- Connecticut May Have a Heart. I'm glad to note that the United Illuminating Company, which was bone-headed enough to believe that it could kill off almost 300 of my distant cousins in 2005 without the public making a peep of protest, decided in 2007 to stop doing this. I'm still angry that the nest removals happened during the cold weather, but at least this company is showing some progress along the path to decency. The situation in Connecticut bears continual watching, but at least there's some hope that the stone-hearted barbarians will be kept at bay.
- Am I Still a Dangerous Species? Look, I may have a decidedly urban attitude but I'm not the "dangerous species" that many people make me out to be, and Alison Evans-Fragale, of EdgewaterParrots.com, continues to push to have me de-listed from the "Potentially Dangerous Species" list in New Jersey. Bill S 1768 has been bouncing around the legislature this year but I hope that 2008 is the year that New Jersey finally gives me some respect for being the entertaining and well-behaved Garden State resident that I am.
- One Million Trees to Grow in NYC? I'm not a big fan of politicians, but New York City Mayor Bloomberg's plan to plant 1,000,000 new trees by 2017 is a great way to provide more perching possibilities. My vote is for Sycamore trees, which are my flock's favorite tree for year-round nibbling. Go Mike!
- Alex the Parrot R.I.P. I don't know too many African Greys, but if they're as smart and sensitive as I am they deserve to be memorialized, so I'm glad that Alex got his share of honoring after he passed last year, most notably in the New York Times' annual end-of-year issue. My only real regret is that Alex spent his whole life in a lab. Let's hope that his wild tribe (which is highly endangered in Africa) continues to fly as wild and free as we Quakers do in the skies of Brooklyn.
- The Yacolt Wild Parrot Crisis. I never dreamed that my gentle kind could rip a remote mountain town to pieces, but that's what happened in Yacolt, Washington, where it seems that the community has been divided into two warring factions over my future there after the local utility company, in cahoots with the U.S.D.A., killed off three of my distant relatives and the town fathers gave my relatives "30 days to get out of town or else." Thank goodness there are some cool people in Yacolt, including Chris Driggins (AKA "Birdman") who are working towards a humane solution along with the Quaker Parakeet Society. I mean, hey, if you really want us to leave, we'll fly away, but why not use us wee parrots to encourage eco-tourism? We could put Yacolt on the map!
- Action Closer to Home. It's been a year of ups and downs in Brooklyn. Lots of my nests have been torn down by Verizon and Con Edison (notably in Bay Ridge, where a few crabby neighbors complained about me), and I lost a whole generation when there was a big teardown at Brooklyn College and the contractor didn't even contact a rehabber, but instead unilaterally gave my babies away to people in the neighborhood. But my kind is hanging on in Brooklyn, although I'm not going to tell anyone where any of my new nests are. Actually, I'm very lucky to be living here, given that most people in this heterogeneous borough accept me as an exotic pilgrim instead of dissing me as an "illegal avian."
Happy New Year, fellow sentient beings! Remember that "hope is the thing with feathers!"