'Sweet Spot' With Mike Sugerman: The Wild Parrots Of Brooklyn

August 30, 2018 - 7:13 pm
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NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- Some Brooklyn residents are pretty flighty – and we mean that in the nice way.

As WCBS 880’s Mike Sugerman explained in this week’s “Sweet Spot,” the residents in question are birds. And Stephen Baldwin is on the hunt to find them.

“We are trying to track down the wild parrots, which are said to reside in this neighborhood,” Baldwin said.

He was looking in Midwood, Brooklyn.

“Midwood Brooklyn is sort of in the middle of Brooklyn; in the middle of the woods in Brooklyn, as it were,” Baldwin said.

Baldwin has taken the wild parrots of Brooklyn under his wing, so to speak. He leads tours to see them in the area around Brooklyn College, where they landed sometime in the 70s.

“These strange green birds were showing up, and, you know, if you looked around New York City, you know we’ve got a lot of different kinds of birds – but none of them are green,” Baldwin said.

They tracked it down to a load of parrots from Argentina in a crate at John F. Kennedy International Airport. Somehow the crate was opened and the birds escaped.

Their progeny live on.

Baldwin showed Sugerman one of the parrots’ enormous nests in a tree.

“That is a nest built out of several thousands of twigs over hundreds and hundreds of hours by several parrots,” Baldwin said.

The nests can weigh 400 pounds each – the size of a small car hanging in the trees.

“I’m from the Caribbean. And these birds are always in the Caribbean,” said neighbor Carl Williams. “But I mean, this is a winter country, but the snow doesn’t bother them. They never migrate.”

Indeed they do not. The parrots are permanent Brooklyn residents.

“Brooklyn is a borough that belongs to everybody – whoever you are, you’re welcome here as long as you are cool,” Baldwin said, “and I think the parrots have behaved in a pretty cool way.”

They say of New York, “If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere.” The wild parrots of Brooklyn are proof – they have made it here.​