ARCHIVE: Animal Control saves parakeets after tree falls

June 14, 2004 (CHICAGO, Ill.) "To me it was like a monument," said one by-stander. "Full of pretty birds."

But now the 100-year-old ash tree is going, going and soon will be gone. The tree, near 53rd and South Shore Drive, had been filled with monk parakeets for about the last twenty-five years. We shot this video of other monk parakeets two years ago for another story. This past Saturday they lost their tree and their home.

"All of a sudden I heard this noise, a big boom and I looked and I looked and the tree was coming down and I ran out there," said Brenda Cochran, who saw the tree collapse.

Brenda Cochran, who works across the street, was worried about people being under the tree. That wasn't the case but the birds' huge nests were crushed in the fall. Nests filled with birds too young to fly. Animal care and control and the park district came to the rescue.

"Animal Control came over and picked them up. They were picking them up all the birds that were on the ground. They were just trying to collect birds. Get all the birds together," said Rudy Tapia, Chicago Park District tree surgeon.

When animal control arrived apparently it was quite the chaotic scene. The adult monk parakeets were flying all over the place. The babies were trapped in their nests. They rescued the babies and then using material from the crushed nests they built a new nest up there in the crook of that tree.

"That was beautiful, yes," said Brenda Cochran, who saw them save the birds. "Yes they did. That was beautiful."

We couldn't see the 50 well concealed birds today but animal control says they should be flying within a few weeks.

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