Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Wild Parrots in Brooklyn

Adam Gopnik wrote a book titled Through the Children's Gate: A Home in New York which I read soon after arriving in the cityEach chapter tells another story about living in New York.  One of the chapters included a story of a parrot colony in Brooklyn that was about 30 years old.  These birds had initially been obtained as pets but eventually escaped their cages.  I guess two or three birds gathered and settled into a tree near the Brooklyn Community College in Flatbush.  Surprisingly, the birds adapted to the climate and stayed year round and even multiplied.  I was curious and wanted to see if the parrots were still there.  A good friend with a sense of adventure and two very cute children agreed to accompany me on this adventure.  I bought a five pound bag of parrot food and we hopped on the subway and began our adventure.  We arrived at the campus only to be told that the parrots hadn't been spotted for several years, but we weren't going to let that stop us.  We walked around the soccer field of the campus and found a wonderful woman tending her garden in the community garden.  We asked her about the parrots and she exclaimed, "they are finally coming back."  Apparently the university had been doing construction and had disturbed the parrots' nests and they had left the neighborhood.  However, this sweet woman showed us where the parrots had begun building their nests again, high up in the lights of the soccer field.  We hurriedly walked over by the light pole and the kids sprinkled the parrot food all over the sidewalk.   We stood to one side and waited patiently, hoping that the dried seeds, apples, mangoes, and oranges would attract them.  Within just a few minutes three parrots flew down and began to squawk and nibble at the food.  Their cries brought other birds from their nests and for several minutes we had the pleasure of watching these cute, green parrots fly from their nests, to the top of buildings, to other parts of the neighborhood carrying with them the good news that there was a picnic down on the sidewalk. 

Every community has something unique waiting to be discovered or shared.  And I have just barely scratched the surface of this great city,  which means I have lots of adventures ahead of me. 

...on the Hudson River Line....

We are coming up on four years of living in our apartment.  Unlike most New Yorkers, we found our apartment in just three days of hunting.  The interior was not finished but the minute we stepped in and saw the views from the living room we were sold.  The following photos will provide the evidence of why it never gets old living here.