End of the Line

It is with deep regret that I announce that our wild Brooklyn parrot safaris have reached the end of the line.

As you might know if you’ve checked into this site in the past few months, the last two safaris we did were very disappointing. In fact, we saw no parrots at all — something that has never happened in the 14 years I’ve been conducting these monthly walking tours.

I had hoped that the parrots’ disappearance from the Brooklyn College area was a temporary anomalously. But I’ve recently received word from a resident that no parrots have been seen for several months in the areas the birds have been known to frequent. This doesn’t necessarily indicate that any terrible thing happened to them (although, given past events, I am unwilling to rule this out), but it does mean that it will be difficult, if not impossible, for me to easily introduce them to the public in the way that I’ve done in the past.

I also had hoped that — by shifting the location of the safaris from Brooklyn College to Green-Wood Cemetery — our tours might go better. But it seems that the size of this colony has decreased greatly in recent years, and, due to recent changes in the foliage layout at the cemetery, they’re much harder to see, because instead of gathering at the main gate, the parrots typically fly away from the cemetery to random destinations, making them impossible to observe without a lot of often fruitless chasing far away from our meeting site.

OK – this is important to say. The cessation of tours doesn’t mean that there are no parrots left in Brooklyn. It doesn’t necessarily mean that the population has crashed, or that they — like many New Yorkers these days — have decided to move elsewhere due to bla bla bla. It just means that the birds are much more difficult to observe for the reasons listed above. If things change — and they might — I’ll be more than happy to relaunch the safaris. But for now, I can’t responsibly continue them — the risk of disappointing the public is just too great.

Again, I am very sorry to make this announcement. I am very grateful to the many people who have joined us over the years — it was a delight to meet you and I can’t recall a time in which I’ve had more fun. I would also like to thank the management and staff at Brooklyn College and Green-Wood Cemetery, who’ve cheerfully tolerated the eccentric pursuits of myself and fellow parrot “passionistas” over the years.

And most of all, I’d like to thank the parrots. Wherever you are (and I still hope that some of you remain in Brooklyn), your presence here — even if temporary — delivered a lot of joy to a lot of people, so you’ll not soon be forgotten.

Steve Baldwin

What’s up with the safaris?

A number of you have written me asking about when the next wild parrot safari will happen in Brooklyn. This question is a natural one to ask, given that the last safari we did was in November, and no safaris were scheduled for December of 2018 or January 2019.

Unfortunately, the last couple of safaris we did weren’t great. In both locations (Brooklyn College and Green-Wood Cemetery), the birds were difficult — if not impossible — to observe at close-range.

I’ve been doing these safaris for a long time (since 2005) and would like to continue them, given that the public seems to enjoy them and because I believe it’s a good thing to share news about the delightful parrots that have made Brooklyn home. At the same time, however, there’s no point doing safaris that result in disappointed guests. So for the time being at least, BrooklynParrots.com’s wild parrot safaris are suspended.

This will give me time to get out and do a more thorough investigation into why the parrots have suddenly become so elusive. I don’t suspect anything sinister is afoot (although I haven’t ruled that out either because many sinister things have happened to them in the past), but I do believe that recent changes in the ecosystem in Brooklyn have something to do with them suddenly being so hard to spot. I hope to have more information for you all soon (after the New Year) and will report these findings here. Please understand that my desire is to keep these safaris going but I really need to find out more about what’s happening with the parrots before I schedule any more dates.


Steve Baldwin

Next Wild Brooklyn Parrot Safari: November 3, 2018

Next month we’re going to change things up a bit – we’ll be holding our monthly wild parrot safari at Green-Wood Cemetery. So if you’re interested in seeing and learning about the parrots, please join us on Saturday, November 3rd, at 11:00 AM at 25th Street and 5th Avenue in Brooklyn. This location is convenient for public transportation riders – just take the R train to the 25th Street Stop and walk a block east (uphill).

We’ll meet right outside the Cemetery’s main entrance (there are a couple of steel benches that make for a nice waiting area).  Here are Google Maps coordinates: https://goo.gl/maps/fbYAvoAr5WQ2

If you’d like to attend this Safari, please send email to stephencarlbaldwin (at) gmail.com. This way, I know how many folks to expect and can notify you in advance if the safari must be cancelled for some reason (e.g. bad weather).


For The Birds: The Story of Canada’s Largest Animal Rescue Endeavor – a film by Ben Life

What happens when a well-intended effort to provide refuge for hundreds of abandoned, abused, and displaced birds falls apart due to the refuge owner’s death?

Ben Life’s film tells the story of a how a heart-breaking situation was ultimately averted by the heroic efforts of a team of volunteers participating in what would become known as Canada’s largest animal rescue effort.

If you’re feeling pessimistic these days about the human race, watch Ben’s film.

Buy the Brooklyn Parrots eBook

I recently had the opportunity to give a talk for Phoenix Landing — an all-volunteer organization dedicated to the well-being of parrots that’s based in Asheville, North Carolina. During the Q&A, a gentleman in the audience asked me where he could find my book, and I then realized that it’s almost impossible to find it, unless one goes to Amazon.com and types “brooklyn parrots” into the search bar.  So here’s a direct link to the one and only Brooklyn Parrots FAQ, authored by yours truly. It’s electronic (I may do a hard copy version in the future but this will have to do for now), priced at a rock-bottom $4.99, and available now. If you’d like to support my free safaris in Brooklyn, buying the book will help (just click on the image).