missing monks


So I was in Brooklyn, New York to see a little fellow, but I had to get some miles run, so I laced up on Sunday (when there was a break in the otherwise wretched weather) and headed out. I had a destination in mind, of course. About a mile and a half from my grandson’s apartment is the Green-Wood Cemetery.

It looks like a beautiful place, but they don’t let people run in there (and the security guard reminded me of that as I entered, though he told me there was no “jogging” allowed). I only went in (walking) as far as the magnificent entrance gate, which you can see the top portion of above. (The sky was an overcast white, but the photo turned out pretty good.)

Green-Wood is home to a number of notable people, including Basquiat, Boss Tweed, Leonard Bernstein, and Horace Greeley, but that wasn’t why I dodged people, strollers, cyclists, cars, and pigeons to run there. Instead I wanted to see the monk parrots.

Green-Wood’s most famous newest residents are a thriving population of monk parrots, native to South America and now established in Brooklyn. There are a few urban legends as to how the birds got there, but regardless of their veracity, they are there and famous. (I’d even heard of them out in the Midwest.)

Alas, the parrots were somewhere else when I ran there. (I expect I’ll be making future trips to Brooklyn.) What I did get to see was their massive nest at the top of the cemetery’s entrance gate. Can you see it above?

close up


Here is a crop from the first photo. The darker snarl near the top is the nest of the monk parrots. The view from the other side of the gate is better, but the contrast was bad; the image was washed out.

As I said, I expect to return to Brooklyn, and the 6.55 mile route I ran on this day is pretty good (with a nice half mile downhill finish). I’ll run it again. Maybe I’ll see the actual parrots then.

Explore posts in the same categories: Ramblings Off Topic

3 Comments on “missing monks”

  1. seefleckrun Says:

    Very cool! I didn’t know those little guys could survive a New York winter.

  2. WalkToRio Says:

    I’ve seen some at the Queens Botanical Garden, but never in Brooklyn.

  3. donnaeve Says:

    That’s interesting about the monk parrots. The one picture of them in flight reminded me of the Carolina Parakeet. (now extinct, although some links suggest sightings.)

    About running…, I heard on the news this a.m. that the best running is slow and steady. Did you happen to see that? They basically said that running about 5 mph is the optimum for reducing mortality by 78%. 78%!!! Moderate will reduce by 34%. They didn’t break down what moderate meant. Strenuous, had no better chance of reducing mortality than sedentary. It has something to do with too much exertion can do damage to the heart in a variety of ways.

    I say hurray! Go Clydesdales!

    Your grandson is absolutely adorable, Paul. And he’s already changed so much from that first photo with him all squinched up to the recent with his hair all wonky. A.D.O.R.A.B.L.E.

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