A parrot safari in… Brooklyn?

A Parrot Safari In... Brooklyn?

Brooklyn (CNN) — Tourists are often warned in brand new York City not to stop as well as look up. yet on one street where a tree grows in Brooklyn, looking up is actually encouraged.

You might just catch a rare sight inside the bustling big city: beautiful green Quaker parrots, also known as monk parakeets. (They are hard to find, rarer than spotting Tony Danza strolling down Broadway.)

A Parrot Safari In... Brooklyn?

These birds have a back story in which a little birdie might chirp to you if you’re lucky: They are believed to have their origins in Argentina, some 5,300 miles away as the crow flies. (Parrots, though, not crows.) These parrots didn’t travel in which route, however.

A Parrot Safari In... Brooklyn?

The Birdman of Brooklyn

A Parrot Safari In... Brooklyn?

Steve Baldwin is actually our parakeet expert — I call him the Birdman of Brooklyn — as well as he is actually hooked on these wild, green birds.

A Parrot Safari In... Brooklyn?

“I’m one of the people who has taken an interest inside the fact in which the birds, who definitely don’t belong here, are here,” Baldwin tells me.

A Parrot Safari In... Brooklyn?

“I was charmed as a youth when my family brought a parrot into the household. We were all impressed with how emotional, engaging as well as endearing This particular was. So, I have a soft spot in my heart for these birds.”

A Parrot Safari In... Brooklyn?

Meeting his guests at Brooklyn College, Baldwin has been giving free Saturday morning tours to see the parrots for the past 12 years.

A Parrot Safari In... Brooklyn?

This particular takes a few minutes to stroll to a large tree with multiple nests inside the branches, which the parrots have struggled to construct.

The unpredictability of the tour highlight — the birds actually showing up — means This particular tour is actually probably best for devout bird-lovers or curiosity-seekers who are looking for offbeat adventures.

How did the parrots get to Brooklyn?

Bird investigators as well as newspaper reports claim in which these birds were descendants of parrots who broke out of containers as well as cages at John F. Kennedy International Airport in neighboring Queens. (I always thought the $6 million Lufthansa cargo robbery in 1978 was the biggest bust-out caper inside the airport’s history, until at This particular point.)

yet why were they at the airport inside the first place? The main theory is actually in which Argentina shipped thousands of birds inside the 1960s as well as 1970s to the United States mainly to get rid of them, seeing them as agricultural nuisances.

They were sold in pet stores, owned by brand new Yorkers or turned into animal feed. Some of the parrots somehow broke out as well as escaped through the airport. different parrots, according to theories, got away through broken crates at Newark Airport or were freed by owners who didn’t want them anymore.

The lucky escapees were not the migratory type. (After all, do you know how hard This particular is actually to find a Great apartment or nest inside the big city?) The current collection of Quaker parrots are believed to nest in a few brand new York locations, although not inside the concrete jungle of Manhattan.

The tough streets of brand new York

This particular turns out these parrots have adapted to the city.

Instead of their country cousins, which have three toes in front as well as one in back, these brand new Yorkers have two in front as well as two in back, forming what Baldwin describes as a fist.

Baldwin says the birds seem to enjoy Brooklyn, despite the clamor of the subways as well as gentrified hipster cafes. (A lack of predators, such as hawks as well as owls, provide a sense of security for the birds.)

They feel so at home, Baldwin has spotted them eating a slice of pizza inside the trees. This particular’s reminiscent of the brand new York City rat eating a slice, yet not so gross. Brooklyn does have some of the city’s finest pizza parlors, though owners don’t expect the product to be eaten at such heights.

On a recent Saturday tour, about 15 people joined Baldwin as he explained the almost fable-like tale of the great parrot escape through the airport. The walking tours are a labor of love by Baldwin, a copywriter by trade, who says he was “charmed” by parrots once his father brought a bird home when he was a youngster.

Baldwin eventually led his guests to a large tree to see his favorite Brooklynites, where on This particular day three big nests were easily visible.

Amid the chirping, Baldwin whipped out his binoculars as well as observed the parrots, explaining how they used to have one huge nest. One day back in 2014, This particular came tumbling down as well as killed a bird.

Since in which fateful day, Baldwin said the birds seem to understand at This particular point This particular’s better to play This particular safe as well as distribute their weight with three nests.

Nearby residents seem to appreciate their avian neighbors, calling them “cool” as well as “nice.”

These parrots issued loud greetings to each different yet they did not appear to sing “Don’t Cry for Me, Argentina”, their ancestral homeland. These wild Quaker parrots seem content inside the trees of Brooklyn as well as welcome all birdwatchers.

Check Baldwin’s website,, for more information about the parrots as well as tours.

CNN’s Lawrence Crook as well as Evan Simko-Bednarski contributed to This particular report

A parrot safari in… Brooklyn?