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The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill (2003)

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A homeless musician finds meaning to his life when he starts a friendship with dozens of parrots.


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Cast overview:
Mark Bittner ...


In San Francisco, there are at least two flocks of largely wild parrots who flock around the city. This film focuses on the flock of cherry-headed conures (and a lonely blue-headed one named Connor) who flock around the Telegraph Hill region of the city and their closest human companion, Mark Bittner . Through his own words, we learn of his life as a frustrated, homeless musician and how he came to live in the area where he decided to explore the nature around him. That lead him to discovering the parrot flock and the individual personalities of it. In a cinematic portrait, we are introduced to his colorful companions and the relationship they share as well as the realities of urban wild life that would change Bittner's life forever. Written by Kenneth Chisholm (kchishol@rogers.com)

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The true story of a bohemian St Francis and his remarkable relationship with a flock of wild red and green parrots




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Release Date:

27 May 2005 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Дикие попугаи с Телеграф Хилл  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$104,986, 18 February 2005, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$3,058,229, 11 June 2006
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Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The flock of wild parrots fly behind the red-tailed hawk in order to escape it. See more »


Mark Bittner: We're all one river till we hit this cliff. That distance between the top of the cliff and the bottom of the cliff is our life. And all the individual little droplets think they really are individual little droplets until they hit the bottom, and then they're gone. But that droplet doesn't lose anything, it gains. It gains the rest of the river.
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Ain't We Got Fun
Music by Richard A. Whiting (uncredited) and lyrics by Ray Egan (uncredited) and Gus Kahn (uncredited)
Performed by Jack Kerouac
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User Reviews

Remarkable movie about a warm-hearted man
6 March 2005 | by See all my reviews

For a number of reasons, there are flocks of parrots in several cities around the USA; these are not native birds, but imports from the tropics. Sometimes people complain about their raucous, noisy behavior, but usually onlookers are charmed by the colorful, intelligent birds.

Even San Francisco has a few of these flocks, one centering on Telegraph Hill. Mark Bittner, a jobless but not irresponsible man living for several years on the Hill became curious about the parrots--mostly cherry-topped conures--and eventually befriended them, spending much of his time feeding the chipper, clever birds.

This movie is really about the man, not the birds, and shows how and why he became so attached to them. Bittner is an intelligent, thoughtful man, and sometimes engages in persuasive self-examination. He talks about particular birds, describing their distinctive traits, and the director uses footage that depicts these traits, winning and otherwise.

It's an oddly fascinating movie, respectful and warm toward the birds and their caretaker--and gradually turns into something even more extraordinary: a love letter to an unusual man. This is very highly recommended.

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