The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill

Feature by Colin Chapman | 15 Jun 2006

Arriving in San Francisco, Mark Bittner is determined to make it as a poet-singer-songwriter. Failing to realise his dream, but wishing to avoid a conventional career-path, he seeks out a more spiritual existence. Sleeping rough, he performs various odd-jobs and while working as a care-taker observes a wild parrot on Telegraph Hill. This proves to be a turning point in his life. Choosing to live among the growing parrot population, he studies their habits and relationships at close range, observing their individual personalities and giving many their own names, in the process achieving a new level of self-fulfilment. The human-like traits of the cherry-red, blue-crowned and mitred conures are revealed, while a variety of theories are put forward as to how these parrots, normally native to South America, have become resident in San Francisco. An endearing tale, it provides a deeper understanding of the similarities between human and animal life, or as Bittner puts it, that "…we are all one consciousness".

Released 26th June