Dissident Parrots Find Sanctuary in Bernal Community Garden


Neighbor Craig reports that a flock of wild parrots has been spotted in eastern Bernal’s Dogpatch-Miller Community Garden.

That makes sense, because it’s an election year, and Aaron Peskin is on the ballot.


As you must certainly recall, in 2012 ornithologists from the Bernalwood Political Research Unit determined that the wild parrots in Bernal Heights “are refugees from Telegraph Hill who fled to Bernal Heights to escape the stultifying NIMBYism and shrill politics of that part of the City in general — and Aaron Peskin in particular.”

At the moment, Aaron Peskin is campaigning to once again represent District 3 on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. So the move by these free-spirited parrots to seek sanctuary several miles from Telegraph Hill should come as no surprise.

Please welcome the dissident parrots with the warmth and neighborly generosity for which Bernal Heights is world-famous.

PHOTOS: Craig Saitowitz

29 thoughts on “Dissident Parrots Find Sanctuary in Bernal Community Garden

  1. I had seen the video years ago about the parrots story on telegraph hill. It was quite touching. I sure would love to see these parrots. I understand they were also see in the Noe Valley& in the Mission.
    Stories like this is so much better than hearing about all the crimes around here,although I realize it’s necessary for us to be cautious. Thanks again.

  2. Can’t resist an idiotic poke at Peskin, can you Todd? The parrots in Bernal are cool, but your “political” commentary is beneath you.

    • LOL. Now you know how us SF moderates felt every time we used to read the Bay Guardian for its culture coverage.

    • yeah well you might have left the word idiotic and your silly scare quotes around political out as well, since no one is casting stones and all. i thought it was funny. peskin sucks.

    • “The parrots in Bernal are cool, but your “political” commentary is beneath you.”

      Umm, no, it’s not.

    • People who think flocks of parrots are charming have not had them living outside their house in June – the chattering started at 5 am.

      Plus I keep thinking how inbred they must all be by now.

  3. As long as they don’t sneak around graffitiing our small business owners, they are welcome. 🐦

  4. SF having flocks of parrots is amazing. The beautiful birds are fortunate that the misguided nativists who are about to clear-cut almost all of the trees on Mt. Davidson, Mt. Sutro and Sharp Park (tens of THOUSANDS of healthy trees in all) haven’t set their sights on exotic animal species as well…

    • Last time I checked parrots didn’t pose a significant threat of fire in the wildland urban interface. So I think you’re safe to stop the fear-mongering. Unless they become spontaneously combustin parrots… In which case FEMA is probably gonna have to step in again.

      • Good day to you also, Neighbor Ashley. And good news: in my professional capacity I can assure you that trees (even Eucalypts) are NOT a threat of fire in the wildland urban interface. This is a well-established fact that has trouble being heard above mythology. Grasses and shrubbery of all kind are much more easily and quickly flammable. San Francisco has grass fires all the time. Never any forest fires.

        “Fear mongering” seems a little harsh and cranky and technically inaccurate. (Who would be “scared” at the thought of clear-cutting our forests?) In fact it feels exceedingly surreal to be snarled at for trying to defend trees from the chainsaw… in California… in San Francisco… in the year 2015…

        My point was that parrots are exotic species in SF, and could easily be targeted by the same type of misguided, scientifically illiterate nativists who have targeted our 100 year old Eucalypts as “non-native.” For the moment, the parrot eradication is still only a possibility.

        But the destruction of tens of thousands of San Francisco’s trees is already underway. We San Franciscans have a rare and beautiful type of ecosystem in our midst: a thriving Cloud Forest.

        It is scheduled to be destroyed by the end of the year. I suggest you visit now.

      • PS– I don’t fear anything, and can’t imagine mongering it.

        PPS–I purposefully didn’t mention the East Bay Hills fire because it is so complex a topic and so universally misunderstood. If you are actually interested, I’d be happy to discuss it in whatever forum you like, online or in a caffeinery. My treat.

        And thank you for the strangely comical image of parrots spontaneously combusting in flight…


      • Hey @takebackthegreen

        Sorry neighbor, the above comments were a bit incendiary. I wasn’t trying to start an off-topic flame war. That said, I wasn’t blowing smoke out my….um…booty.

        I worked as a forester for a long time. I’ve written more burn plans and Enviromental Impact Statements than I care to think about.

        You sound genuinely distressed about the possibility of a nativist precedent being set and our beautiful parrots being eliminated. And I want you to know you shouldn’t worry about that happening anytime soon.

        Land management and wildfire mitigation is a tricky subject full of grey areas and hard decisions. The Sutro plan, while not perfect, is solid. Based on your name it seems like you’re a strong advocate for green space, which is super dooper awesome. But based on your comments about the fire risk in the stand on Sutro it seems like you could also maybe benefit from a fast and dirty conversation about fuel types, wildfire hazards, and management in the wildland/urban interface, which I would love to have with you. I can also point you in the direction of some great research papers and congressional hearings if you want to delve into the political/academic realm of land management.

      • Neighbor Ashley, thank you for your soothing words, although I assure you I’m not distressed. What I am is determined to point out misuse of scientific concepts when they threaten civic treasures. I’ll discuss this any time. I’m well versed in every issue regarding the NAP agenda. And I have the science background to understand how un-scientific that agenda is.

        Your offer to enlighten me about fire hazard issues and land management is kind. As a San Francisco firefighter for 20 years, I always enjoy hearing the wisdom of others and comparing it to my own experience (in which 100% of urban wildfires start in grass, not in trees of any kind).

        I have no fear that the parrots would be targeted. Animals are sacrosanct here, no matter their provenance.

        With full knowledge and understanding of every issue you raise, I respectfully repeat: The Sutro, Davidson and Sharp Park plans are not “solid.” It is simply wrong to assert that any aspect of the plans is based on scientific principles. They are gardening preferences. I’m happy to debate every detail. But the overarching logic is simple: It should be as unthinkable to destroy one of the most iconic San Francisco ecosystem as it is to destroy those parrots.

    • i think it is important for you all to know that these misguided attempts to get rid of invasive species is really just some weird (conservative republican?) thing akin to what has been going on in our government… the Takeover and disenfranchisement of our democracy in america…
      this thing is happening here where i live in colorado also… i thought it was just people who profit from selling large amounts of weed killer but it appears it has something to do with just wrecking our lives and environments… you MUST stand up to them you MUST… and you must understand they are doing this everywhere so it really is an emergency… really… i still am not sure why they insist on ruining life but maybe its just they are so angry because they are not happy? i dunno i dunno…

      • beyond all comprehension, lala, it is the crowd that calls themselves environmental activists… they already have approval and a schedule.

        it is a gardening preference cloaked in pseudoscience to sound necessary and feasible…

        it can’t be reduced to a soundbite, so their irreversible, destructive plan remains under the radar for most san franciscans, and i’m tired of feeling like chicken little…

        when it happens, saying “i told you so” won’t feel very good.

      • btw, the cult of nativism is also doing freelance destruction: hundreds of trees in Bayview have been girdled. Over the course of a year or two they will die and eventually rot in place.

    • Meh, Peskin is as fake as Lee. The Telegraph Hill Dwellers are currently opposing the plan to build 100 units of affordable housing at Seawall 322-1.

      • Like in most things politics it’s a question of varying degrees of shitiness and who will do the least amount of damage overall. It’s hard to be worse than Lee or as aloof as Christensen, both of whom are busy selling the soul of SF to the devil.

  5. For those who are interested, resident birdwatcher Eddie informs me that they are red masked parakeets.

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