Brooklyn Parrot Working on Nest

What are Wild Parrots Doing in Brooklyn?


"There is much mystery surrounding the appearance of these remarkable birds in Brooklyn, but it can safely be said that they did not fly up here from Argentina on their own.


There are a lot of wild theories about the parrots, and they range from the odd but possible (sinking ships, overturned trucks, etc.) to the nearly unthinkable (at least one source claims that the parrots were blown to the U.S.A. by Hurricane Gloria in the mid-1980s). But the theory that has the greatest credence among ornithologists is that a shipment of parrots destined for sale at New York area pet shops was accidentally released at Kennedy Airport in the late 1960's (1967 or 1968). This incident was referred to as early as 1971 in an article by ornithologist John Bull.


Much confusion remains about what actually happened at the airport. At least one source in Brooklyn has informed me that many shipments coming into the airport were opened by unauthorized people during the 1960's: Martin Scorsese's classic film, Goodfellas, based on the memoir of Nicholas Pileggi, depicts the common practice of "crews" opening crates in order to pilfer their contents. My informant speculates that a large crate bearing an indecipherable Argentinian way bill may have been opened in this fashion. But instead of finding bottles of fine Argentinian wine, the crate opener was surprised when an unruly crowd of fully-flighted Quaker Parrots burst into the air, circled the airport, screaming, and disappeared over the horizon.


Although the escaped parrots did not turn up immediately [in Brooklyn] (the earliest reported sighting was in the early 1970's), it is likely that the birds survived in the park lands surrounding the airport, and made their way in due course to the campus, where we find them today. There are other theories: that a pet store on Flatbush Avenue went out of business and released them, that a truck overturned on a highway, that an Argentinean tramp steamer foundered in New York Harbor, or that the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, after many years of hosting a captive flock of monk parakeets, abandoned these birds to the skies after closing its aviary, but the JFK airport escape theory is the one that I believe is most reliable.




"Brooklyn" was seen at Green-Wood Cemetery.....


  • Bill Oriani PRO 7y

    how will it survive the winter?????
  • City Parrots PRO 7y

    Hi, I'm an admin for a group called City Parrots, and we'd love to have this added to the group!
  • Samuel Raj 7y

    its very nice landing and good timing.
  • Bill Wakefield PRO 7y

    Great capture,Tony and a really interesting story.
  • Kenny Lee PRO 7y

    Yup, I see them alot on my block.
    U need to stop by Brookyn College area...(Bedford and Ave I)...there's bunch of them there.
  • Dennis Jarvis PRO 7y

    Great information, odd to see though, well done. A wonderful picture, it is very good.

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  • ***Yuna*** PRO 7y

    Wow! It's amazing that they survive these temperatures. Also there is a place in San Francisco where there is a flock of them living there for years. Hmm..... I'll find out more = )
  • william acosta 7y

    very interesting story
    i remember when i lived in upper manhattan the late sixties i was a teenager then but even at that time i like birds
    i used to go down to riverside park which was next to where i lived and on several occations saw a green parrot flying with a flock of what i think were house sparrows
    this was during a particular summer 67 or 68 i never saw the parrot again the next summer
    do not know if this helps or confuses it was only one parrot and all i can remember is that it was mostly green and it stood out like a sore thumb
    obviously your parrots have survive the winters
  • Wonderlane PRO 7y

    Tony the Misfit WOULD have a photo of a Brooklyn Parrot!
  • Chun-Chih FAN PRO 6y

    Hi, I'm an admin for a group called DDSNET(♥Flickr's Group for My Friends♥) ~POST1 comment2~, and we'd love to have this added to the group!


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Taken on September 21, 2008
  • ƒ/5.6
  • 200.0 mm
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  • 200
  • Flash (off, did not fire)
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