San Diego, CA

No, You're Not Imagining The High Pitched Screech. San Diego's Green Parrot Invaders Have Returned.

J. Maginot

Like the Swallows of San Juan Capistrano, San Diego's Green Parrots Have Made Their Annual Springtime Pilgrimage.

If you've noticed the sky seems awfully noisy lately, you aren't alone. San Diego's green parrot flocks are out in full force now that Spring has sprung.

While there are no parrots native to San Diego (though there appear to be some extinct species in the anthropological record) there are now more than 1,100 parrots that call San Diego home. There are 9 known distinct species of parrots in the county according to the Handa Ornithology Lab, run by Leslie Handa.

While they are nice to look at, parrots are rather noisy and can have a tendency to infiltrate neighborhoods all over the county. This can cause a problem for homeowners from early spring to late summer when the birds are most active.

Because the birds aren't native to the region, they are considered invasive, but experts who have studied all 9 of the flocks assure San Diegans that they pose no real risk to the region's ecosystem. They're just a bit loud.

Rumor has it that the birds are the descendants of former pets that were let loose decades ago. It's a plausible theory, though there's no way to be sure. Karen Strauss of the San Diego Bird Festival thinks that these birds may have been pets, or they may have migrated from Mexico where they are native.

“People like to have birds, especially parrots, as pets,” Straus said. “But sometimes, maybe there’s a behavior problem with the bird or maybe [the owners] are moving and they can’t take the bird with them, so the birds are simply released into the wild or the birds may escape into the wild.” - OB Rag

It may not be possible to divine the bird's origin story with certainty, but with new reports flooding in for 2022, it looks as though San Diego's noisy parrots are doing just fine.

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San Diego, CA

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