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.