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Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill: 04/18/07
I heard about the documentary about the wild parrots on NPR and when they mentioned the book I wanted to read it. My reasons were two fold: experience with another flock of parrots (in South Pasadena) and because I live so near San Francisco. A generous BookCrosser RABCKed me a copy last year and I've just finished reading the book to RABCK the book on to another BookCrosser.
While the book had some interesting chapters, over all it was a bit of a disappointment. I was hoping for another memoir of a layman's learning of a subject as in Cats Are Not Peas but Bittner's book is more about his own inertia than about his process to learn about the parrots.
My favorite chapter is "The Science of It" where Bittner gives a brief rundown of the biology of the parrots, what they are, where they are from, and their history in the city. Unfortunately he never fully pursues any of these threads. I would have loved to read more about the history of the parrot flocks in San Francisco.
Instead, the book is padded with the names for the various birds, how they are fed, and so forth. After the second or so chapter introducing yet another parrot and his or her daily activities, I just started skimming hoping for a few more nuggets of interesting information.