LIFE

This Cemetery Was Built In 1838, But Now It’s Overrun By Green Parakeets And Their Huge Nests

by Kristin Avery
Kristin shares a Chicago home with a dog, a rabbit, two cats, a husband, and an 11-year-old daughter.

I don’t live in New York anymore, but a part of me will always be a New Yorker. Now, I get my New York fix by learning about the history, legends, and hidden gems of my favorite city — like the Argentinian monk parakeets of Green-Wood Cemetery!

Space is limited in New York, but there’s one place that is nearly 500 acres and home to over half a million people — none of them living.

Built in 1838 in Brooklyn, Green-Wood Cemetery is full of secrets and mysteries. Historian Jeff Richman says the birds were originally part of a shipment through Kennedy airport in the 1980s.

“Apparently a crate broke open and they made a run for it, and they have been here ever since,” he explains.

The chatty birds have built nests in the arches of the cemetery entrance and now greet the thousands of bird-watchers from around the world who visit them every year. Because New York’s climate is very similar to Argentina’s, the parakeets feel right at home and live in the cemetery year-round.

In addition to these wonderful birds, the Green-Wood cemetery is the permanent residence for many famous residents, including Leonard Bernstein, toy tycoon F.A.O. Schwartz, and baseball legend Charles Ebbets.

Whether you are a bird lover or New York trivia buff like me, please SHARE this fun story on Facebook!

Footage provided by WPIX New York

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