The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill (2005)



Critic Consensus: Interesting and appealing as both a study of man and nature.

Movie Info

Telegraph Hill is a neighborhood in one of the hillier sections of San Francisco that over the years has become home to a large flock of wild parrots. While no one is certain how they got there, the birds were for the most part left to their own devices until they were discovered by Mark Bittner. A street musician and self-described "Dharma bum," Bittner had no practical background in ornithology when he first encountered the parrots, but it wasn't long before he developed a close bond with them … More

Rating: G
Genre: Documentary, Special Interest
Directed By:
Written By: Mark Bittner
In Theaters:
On DVD: Oct 28, 2008
Box Office: $2.7M
Shadow Distribution - Official Site


as Urban Legend

as Urban Legend

as Mark's Neighbour

as Urban Legend

as Chairman Animal Cont...

as Urban Legend

as Mark's Neighbour

as Lorikeet Aviary Cura...

as Mark's "Landlord"

as Mark's "Landlord"
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Critic Reviews for The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill

All Critics (107) | Top Critics (36)

The beautiful shots of San Francisco's lush Telegraph Hill are captivating by themselves, but the film's greatest achievement is its humanity.

Full Review… | December 9, 2005
Miami Herald
Top Critic

A bright window into the wild kingdom just outside our door that most of us barely notice, if at all.

Full Review… | July 15, 2005
Toronto Star
Top Critic

A cornball charmer of a film with some beautiful birds and homespun wisdom.

Full Review… | July 15, 2005
Globe and Mail
Top Critic

Profile of a gentle, caring, and sensitive man who models for us the empathy and respect we should have for all animals large and small.

Full Review… | July 25, 2012
Spirituality and Practice

Fall in love with these brave and beautiful birds.

Full Review… | December 29, 2010
Common Sense Media

A documentary which captures an eccentric ornithologist communing with his flock with an intimacy that's almost unimaginable.

Full Review… | May 25, 2007
Sly Fox

Audience Reviews for The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill


A beautiful documentary about a truly unique subject. However, I question the motivation, the "honesty" behind closing with the highly speculative killing of Connor by the hawk. As in all life writing, I also question the "truth," in this case, of "miraculously" returning to the scene to capture Connor on film on his last day of life. Kind of reminds me of Jack Nicholson lauding the rule of coincidence in our lives in The Passenger.

Lanning : )

Super Reviewer


Sweet, charming and very noisy.

Julie B

Super Reviewer

A look at the flock of wild parrots that live in a neighborhood of San Fransisco and the remarkable individual (Mark Bittner) that studied and cared for them over a period of years. Mark was able to interact with the birds on a personal level, calling them by name, to nurse them through injuries and disease, and yet allowed them to remain free. He has also written a book about his experiences. This was fascinating. The extras include well over an hour of additional footage and information about the the birds and their lives since the footage that was used in the main body of the film. This film reached me on a deeper level than I exected. I found myself invested in the lives of these magnificent creatures and the man whose heart was tuned to them and was quite moved by this film.

Mark Abell
Mark Abell

Super Reviewer

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