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Sunday, October 11, 2009

Happy Birthday, John Lennon!

Here's a new video shot by my talented friend Juliet Hanlon, recorded at Strawberry Fields, NYC. No parrots in this video but plenty of peace, love and joy as musicians and fans celebrate John Lennon's 69th Birthday.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Chicago Scientists Studying Urban Monk Parakeets

Like wild monk parrots living elsewhere in the U.S.A., the Chicago parrots love munching on dandelions.
A wild Quaker Parrot in Chicago munches on a dandelion stalk

A Monk Parakeet (AKA Quaker Parrot) tracking project is gathering steam in Chicago. Residents of that city are being asked to report the locations of all nests where the parrots can be found. A project spokesperson, Emily Minor, has told the Chicago Sun Times that the purpose of this study is to understand the parrots' dispersion patterns and predict where they might be moving next.

While I applaud any scientific project devoted to finding more about our remarkable wild Quaker Parrots, there are two serious concerns that I must voice about the Chicago project. The first is that this research project not inadvertently supply ammunition to the parrots' detractors in the form of a "hit list." As we all know, there have been instances in which the U.S.D.A. and other government entities have basically "declared war" on the parrots, and the results have been lethal. So it is critical that the scientists not share any data with entities that have proven hostility to this wildlife in the past.

The second concern is that any map compiled of the parrots' nesting areas be restricted for use by bona fide researchers, not the general public or Web population at large. As you may know, I had to remove my interactive map of the parrots' nests in Brooklyn because I was concerned that such a map could be used by poachers, a serious problem in Brooklyn in the past several years that decimated several wild parrot colonies in Brooklyn. Unfortunately, it seems that the Chicago project has already posted such a map, although its resolution is insufficient to offer any meaningful tactical intelligence to the bad guys -- at least for now.

You can read more about the Chicago wild Parrot study here.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Hanging With The Parrots For Peace (Baby and Merlin) in Central Park)!

Parrots For Peace (Baby and Merlin in Central Park)

Sometimes you run into parrots in the strangest places. Last Sunday, while singing with The Meetles (New York's most fun Beatles tribute band), who should I run into but Baby and Merlin, two Blue and Gold Macaws famous for being "Peace Parrots, Rainforest Ambassadors and NYC's Spokes Avians for the Mayor's Alliance of Animals." What great birds!



A photo of Bird Lady Gloria Waslyn with her spectacular Blue and Gold Macaws, the Parrots For Peace

Here's a photo of Bird Lady Gloria Waslyn, who was kind enough to let her well-behaved wunderkind climb on me. You can learn more about her work here. Photo credit for both photos goes to Juliet Hanlon.