Mark Bittner

Mark Bittner, with a long ponytail and brown-gray beard, sits outside wearing thick glasses and a denim jacket and looking into the distance

Mark Bittner was born and raised in southwestern Washington State. His ambition as a teenager was to be a great novelist, but Mark was alarmed by the uniformly miserable fates of all the writers whom he loved. So he decided to pursue a career in music instead. After hitchhiking through Europe in search of experience, he moved to San Francisco determined to sink or swim as a poet-singer-songwriter. He sank. Completely bereft, he turned to spiritual seeking and ended up on the street where he spent the next 14 years. Ultimately his search led him to the wild parrot flock, which, in turn, led him back to writing, and his first book: The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill: A Love Story ...with Wings.

Mark Bittner talks about his relationship with the flock, whether or not he's a parrot expert and the surprising turn of events since he befriended the cherry-headed conures.

Read a Q&A with Mark Bittner >>

Read Mark's responses to viewer questions >>

In January, 2004, Harmony Books published Mark Bittner's memoir The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill: A Love Story ...with Wings. In February 2005, timed with the film's theatrical release, Three Rivers Press published the paperback version.

Read an excerpt about Mark's experiences with the flock >>


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