Weird California
Weird California
Weird California - By Joe Parzanese

Pasadena Parrots

Map Pasadena, California 91107

Photo courtesy of Salvatore Angius of CaliforniaFlocks
Photo courtesy of Salvatore Angius of CaliforniaFlocks

Photo courtesy of Salvatore Angius of <a href=''>CaliforniaFlocks</a>
Photo courtesy of Salvatore Angius of CaliforniaFlocks

Shocking as it may seem, Pasadena is home to hundreds of parrots.

The popular theory is that a they came from Simpson's Nursery in east Pasadena on East Colorado Blvd in the Lamanda Park area. It caught on fire in 1969. (Alternately I've seen some stories state the name was Simpson's Gardenland and Bird Farm which burnt down in 1959) Either the parrots were released to save them from the fires or they managed to escape on their own in time. From these parrots, the Pasadena Parrots came about. Other stories claim that the parrots have migrated up from Mexico but others still state they were originally black market birds released by smugglers .

Although no one seems sure how they actually ended up in Southern California, at least six and possibly as many as thirteen different species have been spotted in southern California. The different species even inter-breed at times. Pasadena's website states that they are yellowhead amazon parrots, an endangered species that has been kept as pets for decades because they are some of the best "talkers" amongst the many different species of parrot. Additionally California's Parrot Project and California Flocks keep track and offer up information on the different species of parrots found in the state.

Species that have been identified in Southern California by include: Yellow Chevroned Parakeets, Mitred Conures, Blue Crowned Conures, Indian Ringneck Parrots, Nanday Conures, Yellow Head Amazons, Blue Fronted Amazons, Lilac Crowned Amazons, Green Cheeked Amazons, Red Masked Conures, Red Lored Amazon and White Fronted Amazons.

The birds are no longer contained in the Pasadena area, but have been seen in several parts of the greater Los Angeles area, parts of San Diego, and even some towns in Central California including Bakersfield! Additionally San Francisco has a flock of over 200 Cherry-headed Conures that live and fly around Telegraph Hill.

Both photos are courtesy of Salvatore Angius of CaliforniaFlocks. They are of wild Yellowheaded Amazons found in the wild Pasadena flocks.

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First Created: 2007-02-07
Last Edited: 2014-03-07

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