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Monday, April 21, 2008

Breaking News: Eyewitness IDs Con Edison in Brooklyn Wild Parrot Colony Disappearance

Breaking News: Eyewitness IDs Con Edison in Brooklyn Wild Parrot Colony DisappearanceA witness who requests anonymity has contacted me about the mysterious disappearance of the wild Quaker Parrot colony in the Sheepshead Bay/Manhattan Beach area of Brooklyn in January of this year. According to this person, a single Con Edison truck, operating in daylight, removed all the wild parrot nests along Oriental Boulevard during the 3rd week of January. This account accords with my own observations. It is not clear what happened to the parrots themselves.

What is particularly distressing about this account is that it directly contradicts statements made by Con Edison that the nests were removed "by poachers," an explanation which is on its face patently absurd. While there have been past poaching incidents in Brooklyn, the poachers steal the parrots, not the nests. In this case, however, all traces of the once-thriving wild parrot colony in Manhattan Beach were removed.

As I've noted on many occasions, I have no animus toward Con Edison, which I believe usually acts in a generally transparent manner. In the past, I have received many accounts from residents of Brooklyn alleging that the utility company engages in tactics (including the use of chemical agents and an alliance with criminal parrot poachers) which have not been borne out by the facts. Compared to other utility companies that routinely kill wild parrots, Con Edison's stance is moderate and I believe that they deserve credit for behaving in a moderate way.

Still, it is troubling that Con Edison did not simply tell the public what it was doing in this instance, and especially troubling that it the removals in January, at a time when the parrots were exposed to harsh weather. My sincere hope is that Con Edison chooses transparency and best practices over secrecy and unilateral actions in the future. If you have additional information about the missing Manhattan Beach wild parrots, please send me e-mail at steve@brooklynparrots.com.
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