As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Friday 26 April 2019

How the wild parrots of San Diego arrived in America's Finest City

Posted: 5:46 PM, Mar 27, 2019
Updated: 10:02 PM, Apr 04, 2019
By: Mark Saunders
SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Residents in many San Diego neighborhoods get a daily reminder of the odd inhabitants that are not native to the area.
As the sun rises over the region, the squawks can be heard. The wild parrots are awake.
While the sight of emerald, red-headed birds has long been gold for local photographers, what has remained a mystery to many is how they arrived in San Diego.
Parrot origins
All of the wild parrots in San Diego are birds or descendants of birds brought to the area by people, according to Sarah Mansfield with SoCal Parrot, though some have speculated they migrated from Mexico.
Mansfield added the birds weren't released in the area just once.
"Whether they were released intentionally or accidentally, several 'micro-releases' happened over many years," Mansfield said. "There are five established species of wild parrots in San Diego, and 13 species in Southern California, so it definitely wasn't just a pair or two that got out long ago."
It wasn't illegal to buy wild-caught parrots until 1992, when the Wild Bird Conservation Act was signed into law in order to ensure exotic bird species were not harmed by international trade.
"The birds that were released came from the wild and have remained wild since," she adds.
University of San Diego professor Janel Ortiz, who started the San Diego Parrot Project to research the parrots' eating habits and natural behaviors, says parrots may have been here longer than we think.
"No parrots are native to California; there has been evidence of the parrots being here in the 1940s and weren't well documented until the 1960s," Ortiz says.

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