Posted at: 06/27/2012 11:51 PM
| Updated at: 06/28/2012 11:19 AM
By: Jessica Layton
WATERVLIET - It's one of the coolest thing 5-year-old Tommy Bishop and his cousin Jessica Constantine have ever seen.
"It's just beautiful to look at," said Constantine.
The vibrant green parakeet, perched on a power line - and his mate - have become the most popular tenants on 21st Street in Watervliet. The monk parakeet, or quaker parrot, is rare for this area. It's native to South America and has clearly captivated this curious neighborhood.
"We're all crazy apparently, but this is Watervliet's little baby," neighbor Dorraine Teitsch said chuckling.
Neighbors say the parakeets started building the nest a few weeks ago. It was right after a big storm. The birds swooped down to the ground to collect twigs from big branches that had fallen. Onlookers say for about a week the nest was the size of a basketball. Now it's about twice that size.
The birds made their home under a transformer on a National Grid utility pole, which could cause a power outage or equipment failure. So the state Department of Environmental Conservation says the nest has to come down.
What neighbors couldn't understand is why one of the birds seemed to suddenly go missing.
"They separated the female from the male. I'm really upset they separated the two. He's crying looking for her," said Teitsch.
Wednesday morning, the DEC captured the female bird and brought it to a sanctuary. A spokesperson says they'll be back for the male bird.
Neighbors don't want to see the parakeets leave, but if birds of a feather really do flock together, they just want the male and female reunited.
"That's all, that they have a happy ending. We all want a happy ending," Teitsch said.
A DEC spokeswoman says the female parakeet was taken to the Berkshire Bird Paradise. Neighbors say they believe she was about to lay her eggs. The DEC says there were no eggs or young in that nest.
When asked why they didn't take the male bird also they said he wasn't in the nest while they were there. It's not clear when they'll go back for the bird or what happens to the birds after they've both been captured.