Thursday, October 05, 2006

Who is Poaching the Parrots of Brooklyn?

Very disturbing news from today's Daily News: Something is happening to Brooklyn's famed Monk Parrot colonies. The birds--which are concentrated near Brooklyn College, Green-Wood Cemetery and other locales--are disappearing and people suspect poachers:
"We heard them squawking," he said. "At night, that's not normal."

Around midnight one day last month, Ovadia said, he saw a man with a huge net on a 25-foot pole. Accompanied by two teenagers, the suspected poacher even had pole extensions to reach high nests, he said.

The trapping of wild animals, including monk parrots, is illegal without a license.

Ovadia said he scared off the poachers twice, but the nests the parrots called home are now empty. "Only sparrows are going in there," he said.

Besides Midwood, residents of Marine Park and Dyker Heights residents have also reported parrot disappearances.

The story of Brooklyn's monk parrots has come full circle. Native to South America, the first birds were trapped to be brought north as pets.

But many of the original birds were either let loose by pet owners who no longer wanted them or, as legend has it, escaped from a broken container at Kennedy airport in the 1970s.

Large colonies of the birds now live on the walled Brooklyn College campus and Green-Wood Cemetery, where they are protected.

Not all borough residents are thrilled. Homeowners have complained the birds are loud and dirty.

Con Ed officials said the parrots have built their homes on their heat-emitting electrical transformers.

The birds have rebuilt the nests - even when the company has removed them to avoid a fire hazard.

"They don't build nests; they build condos," said Con Ed spokesman Chris Olert.

Brooklyn Parrot Society founder Steve Baldwin, who gives free wild-parrot safaris in Midwood, has heard three different reports of poaching - and he's seen seen fewer parrots in recent months.

Our day is dampened before it even started.

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Blogger grumpygirl said...

a: this is horrid.

b: if the daily news, such a reliable source of information, had done their homework and asked some bird specialists (what are they called again?) why the parrots were here, they'd say because it was getting warmer here and they keep coming further north. (go on a tour at greenwood and they will tell you the truth.)

the kennedy airport story is a lie. the pets being freed story is preposterous.

9:51 AM  

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