NorthJersey.com reports this week on the progress of the various tribes of wild Quaker Parrots in New Jersey to move westward. According to the report, by Jim Wright, the parrots are now actively nesting “in Fort Lee, Fairview, Cliffside Park, Englewood, Ridgefield, Leonia and, most recently, Secaucus.” All of these areas are situated to the south/southwest of the parrots’ traditional stomping grounds of Edgewater, where hundreds of Quaker Parrots have resided for many years.
The article does not make reference to the causes which originally brought the parrots to New Jersey, which remain obscure and perhaps unknowable, even to those who, like this reporter, claim to know their story. Multiple anecdotal reports attributing the parrots’ arrival to bankrupt pet stores, sinking barges, breached containers at the old SeaLand terminal in Weehawken, or mass avian migrations across the Hudson River have never been substantiated. However it is known that the parrots have been active in the Garden State since the early 1970s; in fact these original tribes were the targets of the famous (some would say infamous) 1973 multi-agency eradication campaign which nearly resulted in this species’ elimination in the Northeast.
Scott Barnes, a spokesman for New Jersey Audubon, notes in the article that while the birds are “a non-native introdued species that can be problematic to electric transmission, one has to admire the birds’ tenacity for hanging on in several locations in New Jersey for decades.” This sympathetic statement is a major departure from prior statements form NJ Audubon, whose chief once remarked that “the only solution to these birds is to send them back to Argentina.”
Allison Evans-Fragale — a great friend to the NJ parrots with whom this reporter has worked — is mentioned in this story, as is Karen Johnson, a spokesman for PSE&G, the local utility charged with maintenance of the power lines upon which the wild parrots often build nests. PSE&G, in its encounters with the parrots, has consistently demonstrated sensitivity both to the parrots and community members in New Jersey who, over the years, have grown to like them.
Read complete article on NorthJersey.com: