Monday, May 04, 2009

BREAKING NEWS: Wild Conures Spotted in Kew Gardens, Queens


The Wild Conures of Queens are the rarest of New York's flocks of wild parrots. Photo by Ralph Bancer.

The world has long known of the flocks of wild conures living in San Francisco, thanks to Judy Irving's film classic, The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill. But the existence of wild conures of Queens, New York remains cloaked in mystery. These rare parrots -- originally native to South America -- keep to themselves for most of the year, and no one knows where they nest or raise their young. Only in late April and early May do they announce themselves, flying to and fro from the many blossoming trees in Queens.

Unlike monk parakeets (AKA Quaker Parrots), which build insulated nests on man-made infrastructure to keep them warm, conures only nest in tree hollows, which are much rarer in urban environments. How these parrots endure New York's harsh winters is unknown, as is the explanation for when, how, and why they arrived in Queens.

These photos, taken by Ralph Bancer, capture these rare birds in action. Savor these images, for by June these parrots will have returned o their chosen obscurity, deep in the heart of Queens' urban jungle, with the secrets of their season-defying survival concealed from the mind of man.


This conure looks pretty good, considering that he or she has just endured a cruel New York winter. Photo by Ralph Bancer.


We don't have a clue as to how these conures manage to survive New York's mean streets, but we wish them well. Photo by Ralph Bancer.
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