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California’s Parrots: Fall Color on the Wing

Nanday Conure in Sycamore (11/28/15) Kathy Jonokuchi

Nanday Conure in Sycamore (11/28/15) Kathy Jonokuchi

As leaves fall from deciduous trees, flocks of exotic parrots become visible at points along the California coast.

While their loud screeching may be heard at other times of year, many of the parrots are seen infrequently, as their yellow-green feathers camouflage them in the foliage. That is, until late autumn.

The flocks likely started from a few pet birds that escaped or were released by owners, and who now number several hundred. Thirteen species of South American, African and Asian parrots have become naturalized in California and are becoming a seasonal attraction.

The most famous of them (visible year round) are San Francisco’s “Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill,” a mix of cherry-headed conures, that were chronicled in an award-winning documentary of the same name (seen below).

In Los Angeles County, black-hooded parakeets (Nanday Conures) flock together during the late days of autumn where they feed from western San Bernardino County west to Malibu on liquidambar and sycamore seed pods and king palm seeds.

The annual reappearance of a flock of Nandays, known as the Pasadena Parrots, are a colorful herald to preparations for the town’s Tournament of Roses celebrations.

Southern California color spotter Kathy Jonokuchi captured one such group of black-hooded parakeets squawking while roosting in a sycamore tree (seen above).

CLICK HERE to read more about California’s parrots.

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Indian Summer Across California

Hakone Gardens (11/4/12) Barbara Steinberg

Warm days (80s) have returned to California this week, though rain and snow are predicted for the coming weekend.  A return to warmer weather is actually just fine for sustained fall color, since warm days and cool nights intensify color.

Barbara Steinberg sends this lovely photograph of the Hakone Gardens in San Jose and Scott, a hiker who blogs at reports orange and gold appearing among the black oak along the Observatory trail on Mt. Palomar in Southern California.

We were in West Hollywood, Los Angeles and Pasadena this past weekend and saw very little color change among the few deciduous trees evident, there.  Pleasant temperatures in the 70s and 80s will provide a much appreciated Indian Summer across California this week.