Parakeets in Hyde Park
Tell most residents of Chicago to go see the parakeets in Hyde Park, and they’ll ask you what pet store. But it’s just a matter of looking up. For nearly thirty years, a large colony of monk parakeets-smaller than a parrot but larger than the Kmart-bought species-have made Hyde Park their home, pets that went on the lam and somehow adjusted to survive the brutal Chicago winter. Defined by a sharply green back and head and distinctive blue-colored feathers, the parakeets are loud and vocally assertive, though generally not disruptive. Their nests-massive constructions of woven twigs-have proven to be a bit of a problem recently, especially since utility poles are among of the monk’s favorite spots to build.
Best of Chicago 2002