I have an exhibition coming up in a few weeks, and I am slowly (probably too slowly) preparing work for it. I have been fascinated by the stories of the birds living in Barcelona and wanted to explore the little histories of my avian friends living here in the city. Many of these birds are ones that I had never seen before coming to Barcelona, and the Quaker or Monk parrots that zipped overhead as I wandered through a gloomy cold February when I first moved to the city were like little gems of positivity in a time where I was disorientated by finding myself in an unknown and new world.
They are a non-indigenous species and apparently quite invasive, pushing out birds that would normally inhabit the area surrounding Barcelona. However I do feel that human beings are far more dangerous to the natural fauna and flora, rather than these colourful and noisy birds. And really they have a bad reputation more for the supposed fact that they have caused millions of Euros worth of damage to crops in various nations, rather than being blamed for ousting the indigenous birds.
They hail from South America, and according to the rumours created a colony in Barcelona from a few escapee pets, or a fugitive flock from the zoo. Although the facts are fuzzy, you have to be impressed by their achievements against the odds, and their now 1700 strong population.
They build large communal nests, and I watched them nibble off branches on a tree before drifting up into the palm fronds to create their small apartments where they squabble with each other non-stop. You can see Quakers in many European cities, and there are colonies in New York as well.