Many birds could cause parrot fever

I felt I must respond to the letter “Parrots don’t belong on the street” (Jan. 15).

Parrot fever is not relegated to parrots. It occurs in parrots, doves, pigeons, mynah birds and turkeys. One must have very close contact with bird feces, such as cleaning an infected bird’s cage or handling a sick bird, to contract this form of chlamydia. The Quaker parrots have no more or less likelihood of harboring this disease than any of the other common birds in Queens.

As for parrots on telephone poles, these birds are just the next in a long line of species to have adapted to this environment. There has been a long history of “avian invaders,” including the now−ubiquitous rock dove, aka pigeon; European starling; house finch; red−breasted nuthatch; and Canada goose, to name a few.

You may say that it would be better for these parrots to live in a bird sanctuary, but history has shown us that these birds have their own opinion of what constitutes suitable housing.

Susan Chesloff


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