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Are You a Brooklyn Parrot?
Then I learned about the Brooklyn parrots. Yes, they are really parrots: bright green birds occupying the scrappy trees and power lines of Brooklyn. Part of me wants to leave the story there, imagining that the tropical poultry packed up one day and immigrated to the big city out of some birdy mix of courage, ambition, and confusion.
Turns out, there are also colonies of Monk Parakeets (most likely escaped pet birds) in Chicago, Florida, and elsewhere -- this site even tracks new sightings of feral Monk Parakeets. Opinion is divided on the hearty ex-pats: some call them invasive species (think "weeds of the bird world") and believe we should eradicate these non-native fowl. Others, like the aspiring ornithologist behind BrooklynParrots.com, celebrate the injection of tropical wildlife in our, let's face it, largely unnatural setting. (Visit this Brooklyn parrots blog for some theories on how they arrived in the city -- no, they didn't take the train, clutching suitcases, hoping to make it on Broadway.)
The thing is, I think that many of us are in our hearts Brooklyn parrots. We find ourselves ostensibly all grown up, in a place, doing a thing, living a life. And sometimes we are up all night, squawking into the darkness, wondering how we have come to be here. (It's so much colder than we imagined! Or -- so much hotter!) With any luck we find other refugees like ourselves and set up a colony, populating our nests with newfound family members whose lime-colored feathers remind us of a distant, half-remembered home. As the strange menu of my local diner plaintively asks, "Where else would you go?"
So sing on, Brooklyn parrots, you wonderful oddballs!
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