I first started feeding the wild parrot flock in October, 1993. It wasn’t until a year later that I started a daily diary that described each feeding and what I was seeing within the flock. (When I finally did start the diary I took the time to write down as much as I could remember of that first year.) By the time I left the parrot flock in September 1999, I had over 1000 type-written pages. The diary was the main source for my book The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill. I’ve decided to post, from time to time, selected entries from the old diary. Some will be individual entries that I think are of particular interest, while others will be complete episodes of events, many of which showed up in the book. There are a lot of stories that I couldn’t tell because there simply wasn’t enough room. Once you can recognize the individual characters in a parrot flock you get to see a lot of extraordinary happenings. I hope you find these enjoyable.


Setting the Scene

This is the fire escape where I fed the parrots for the first three years, before having to move to the cottage, which is directly below, but out of sight here. I fed them another three years at the cottage, which was the setting for the documentary film. I tookContinue Reading

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May 1995

These diary selections detail the events leading to my bringing my favorite parrot in the flock into the house. At the time her name was Smith (I initially thought she was male), which I later changed to Dogen (Doe-gun). She wasn’t my favorite bird then, but I had to careContinue Reading

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March 1995

A series of feedings that I find interesting as a collection. At this point in my diary keeping, the individual entries tend to be brief. They get longer and more detailed as time goes on. 3/9/95 Thursday They were unusually “crazy” and noisy today. My guess is that it wasContinue Reading

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February 1995

A few introductory notes: Blue was a scrub jay that I was feeding for a time. I was caretaking an estate that had two buildings. One was a small studio apartment (Greenwich, the place I lived in in the film) and the main building, where I started feeding the parrots.Continue Reading

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January 1995

Introductory Note: This represents a typical day of feedings. I was still new to the experience and just beginning to take liberties with touching them. If you have my book, in the back of it there are short notes on many of the individual birds named here. 1/8/95 Sunday     Continue Reading

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November 1994

These are my very first diary entries. They tell the story of one of that year’s babies, Mandela, who was injured by a cat. (The story appears in my book in the chapter titled “Mandela.”) At the time, I was caretaking a big house, which is where I was feedingContinue Reading

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