Thanks to a question from the public, I got to investigate the origin story of Chicago’s wild parrot population for WBEZ’s Curious City. 
Chicago residents told me the following:
A University of Chicago experiment went awry and the birds escaped
The birds escaped from a holding pen at O’Hare
A truck on its way to a pet store overturned and let the parrots loose
The government put them here
They stowed away in ships and flew out at ports like Calumet
Those urban legends are fun — but we needed an expert. Lucky for us, University of Chicago’s Dr. Pruett-Jones ( no, not that Dr. Jones) had some answers for us…
And as promised, there’s a pirate joke. 

Thanks to a question from the public, I got to investigate the origin story of Chicago’s wild parrot population for WBEZ’s Curious City. 

Chicago residents told me the following:

  • A University of Chicago experiment went awry and the birds escaped
  • The birds escaped from a holding pen at O’Hare
  • A truck on its way to a pet store overturned and let the parrots loose
  • The government put them here
  • They stowed away in ships and flew out at ports like Calumet

Those urban legends are fun — but we needed an expert. Lucky for us, University of Chicago’s Dr. Pruett-Jones ( no, not that Dr. Jones) had some answers for us…

And as promised, there’s a pirate joke. 

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