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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Wall Street Journal Covers UK Monk Parakeet Crisis

Back in 2011, authorities in the UK announced that they would soon begin eradicating London's small population of Monk Parakeets (AKA Quaker Parrots: these are the same species we find here in Brooklyn). Obviously, this was not happy news around here.

Today, the Wall Street Journal provided an update on the situation in an article written by Jeanne Whalen.

According to Whalen's article, DEFRA (the Department of Environment Food, and Rural Affairs) seems to have moderated its initial policy of using lethal means against the monk parakeets, which is good news. But it remains to be seen whether monks have much of a future in London. The anti-parrot pogroms of the 1970s that were conducted in New York and New Jersey were quite successful (although far less expensive than those in London; the Wall Street Journal estimates the cost of eradicating each bird has been about $3,500). It's quite remarkable that any parrots survived this kind of organized effort by a well-funded public entity.


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

PBS Nature Takes On the Parrot Pet Trade



When, almost a decade ago, I first began investigating the wild Quaker Parrots of Brooklyn, I didn't have a defined opinion about the pet trade. In fact, at the time I almost felt grateful to it, because, after all, if it wasn't for the pet trade, we wouldn't have wild parrots in Brooklyn at all, would we?

But as I've learned more about the toll such a trade exacts -- both in terms of the loss of wild parrots in their native habitats, and the overproduction of pet birds in the domestic breeding industry, I've hardened my views.

I don't harp on the pet trade issue when I do my tours, because I try to keep my presentation on the positive side, the whole point of my tours being to show people how wonderful parrots can -- when they're allowed to fly free, even in Brooklyn. But I'm very glad that PBS has decided to devote their next Nature program to the pet trade's impact on birds, and on the rare, good people who've taken it upon themselves to attempt to undo the damage that the pet trade does.

Please watch this video when it airs this Wednesday, November 13th. It's important.

Steve Baldwin

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Off-Topic: Lame Marketing Phrases

This item is off-topic but myself and colleague Chris Bell have recently been on a rampage against tired, empty, cliche'd marketing phrases. We'd like to stamp them out, and this article -- Top 10 Incredibly Lame Marketing Phrases, hosted over at the Didit.com site  -- is the first salvo in what will likely become a long, bloody struggle. Enjoy!

Let's all stop parroting these lame marketing phrases. Now!