Tuesday, September 25, 2012

NJ Monk Parakeets Evicted From Electrified Rail Line

Photo credit:
A report on notes that New Jersey Transit officials have directed that a large Monk Parakeet (AKA Quaker Parrot) nest be removed from the electrified catenary lines on the Gladstone Branch rail commuter line in Maplewood, New Jersey.

Monk Parakeets are generally smart, but the decision on the part of the parrots to build a large nest over a busy transit line whose electrified overhead lines run at 25,000 volts probably probably wasn't the wisest one.

The good news is that the removal happened in September: a time in which the parrots will have enough time to find another suitable, less risky structure to build their nests in or on.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Wild Quaker Parrots Spotted in North Bergen, NJ posts an article by Vanessa Cruz discussing the recent appearance of wild Quaker Parrots in North Bergen, New Jersey. These parrots have situated themselves in the general vicinity of the Lowe’s Home Improvement store on Tonnelle Avenue. The article includes a summary of the parrots' long history in New Jersey. 

Saturday, September 22, 2012

On Wall Street

On Wall Street, S17 (Occupy Wall Street's First Anniversary Birthday Protest). Steve Baldwin (of and Occupy SaxMan with a group of peaceful protesters in an easterly direction, following instructions of the NYPD. The song sung is "Wall Street, Your Kingdom Must Come Down."

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Monk Parakeet and Carolina Parakeet May Be "Sister Species"

The Carolina Parakeet. Engraving
by John James Audubon
New research into the extinct Carolina Parakeet suggests that the Monk Parakeet (AKA Quaker Parrot, which is found all over Brooklyn) may in fact be a "sister species" to the extinct birds. 

In an article in the UK Guardian newspaper, researcher GirlScientist acknowledges that many physical features of the Carolina Parakeet"closely resemble these same features in several parrots in the genus Aratinga, leading most authorities to argue they are close relatives."

But she also notes that "other authorities have pointed out that the Carolina parakeet's fully feathered ceres, that fleshy area surrounding its nostrils, is a trait shared with the monk parakeet, Myiopsitta monachus, a parrot that still lives in temperate South America. For this reason, it has been proposed that the Carolina and monk parakeets may be sister species – each other's closest relatives."
The extinction of the Carolina Parakeet by European settlers is to many a kind of Original Sin against nature that must be atoned for. I always try to mention the Carolina Parakeet on my tours because I think that many people don't know about how badly we've treated indigenous American parrots in the past. If there's any atoning to do, it's to "cut the parrots some slack" (as we like to say in Brooklyn). The fact that the Monks and the Carolinas may be more closely related than previously thought makes the case for protecting the U.S.A's new indigenous parrots even stronger.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

New Band Site:

Photo Credit: Jenn Maskell
I've formed a new group with saxophonist David Intrator known as "Steve and Dave." We play at demonstrations, rallies, fairs, and other public gatherings. We will even play "The Ballad of the Brooklyn Parrots" upon request.

The site is and you can get a good idea of what we do by visiting there. Thank you - if you need a good acoustic band that will lift up your gathering, please send e-mail.

Report: Wild Quaker Parrots in Freeport, Illinois

Photo credit: Barbara Baird/The Freeport Journal Standard
A report by Barbara Baird in the Freeport, Illinois Journal Standard titled "The Charming Monk Parakeets Are Here" announces the fact that wild Quaker Parrots (AKA Monk Parakeets) have taken up residence in that town.

Ms. Baird writes eloquently about the wild monks, traces their history in Chicago, and recounts her prior experiences with them in Corpus Christi, Texas. This article is a treat for all of us who admire these remarkable birds.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

In Our Hearts Forever

Memorial honoring Brooklyn firefighters lost
September 11, 2001, Keystone Park, Brooklyn.
Photo by Steve Baldwin, date 9/9/2006.

Monday, September 10, 2012 Invades Sax Fifth Avenue's proprietor, Steve Baldwin, sings and plays guitar outside Sax Fifth Avenue as part of a protest against Mexican telecom magnate Carlos Slim. Steve is part of the group Steve And Dave; you can find out more about them at