The Parakeets of Hyde Park
From time to time the personnel here at Takotron ruminate on their location in Chicago's Hyde Park neighborhood. It's a quick ride to downtown, but with a lot of friends and action going on up North, on might begin to question the merits of living down here. There are many attributes to this neighborhood, but here's one you might not have known: Hyde Park (and no other part of Chicago) is occupied by a large population of WILD PARAKEETS
. They are of courese indigenous to South America, but somehow 2 Adam and Eve parakeets escaped captivity and started a whole population that has lived here for more than 20 years. They are totally feral now, and like to stir things up, blocking ComEd's power transformers, and making tons of noise.
Former mayor Harold Washington (who represented Hyde Park) was fond of them and protected them from the US Dept of Agriculture's attempts to remove them. A few weeks ago I saw them in a tree--I hadn't heard about them and was puzzled and suprised. I suppressed the memory, thinking I was either mistaken or going nuts. But the other day I spoke with a woman from work who told me all about them. Encouraged, I went out searching for them today. A bunch of them live in a tree on the east side of Woodlawn, just north of 55th street. The Parakeets will rule Hyde Park forever, bringing a taste of the tropical to our fair city.
Here are some links to people with more info on our beloved birds:
Hyde Park Parakeets
U of Chicago Magazine
Harold Washinton Park
Parakeets and Takotron - Represent Hyde Park