Bird Bonanza III: The Parrot Field
In New York, United States
How Geocaching Works
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Cache is a small box, kind of like a lock and lock in Seaman's Neck Park. This should be pretty easy, potentially a park and grab. There is swag for the finders. This box might be able to fit smaller travel bugs and most geocoins, so bring them if you have. Watch for muggles and please take the time to put the cache back the right way, making sure the flaps SNAP shut and please camo it well. There is poison ivy right near GZ, be conscious and avoid it. Happy hunting!
PARROTS!?!? WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?!?!
Yep, it's for real! You can see actual wild parrots right here on Long Island! The photo above was taken right in my backyard, only about 2 miles from here! These guys are called Monk Parakeets or Quaker Parrots. They come from South America, more specifically Argentina. Monk parakeets have been found in several other east coast states, as far north as Massachusetts.
Quaker Parrots are the only parrots out of over 300 parrot species worldwide to build an actual nest out of sticks. That is where this cache is taking you. Located across from the cache location is a baseball diamond. I am providing a waypoint for just one of the FIVE nests that are atop the light poles surrounding the field. Go to the waypoint and look up, the pile of sticks on the platform is the nest. You can walk around the field and see the others, this particular nest is one of the smallest. They have made nests in many other parks and even residential areas along the South Shore. Monk Parakeet nests can grow to the size of a small car and weigh over 800 pounds! These nests are relatively small though and probably house only five to six birds each.
As with all parrots, Monk Parakeets are incredibly noisy. They NEVER shut up. Many people keep them as pets. So you might be asking "HOW ON EARTH DID PARROTS FROM ARGENTINA GET HERE?" One theory is that a crate of about 60 parrots was accidentally opened at JFK airport in the 50's because the customs officers couldn't read Spanish and thought they were opening a crate of wine or smuggled drugs. The parrots flew off, not to be seen again for another 20 years. The authorities didn't go after them because hey- South American parrots can't survive sub-zero snowy winters can they? But yes they can! Monk parakeets survive the winter by eating nothing but bird seed from feeders in people's backyards! They've come to my bird feeders, and boy, is it a sight to see the look on a cardinal's face when a parrot comes along for a snack.
If in addition to your smiley for logging the find, you would actually like to see a parrot, come early in the morning or right before sunset- that's when they're most active. You might have to wait around awhile, be patient though because it's well worth it. Make sure you take lots of pictures of the parrots and nests and PLEASE post them online. I would really love to see them! Have a fun time and watch out for any pirates!
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Last Updated: on 2/26/2017 2:35:54 PM (UTC-08:00) Pacific Time (US & Canada) (10:35 PM GMT)
Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum