Photo: Steve Baldwin, www.brooklynparrots.com
Now look who's hanging around the CrazyStable...monk parrots!
For more than a week, I've been sort of half-conscious of some very loud squawking in front of the house, not so much in the Ent-maple itself as in the surrounding trees. Although I've long been a fan of the famous Green-Wood Cemetery parrot clan, it never occurred to me that we could have parrots here; in ornithological denial, I thought, "Hm, how about that--starlings or mockers can get agitated and make a noise exactly like parrots!"
Then on Sunday, when the squawking was incredibly loud and close, we astutely gazed upward to see gigantic pistachio-colored birds tumbling around in the trees across the street like a bunch of drunken frat boys. At least three or four of them were on hand. Could these guys be the real culprits behind the daily freefall of maple branchlets all over the front of the house? (I've been blaming Bagel the Squirrel.)
Silly me, I'd thought the only Brooklyn parrots were the Green-Wood bunch; turns out there are numerous clans, most notably near Brooklyn College. I found this out through a fantastic site, BrooklynParrots.com, which perfectly illustrates the genius of the Internet: It's the personal passion of Steve Baldwin, a noted business author and parrot lover, who has put together a handsome and altogether fascinating combination of great photography, lore, and advocacy for these wacky and improbable airborne Brooklynites. (Seems they escaped from a pet-store-bound shipment at JFK decades ago, and have been surviving like true-blue--or true-green--New Yorkers ever since.) Steve, the Parrot Guy, has assured me that my parrots (who seem to hang out intermittently, not constantly) represent a novel geographic sighting, and may be a case of birds "visiting' each other from two separate family compounds.
Possums, parrots...it's a good summer for wildlife in Flatbush. All of which just ramps up my frustration with my rudimentary little digital camera, which doesn't do zoom or any other cool stuff. What I need is a nice digital SLR with a big old parrot-clarifying zoom lens. I am so greedy and shallow; why must everything around here remind me of how much more money we need? Look ye at the parrots of the field; they neither save nor invest nor have day jobs in the corporate world, yet not Solomon in all his glory was arrayed in bright green feathers.
(Hey, I'm trying.)