Eco-tourism in New York? Even an eco-lite mini trip? You may be surprised that a colony of immigrant Quaker Parrots (originally from Brazil and Argentina) are thriving in Brooklyn, New York! So whether you live in New York or are just passing through and have some time to spare, why not connect with these intelligent, playful little parrots?
HOW DO YOU GET THERE?
New York has 3 major airports and you can get there on any major airline alliance. Going on the basis that anyone who is interested in this excursion is already in New York, I am going to concentrate on how to get there on public transport. If you can be there on the first Saturday of a month, you can join the Wild Brooklyn Parrot Safari run by Brooklyn Parrots. Otherwise, you can just get to Brooklyn College.
Brooklyn College is easy to get to via public transportation. From Manhattan, take the Number 2 (7th Avenue IRT) southbound express to the end of the line. Walk one block Southwest on Hillel Street past Starbucks, and look for the main Brooklyn College gate.
The tour begins at the entrance at 11:00 AM sharp. Please give yourself extra time because the MTA is doing construction on their lines during weekends. Driving instructions are at Brooklyn College’s main Web site. Parking is easy to come by in the neighborhood. NOTE: the entrance to Brooklyn College has relocated due to construction. The new temporary entrance is a few steps to the north along Campus Road – we’ll meet there.
HOW MUCH IS IT?
HOW LONG SHOULD YOU SPEND THERE AND WHAT SHOULD YOU SEE?
If you are doing the tour, it probably lasts a couple of hours. This is a good amount of time to spend even if you go on your own. The parrots can be easily spotted in the lights around the football field. According to Brooklyn Parrots, you need photo ID to enter the campus.
VALUE TO CONSERVATION
There is some controversy with the parrots’ presence in Brooklyn. They are not native to the area, they are immigrants and not by their choice. Brooklyn Parrots and History detectives suggests they have been there since the early 60’s. Even Oprah (or at least one of her bloggers) has taken an interest in them! The value to conservation here isn’t the traditional financial support by purchasing a ticket or reading scientific descriptions in a well-laid out zoo. The value is in taking the opportunity to see a species of bird that you normally would have to travel 1000’s of miles to see, observing their behaviour, watching them nesting and just appreciating them for the wonderful little creatures they are! There are occasional campaigns to kill them usually by power companies so once you learn to appreciate them, you will be more likely to defend them when they are in danger. Some power companies have stopped killing them. They aren’t hurting anyone and have earned their right to live!
WHERE TO STAY NEARBY ON POINTS
There is no shortage of hotels in New York and virtually all chain hotels have many properties although not necessarily in Brooklyn. I did a search on Hotels.com to find locations that are less than 5 miles from Brooklyn College, even though I know full well that most people visiting New York will be staying in Manhattan. Honestly, that’s what I would be doing as it’s easy to commute to Brooklyn by subway. Just in case someone might be going for an event at Brooklyn College, here’s a few I found.
5 Properties in Brooklyn ranging from 32000-36000.
Comfort Inn, Brooklyn Cruise Terminal – 25000 points.
Union Hotel – 25000 points.
HIX Brooklyn – 25000 points
HIX Brooklyn Downtown – 20000 points.
Indigo Brooklyn – 40000 points.
Fairfield Inn & Suites Brooklyn – 40000 points.
I took these photos back in 2007 when I was there with a P&S. It shows how they build nests in the lights of the football field. There are MUCH better photos on Brooklyn Parrots blog.