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Frequently Asked Questions

Questions and answers are arranged in alphabetical
order according to subject.

Updated 26 May 2012

 

Many questions surround the existence of the wild parrots in California, from what they eat...to their identification...to their behavior. We hope to answer some of those most frequently asked questions, but there will always be new ones. If you have a question and you don't find an answer here, please e-mail us your question and we will post it, so others may find answers to their questions as well.

  Red-crowned Parrot
 

 

Lilac-crowned Parrot Endangered Species  
 
  I had no idea the Red-headed parrots are an Endangered Species and now I read that the Lilacs and Yellows are endangered too. What can we do to help them? -- Chris, Long Beach, CA

 
 
  The very best thing we can do is to leave them alone. The wild parrots are doing very well here and if we just sit back and enjoy them, they will continue to do well.  
 

 

Lovebird Escaped Companion Parrot  
 
  My friend's pet parrot escaped recently. She has looked everywhere for him and is very upset. He is an African Grey. Could he be out there with the green parrots? -- Joyce, Malibu, CA  
 
  I wish I had better news for you. Escaped companion parrots, especially those who are not the species of those found here in the wild, do not do well. It is a treacherous world out there for all wildlife and pet parrots just don't have the time to learn the ropes and build endurance before they are faced with danger. Hopefully, a good samaritan has found your friend's pet bird and he is safe. Please look for him in rescue organizations in your area.  
 

 

Lilac-crowned Parrot Escaped Pets  
 
  Are all these wild parrots really escaped pets? -- David, Los Angeles, CA  
 
  No, they are not. And anyone who claims they are, knows literally nothing about them. Let us offer you a bit of rationale behind that statement. First, there are relatively few species found here in the wild in relation to how many species of parrots are kept as companions. Pet parrots escape all the time -- if they were escaped pets, we would have hundreds of species flying around California, instead, we have 12 species and a few of those are in very low numbers. Of those species, the ones that are doing the best are those who have no color (other than green) or the darker colors to their heads and are the lighter in body weight. All species found here, live their lives exclusively in the trees and rarely, if ever, go to the ground. None of these species are ground feeders.  
 

 

Red-crowned Parrot Feeding Wild Parrots  
 
  Can I put food out for the wild parrots? If so, what would they like to eat? -- Anna, San Diego, CA  
 
  We only know of a very few instances where wild parrots have gone to a bird feeder. Most parrots will steer clear of them. The parrots have plenty to eat from our trees, so generally, they will not eat from a feeder.  
 

 

Parrots and Crow Fighting Parrots and Crows  
 
  On my street, the crows and the parrots are always fighting. Why do they do that? -- Martin, Santa Ana, CA  
 
  In most cases, the parrots and the crows are not fighting at all, they are playing. The crows like to chase the parrots -- and the parrots like to chase the crows. When pecan season rolls around, the crows will follow the parrots and pick up the food they leave behind. This all changes however, during nesting season. During that time, all species are protecting the areas around their nests and things tend to get a bit more aggressive.  
 

 

Mitred Parakeets Hates the Parrots  
 
  My neighbor really hates the parrots even though the rest of the neighborhood totally loves them. I am seriously afraid he will try to harm them. Is there anything at all I can do to protect them? They don't come here often, just a couple weeks out of the year and we all look forward to seeing them! -- Justin, Eagle Rock, CA  
 
 

Our first suggestion would be to try to explain to him how smart, fun and entertaining they are. If he has his mind made up though, that could be a difficult undertaking.

Many southland cities boast themselves as "Bird Sanctuary Cities" and don't take kindly to threatening acts towards birds or any wildlife for that matter. If your neighbor makes any menacing gestures towards the parrots, I would report him immediately to local law enforcement. Even if your city is not a "Bird Sanctuary City," all cities have ordinances against cruelty to animals and I have no doubt law enforcement will ensure this person is aware of and follows the law.

 
 

 

How Parrots Got Here  
 
  How did the parrots actually get here? I have heard a number of stories and they are all different. What's the real scoop? -- Marshall, Monrovia, CA  
 
  I wish there was one simple answer for you, but there isn't. The only thing that is certain is that several events occurred leading to our wild parrot population. You may be interested in reading "Where did the parrots come from?" on our Articles page  
 

 

Injured Wild Parrot  
 
  About a year ago, I found an injured wild parrot in my yard. We ended up having to call animal control. Was this the best thing to do? -- Lori, Los Angeles, CA  
 
  I hope so. Some animal control facilities will take injured wild parrots directly to wildlife organizations for evaluation, which is exactly what should be done. Unfortunately, other animal control facilities will keep them and the injured parrot will not get the care he really needs. Sadly, this usually leads to their death. The very best thing to do is to contact a skilled wildlife rescue organization who is familiar with the wild parrots and will know how to evaluate and treat them. Two of these local organizations are listed on our Resources page and we will be adding more in the future. We are aware of a new organization specifically for this purpose in San Diego and we will post more details as soon as they are available.
 
 

 

Red-crowned Parrot Noisy Parrots  
 
  Why are the parrots so noisy? I like them, but sometimes they can be a bit much and I just want to understand their behavior. -- Candy, Burbank, CA  
 
  Parrots are very social beings and enjoy the company of their flock mates while foraging, resting, playing and flying. They truly understand there is safety in numbers and as much as we communicate, so do they. The difference is, they must communicate from distances, in noisy situations and in places they cannot always see each other. The only way to do that is with volume, for instance, a group of parrots may be foraging all up and down a street, when a number of them decide it is time to leave, they will tell the others with a loud call. The others may or may not decide to follow, but they will know the group has left.  
 

 

Red-crowned Parrots Wild Parrots and Native Species  
 
  Someone told me that the wild parrots are scaring away all the native birds. Is that true? -- Valerie, Pomona, CA  
 
  No, that is absolutely untrue. The wild parrots get along just fine with our native birds and there is no evidence whatsoever to support that statement. There really is no competition for territory, food or nest sites because native birds and the wild parrots utilize completely different sources.
 
 

 

Red-crowned Parrot Wild Parrot Capture  
 
  I know a guy who totally wants to catch one of the wild parrots and turn it into a pet. He talks about it all the time. I wish he would just drop the idea, but I can't figure out how to discourage him. -- Robert, Montclair, CA  
 
 

I apologize for the lengthy answer, but this is a subject that really warrants it. Wild parrots ARE NOT like hand raised, tame parrots. They are WILD -- this cannot be empasized enough.

People who have this motive really have no clue what they are getting into. First, in order to provide an adequate caged environment for any kind of medium sized parrot, it will cost around $1,000 and up. Next, a parrot requires a special diet, expensive toys, vet visits and an absolute change in lifestyle for the owner. This means you will no longer have the freedom to paint the inside of your residence, use air freshners, cook with teflon, clean your oven, use chemicals of any kind, hairspray, perfume, scented candles (to name a few), without endangering the life of the bird or worse, killing him. This means that during the use of any of these products you will need to make arrangements for the bird to be elsewhere, which could cost some hefty dollars. That is just a quick overview of sharing indoor life with a parrot.

Next, taking any kind of a wild animal away from his natural environment is truly a horrible act. These birds are extremely bonded to their mates and their flock. A wild parrot removed from his environment will suffer fear, depression, anxiety and other negative and behavioral affects. Not to mention, a parrot located anywhere near shouting distance of his flock, will forever try to escape and regain his freedom. In addition, the family and mates of parrots who end up missing are truly devastated. Oh, and I forgot to mention the terribly painful bites they are capable of inflicting with their powerful beaks. Any wild parrot in fear for his life will most certainly use his beak in his defense leaving forever visible scars on the recipient.

If this person really desires to change his entire life and share the rest of it with a long-lived parrot, the best thing to do is to look to pet parrot rescue organizations. These organizations are FULL of wonderful, tame, homeless parrots that really deserve and need a good home. These birds also require the cautions and care mentioned above, but they are tame and will offer much more enjoyment than a difficult to manage, screaming, horrified wild parrot who deserves to spend the rest of his life in the environment in which he was raised.

 
 

 

Do you have a question about wild parrots and haven't found the answer yet?
E-mail us your question and we will post it along with an answer.
Thank you!

 

 
 

 




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