Last Tuesday, May 3rd, a concerned resident of Brooklyn witnessed Con Edison contractors tearing down a mid-sized monk parrot nest built on a pole supporting a power transformer. This action appears to signal the opening salvo in the annual battle between New York City's utility company and the wild parrots of Brooklyn.
That same day, I spoke to Ms. Antonia Yuille, Con Ed's public affairs director for Brooklyn this afternoon, and she provided me some details regarding the teardown.
This nest tear down is not part of some new eradication plan by Con Ed. Con Ed's policy is very much "hands off" when it comes to nests built by the wild parrots, unless they directly impact on public safety, employee safety, or the ability of the utility to deliver essential services. According to Ms. Yuille, "if it's not smoking we don't touch them. This is why you see so many nests out there."
Ms. Yuille also told me that the nest in question, situated on East 33rd Street between Fillmore and Ave R, appears to have caused a recent power loss in the last several weeks, which explains why it was targeted for removal.
While it is sad to witness the destruction of what appears to be a worthy, sturdy nest, it is probably better that Con Ed perform this removal now, while it is still too early in the breeding season for there to be any young in the nest.
The concerned resident who made the report and took many photographs, whose name is William, reports that the birds, after much anxious squawking on Tuesday morning, appear to have already commenced rebuilding efforts.
There are pictures of the nest teardown and early nest rebuilding efforts by the parrots here: