Synopses & Reviews
The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill
is the inspiring story of how one man found his life’s work—and true love—among a gang of wild parrots roosting in one of America’s most picturesque urban settings.
Mark Bittner was down on his luck. He’d gone to San Francisco at the age of twenty-one to take a stab at a music career, but he hadn’t had much success. After many years as an odd-jobber in the area, he accepted work as a housekeeper for an elderly woman. The gig came with a rent-free studio apartment on the city’s famed Telegraph Hill, which had somehow become home to a flock of brilliantly colored wild parrots.
In this unforgettable story, Bittner recounts how he became fascinated by the birds and made up his mind to get to know them and gain their trust. He succeeds to such a degree that he becomes the local wild parrot expert and a tourist attraction. People can’t help gawking at the man who, during daily feedings, stands with parrots perched along both arms and atop his head. When a documentary filmmaker comes along to capture the phenomenon on film, the story takes a surprising turn, and Bittner’s life truly takes flight.
"[Bittner] successfully inspires readers to find nature and peace in whatever place on the planet they happen to occupy."
James D. Gilardi, Ph.D., Director, World Parrot Trust
"A pleasure and an education."
"Bittner is an excellent writer. By the end of his tale, you will no longer see humans as the center of the universe, if you ever did."
"a healthy dose of inspiration disguised as oddball autobiography" Elle Magazine
About the Author
MARK BITTNER is the subject of a documentary film, also titled The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill, directed by Judy Irving. The film qualified for consideration in the “Best Feature Documentary” category in the 2003 Academy Awards. Mark still lives in San Francisco on Telegraph Hill. Visit the book’s website at www.wildparrotsbook.com and the film’s at www.pelicanmedia.org.
Table of Contents
A rolling stone -- Mansion on the hill -- A joyful encounter -- A question of trust -- Mandela -- The science of it -- Dogen -- Everything changes -- Bucky -- Paco and company -- A walk on the wild side -- Rage against the light -- Tupelo -- Back out in the world -- Free as a bird -- Fleeting happiness -- Snyder -- Act naturally -- Consiousness explained -- A late fledge.