Yacolt ponders the fate of 16 feral Quaker parrots

Posted by The Oregonian November 30, 2007 18:43PM
Categories: Breaking News, Clark County

Exotic bird lovers are aflutter — and undecided — about how to care for 16 feral Quaker parrots after Clark County’s electric utility this week removed their large nests from five power transformers in the small town of Yacolt, Wash.

Two residents are organizing a town meeting for 7:30 p.m. Saturday to try to come up with a plan to keep the birds, also called Monk parakeets, as neighbors. The meeting will be held at Yacolt Pentecostal Church at East Humphrey Street and Ranck Avenue.

“They’re more than just birds to us, they’re part of our community,” said Joy Tindall, 30, who is helping put together the Yacolt Parrot Preservation Association.

Erecting poles taller than the utility poles with attached platforms on which to nest could draw the green and gray parrots, who seek out high spots with nothing within 50 feet to obstruct visibility, Tindall said. When the first two birds started nesting in 2002, the utility poles were the highest point in the north county town, she said.

For safety reasons, Clark Public Utilities hired crews to remove the nests, which can eventually enclose an entire transformer and weigh up to 2,000 pounds. Three birds were euthanized, but about 16 escaped.

Stephanie, who runs an exotic bird rescue in Brush Prairie, said the birds could be humanely captured and put into a free-flight public aviary in the town park. That way, the birds would be protected and out of the utility’s way, and residents could continue to enjoy them and control their numbers. Feral Quaker parrots will not become good pets, she said.

But on Friday, Christopher Driggins, put up nesting boxes to attract and trap the birds.


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