The Hamptons Police Department Environmental Squad (HPDES) sent out an urgent bulletin on Monday to let citizens know that anyone harming Bobby—the famous budgerigar parakeet who gained a massive YouTube following this year after he began nesting with piping plovers in Sagaponack—would be charged as if they were harming the protected birds with whom he lives.
According to the bulletin, it has been ruled that Bobby identifies as a piping plover and should therefore be allowed all the rights and protections of his chosen species. “It is unprecedented to find a parakeet so naturally identifying as a piping plover, and it is our belief that Bobby truly is what his actions prove him to be,” the HPDES findings conclude.
Piping plovers are a threatened species on the Atlantic Coast. Harming or interfering with these birds or one of their eggs can earn violators up to six months in prison and fines to the tune of $25,000. Bobby, who must have escaped captivity from a local home last summer, is hard to miss among his plover brethren thanks to the tropical bird’s green, yellow and black plumage. “If you see him, don’t try to catch him,” police said. “Stay away, if you know what’s good for you.”