The city is slowly warming up, and the wild parrots of Brooklyn are coming out to play. The Bensonhurst Bean posted a photo on Monday of three parrots recently spotted on West 4th Street.
The wild monk parakeet, otherwise known as the quaker parrot, is not an uncommon sight in some parts of South Brooklyn. According to blog and parrot safari Brooklyn Parrots, they’re most commonly seen around Brooklyn College and Green-Wood Cemetery and have “populations in Red Hook, Bay Ridge, Manhattan Beach, and Canarsie.”
Of course, parrots are not native to New York City — so how did they get here? The prevailing theory, according to blog Wild Parrots of NY, is that a bunch of them got released in the late ’60s and have been nesting here ever since:
The theory that is most widely accepted is that a large shipment of birds destined for sale at New York area pet shops was accidentally released at Kennedy Airport around 1967 or 1968. Although the parrots were not officially spotted until the early 1970’s, it is believed the parrots survived in the parklands surrounding the airport, and over time made their way to Brooklyn and surrounding areas where we find them today.
While the bird isn’t exactly a rare sight, Brooklyn Parrots notes that the colonies in South Brooklyn “have been under major stress in recent years due to poaching, nest removals, and replacement of grass athletic fields with artificial turf.”
If you want to see the parrots in a guided tour, Brooklyn Parrot’s next safari is on April 4 at the Green-Wood Cemetary.