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).
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