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Parrot nest comes down

Parrot lovers in Port Orchard rejoiced Thursday as the Quakers’ nest on Mitchell Avenue was taken down and every parrot remained free.

According to Port Orchard resident and free-parrot enthusiast Fred Olin, the nest was removed from the cell tower around 7 p.m. Thursday evening.

Olin said that while there were no eggs or fledglings in the nest, several adult birds returned to the nest while it was being excavated, made a considerable amount of noise and then flew away.

“It was a time of relief and joy because there were no eggs or babies in the nest,” said local bird enthusiast Cate Clark, who had offered to keep the birds in captivity and care for them.

“There were tears for the two adults that returned to find their nest gone,” she said.

Clark admits she has been swayed by the people and research she’s come across since the beginning of her ordeal.

“My position has changed considerably,” Clark said. “I still have concerns about their welfare and I still believe that being in captivity would be better for them in the long run. But on the other hand, I (also) feel as though they should remain free.

“I’ve just been around a lot of passionate people,” she said. “There’s two sides to every story.”

According to Clark, once it set in that all the noise they could muster would not bring their nest back, they began to rebuild.

“If the pole doesn’t come down soon, we may be going through this once again,” Clark said. “They were absolutely intent on rebuilding.”

“If we can’t have the tower with the nest in it then tear down the nest,” Olin proclaimed. “Tear down the nest, tear down the tower, take the trapper and get...out of Port Orchard.”

Olin hopes the parrots will eventually rebuild their nest in another location and that the birds’ presence will cease to be an issue. As far as he knows, Olin said, the birds have not been caught.

“It either didn’t work, or (the trappers) gave up,” Olin said.

Olin said not even the Olympic Bird Fanciers Club could capture the birds.

“Those people,” Olin said, “there hearts are in the right place and they do what they do for a really good reason, but the best thing is for the birds to be free, and they are free. It’s a happy day in Port Orchard.”

Olin said the future of the Port Orchard parrot population remains to be seen.

Olin shared his vision for the parrots of Port Orchard last month, a vision that allows Cingular Wireless, which wants to raze the cell phone tower on which the original nest was built, to share in the parrots’ fame.

The key element — a huge sign featuring parrot talking on a cell phone.

“I envision Cingular donating or selling a nearby city storage building to the city, or a nonprofit, and turning it into the ‘Cingular Wireless Parrot Visitor’s Center,’” Olin said.

According to Olin, his research supports the idea that Cingular could leave the tower and build another right next to it.

“(The ‘Visitor’s Center’) could be staffed by volunteer docents, residents of the senior housing next door, and could contain and sell parrot books, tapes and nutritional food packets packaged by the Olympic Bird Fanciers Club,” Olin expounded.

His vision does not end there.

“Visitors could follow a ‘parrot trail’ from downtown or take the ‘parrot bus’ (Route 4) using a ‘parrot pass,’” which, according to Olin, includes a free trip back.

According to Clark, the birds will build another nest on or near the site their old nest was. She is currently advocating the construction of platforms for the birds to weave their nests on so they don’t have to use telephone poles and communication towers.

“Other states have utilize this program and have had success,” Clark said. “Again, it is providing another option for these wonderful little creatures.”

For more information on the platforms, contact awsanctuary@aol.com.

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