July 11, 2011

(brooklyn) wild

There are wild parrots in Brooklyn. Did you know that? And not just one or two, whole huge colonies of them. I stumbled across this website back when I was researching neighborhoods to live in before our move and noticed that they offered a parrot safari. Unfortunately, I then totally forgot about it. Fortunately though, my iphone did not. Friday morning I got an alert, "Parrot Safari Tomorrow!" Honestly, I shudder to think what I would forget if I couldn't have alerts on my phone to remind me. Not that I would remember that I'd forgotten.
So Saturday morning we took a Brooklyn bound train all the way to the end of the line. It's a long trip, my friends. More than an hour sitting on the hard plastic seats of a subway car. Will often wonders why I always seem to bring so much stuff when I head out the door : sudoku book, Highlights magazine, various pens and colored pencils, charged phone, two water bottles, spare grocery bags, camera, baggies of graham crackers and goldfish and trailmix. But the thing is,if we were heading out for a days adventure in the car, I would have brought much more (and had a place to leave them when we were doing our adventuring) so I think I've pared things down pretty nicely. Enough to keep the kids busy on longer rides without killing my shoulder with too much weight.
When we finally got to Brooklyn College, late, due to six unscheduled and unexplained stops along the way, and grumpy because we were late we found the group a few minutes into the tour and looked up in wonder. Parrots. No really. Parrots! Big, green, loud parrots!
They are transplants, of course. The descendants of a crate of birds from Argentina that broke open at the airport in the 1960's. They have defied attempts to eradicate them and poachers traps and have become solid, cherished members of the neighborhood. As we watched them a car drove by and shouted "leave them alone!".
It's mating season and so they few in pairs, nuzzling each other on the branches above us and chirping in what the guide said was their "contented sound". And we watched from below as the big green birds swooped from branch to branch, nest to nest, in the leafy trees of a quiet neighborhood.
Sometimes, I'm just flat out amazed at what you find, if you look, in New York.