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, December 29, 2008

BBC2 - The Great British Parakeet Invasion

Documentary on Britain's wild Ring Neck Parakeets; origin myths include the Bogart Theory (the birds escaped from Shepperton Studios during the making of The African Queen), The Jimi Hendrix Theory (stoned, he let them loose as a gift to the planet), and the Great Escape Theory (pets who protested loudly enough to get themselves released).

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Thursday, December 25, 2008

A Brooklyn Parrots' Christmas Story

Quaker parakeets in the snow
Twas the night before Christmas and the monks were at rest,
Deep within their impressive monk parrot nests;

When just around midnight a loud noise occurred,
It shook the whole nest, it woke every bird;
It roused the flock leader, who looked at his spouse,
And said, "something big just crashed into our house;"

"Don't go out," said his wife, "you're not feeling so well,"
"I must," said her mate, "you never can tell;
It might be a kestrel, it might be a hawk,
Or even a poacher," he said with a squawk;
"Well, first," said his wife, "take a bit of your medicine,"
"No time," he replied, "it might be Con Edison."

The parrot flew out, and once perched in the cold,
Saw something big stuck way up there on the pole;
"Hey you," said the parrot, "you there, with the beard,
Your sled's on our nest - you can't park that thing here!"
"I've crashed," said the man, "I was flying too fast,"
"Can we offer some help?," the monk parrot asked;

"That's kind," said the man, "but I have to confess,
My sled is quite hopelessly stuck in your nest;
Besides, what real good can you monk parrots do?
What I need is a crane or a Coast Guard rescue!"
"Yo, Beard," said the parrot, "with all due respect,
We monks are by far Nature's best architects;

We're professional builders, we're strong and we're fair,
We'll get your contraption back up in the air;"
"You can try," said the man, "but my mind's filled with doubt,"
"Cool your jets," said the parrot, "we'll straighten this out;
I'll rouse the whole crew, and get more from outside,
We'll dig your sled out so you can go on your ride."

The flock leader started a strange kind of chirpin'
So loud that it woke all the parrots in Brooklyn;
From Red Hook, Bay Ridge, and from old Sunset Park,
Small flocks of green parrots lit down in the dark;
"Let's get this guy going," the flock leader said,
"When he's gone we can all snuggle back in our beds;"

So with razor-sharp beaks, the birds tugged and they sawed,
They pushed, and they pulled with powerful claws;
They squawked, and they strained, they tugged and they cut,
And finally, they freed the old sled from its rut.
Said the monk to the man, "you can go on your way,
And deliver your toys for a fine Christmas Day!

But the man in the sled had a tear in his eye,
And the monk parrot wondered "what's wrong with this guy?"
"Yo, Santa, take off! Fly away with your freight!"
"My reindeer won't do it," said the man, "it's too late,"
"They belong to the union?," asked the monk, with a sneer;
"They clock out at midnight," said the man with the beard,

"That's too bad," said the monk. "but I'm goin' back to bed;"
"I was hoping you'd help," said the man in the sled,
"I'm no scab," said the monk, "are you out of your mind?"
"I can waiver you in," Santa said, "it'll be fine!
You can all join the union, you and all of your boys!
And the children of Brooklyn will all get their toys!"

The parrots discussed this proposal at length,
And decided a union would add to their strength;
So the birds all squawked "aye" and each grabbed at a strap,
On the sled with the toys and the man in the cap;
With a thunderous flapping they rose in the night,
Two hundred green wings pulled the sled out of sight,

And the man in the sled, now filled with affection;
Cheerfully changed his standard directions:
"On Fonzie, on Kiwi, on Tango, and Cookie!
On Max, and on Stanley, and Chester, and Lucky!
And all of you parrots whose names I don't know
I won't soon forget how you salvaged this show!"

If you're ever in Brooklyn at the end of the year,
Make sure you look up, for what might appear;
Is a big flock of parrots, towing St. Nicklaus,
And these parrots are known as Myiopsitta Monachus.

Brooklyn's wild monk parrots celebrate after helping Santa out of a jam
Brooklyn's wild monk parrots celebrate after helping Santa out of a jam.

Happy Holidays to All!

© 2006-08 By Steve Baldwin

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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

NY Post: Wild Brooklyn Parrots Seek Legal Perch

Reporter Amy Lieberman covers Council Member Tony Avella's efforts to provide protection for Brooklyn's wild parrots. (NY Post via

To go on record as a supporter of Tony Avella's effort to protect the parrots, please send email to:

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Monday, December 22, 2008

NY Daily News: Pol: Nest in Peace, Parrots

A fair and accurate story in the Daily News about the effort by NY City Council Member Tony Avella to extend formal protection to Brooklyn's wild Quaker Parrots.

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Friday, December 12, 2008

Breaking News: Wild Quaker Parrot Protection Bill Moves Forward in NY City Council -- But Your Help is Needed For It To Pass!

Two wild quaker parrots groom each other at a Brooklyn sandlot baseball field
Two Wild Brooklyn Parrots confer in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn

I am told that Tony Avella, a NY City council member with an outstanding 100 percent score on the League of Humane Voters checklist, is putting together a bill to protect the wild Quaker Parrots of Brooklyn and New York City, and that he plans to introduce such a bill before National Bird Day (January 5, 2009). While the final language of this bill has not yet been formulated, it will protect our beloved wild parrots from the poaching and other inhumane treatment that have afflicted wild parrot flocks in the past several years.

This bill is important, because New York's wild Quaker Parrots have no legal protection now from those wishing to do them harm. But it must be passed in order to have effect. This is why I ask you to express your support for such legislation by writing directly to Mr. Avella's office.

For those wishing to write letters, here's the info:

NYC Council Member Tony Avella
38-50 Bell Blvd., Suite C,
Bayside, NY 11361

For those wishing to write e-mail, please send it to the attention of Rebecca Sheehan, of Councilman Avella's office.

Thanks to Barry Schwartz, of the Maspeth Bird Haven (Now Feathered Friends) for bringing this matter to my attention. And special thanks to councilman Tony Avella for taking the lead on this issue.

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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

1,000,000 Page Views!

BrooklynParrots Crosses 1 million page view milestoneSometime last week, passed the one million page view milestone. It took us more than 3 years to get here (this site launched in March of 2005), and I want to thank all of you for checking out this site, learning about the wild parrots that grace New York's skies, and supporting the idea that these remarkable avian immigrants are worth conserving.


Sunday, December 07, 2008

Apologies for December 6 Tour SNAFU (New Safari Start Time In Effect)

I have learned that at least one person trying to attend Saturday's Wild Brooklyn Parrot Safari was disappointed when the tour guide (myself) was not in the right place at the right time.

I am to blame for this problem. The instructions on this Website were confusing, and I have fixed them, and also apologized to this person. To all: please take notice that the start time for the Wild Brooklyn Parrot Safari is 11:00 AM throughout the winter. Changing from the noon time lets us see more bird action during the winter months when light is short.

The Noon start will return in March, when the days are longer. The next safari is January 3: remember: it starts at 11:00 AM!

Steve Baldwin

Saturday, December 06, 2008

NY Times: Defending the Parrots of Edgewater, NJ

NY Times: Defending the Parrots of Edgewater, NJ
Photo Credit: Alan Zale for The New York Times

The New York Times posts a good article covering the controversial wild Monk Parakeets of New Jersey, and the humans who defend them, including Alison Evans-Fragale, a friend of this site. We're a fan and supporter of to learn more about the NJ parrotsclick here. Also I've embedded a video below showing the famous Edgewater Parrots:

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Thursday, December 04, 2008

Audubon Magazine: Wild Monks' Stick Nests Create Fracas

Audubon Magazine: Wild Monks' Stick Nests Create Fracas<br />
Justin Nobel, of Audubon Magazine, interviewed me yesterday about Brooklyn's wild monks: the article is now online. The article has lots of good info, interviews with fellow "monk parrot defenders," plus the latest news from Connecticut.

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