Thanks to all who turned out for today’s safari. The parrots were very busy making nest renovations today. All hands — including the kids — seemed to be involved getting the nests ready for the Fall/Winter season.
Hear Ye, Hear Ye! — all those interested in observing — and learning the story of — one of the foundational wild parrot colonies in Brooklyn, please join us for the next Wild Parrots Safari, which will happen on Saturday, 10/1/2016 at Brooklyn College.
Time: 11:00 AM.
This tour is free to the public but space is limited so please rsvp steve (at) brooklynparrots.com if you would like to attend.
Getting there via public transit
Take the 2 Train (IRT Express) to the end of the line in Brooklyn. It’s about a half-hour beyond Atlantic Avenue on the plodding but reliable IRT line. Once you emerge from the tunnels, head West along Hillel Place to Campus Road, this road runs around the campus and we’ll spend most of our time on it. There is a Starbucks on the corner that has a rest room that is available for customers that you might find convenient given that the trip from Manhattan is a long one.
Please give yourself an ample amount of time. A good rule of thumb is that it will take you an hour and fifteen minutes from the Upper West Side to Brooklyn College on a normal day. But weekends are not always normal on the NY subway system!
There is usually street parking available on Campus Road, although it might be a few steps from the meeting place, which is directly outside the security booth.
What’s Significant About This Flock
The wild Brooklyn Parrots living on or about Brooklyn College have roots that goes back to the early 1970s. It is one of the oldest self-sustaining wild parrot colonies in Brooklyn, and has been noted and documented by various departments of Brooklyn College over the years. It appears that the ancestors of the birds residing there now came from John F. Kennedy Airport in the late 1970s as part of an inadvertent or possibly intentional release.
An August 16 article by Jill Dion in the Milford Mirror provides an update on the wild parrots living in Milford, Connecticut, a coastal coastal city about 50 miles east of New York City.
Ms. Dion notes that these parrots (the same species we find in Brooklyn) have been in the Nutmeg State for a long time, perhaps from as early as 1975. The precise origins of the birds’ appearance in Connecticut are difficult to identify: some maintain that they’re associated with the parrots that busted out of JFK in the late 1960s and early 1970s; others believe that a truck accident on The New England Thruway deposited them in CT. (Highway accidents also have been associated with the appearance of wild parrots in The Bronx, NY).
Connecticut’s flock of wild parrots has generated controversy in the past, most notably in 2006 when United Illuminating, in concert with the USDA, began a short-lived eradication campaign against them.
Read complete article at:
A couple of weeks ago, we made note of the fact that the New York Times was asking readers to send videos of their parrots to the newspaper.
Well, Times reporter Samantha Stark got the videos, and she’s assembled a master reel of these delightful birds for the Times audience.
If the screen above is black for some reason, just click on the Watch in Times Video link.
Enjoy (and pardon me for any Times-booked ads you must watch: it’s the cost of parrot-centric web content).
Wild monk parakeets (AKA Quaker Parrots) have lived in Edgewater, New Jersey, for many years. PSE&G, the local utility company, has over the years removed nests when they’ve interefered with line maintenance, but has worked with the local community to minimize harm to the birds.
In the past, PSE&G has done the intelligent thing: they’ve timed removals for either March or September. In these months, birds are not breeding, there are no eggs or young birds in the nests, and harm and suffering is minimized. Doing this also aligns with the will of the local population; years ago, Edgewater passed a resolution protecting the parrot colony in this way.
Knowing this background, I was shocked to read a press release from a trusted friend of mine, Alison Evans Fragale. As you can see, PSE&G has decided — to my knowledge without community input — to do removals THIS WEEK. Forget the irony of doing this two days before Earth Day: it directly violates the pre-existing understanding.
I am hopeful — but not particularly optimistic at this late date — that PSE&G can be convinced to delay these removals to a time less harmful to the wild parrots — and more respectful of the community’s wishes.
Here is a link to PSE&G’s main contact form. Please use it if you’d like to object to PSE&G’s planned action, which is neither wise nor necessary:
Here is the press release that Alison sent me:
EDGEWATER, NJ: PSE&G has announced their intention to remove wild Monk Parakeet (AKA Quaker Parrots) nests this Wednesday, April 20th, during the beginning of the breeding season.
A resolution passed in the Borough of Edgewater that protects the colony of wild protects strictly forbids nest removals during the breeding season.
PSE&G removed several nests over two weeks ago, but they chose to cease their efforts after four squirrels fell from a nest of River Rd. when a nest was disassembled from the bottom, which caused the baby squirrels to fall to the ground, and two died from their injuries.
A local grass-roots group created to defend the wild parrots, The Edgewater Parrot Society (EPS), witnessed the squirrels injuries and sent photographs to PSE&G by e-mail, and the work was halted that afternoon. PSE&G claimed that none of the existing nests posed any danger to the integrity of their lines.
Founder of the EPFS, Alison Evans-Fragale, has advised PSE&G regarding their nest removals and has offered their suggestions for the timing of and protocol for humane nest removals. Ms. Evans-Fragale said, “Nests are removed twice a year–before and after the breeding season–when eggs or babies are not likely to be found in the nest. The timing of Wednesday’s nest removals concerns us because it is the beginning of the breeding season, when eggs and young babies are likely to be in the nest. Nest removals should NOT be done during the breeding season, except for emergencies, and we question the “urgency” of these removals.
Ms. Evans-Fragale contacted New Jersey Fish and Wildlife, the agency responsible for issuing the Depredation Permits which allows PSE&G to remove the wild parrot nests, to inquire if the agency investigates the validity of the “emergency status” of the work PSE&G claims need to be done. NJ F&W representatives told her that no one at the agency has electrical training, and as such, they have to “take PSE&G at their word” when they apply for a depredation license during the breeding season.
PSE&G has defended their actions, citing the need the remove the nests now, when upgrades to their infrastructure are being made. PSE&G has plans to re-energize six poles in the Borough in the near future.