A correspondent informs me that two large wild parrot nests were recently demolished on Staten Island in the vicinity of the westward approach to the Verrazono Bridge. The nests had been constructed upon power transmission lines belonging to Con Edison. According to my source, Con Ed workers reportedly took care to remove at least seven eggs remaining in the nest, but the disposition of these eggs remains uncertain. The six adult residents of the nest were dispersed; no effort was made to capture or harm them.
Wild parrots have had a difficult time colonizing Staten Island over the years. The multi-agency eradication campaigns of the 1970s were quite successful, and sightings have been comparatively rare since then. Staten Island is, of course, an island and parrots of this kind (Myopsitta Monachus) have an aversion to flying over large bodies of water, effectively isolating the birds from fellows of their species residing in Brooklyn.
While my correspondent (who likes the birds) was greatly aggrieved by this removal, I tried to make it clear to him that this removal was by no means a “worst practice” example of nest removal. Con Ed in this case did have a bird specialist on hand, workers evidently acted carefully, and the removals were done at a time of year in which the adult birds would have enough warm months ahead of them to survive and hopefully rebuild somewhere else. At the same time, however, it’s important to note that removing a nest while eggs and or young birds are in situ is not ideal; my hope is that in the future Con Ed more carefully times such removals to take account of the birds’ breeding cycle in the same way that its utility neighbor, PSE&G does.
My correspondent notes that wildlife appears to currently be under seige in his part of the island. Developers reportely felled 500 large trees to make way for condomiums, reducing the greenspace and scattering the local animals.
For more information on the various attempts to eradicate this species of wild parrot from New York State, see: Why Did New York Try to Eradicate Them?, an excerpt from the Brooklyn Parrots FAQ eBook.
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