Next wild parrot safari: December 3rd, 2016

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, 12/3/2016 at Brooklyn College.

Time: 11:00 AM.

This tour is free to the public but space is limited so please rsvp stephencarlbaldwin (at) gmail.com

june4_bronx_berries1-734776

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.

brooklyn-parrot-safari-map-brooklyn-college-revised

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!

3-parrots-on-pavement (2)

Parking
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.

chicago-parrots-nest-buildi-785907

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.

WLNY (CBS affiliate) reports on wild parrots in Freeport, Long Island

march-19_in_flightWild monk parakeets and Long Island go way back.

On page 505 of the December 1973 issue of New York Exotic Birds, John Bull mentioned a colony in Nassau County “nearly 100 feet up on the steel platform of a United States Coast Guard microwave tower at Fort Tilden, Rockaway Beach, Long Island,” along with a grandstand-based nest in Aqueduct Raceway.

Over the past 43 years, Myiopsitta Monachus has continued to establish itself on Long Island (the same landmass as Brooklyn) — along the South Shore. It makes perfect sense that Monk Parakeets — fleeing captivity at Queens’ Kennedy Airport — would choose to install themselves in Nassau County, moving easterly along the coast.

Over the years, numerous sightings from Amityville, Lynbrook, Oceanside, and other Shouth Shore hamlets support the notion that these colonies are self-sustaining.

Yesterday, local station and CBS affiliate WLNY an a report on the parrots’ colony in Freeport — a town along the Southern Shore.

Today, their living situation in Freeport seems highly favorable, given the mayor’s assertion that “the neighbors seem to like them.”

Monk parakeets can be very good neighbors. As Bull reported back in 1973, “to date, I have heard of no protests about depredations from landowners, gardeners, farmers, or fruit growers.”

It seems clear that consistent local support for the parrots over the past 43 years has given them an edge in the New York area. As Bull wrote, “many feeding station operators, including bored housewives, see to it that their “favorites” come through with bountiful handouts-proof that food, not temperature is the main survival factor.”

Update: wild parrots in Connecticut

3280716528_582530dd1f_b

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:

http://www.milfordmirror.com/63941/monk-parakeets-find-downtown-trees-fruitful/

New York’s amazing parrots on video (courtesy of the New York Times)

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).