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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

San Francisco Has a Wild Parrot Sports Team: Should Brooklyn?

Meet the SF Parrots
Happily, San Francisco now has a soccer club named after its famous wild parrots called the Northbeach Wild Parrots (AKA SF Parrots). The team's motto is "soccer at its wildest;" its uniforms are bright green like the  wild conures made famous in Mark Bittner's charming film, The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill.

The SF Parrots are in the CYSA league and rostered 19 players in the 2012 lineup. These kids are no slouches; in September they won 1st place in the U16 group of the Golden Gate Invitational Tournament.

Should Brooklyn have a Parrot-themed soccer team? Maybe. When sports teams -- or automobiles for that matter -- are named after animals, these animals are usually aggressive. Hawks. Bears. Sharks. Naming a team after a prey species -- a pigeon, starling or parrot -- would be courting failure on the field.

On the other hand, the parrots we find in Brooklyn have been known to be aggressive. And they're as tough or tougher than the SF parrots due to NYC's violent weather, as proved recently when the parrot nests survived Hurricane Sandy.

If anyone in Brooklyn is interesting in forming a parrot-themed soccer team, please note that the two best places to play ball and see wild parrots at the same time are at the athletic field at Brooklyn College (where the monthly safaris happen) and in The Dust Bowl/Quaker Parrot Park in Bay Ridge.

Go Parrots!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Parrot Drives Car

BirdBuggy - a beak-directed, robotically-assisted, parrot-driven vehicle that was designed to keep a pet African Grey amused, has taken the Internet by storm. Some question the wisdom of taking this much trouble to keep a parrot amused. After all, African Greys can fly -- so why do they need to drive? Aren't there less elaborate ways of keeping one's parrot amused?

Sure. But driving is fun -- and Pepper the parrot, who drives the BirdBuggy, seems to be having plenty of it.

Let us praise Andrew Gray, of the University of Florida, who created the BirdBuggy, and Pepper, its intrepid driver. May the BirdBuggy land Andrew a job as well as a medal for creating 2013's first parrot viral video.