the war against nature

Birds Set Beady Eyes on Electrical System, Plunging Parts of City Into Darkness, Chaos

Unlike so many other media outlets, the New York Times will not allow itself to be distracted by the economy, Susan Boyle’s exit from American Idol, or its own precarious position, the paper proved again today, by publishing a stunning piece of reportage by Corey Kilgannon and Jeffrey Singer, the Woodward and Bernstein of the outer boroughs. Their explosive piece, buried deep in the “Metro” section, reminds us that there is a true and grave danger facing America: birds. South American monk parrots have flocked to certain parts of Queens and Brooklyn, where they have created strongholds and set about constructing weapons with which to assail our electrical system. Namely, gargantuan nests that are smothering electrical equipment, and hence causing blackouts and fires. “They’re all over, and they’re huge,” one Con Edison official told Messrs. Kilgannon and Singer, of the nests. “Look at that capacitor bank — it’s a condominium … It’s engulfed. That’s a piece of Con Ed equipment; you can’t even see it.”

Most disturbingly, these parrots, the duo found, are affiliated with the same cell of avians that took down Flight 1549 earlier this year.

According to the prevailing theory, the birds escaped from cargo at Kennedy International Airport and now proliferate mostly in Brooklyn and Queens, with perhaps 300 nests that cause “a tremendous cost” to Con Edison, Mr. Williams said. In eight fires on overhead equipment in past 18 months, the nests are the main suspects.

Sons of bitches.

Sons of bitches.

According to Con Edison officials, they’ve tried everything to deter the birds: nets, spikes, sprays, sound machines, and now, a giant, plastic battery-powered owl that swivels its head and makes a hooting noise, which they’ve named Hootie. But:

None have been successful,” said one Con Edison official.

Chilling. What can we do next? Steve Baldwin, a known bird sympathizer and the blogger behind the bird-friendly website, has suggested the city build “alternate nest platforms” for the avian terrorists. This is nothing less than an outrage. This is New York City! We do not make concessions to birds. We do not offer them sanctuary. We’re bigger than them. For the love of God: We have arms. We urge the lawmakers in the boroughs to do the right thing: Give Hootie teeth.

Fighting Real Parrots With a Fake Owl [NYT]

Birds Set Beady Eyes on Electrical System, Plunging Parts of City Into Darkness, Chaos