Parrots moving to Park Slope?

Monk parrots, longtime residents of Greenwood Cemetery, may be moving north into Park Slope, where they’ve been feeding on 3rd Street.

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Where to see feral parrots in London and the UK

London and southeast England have growing populations of feral green birds, rose-ringed parakeets, that roost in some of London’s biggest parks.

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NY Feral Pigs: A problem caused, not solved, by hunters

Feral hogs are now in NY. The USDA says they come from game farms, especially one on the PA-NY border.

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Fitzgerald Wild Chicken Festival

woman carries roosters

Fitgerald, GA, seems to have the only party around for feral chickens. Going on a decade, the Wild Chicken Festival now attracts about 10,000 people each March–far more than the controversial rattlesnake roundup it replaced. The town happens to have fancy-looking Burmese chickens all year long.

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Woolly mammoths comeback in 5 years; FL monkeys decline

Japan to clone woolly mammoths soon. FL monkey colony down to 20 animals. Porcupine class in WI. Why Mexican wolves get crappy “experimental, non-essential” label

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USDA Kills Another 4 million animals, including 477 dogs and 1,991 feral cats


You know how Americans are appalled every time there’s a story out of China or Iraq about the government thugs primitively rounding up dogs and shooting them? Well, we do that, too. On purpose. Federal agents are out there killing dogs, more than one a day. They shot 157 dogs to death. And it’s not just in the yahoo states out west, either. (Although Texas and Arizona are the top states of dog-killing.) The USDA somehow insinuated itself into dog situations in 32 states. They went out and shot two dogs in Ohio and 30 in California. And it wasn’t because they feared they were rabid, either. They only tested 14 dogs for rabies.

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NY Considers Capturing Bats to Save Them

little brown bat

“[New York state conservation officials] just held a summit and decided to pluck them out of the wild, but where to put them?” says Kasimoff, one of only a handful of people across the state that can care for bats, which require a special license because they can carry rabies. Kasimoff currently is minding 30 bats at the Bat World Big Apple, a shelter she runs out of her home on Long Island as part of Bat World International. New York state in particular wants to save the little brown bats–if any are left.

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Feral Parrots Land in Lower Manhattan

Parrot near Brooklyn College

Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx has had colonies of parrots for a while, but now the little green birds may be starting a colony in lower Manhattan. Dennis Edge, a friendly birder who is compiling a book of his many finds around Tompkins Square Park, says he’s seen at least two for a couple months in Tompkins and nearby community gardens.

It’s too late to be building a nest for eggs, he says, but the birds seem to be building something–like one of their insanely huge colony nests, which can grow to the size of a smartcar. No one knows where, but once the colony gets going, it’s huge and they like to build them on tall towers (or trees in a pinch), so it shouldn’t be hard to fine in the East Village.

Steve Baldwin has done an amazing job tracking and advocating for the monk parakeets or Quaker parrots at He gives free, frequent tours by Brooklyn College and Greenwood Cemetery. At one point he had a highly-detailed map on his site of nests around  New York City and New Jersey, but he took it down after reports of men showing up in vans and grabbing birds.

These huge nests make the parrots unpopular.

The feral parrots x are from South America, but have shown up in cities worldwide, even cold ones, usually with a myth about them escaping from an airport crate. They run into trouble for destroying crops and messing with electrical lines when

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Cold Snap–Or At Least Colds–May Push Back Florida Invasives

Right Before He Froze...

Right Before He Froze…,courtesy of Kafe Soleil.

Florida’s cold snap could provide the big check on invasive species biologists have been wanting for decades. We could see less iguanas and pythons–and also fewer more beloved animals such as parrots. Even animals that didn’t die in the cold could die of a cold in coming weeks.

“I expect we’re going to have huge, huge mortality, maybe even in Miami itself,” says Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission invasive species expert Scott Hardin. “Those that didn’t die [from the cold] could easily die of a respiratory infection.”

The Everglades’ infamous python invaders were at least cold-stunned and perhaps hurt worse. Researchers found that 10 of 11 of the giant snakes they tracked weren’t moving, Hardin said. He added that he didn’t have word yet on the giant parrot colonies that live around the state, especially Miami.

Given the hurt the freezing temperatures caused Floridians, Hardin didn’t want to sound too gleeful. But he so clearly was. The non-natives can push out species that naturally belong, and they’ve been running amok for 30-40 years, the last time Florida saw weather this harsh.

A few of the more vulnerable native animals were also hurt by the wintry blast. Hundreds of sea turtles were rescued, but hundreds more found dead, according to Hardin. The state did get to tag and collect information on lots of endangered green turtles.

Florida got a record count of manatees (5,067) because they’re easier to see when they’re crowded around

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A Scourge of Bunny Rabbits?

Stadspark (City Park) in Antwerp, Belgium, has bunnies like Central Park has squirrels. At first I didn’t believe a local who told me of the roaming rabbits, but they aren’t hard to find. In fact, they were hard to miss. Black, white, multi-color rabbits that had clearly been released from careless pet owners, nonchalantly gathered in clusters and hopped across paths.

Antwerp is not alone. It’s just one of many places around the world facing a surging rabbit population. Stockholm parks managers kill thousands of rabbits a year, so many that this year they decided to start burning them as fuel. England is worried of a rabbit surge. Even Mike Ballast, the composer who wrote theme song for the embattled rabbits of Watership Down, has been wiping out rabbits on his estate. In British Columbia, the town of Kelowna has been hunting bunnies with air rifles, but will now catch them and try to give them to rabbit rescue groups or neuter them like feral cats.

What’s going on here? There are two kinds of rabbits: wild and dumped pets.Both groups are benefiting from some changes: in Europe 95% of rabbits were wiped out by the myxomatosis virus in the 1950s. But resistant rabbits thrived and over the decades the population came back to levels not seen in many people’s lifetimes. Some also think global warming lets them overwinter in places that were once inhospitable. And there’s the lack of natural predators. Or even unnatural predators, like unleashed

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