What do you do with four homeless baby owls?

Up in Milton, Massachussettes, the Blue Hills Trailside Museum had a big problem this past may when four baby owls were ejected out of their nest by high winds. Fortunately, the museum’s staff had a lot of experience with this kind of problem, having placed more than 3,000 young hawks and owls into foster nets over the years.

After a little Yankee ingenuity — in the form of a new nest box affixed to an adjacen tree — was employed, the owlets’ parents happily moved in. Now all appears well for the young ones. You can read the complete story here: http://www.massaudubon.org/get-outdoors/wildlife-sanctuaries/blue-hills-trailside-museum

Massachussetes Audubon has a great guide for people who happen upon a baby bird who’s fallen out of the nest. Check it out: http://www.massaudubon.org/learn/nature-wildlife/birds/baby-birds-out-of-the-nest 

All the invading animals…

Wild Quaker Parrots in New York area, photo by Stephen C. Baldwin
All Media New York surveys the wide range of unusual animals who’ve made New York City home over the years. In addition to our charismatic wild Quaker Parrots, they include turkeys and bald eagles (Staten Island), chipmunks and rabbits (Brooklyn), and bats (Manhattan). As the author notes, flying squirrels, red foxes, salamanders, and the occasional wandering coyote can also be found.
Diversity — among humans and the animal kingdom alike — remains one of this city’s greatest charms.

Read complete story: http://www.allmediany.com/articles/26917-6-wild-animals-you-had-no-idea-live-in-nyc

Brooklyn Parrots Interviewed for Elliot Malkin’s People Podcast Project

I am very grateful to Elliot Malkin, who produces The People Podcast, for interviewing me about the wild parrots of Brooklyn. You can listen to the interview right here by clicking the “play button” below.

You can also visit Elliot’s site and listen to some wonderful interviews with interesting people: it’s at: http://www.thepeoplepodcast.com/

Wild Coyotes in NYC!

760px-Prairiewolf-drawingThis past weekend, the New York Times ran a great story on the growing population of wild coyotes in New York City. These critters seem to have established a small but stable community in Pelham Bay Park (also home to a population of wild parrots of the kind we see in Brooklyn, plus hawks, falcons, and other fascinating raptors). Wild coyote “hot spots” also include Inwood Hill Park in Manhattan.

While coyote spottings are still unusual, the NYC Parks Department is hosting its first ever workshop on the NYC Coyotes, which will happen on March 21st, at 1:00 PM, at the Van Cortland Nature Center, West 246th Street and Broadway. If you’re a fan of strange interloping animals in major urban areas, it’s a must-attend event.

Parrots Weather Brutal Brooklyn Winter

I’m glad to say that it appears that that the wild parrots of Brooklyn have survived the coldest winter in years. I can’t say I was too worried — monk parakeets (AKA Quaker Parrots) are tough birds.  Here’s proof that at least one important community of Myopsitta Monachus — the flock at Green-Wood Cemetery — survived NYC’s long and deep freeze:


The main parrot nests built into the central spire seemed to be in good shape (note snow build up). But the birds seemed to be in a frisky mood — they’ve obviously had enough to eat this winter and seemed to be in good shape.

When I arrived at 10:15, no birds at all were in the vicinity aside from very high overflying gulls, and I soon learned why. A kestrel was seen darting about the central spires of the gate. He moved on,  and by 11:15 flocks of prey birds, first pigeons, and then parrots, began settling in the area. All arrived from the northeast.

Green-Wood Cemetery, March 7, 2015: 18 wild parrots in a horse chestnut tree

The largest single gathering of parrots seen today was this chattering group of eighteen. Th tree they’re perching in is within 25 yards of the main nest complex and is a popular gathering place for the birds.

Green-Wood Cemetery, March 7, 2015: main gate in snow.

How can the monks endure the sustained cold weather delivered by the 2014-15 winter? Well, the nests keep them sheltered from the wind, and as long as they can find food, they’ll soldier on. The cold really doesn’t seem to bother them much.

Green-Wood Cemetery, March 7, 2015: parrots on spire

BTW the March safari marks our 10th year of continuous operation (our very first wild parrot safari took place in March, 2005).