Monday, August 25, 2008

Photos: Battle of Brooklyn 232nd Anniversary

The Battle of Brooklyn took place 232 years ago. Here are some photos from the annual commemoration, which took place this past Sunday. Interestingly, the wild Quaker Parrots that live at Green-Wood Ceremony didn't seem to mind all the colonial hoopla, except for the firing of the rifles.

If you can't see the embedded slideshow, you can browse the pix on the Flickr Set I created for this event by clicking here.

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Photo-Essay: New Wild Baby Quaker Parrots in Brooklyn's Green-Wood Cemetery

Wild-born baby Quaker (left) begs for food
from mother at Brooklyn's Green-Wood
Cemetery. All photos by Steve Baldwin.
People sometimes ask me what's the best season of the year to watch wild Quaker Parrots in the Northeast U.S.A. In some respects, Fall and Winter are better for seeing the parrots, because they form larger flocks, and because they're easier to see and photograph when the trees are bereft of leaves.

But if you want to see young baby Quakers flying, playing, and feeding for the first time, however, there's no better time than Summer. Right now, these fresh youngsters are shaking, quaking, and begging their parents to satisfy their appetites, and they're also beginning to learn the Quaker's main trade (nest-building) and how to forage for food.

Last week, I posted a brief photo-essay on the baby Quakers in Green-Wood Cemetery. Here's a follow-up with some new photos intended to welcome 2008's new additions to the wild Quaker Parrot flock.

Baby Quakers will keep "quaking" for food until they've been trained to gather food for themselves.

Here, Mom (on right) is teaching baby to eat grass, which is the main diet for wild Quaker Parrots.

Mother bird (center) is kept very busy these days allo-feeding her young (this Mom has two to take care of).

Another shot of Mom Quaker with her two hungry youngsters.

Across the river in Edgewater, NJ, baby Quakers are busy learning how to eat pizza.

Baby Quakers look almost exactly like their full-grown parents when they emerge from the nests. You can spot them by their distinctive begging behavior, slightly different beak shape, and the fact that they look slightly "fresher" than grown-up birds.

Monday, August 04, 2008

New Photo-Essay: Wild Baby Quaker Parrots at Green-Wood Cemetery 2008

A wild baby Quaker Parrot at Green-Wood Cemetery, August 3, 2008
A wild baby Quaker Parrot at Green-Wood Cemetery, August 3, 2008

Each July and August, wild parrot watchers in the Northeast U.S.A. delight in the emergence of the latest and greatest crop of wild baby Quaker Parrots. At Brooklyn's Green-Wood Cemetery, these youngsters are easily seen in the grove of trees leading up to the main gate. The babies are inseparable from their parents, upon whom they depend for sustenance delivered through allofeeding (beak-to-beak feeding).

This past Sunday, I photographed some of these newcomers. They are just as cute as those seen in prior years.

How do you spot a baby Quaker Parrot in the wild? Well, for starters, the shape of their beak is very different.
How do you spot a baby Quaker Parrot in the wild? Well, the shape of their beak is different, they're just a bit "fresher looking," and their characteristic begging behavior gives them away. Here's one in a tree awaiting Mom's return.

Here, you can compare Mom (on the right) with her hungry youngster. Note the differing beak shapes. Baby Quaker parrots sound very different as well; their calling is far less assertive than their elders.

Mother Quaker Parrot prepares to allofeed two hungry babies. Photo 1 of 2.
This busy Mom (center) is allofeeding two hungry babies today!

Mother Quaker Parrot prepares to allofeed two hungry babies. Photo 1 of 2
Another shot of Mom with kids.

Baby Quakers closely shadow their parents. Here, three adult Quakers are digging a hole in a road; the purpose of this project appears to be to consume the soil beneath, which is thought to act as a digestive aid. The baby is second from left. This baby will maintain very close contact with his parents for at least a year and possibly longer.