There are parrots in my back yard


This morning I was awoken by the battle cries of my cat. Apparently, two parrots had intruded into her territory and were sitting on the outside rails of my balcony. The cat was trying to get at them, so I shooed them off. I guess I ruined her morning because the cat is no longer speaking to me.

I’m not very knowledgeable when it comes to psittacines. I mean, I had a parakeet once when I was a kid, but that’s about as far as I got. I live in Athens, Greece, a highly urbanized setting, but my house is thankfully on the borders of one of the last patches of green in the city. A small mountain stream runs ten miles from the highlands down to the center of town, creating a little valley full of life and green in the process. We residents are fiercely protective of our spot of nature, and so far, no idiot has managed to burn down his plot of land so that he can put up a new shopping mall or something. Those who have tried, have gotten caught and arrested. Beaten up once too (I wasn’t there, honest, just ask my attorney). Go team go.  Oh, except for a former Minister of Environmental Protection – she did manage to build an apartment building all the way down to the banks of the stream, but she assured everyone that building was ecological, and she should know, by golly. 

Anyway, parrots. There are literally hundreds of them living in our little valley.  Our yard, like many of the yards bordering the river valley, contains a few palm trees.  Parrots apparently like palm trees.

So this morning I saw a flock of parrots roosting in our palm trees. I thought I was back in northern Africa for a few seconds. Especially with two parrots sitting on my balcony evaluating me in my underwear.

My question is, are we still denying climate change? Because if we are, I’d like someone to explain the African parrots in my yard. To top it all off, I’m sure they’re immigrating illegally, like the hundreds of thousands of African males that come through Greece annually moving north, trying to find work and food.

Are we still denying climate change? I’m not really sure – I think everyone has accepted it by now, but they’re putting it down to natural causes or something. Hell, our proud and patriotic oil companies are even seizing the opportunity to drill in the Arctic and continue in their noble efforts to provide us with more light and power.

And parrots. The parrots are moving north, too, folks. It’s undeniable. I’ve seen them. Maybe we can use them as a food source.

My cat would be happy for sure. Hell, maybe she’ll even forgive me. She was so looking forward to an exotic meal.



2 Responses

  1. Apollodōros Phlamandos  •  September 23, 2011 @10:45 pm

    This isn’t really a surprise. In Brussels a colony of rose-ringed parakeet have been quite successful. They were pets that escaped or let loose, and people thought they’d die in winter because these are tropical birds. Unfortunately this particular subspecies migrates over the Himalaya… ergo, the cold isn’t bothering’ ’em much. They already started to spread beyond Brussels, though I haven’t seen any where I live yet. Psittacines are also spreading in other feral populations world wide.

  2. Kostas Dervenis  •  September 24, 2011 @7:51 am

    Interesting. These populations are too large and have appeared too suddenly to be the result of escaped pets. Plus, these are parrots – large ones, not parakeets. It would appear they are migrating north. Maybe in a few decades Brussels will come to resemble Morocco circa the 1980s.

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