27 August 2006

The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill

I have a soft spot for stories about parrots, and posted back in January on a few parrot stories that I quite enjoyed, including the parrot that shopped the owner's cheating girlfriend, and the anti-authoritarian parrot. And, not forgetting the amazing N'kisi with a 950 word vocabulary, and apparently capable of making phrases and using tenses.

On Friday evening I watched the documentary movie The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill. This is a lovely little (83 minute) film about, well, er, parrots. Telegraph Hill is a fashionable area of San Francisco, close to the Financial District. I lived in S.F. for about 6 years, and so have a great deal of affection for the City. Anyone who has been there will enjoy some of the lovely scenes in the movie. The parrot colony essentially came into being probably through escaped pets, but is quite thriving. Much of the movie also concerns Mark Bittner who had formerly drifted to the edges of society, and, through the parrots, has reconnected with it. There is a particularly nice twist at the end. Mark has names for each parrot and is quite unequivocable about each of them having personalities. I particularly liked Mingus.

Anyway, if you're looking for an uplifting, easy-to-watch movie, add it to your Netflix, Lovefilm, etc. queue, or pop down to your local video store (though good luck finding that title in most UK stores).

Tags: , ,

1 comment:

tomj said...


I saw these birds once a few years ago when I was riding my bike up near telegraph hill. I had not previously heard of any wild parrots in SF, so imagine my surprise when I heard screeching and whooping coming from seemingly nowhere. I finally spotted the flock of about 25 parrots flying in a sort of formation, and then landing in a tree. I was absolutely amazed. In fact, I never quite figured out what I had seen until the promos came out for this movie. I had seen wild cockatoos in Australia, but you just would never expect to see them in SF. Truly remarkable.