Thursday, July 23, 2009

Monk Parakeet Eats Apple By Highway

As I biked across one of the walkways over the Prospect Expressway the other day, I saw a fabulous thing. The top of an apple tree, ripe with fruit that seemed almost close enough to pluck, were it not for the white metal grating that got in the way. Even better, a stunning flash of radiant green! A monk parakeet!

Monk parakeets are originally from South America, but they've also established a few outposts in the United States. Here in New York, colonies can be found at Greenwood Cemetery and Brooklyn College, to name two sites that I know of. (They're big talkers, I've just learned from Wikipedia—different colonies may actually develop different dialects!)

The Prospect Expressway parakeet perched next to an apple and pecked at it with its hooked beak. It gouged out one chunk. The apple fell abruptly to the ground, and from there perhaps it rolled to the highway and was run over by an SUV on its way to Coney Island.

Undeterred, the bird moved on to another apple, carving out another chunk. Wasteful, but wonderful.

I was sorry I didn't have my camera at the time, so later I came back. Since there was no bird on the second visit, I have resorted to collage.

The tree and apples shown here are the ones that I saw. The bird in my assemblage was photographed in Argentina, and wound up representing its species in this image from Wikipedia Commons (A).


As you can see, down in South America it seems they'd eat fruits that seem not unlike the Brooklyn apple (B).

I felt sad that the highway with all its rushing vehicles wasn't represented, since it provided such a contrast to the verdant scene up above, so I added a drawing of a taxi cut out from Bruce McCall's illustration on the cover of the July 20 New Yorker (C).



Gerry Gomez Pearlberg said...

This is hilarious. You're going all Joseph Cornell on us. Bring it on! Hope to see more.

Joan said...

I agree! hell, keep layering it on. Add the grating. And maybe the SUV.

Ingrid K said...

God I love funny. Funny brings me back. This is funny. Thx! :)