Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Trees of the Wild San Francisco Parrots Saved

NPR is reporting that the City of San Francisco has agreed to provide insurance to cover two aged cypress trees that provide a habitat for the wild parrots of Telegraph Hill in San Francisco. A non-profit group will also provide pruning of the trees. The trees are on private land and the owner was planning to cut them down two years ago, when the parrot's champion, Mark Bittner, threw himself in front of the trees. Ever since, the City and the owner have been negotiating to try and save the trees on the parrots behalf. This story has a happy ending, and the parrots' perches will be preserved.

If you missed the documentary "The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill," you ought to consider adding it to your Netflix queue. The film follows the parrots, which are not native to San Francisco, but have made a life for themselves there. At some point parrots were caught in the wild and they either were "released" or "escaped" into the City. They banded into a small flock of parrots and began mating and giving birth to new parrots on U.S. soil. While it's true they are not endemic, the film did not report any ill effects on endemic species caused by the parrots.

After the film and a book by the same name, the parrots have become a tourist attraction. Kudos to the City of San Francisco for making an effort to protect the trees the parrots call home. While I wish that no parrots had ever been captured and sold as pets, it's nice that these escapees have made new, happy lives for themselves and are enjoying their freedom - even though they would probably prefer a lush rainforest to San Francisco.

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