Monday, January 16, 2006

I know why the caged bird escapes

As I stood in my office parking lot this morning, I heard a tremendous squawking overhead. I thought it sounded like parrots, and sure enough, when I looked up, there was a flock of about twenty large, bright green birds zig-zagging in the air above me.

I wonder if it's the same small flock I saw over the Chandler bike path a couple of months ago. That's about fifteen miles from this sighting. Probably not though, since there are apparently thousands of wild parrots in SoCal.

Many birders turn up their noses to parrot-watching, since they are not native to the area. And many detractors say that the flocks should be eliminated because they strain natural resources. But come on, how can you not love a bird that escapes from some crappy little cage and learns to live in the wild?

Which reminds me, if you haven't seen The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill, you really should. It's a wonderful documentary about a San Francisco flock, and the man who cared for them for several years.

Although I loved March of the Penguins, I feel like that movie manipulates your emotions about wildlife, especially cute wildlife, in some rather stock ways. TWPOTH is a much stealthier movie, and as I watched it I found myself wholly unprepared for its conclusion.

Netflix it, baby.

2 comments:

david said...

Remember those crazy parrots that escaped from some pet shop and survived a record-cold Chicago winter? They made a nest outside (then-mayor) Harold Washington's apartment. There were just two or three of them -- now they're all over the Chicago area.

Cute and inbred as hell.

vikkitikkitavi said...

I do remember that. I don't know how those birds survive Chicago winters.

Apparently, the Chicago flock is comprised of monk parakeets. Here's an article for any readers that are interested:

http://chicagowildernessmag.org/issues/winter2003/monkparakeets.html