Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Bird Man of San Francisco

From the San Francisco Chronicle comes this story about a man who went from homeless and unemployed to author and star of a documentary about his life. His claim to fame? He befriended the feral cherry-headed conures (Aratinga erythrogeny) of Telegraph Hill. About ten years ago, Mark Bittner began feeding, naming, and caring for many of the birds, and his influence was such that when he had to take a year-long break from feeding the birds five years ago, the city was in an uproar, worried that the flock would starve. Mark set up The Parrot Pages website to post information about the flock, and you can also get information about the movie there as well. This web page from also has a story about Mark, including a photo of him and some brilliant parrot photos. The conures of San Francisco seem to be much loved, unlike the ones in Hawaii mentioned in a previous ISW post.