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Thursday, March 31, 2011

New Hampshire Lawmakers Vote to Legalize Quaker Parrots

Possessing a Quaker Parrot has long been illegal in New Hampshire, but in a surprising move, the NH House of Representatives has voted to allow both the possession and sale of the birds in the state. As reported by BirdChannel.com, the bill, #651, now moves to the Senate. The surprising legislation was prompted by the very public outcry against a decision earlier this year by the New Hampshire Fish & Game Department to begin enforcing a long standing rule banning the parrots, which enraged and mobilized many who keep these amusingly intrepid birds as companions. You can follow the process of this legislation at: http://www.boaf.com/quakers/index.html

Monday, March 07, 2011

Take The A Train (Wild Parrots Invading Harlem?)

A Free-Range Monk Parakeet in New York City.
Photo by Stephen C. Baldwin.
 
I received a very interesting message this morning from a fellow birdwatcher in Harlem. He reports that a group of at least six wild Monk Parakeets (AKA Quaker Parrots) have been visiting his bird feeder, which is in the vicinity of 127th and Lenox Avenue, for the past month.

This is tremendous news, of course, to those of us who've been tracking wild parrots in New York City. The Monks have had a very tough time establishing a foothold in Manhattan over the years -- much tougher than in Brooklyn, Queens, or The Bronx. Back in the 1970s, they were forcibly removed from Central Park and last year, an attempt by the parrots to build a colony by Riverside Park was thwarted twice, the first time by vandals and the second time by overzealous State Park officials.

My contact avers that his neighbor claims that the visiting wild parrots have been "coming for years," which I find highly remarkable. He also claims that at one point this group of parrots was traveling with a Cockatoo, which must have been quite a sight.

I cannot explain the appearance of wild parrots in Harlem at this time. Nor do I have any information on where they might be nesting, or whether the flock my correspondent is tracking is possibly related to parrots which have also resided locally at 104th and Amsterdam or at Riverside Park. It's quite possible that this group of parrots has been cruising Harlem for years, unnoticed by the local citizenry amid the general hullabaloo of urban life. All my correspondent can tell me right now is that when the parrots finish eating, they fly away in a westerly direction.

I have asked my correspondent to keep a close eye on the parrots, and hope to report more news of the Harlem Parrots in the near future. In the meantime, all I can say to the citizens of Harlem is congratulations: YOU'VE GOT PARROT!