California parrots are out to populate the nation, starting with the Red-crowned Amazon stars of a new video from CaliforniaFlocks. Move over, wild parrots of Telegraph Hill. You’ve got competition from your feathered friends down south.
Salvatore Angius, the filmmaker behind CaliforniaFlocks, said that he has filmed 13 parrot species in over 30 cities in his quest to raise awareness of the charming birds. The new video may be his best yet, as it captures the personality of two species of wild parrots as they pair up to start their families.
In addition to the Red-crowned Amazons getting busy on an open telephone wire, he also follows a pair of Blue-crowned Conures, a species better known to some film fans from the $23 million 1998 Hollywood feature Paulie.
It’s good to see Red-crowned Amazons (also known as Red-crowned Parrots or Amazona viridigenalis) doing the wild thing. According to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature red list, they have been endangered since at least 1994. Their population has collapsed to a few thousand individuals in their native Mexico, probably because of over-collection for the pet trade as well as habitat loss.
However, they have quietly introduced themselves to some areas of the United States, including California’s San Gabriel Valley, where they have been nesting since at least 1973. The California Parrot Project said that they are now thriving so well there that they were added to the official list of California birds in 2001.
Where did they come from? To a certain extent, no one really knows the whole story. A 1991 Los Angeles Times article said that some of the birds may have come from the old Busch Gardens bird collection at the Anheuser-Busch brewery in Van Nuys. Others may have escaped from their owners or been willingly released by smugglers trying to escape the long arm of the law.
Wherever they came from, CaliforniaFlock’s video allows you to experience the beauty and energy of these intelligent parrots, even if you can’t get to the West Coast any time soon. He has a lot more videos of the parrots on his You Tube channel, and I highly recommend them to all parrot lovers.
As the populations fall in Mexico, is California the parrots’ new hope?
[blue-crowned conure photo courtesy 3268zauber at Wikipedia Commons]