The Wild Parrots in Whittier, California
Flocks of wild parrots fly around many cities in Southern California. Even though I have lived in this area most of my life, I never knew it. Never saw them; never heard them. Not until I moved to this particular part of the city about a year and a half ago.
Actually, the beautful parrots have been flying wild around these parts since about the 1960s. Besides being beautiful, the wild parrots are the noisiest creatures. They swoop in and park themselves in nearby trees and squawk to each other. It is so loud, it's enough to wake the dead. It is certainly difficult to carry on a normal conversation.
I suppose their noise alone can determine whether one would love them or hate them. After all, it's not so great when they hover overhead and start squawking at dawn, when my alarm clock doesn't go off for another hour.
Be that as it may, I can't help but love these birds. So as far as I'm concerned, they can make as much noise as they want.
They are amazing and mesmerizing creatures, and I welcome them when they come to my neighborhood. I feel the need to drop everything and run outside to greet them and watch while they sit in my tree and speak their squawk-talk.
There are always a few stragglers, flying in pairs, trying to keep up with the rest of the group. My neighbor told me the pairs are mates, and that they mate for life. Yet another trait that serves to endear them to me.
According to the California Parrot Project, there are thirteen species of parrots in California, and their population occurred naturally. Contrary to a popular local story that the birds were set free by firefighters during a fire at a pet store.
The parrots are social birds, and their calls help them to keep track of each other while they sit and are hidden among leafy trees. They announce their comings and goings as they travel from tree to tree, neighborhood to neighborhood.
The parrots' presence tends to remind me that my home is a sanctuary even though it is located in the middle of concrete, buildings and highways. Despite our attempts to civilize and modernize our environment, we continue to be surrounded by nature and the animals who live with us. Thank goodness.
When I was young, I had a parrot in a cage. They are so much more beautiful when they are free.
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