Parrots in Palm Trees

Not my usual, but typical for Ocean Beach, the San Diego neighborhood we are visiting. We are staying in a small one bedroom apartment a block from the ocean. Our first evening, there were a lot of sounds to acclimate to in this new environment. Our neighborhood is densely populated, but we are on a quiet-enough residential street, at least as far as car and human traffic is concerned.

The parrots are not so quiet. That first night, there was an enormous amount of squawking coming from the tall palms bordering the street. Obviously birds of some sort, I was unable to see anything, and I didn’t immediately identify the sound as parrots, not having much history with these birds. The next morning, I looked more closely and still couldn’t make an ID. That afternoon, I saw some heads sticking up that looked parrotlike, and then I began to see more. Pairs of birds chasing around, squawking at each other and other birds, flying through the neighborhood.

Apparently, they’ve been around 50-plus years, starting from captive parrots that escaped and “went native”. This is non-verified, coming from conversation with a local.  This reminded me of a documentary I saw on PBS called The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill, which was a fascinating look at both the parrots of a San Francisco neighborhood, and the man who interacts with them.

I’m fascinated how my own ability to see the parrots has improved over a few days. And at the same time, their sound has become background, less attention grabbing than it first was. Its amazing how we are able to adjust our sensory input and monitoring to differing circumstances, adjusting to what is typical, whether traffic sounds or birdsong. Almost as remarkable as parrots living in palm trees is to this Colorado resident.



12 thoughts on “Parrots in Palm Trees

    1. You are correct–the photo, which I took from Pixabay, was labeled parrot, not macaw, and my ignorance is showing. The birds in San Diego are parrots, but I wasn’t able to get any decent pix. Thanks for teaching me!

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      1. Aw- it wasn’t meant as criticism- I was just shocked that a macaw flock would be loose. Yes, there are wild parrots in a lot of coastal cities now. Were you visiting San Diego? That is where I lived- Encinitas. Anza Borrego is about a 2-hour drive east. Hope you enjoyed your time there.

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      2. I always like feedback, and if I’ve got something wrong, I’d rather know and learn. Even if I won’t change the pic. Yes, we’ve just spent 4 nights in SD–staying at ocean beach, getting an ocean and growing things fix. I like Encinitas–stayed there many years ago–remember oatmeal pancakes at a diner on mainstreet.

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    1. Oh yes! They are quite wonderful! I miss my 23 y/o Macaw that died suddenly and it was the day after Thanksgiving and 3 weeks later I had to have my 14 y/o Bull Terrier put to sleep. The day after he died was my bday, Dec.19th. One of the saddest bdays of my life! I need to read some writings on WordPress but was so distraught I forgot the name of the article. Any guidance is appreciated. Thanks. Also, that was kind that you told tripmonkey about the Macaw name because it would have been mentioned eventually and sometimes people are so rude. You were kind and educated him just as someone did me more than a few years ago!;) Theresa

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  1. It’s true about the parrots. They’re not native to OB. It’s just like the Parrots of Telegraph Hill. I used to love it when they’d fly around my neighborhood which is in the little scary “borough” of City Heights, about 8-10 miles east of you.

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