Long Beach California Parrots a Green Parade of Shrill Sounds

 

 

Long Beach, Calif.---As you drive along majestic Ocean Blvd. near Livingston & 2nd St. in Southern California's popular Belmont Shore, a colony of  green parrots with bright red spots living in the palm trees overhead may be on lookout. Be sure to roll down the car window at 39th Place intersection and listen for the sound.  The loud, sharp chirps and caws are the tip-off that conure parrots are  in town, perched high above the car traffic.

 

The birds have a long history and relationship with the city, dating back to the mid-1980's. According to a shop owner near the Belmont Memorial Pier, the parrots escaped a pet store  in Pasadena that caught on fire several decades ago. Pasadena is approx. 42 miles away by car, or as the conure flies, approx. 35 miles.

Found in Central and  South America, how does the Half Moon conure species of parrot makes a go of it so far from its habitat?  Living on a diet of lush tropical plants and fruits, the hearty bird is unique in that it survives in Southern California, even though many parrot species can't.

 

While the flock of conures could easily have settled on the grounds of the Huntington Library & Gardens in San Marino or the Los Angeles Aboretum in Arcadia, one of the group's favorite perches happens to be in Belmont Shore. The secret to its  existence according to scientists who have studied this group of birds on the campus of California State University Long Beach, is the migration habits and the bird's ability to forage for food among the many plants, flowering bushes and fruits that Southern California offers. Some of those tropical flowers are found on the campus of the university, which explains why the vibrant green parrots are sometimes seen there.

 

 

 


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