Natives and non-natives mix it up at Green-Wood Cemetery

an egret walks into a bar

Great egrets hunt Japanese koi at Green-Wood Cemetery, where a South American monk parrot may have gotten sick from a raccoon.

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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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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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Which Animal is Having More Fun? The Horny Parrot or Spiteful Dolphin?

Is it the horny, endangered parrot, pointed out by Zoologix? (This flightless Kakapo name Sirocco was hand-raised and imprinted on people. So it’s only natural he wants to hook-up with people. Watch out, he’s looking for more friends on facebook)[youtube=]Or the spiteful dolphins, who flick jellyfish out of the sea at every opportunity?[youtube=]

To see more animals go to

Parrots Flock to Brooklyn College

Brooklyn Parrots
Brooklyn College and Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn, NY

The old urban legend is that the parrots, which have been around here, in Chicago, and now 14 states, escaped from a crate at the airport. Baldwin has a new, plausible twist to the story: mob workers are responsible for the release here and around the country. They would open every crate and skim a bit off of whatever was inside for themselves. But when they opened these crates, some flew out. This story seems to explain so many escapees from airports around the country. Continue reading Parrots Flock to Brooklyn College