The Quaker Parrots are back in town

July 18, 2011 Denise Romano
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The Dust Bowl has something to squawk about.

After being gone for nearly a year, the elusive Quaker parrotsreturned to the newly renovated baseball field and the surroundingarea. The green, noisy birds left when the field was beingrenovated, despite Parks Department workers carefully removingtheir large nests and putting them back intact. But recently,residents have been seeing – and hearing – the parrots around.

They are definitely around, I see them all the time, said BayRidge resident Patrick Flynn. They hang out on the cell phonetowers, they go in people’s backyards and scream and yell all nightlong.

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Flynn said he was happy to see them back. I like them and theyare an endangered species, he said, noting that when it rains,they line up on telephone and electrical wires and serenade theneighborhood with their loud screeches. They are around the wholeneighborhood, which is a good thing.

The new field at 65th Street between Seventh and Eighth Avenuesis aptly named Quaker Parrot Park at the Dust Bowl. Below thestadium lights on the corner of 66th Street and Eighth Avenue, alarge nest can be seen and residents say they come screeching backto it about an hour before sunset.

The birds have had quite a history. Rumor has it that a flockescaped from a cargo plane at John F. Kennedy Airport back in the1960s. Since then, they made their home across southern Brooklyn,especially near Brooklyn College, and have nests as far north atthe Red Hook Ball fields. The birds made headlines in 2007, when itwas reported that they were being stolen with huge nets and thensold on the black market. The parrots are reportedly sold for about$150 to $200 each.

Despite their popularity, some Brooklynites still have no ideaabout the birds. I haven’t seen them at all, said Kevin Zou, 13,who visits Leif Ericson Park, which is across the street from theDust Bowl, often.

His friend, Naima Figueroa, 14, agreed. I haven’t seen themeither, she said. But the trees are green and maybe they justblend in.

But the Brooklyn Spectator heard loud, familiarsquawks, looked up and saw the spunky birds flitting around thetree tops.

They really are something, Flynn said.

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