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