The parrots don’t migrate, so they can be observed in New York City at any time of the year. During the different seasons they can be seen doing different things.
In Fall, the birds are very busy finalizing the structure and furnishings of their condo-style nests in preparation for the long winter ahead. Many are also attempting to school/train youngsters born in the Summer in the “art and science of being an urban parrot.” Young birds must be taught:
- Language (including the meaning of all important alert calls, names of important local birds, etc).
- Basic construction techniques (young birds usually take a few months to get the hang of all the important mechanical tasks, including twig selection, cutting, trimming, and weaving).
- Evasive flying techniques.
Fall is a great time to watch the parrots because they are so busy and are easier to see with no green leaf cover on trees.
If you can stand the cold, winter is an excellent time to watch the Brooklyn Parrots, because the parrots tend to operate in larger groups than during the other seasons. The birds know that their green camouflage is far less effective in winter, so keeping more eyes on the sky is a priority. Leaf buds and grass (unless covered by snow) make up a large part of their diet in winter. They also send out hunting parties to scope out any bird feeders on private property.
Spring, beginning in early March, is when parrot behavior shifts from pure survival to procreation mode. As the days lengthen, the birds’ hormone levels change, making mating a priority. Competition and fights can break out in the flock at this time. In late Spring, fewer birds may be evident around nest colony sites because some share of the parrots are tending eggs.
In July, the first crop of youngsters hits the skies, attended by doting parents. The parrots typically “park” their youngsters in a safe place – usually a well-protected tree branch – keep them well fed, and are vigilant about keeping them safe. Food is easy to find at this time; toward late summer, blossoms are enjoyed and consumed, as well as any ripening fruit in the area.