Saturday, June 28, 2014

The Parrots of Southern California

We haven't done any serious birding in over a month now. The reason for this was either rainy, or extremely hot, weather conditions. Sometimes both occurring in a single day. It is true that we have gone birding under similar situations before but now age has been creeping up on us and the allure of an airconditioned room had become quite irresistible.

So while it was during one of those lazy days that I dug into my old files to look for some bird photographs that I wanted to post in the internet. I remembered posting in Facebook a few days ago where I stated that some tropical bird species have made Southern California their home. Among these are several varieties of parrots. I have been lucky enough to document most of them and I thought it would be a good idea to present them here while I am enjoying the comforts of a cool room (in contrast to the sweltering heat outside).

While waiting for the hot, humid days to pass, may I present..

The Parrots of San Gabriel Valley, California:

Blue-crowned Parakeet (Thectocercus acuticaudus)
Although a native of South America, the Blue-crowned Parakeets have become established in Southern California. My wife and I saw a pair in Peck Road Park in South El Monte. That was the only time we saw this species and that was in January, 2007.

Orange-fronted Parakeet (Eupsittula canicularis)
A resident western Mexico to Costa Rica, we were surprised to see a single bird near the parking lot of Hansen Dam in Los Angeles back in August, 2005. In all probability this was a very recent escapee since there were no reports of an established feral population anywhere in California.

Mitred Parakeet (Psittacara mitratus)
It was in October, 2008, while on the way to our home in South Pasadena that we spotted this huge, colorful bird perched on a fruiting just beside the parking lot of the local Rite-Aid store. A native of Peru to eastern Bolivia, there is somewhat large population thriving in the Los Angeles area - from the coasts of Malibu to the Orange County and of course, in the San Gabriel Valley.

Red-crowned Amazon (Amazona viridigenalis)
Arguably, this is the most common species of Parrot in Southern California. We've seen it many times in different places. The photo above was taken in El Monte in January of 2007. Eaton Canyon in Pasadena is another place where the Red-crowned Amazon is often seen. This bird is a native of north-east Mexico.

Red-lored Amazon (Amazona autumnalis)
We almost missed this one because it looked so much alike the more common Red-crowned Amazon. However the yellow cheek gave it away. This bird was photographed along the street in San Gabriel City in December, 2009. It is a native of central America and northwestern South America.

Yellow-chevroned Parakeet (Brotogeris chiriri)
This tiny bird occurs mainly south of the Amazon Region. We have seen the Yellow-Chevroned several times also, more often at the Los Angeles Arboretum in Arcadia. This one, however, was at the parking lot of Legg Lake Park in South El Monte back in December of 2008.

1 comment:

eileeninmd said...

Gorgeous parrots and lovely photos. Awesome sightings and post.