Monday, October 31st, 2011
Monday, October 31st, 2011
Friday, September 23rd, 2011
Brooklyn College is set to begin construction on a new athletic field at the back of the campus near Avenue H, with the potential completion date of summer, 2012. The softball and soccer teams are psyched, but what about those avian athletes who are using the current field most right now: What’s going to happen to the parrots?
They’re not going to have to leave the nest, per se. The school has given consideration to the flock of Monk parakeets that made the campus their home decades ago, and the construction includes bird-friendly plans.
“I was wonderfully surprised by their stated intentions to work around the parrots,” Steve Baldwin of BrooklynParrots.com, who gives monthly tours of the parrot colony on the campus, told us in an email. “It really seems to me that they’re employing ‘best practices’ for wild parrot conservation.”
Those best practices include doing the work around the birds’ mating schedule, and making sure the new lighting is welcoming for the flock. Though they will have to dismantle the existing nests to replace the light poles, the Daily News reports that BC has set aside about $5,000 to install nesting platforms on them.
These best practices have been picking up steam in recent years. Baldwin has been involved in a few projects where a lot of thought and resources were given to accommodating the existing parrot residents, and he’s heard of more on the way, in addition to the BC field.
“I also learned that a light replacement project in Pelham Bay Park includes the construction of ‘parrot baskets’ so that the parrots can go on living there,” he said.
Some aren’t crazy about these squawking neighbors, however. Students wonder about the birds fouling up the new field with feces, and Con Edison has long been an enemy of any nests found on transformers. But these are intelligent birds who will find a way to survive (these South American natives are thriving in Brooklyn, after all), so people may be better off working with them, and creating alternatives like these nesting platforms is a good beginning.
“I’m very pleased with the outcome, not just at BC but in all the recent renovations that have threatened to impact the birds,” Baldwin said. “There have been so many enlightened people out there who have stepped up to the plate and done the right thing by the parrots. It gives me much hope for humanity, as well as our avian friends!”
Monday, March 28th, 2011
The Daily News went on the most recent Wild Parrot Safari, a Quaker parrot tour given by Steve Baldwin, and describes the bright green Argentine natives as Brooklyn’s most colorful immigrants. They also have this update about construction on the Brooklyn College field where the biggest flock resides:
The athletic fields’ upcoming renovations, which call for the replacement of utility poles, could upset the birds’ habitat by scaring them away, Baldwin fears.
“It’s just another thing that keeps me up at night,” said Baldwin, an internet marketing executive.
A college spokesman said workers will be delicate around the nests and they’ll allow the parrots to take refuge atop the new poles when work is complete.
Doesn’t sound like the college is being as generous to the birds as the Parks Department, which went out of its way (and enlisted Baldwin’s help) to make sure a colony in Bay Ridge wasn’t traumatized during construction on a park there.
Tuesday, March 1st, 2011
Since February’s tour was canceled, this will be your first chance in a while to join Steve Baldwin on his Wild Brooklyn Parrot Safari. Meet at 11am on Saturday, March 5 at Brooklyn College’s Hillel Gate to learn all about the colony that calls the college home. Bring bird feed, binoculars, a camera, and don’t wear anything bright orange, because that freaks the birds out!
Be sure to email Steve if you plan to attend.
Friday, January 7th, 2011
Monday, January 3rd, 2011
Whether you’re curious as to why there are green pigeons, or you’re an expert wild parrot spotter, you should attend the Wild Parrot Safari on Saturday, January 8th. Attendees should meet at the Hillel Gate at Brooklyn College at 11 am.
What to Bring/What to Wear
Please bring a photo ID (this is required by Brooklyn College Security). Bring binoculars and a camera. We’ll be exposed to winter weather outdoors so bring a hat/sunscreen if you have sensitive skin. Please feel free to wear anything except bright orange. For reasons that science has not yet explained, Monk Parrots freak out when you show them something orange.
This Tour is Free, But the Parrots Are Hungry!
The Wild Parrot Safari is free – if you wish to help your hungry urban feathered friends, bring some good bird feed and other treats. Finch food or millet are always welcomed by our hungry urban “peeps.”
Please email email@example.com if you plan to attend.