When the crimson sun ends another beautiful day and sets beyond the glistening waters of Bay Ridge where kites fly, joggers jog and lovers gaze beneath the back drop of the glorious Verrazano Bridge, then it's no wonder why Brooklyn is the star child of New York.Famous for its humble beginnings, A-list celebrities like Barbara Streisand, Neil Diamond, Barry Manilow, Marisa Tomei and Tony Danza originated here and when it comes to food, no where on earth will you find better bagels, mozzarella, or pizza. In fact, John Travolta put Brooklyn "on the map" in 1977 when he played the role of a neighborhood ruffian, Tony Manero, ate at Lenny's Pizza and strutted his way through the streets of Bensonhurst and history when he starred in Saturday Night Fever.However, in the memorable land of Badda Boom, Fughettabout it, and tough guys are some docile newcomers: the Green Monk (Quaker) Parrots, a.
k.a (Myopsitta Monachus) which have inhabited the town's trees and utility poles. As legend would have it, these beautiful South American decedents destined for sale at local area pet shops escaped (or rumored to have been released) from a shipping crate at Kennedy Airport in 1968 and have brilliantly adapted to harsh NYC winters by nesting near warmer power lines and transformers.
Since then the birds have multiplied and appeared in satelite colonies delighting residents throughout the borough. According to parrot www.brooklynparrots.com, the adorable tropical brooklynites are so adaptable in fact, that they've developed a taste for pizza!.Neapolitan thin-crust or thick Sicilian, round or square, classic or nouveau, no one makes Americans' favorite food better than Brooklyn pizzerias.
What is it about Brooklyn pizza that attracts tropical birds or anyone for that matter? Perhaps it's the light, crispy crust in harmony with the freshest possible toppings? Who knows? Parrot Expert, Steve Baldwin tells like this:."I was walking down Brooklyn's Bedford Avenue on Friday when I heard a pronounced crunching sound coming from overhead. I looked up, and there in a tree was a pair of wild monk parrots sharing a slice of pizza."Eureka!" - I shouted, reaching for my trusty camera, cognizant that I was on the cusp of a new discovery that would forever enlighten scientists studying the fascinating species known as Myiopsitta Monachus. For while it has been known since Charles Darwin studied the monk parrot in the 1830's that the species is "omnivorous" (meaning that it will eat almost anything, as long as it tastes good), and that bagel-eating among New Jersey wild parrots has been demonstrated in the field (Evans-Fragale, 2004) no actual evidence of pizza-eating among wild parrots has, to my knowledge, existed in the formal literature, until now.".
Despite the neighborhood hospitality and the best pizza in the universe, the birds are moving on. The parrots have relocated and have been spotted setting up nests in the Bronx, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Florida but haven't been given such a warm welcome.While Pizza will always be a staple in Brooklyn and beyond, its a wonderful compliment to be graced with culinary accolades from The Wild Parrots of Brooklyn.
The birds add so much to the colorful and cultural palette that exemplifies and comprises Brooklyn neighborhoods and they remind us that the best things in life really are free - even if the pizza is not..Art imitates life for Brooklyn Author Nancy S.
Mure, who created The Pizza Man and the Parrots, illustrated by Tom Torre. The heartwarming and humorous children's story is about a good natured Pizza Man and the talking birds who prove to be his toughest customers! http://www.nancysmure.com.
By: Nancy Mure