News Channel 12 Connecticut

(04/27/08) STRATFORD – United Illuminating has issued an eviction notice against monk parakeets nesting on their power poles, much to the chagrin of animal advocates.

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The power company intends on taking down more than 60 nests beginning Monday. United Illuminating officials say the birds pose a safety hazard.

“We’ve had power outages, fires caused by these nests,” says spokesperson Al Carbone.

This isn’t the first such incident for the company. In 2005, United Illuminating removed all nests and had the birds destroyed. Friends of Animals, a local animal rights group, took the company to court in 2006 in an attempt to protect the wildlife.

The group’s president, Priscilla Feral, acknowledges the nests must go. However, she says moving the nests now is particularly cruel since it is breeding season. Feral likens the company’s action to throwing a pregnant mother out on the street.

“The parents are capable of flying, the chicks aren’t,” she says. “So they’re doomed, why would you smash the life out of baby chicks?”

Power officials claim the breeding season doesn’t begin until May and defend the actions they’re taking as necessary and not cruel.