WILD PARROT PLAYGROUND
Proposal: A giant playground for the feral parrots that live in cities like San Francisco, Pasadena, Chicago, Austin, Miami, Perth, and Auckland.
This colorful bird gym will be brimming with chew toys, rope knots, swings, perches, and shiny bells for the whole flock. Providing distinctive activities from the usual options of the cityscape, the playground may be comfortingly familiar to recently released or escaped parrots and other medium-sized birds.
Form: A single temporary sculpture, or a series of sculptures designed by different artists.
Featured Materials: Cotton rope for parrots to untie, shreddable soft wood chunks, and other bird safe materials.
Location: Public parks and pedestrian plazas close to where parrots roost or along their flight paths. Sculpture would be placed at treetop level. Viewing platforms for humans could be incorporated, or it could be sited where publicly accessible balconies, rooftop patios, and high-rise buildings already exist.
This project was conceived while in residence at Grand Central Art Center in Santa Ana, California, where a flock of vividly-colored parrots flew over the residence every day at sunrise and dusk. The tropical birds were always at a distance; this proposed public art project would provide a way to observe these intelligent creatures more closely without disturbing them.
Images: From internet searches of “bird gym,” “parrot play gym,” “DIY bird stands,” and related terms. Sources include exoticwooddreams.com, pet.cagesbird.com, bonkabirdtoys.com, Etsy, eBay, and others.