I know, parrots started out wild. We’ve only “domesticated” them for a short time considering the span of years man has existed. But in California, and other parts of the States at least, birds have escaped or been released in various ways, and thrive in their new environment. Some species are endangered in their native land, and these naturalized citizens may be the key to preventing extinction.
Probably the most famous naturalized parrots are the San Francisco cherry headed conures made famous in the movie, The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wu67HS_5uGg The movie is well made and fun to watch, but I so wish to go to Telegraph Hill some day to see these birds in person.
Next, possibly, are the East Coast Quaker parrots, also known as monk parakeets. These birds are banned as pets in California, but thrive in New Jersey and New York. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v9DnAgWOhtU They are the only parrots to build nests instead of using tree cavities. They also build communal nests, huge structures that amaze anyone who observes them. These are on my bucket list of birds to see as well.
As a native of San Diego County, I am thrilled that parrots like to live here, too. This article says the parrots have come up from Mexico and Central America when their habitats diminished. http://sdnews.com/view/full_story/21895985/article-Noisy–but-beautifully-exotic-wild-parrots-call-San-Diego-home-?instance=most_popular1 Here’s a great video of a flock in the area. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1cLvpiA3K_c I’m sure the homeowner grew those plants with parrots in mind!
There’s a great organization called SoCal Parrot (http://www.socalparrot.org/) which stands as a caregiver to injured parrots and rehabilitates as many as they can. They have a facility in Jamul, CA, but they release the healthy parrots anywhere that flocks have been seen. They also track wild flocks in the area, so if you have heard or seen any, please use the link on their web page to let them know the details. These fun folks also will come talk to your group (Scouts, church, bird club) about the work they do and bring great slide shows featuring their beautiful aviaries and ambassador birds.
That’s a quick mid-week post! Have fun watching the videos.