FREEPORT, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Doves and cardinals, hummingbirds and nuthatches, ospreys and screech owls can be found out in the wild on Long Island – but parrots?
As TV 10/55 Long Island Bureau Chief reported, Freeport residents are flocking to West First and South Main streets to see a parrot colony perched atop utility poles.
“They’re beautiful!” said Lisa Acevedo of Freeport. “I didn’t even know until yesterday that they even existed down here.”
Dozens of the colorful birds have been building nests on opposite corners of the intersection for more than a year. Native to South America, the parrots have been showing up on the South Shore of Long Island since 2013, they were spotted in Amityville in Suffolk County.
Some believe they may have escaped from shipping containers from nearby airports, but nobody knows for certain.
Self-described parrot lady Lubov Kosolov thinks she knows why the parrots are showing up in Freeport.
For many years, she has had her own two parrots living in her home, and in her tree, right across from the new nest. Her parrots are named Patrick and Killer, and she believes they attracted the new colony.
“I think they love it here; probably they want to be friends with my birds,” Kosolov said.
Kosolov even shared Patrick with the village mayor, who lives a block away and frequently checks out the new nest.
“It’s great,” said Freeport Mayor Robert Kennedy. “If I could just train them to clean up underneath and make sure we don’t park cars underneath the nest, it would be much better, but I think all the neighbors seem to like them.”
Kennedy added that the parrot nests are no danger to the power lines or telephone cables, and neighbors said it has added an international flavor.
“I like it. I think it gives a tropical feel,” said Don Weber of Freeport. “They are a little noisy.”
There is still plenty of time to see the parrots, because so far, they have been staying through the winter.
There are also parrot colonies on Brooklyn’s South Shore.