Parrots knock out electricity

April 21, 2009 at 5:10 PM

NEW YORK, April 21 (UPI) -- Power company Con Ed said about 1,500 customers in a New York neighborhood lost electricity due to Quaker parrots nesting in equipment.

The company said the customers were without power for about 45 minutes Monday because of problems caused by the nests of the parrots, also known as monk parakeets, the New York Post reported Tuesday.

"These things are prolific -- very prolific -- and the reason they build these condos of nests around our lines is the warmth," Con Ed spokesman Chris Olert said.

Olert said the power outage in the Beechhurst neighborhood of the city's Queens borough was caused when heavy rains soaked the birds' nests and caused electrical equipment to overheat. He said the situation has happened several times before and costs $20,000 to repair each time.

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