loved ones. This grave is decorated with a parrot, which looks a bit like the real ones gracing the Cemetery.

Henry Bergh Rests in Green-Wood Cemetery
Green-Wood Cemetery is the final resting place of Henry Bergh, the founder of the ASPCA and a true friend to animals. I'm sure Henry would be glad to know that the animals in the Cemetery are doing as well as they are today.

Wild Monk Parakeet at Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn, NY
Whether you're parrot-watching, bird-watching, or just in the mood to enjoy the architecture, Green-Wood Cemetery is a must-stop. It's easy to visit on your own, or you can visit it during our next Wild Parrot Safari in Brooklyn, which happens every month.

(P.S.: Do you recognize the parrot in the photo above? I think he's the very same bird featured in a Photo-Essay done last year entitled "The New Boids in Town: Wild Baby Quakers Storm Brooklyn." Check out this photo for comparison. Congratulations on surviving your first mean New York winter, kid!)

For more info on the Green-Wood Cemetery Parrots, please see:

The Greenwood Cemetery Parrots

Hawk Attack in Brooklyn!

The New Boids in Town (Wild Baby Quakers Storm Brooklyn)

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Sunday, May 20, 2007

Check Out These Industrious Brooklyn Monk Parakeets!

The hard working Quaker Parrot is definitely the Master Architect of the Bird world, and this short online video, by fellow parrot-watcher Stark, provides a delightful look at nest-building in Brooklyn. Stark has a bunch of cool online videos, and we encourage you to check them out.

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Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Mark Bittner and Judy Irving Discuss "The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill" With

Mark Bittner and Judy Irving, whose classic film, The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill, has been an immense inspiration for urban wildlife enthusiasts throughout the world, were in New York last week, and they gracefully agreed to a short interview with BrooklynParrots' Diane West (who is also the publisher of New York Tails Magazine). In this edited interview, they talk about the wild parrots of NYC, what they hope people seeing their film take away, and the many common links between human and animal existence in cities.

Joining Mark and Judy in this interview is Senor, an amazing Amazon parrot who can't help contributing to the discussion!

If you missed Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill in its theatrical run, take heart: the film will have its television premiere on PBS on May 29th, at 9 PM (the time may differ in certain areas: check your local listings).

5/11/07 Update: I've uploaded the complete interview with Mark and Judy in two parts. In it, they go into more detail on their work and the plight of wild parrots in the U.S.A. You can watch it by clicking on the links below:

Mark Bittner and Judy Irving Interview, Part 1 (complete)
Mark Bittner and Judy Irving Interview, Part 2 (complete)

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Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Mark Bittner and Judy Irving Showing Parrot Film in NYC This Week

Monk Parrots in BrooklynMark Bittner and Judy Irving are coming to New York this week to show their classic film, Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill. There are two showings:

THURSDAY, MAY 3rd , 2007 @ 6:00 P.M.
Donnell Library Center 20 West 53rd St. (between 5th and 6th Aves.)
New York, N.Y. 10019 (212) 621-0609

SATURDAY, MAY 5th, 2007 @ 2:00 P.M.
Jefferson Market Library 425 Ave. of the Americas (at 10th Street) ew York, N.Y. 10011 (212) 243-4334

I definitely hope to catch up with Mark and Judy, who have done so much to spread the word about San Francisco's marvelous wild parrots.

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