Exotic Parrot Brings Taste of Tropics to Fort Greene Park

By Janet Upadhye on May 28, 2013 3:37pm 

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 Fort Greene Park is a great spot to bring an exotic pet parrot.
Fort Greene Park's Red-crowned Amazon parrot
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FORT GREENE — There's a new bird in town.

Fort Greene Park, long known as the stomping ground for Bird Man David Reyes, who's been seen "walking" his African grey parrots there for a decade, has recently had a new feathered resident.

Alex Burgnon and his red-crowned parrot, 11-year-old George, are quickly becoming new fixtures at the park.

"We moved to Fort Greene from Hell's Kitchen almost three years ago," Burgnon said. "George and Manhattan did not mix well."

Burgnon said other bird owners have also found a haven in the park.

"It's quiet, there are no tourists, there are no sirens, no traffic, there are lots of trees and people are friendly," Burgnon said. "Plus George tends to camouflage with the grass."

On sunny days, Alex and his partner Tom are mobbed by children curious about George.

"It's all part of the experience," Burgnon said. "Kids are fascinated by him."

Burgnon usually takes the time out to tell the kids all about his feathered friend's eating habits, lifespan and mimickry skills. George only knows a few words but he eats up the attention of children, according to Burgnon.

The only danger George might face on his park strolls are from the red-tailed hawks that live there.

"He usually warns me if there is a hawk flying over because he is instinctively programmed to look out for them," Burgnon said. "He'll growl if anything flies over head, even a plane."

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