Thursday, December 13, 2012
Our Great Communicators
Our local parrots are known for squawking like crazy, and they're frequently on the move. Yesterday, as I left for work, they left their noisy, elusive personas behind and posed quietly on these power lines, seemingly waiting for me to take my photo. I zoomed in a bit, but there were many more, enjoying the calm, pre-rainstorm morning.
I've always been fascinated by these roving gangs of merry little creatures who have an affinity for our San Gabriel Valley. When I was a kid, my friends and I thought (and who knows if one of us made this one up?) that there had been a train accident somewhere nearby, and the birds were on board, escaping to safety in our valley. Other theories - probably not from the imaginations of eight year-old girls - are that they escaped (or were released) from a pet store during a fire, and that they were smuggled in to the United States for the pet trade, and somehow released.
According to The California Parrot Project, there is no single event that accounts for the thousands of parrots that roost in our local trees, but rather that "dozens or hundreds of instances of escape or release ultimately led to the breeding populations we have today." Currently there are thirteen separate documented species of naturalized parrots in California.
If you're wondering why parrots tend to be so joyously, happily noisy, the website says that they use their voices to make contact with one another, to play, and to announce their arrival and departure. In fact, their need to communicate is at the very core of their being. No wonder I like them so much.
Today, we're expecting more rain, wind, and maybe even a bit of hail. Now that I think of it, maybe these guys were having a meeting to vote on where they should go to stay warm and dry during the deluge.
For a wonderful photo of a much larger group of our parrot friends, and more info on our parrot phenomenon, take a look at this post from my friend Petrea, at Pasadena Daily Photo.