Living the Scientific Life (Scientist, Interrupted)

Wild Parrot Safari in NYC

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Monk Parakeet (Myiopsitta monachus) Old San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Image: Magnus Manske, 10 May 2008, Wikipedia [larger view]

Even though NYC is located in the armpit of hell where, during the summers, the air is a humid miasma of fetid human sweat and decomposing dog shit, and the winters possess the cold and wind of Antarctica with none of its natural charms, there is a brave group of illegal aliens who not only live here, but are actually thriving. Who are these illegals? They are Quaker parrots, also known as Monk or Grey-Breasted parakeets, Myiopsitta monachus.

And if you live in or near NYC, or are visiting the Big Apple on 12 September, you can meet these personable little parrots as they wander tirelessly through their NYC home in the borough of Brooklyn (the day after you’ve participated in another local nature event; the NYC Area Cricket Crawl). For your convenience, this safari has been broken into several sections so you can either tag along for the entire thing, or just part of it. [NOTE: these parrots are actually not wild at all. Because their ancestors were domesticated pets that either escaped or were so rudely abandoned by their selfish and inconsiderate owners, these birds are actually considered to be feral.]

What: Wild Parrot Safari — First Section
Where: entrance to Brooklyn College, 2900 Bedford Ave, Brooklyn, NY [map]
Date: 12 September 2009
When: 1100 to 1330

What: Wild Parrot Safari — Second Section
Where: Green-Wood Cemetery, 500 25th St, Brooklyn, NY [map]
Date: 12 September 2009
When: 1330 to 1500

Cost: Free!!
Supplies needed: photo ID; binoculars; camera; hat/sunscreen; bird seed, such as peanut hearts, sunflower seeds, millet or other nutritional birdseed (no french fries or — god forbid — bread!); snacks or water for yourself.
Caution: DO NOT WEAR ORANGE! The color orange mysteriously frightens the parrots and scaring the birds away will result in you being unceremoniously dropped head-first into the nearest dumpster.

Read More About it: Brooklyn Parrots website.

Comments

  1. #1 Martin
    September 3, 2009

    If you can’t get to to New York, we have feral Monk Parakeets here in Chicago, too.

  2. #2 lauren
    September 3, 2009

    There are Quaker parrots in Rhode Island too (Bristol, I think)! I believe that they are actually illegal to keep as pets in RI just because of the feral ones…

  3. #3 joshua
    September 3, 2009

    We’ve got these in southwest Florida too :-)

    (As well as a couple of other parrot species.)

    Go to the Cape Coral Yacht Club and you can watch flocks of dozens of them.

  4. #4 Elinor
    September 4, 2009

    Milford, Connecticut has lots of Monk Parakeets as well.

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