Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Monk Parakeets at Manhattan Beach

I'm riding along Sheepshead Bay, looking at all the big dead fish coming in with the tide, awash in apocalyptic thoughts. Is this the day all the fish in the ocean just die?

"There's a lot of those today," I say, rolling up beside a fisherman. "You think the fishing boats toss them overboard?"

"Yeah, maybe," he says, contemplating the floater that's passing by. "I caught one of those, hooked it with my line. I want a live fish!"

Oddly reassured, I turn my gaze inland. And there I spot a monk parakeet nest that sure does look like a fire hazard on a utility pole. But it's so cool, with its multiple round entrance holes and the birds up there weaving. These birds are optimists!

Now I really feel cheered. Me staring at the monks, and delighted to see the monks staring right back.

As I may have hinted in a previous post, there's a ton of information about these fascinating creatures on line. There's even a study (with pictures) of what seems to be this very nest, indicating that it is fabricated from the twigs of London plane trees, sugar maples, pin oaks, and woody plants.

The guy at is also an expert, and I'm happy to learn he conducts "wild Brooklyn parrot safaris" to explore various nesting sites (there's one on September 12).

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