Every year, about this same time, they arrive. A flock of 3-6 wild parrots make their home in our front yard, high in the tree tops. They feel right at home in the hundred year old date palm trees. You can see them feasting on dates & squawking..and boy are they loud! If you gawk at them too long though, they seem to shy away and fly off to the next tree. I've made many attempts to place diced apples and cantaloupe on top of a wall near the tree, but they have never ventured down to eat. It was difficult to photograph them without a proper camera, but if the picture turns out, I'll post it later on.
I've read that California is now home to at least 7,000 parrots who are living wild from San Francisco to San Diego. They are beautiful birds , quite colorful with their crested red heads. Here's a picture that was taken by a photographer in San Francisco. It gives you an idea of how lovely these birds are.
Unfortunately, most of these birds were smuggled into the United States across the Mexico-US border. They get stuffed into boxes and hidden inside car trunks and truck beds. These parrots are usually captured in the tropics of Southern Mexico and sold to US pet shops and even sold at flea markets. It's not uncommon to find 50-100 of these gorgeous wild birds in one smuggler's possession, and many do not even make it out alive. A few may have been pets who were let go because they were "too much trouble", or escaped on their own. These are the sad hard facts, but as I watched them fly off, I can't help but be amazed at their beauty and to be happy that they are at least free again, even if not in their native habitat.
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