The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill

In San Francisco, there are at least two flocks of largely wild parrots who flock around the city. This film focuses on the flock of cherry-headed conures (and a lonely blue-headed one named Connor) who flock around the Telegraph Hill region of the city and their closest human companion, Mark Bittner . Through his own words, we learn of his life as a frustrated, homeless musician and how he came to live in the area where he decided to explore the nature around him. That lead him to discovering the parrot flock and the individual personalities of it. In a cinematic portrait, we are introduced to his colorful companions and the relationship they share as well as the realities of urban wild life that would change Bittner’s life forever. Written by Kenneth Chisholm (kchishol@rogers.com)

Payton says: “I thought that The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill was a great movie. It was very interesting to find out that there is a parrot flock living in San Francisco. It was also very moving. Mark Bittner had to give away the parrots that he cared for inside his house that had special needs. He liked one of them a lot, and was forced to give him away. Then after he left his house, the director came to take pictures of one of his favorite bird, Connor. They knew it was him because the flock had red heads, but he had blue. Then they realized that the picture was taken the day he died. A local caught a photo of a hawk landing on a bird. The found a blue spot under it’s claw. This movie was very sad but very happy. It reminded me to spend more time with my pets, otherwise it might be too late to say good-bye. I would give it 5 stars.”

Ava says: “It was a very good movie.  I would actually like to see it again. I would give it 4 and 1/2 stars.”

Jack says: “The movie was awesome. It had a great order of scenes. It had the right scenes at the right times. Funny, sad, weird, and happy were all tied together to make the sequence spectacular. Even though it was a one man cast, with the 45 parrots it seemed like a 46 man cast. Each parrot had a different personality. There were different personalities, different looks, but they were all the same in this way….they were all like people! It was weird to see parrots in San Francisco flying and living all around the place. It did not seem normal at first but at the end I was looking forward to seeing cherry head parrots. One thing I was wondering about was why wouldn’t the parrots fly away. I just answered my own question! They wanted to be with their master. The movie reminded me to spend time with my cats so they know I really love them. This probably was the best movie I have reviewed this year so far. I give this movie an truly overall 100% 5 stars!”

Vanessa says: ” I enjoyed learning how a temperate urban area like San Francisco could become home to wild tropical birds.  The climate is adequate for many subtropical plants that landscapers use to improve curb appeal.  Consequently a food supply is made available to many non-native species of tropical animals.  The birds seem also to have acclimated to the often chilly temperatures of Northern California.  Tropical and exotic pets are set free or lost all over the United States but rarely can a non-native population grow and thrive in such a way.  What I would have like to have heard more about in this film is the effect these events have on native ecosystems of California. They rushed through that part to make room for a very sweet story about a man who becomes a part of this flock.  The birds learn to trust him as he studies and records their behavior.  He learns to truly love and care for these animals and is truly changed by the realization that they are able to return these same “human” emotions.  3 stars.”

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