Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Yellow-Headed Parrot

YelloHeadedParrotwToday, I saw the yellow-headed parrots very clearly and distinctly flying in the Saturday morning sunlight and settling in the trees near my place in La Verne.

Advertisements

Wild Parrot of Los Angeles

Near the end of September, I began hearing wild bird calls near my home that sounded nothing like any bird I had ever heard in California. They would circle about the sky in flocks, but I would see only their silhouettes, which did not afford me opportunity to identify them by their distinct markings. They seemed to prefer to alight high in the highest trees — and they were very loud.

Finally, I googled “loud birds in La Verne,” and I immediately found that someone else had recorded their cries and identified them:  they’re parrots!

This led me to do a little research on the wild parrot populations of Los Angeles. As it turns out, there are several species living wild here:

  1. Rose-ringed Parakeets (Conures) from tropical Africa and India
  2. Lilac Crowned Parrots (Amazons) from the Pacific Coast of Mexico (vulnerable)
  3. Red Crowned Parrots from NE Mexico (endangered)
  4. Yellow Headed Parrots from southern Mexico down to Honduras (endangered)
  5. Red Lored Parrots from the Caribbean Coast in southern Mexico down to Nicaragua
  6. Red Masked Parakeets from Ecuador and Peru
  7. Mitred Parakeets from Peru, Bolivia, and Argentina
  8. Blue Crowned Parakeets from eastern Colombia all the way south to Argentina
  9. Yellow Chevroned Parakeets from countries south of the Amazon River Basin
  10. Nanday Parakeets from central South America
  11. Blue (Turquoise) Fronted Parrots from central South America

Yellow-Headed Parrots

Here’s a video of several varieties of parrots who are living right here in SoCal. There are at least four explanations for how they established themselves here:

  1. There are verified reports of small bird traders in the 1940s and ’50s who had accidents en route and let their wild-caught, caged parrots free without meaning to.
  2. In 1959, parrots were released from Simpson’s Garden Town Nursery on the east side of Pasadena when it caught fire. Rather than watch 65-70 birds in the pet shop burn up, an injured employee, with the help of firefighters, freed as many as he could.
  3. In the San Fernando Valley, parrots are said to have been released in 1979 by Busch Gardens – an exotic tourist attraction theme park set up by Anheuser Busch to draw the public to their Van Nuys beer manufacturing facility. When the company moved its headquarters to a different location, they attempted to place their collection of birds in zoos and private homes, setting free those they were unable to place.
  4. Most of California’s pet parrots showed up during a time when importing parrots was still legal – approximately 41,550 in the early ’80s, according to Long Beach’s Press Telegram News (08/22/13). However, as some parrot species became endangered in their home countries, their importation became illegal and smugglers are said to have released parrots to avoid being caught.

Source:  Sustainable Sue

I’m glad that many of these parrots, endangered in their home countries, are making their new homes here in safety.

 

Sora

sora_robinarnold

Sora

On Saturday, I went walking in Bonelli Regional Park with my neighbor Michelle. When we were by the reeds along the edge of Puddingstone Reservoir, I spotted a lone Sora hunting in the waters — her white tail bobbing behind her! There were many other birds to see there, too, of course, including the ubiquitous red-winged blackbirds, American coots, white-crowned sparrows, purple finches, hummingbirds, Canadian geese, mallard ducks, black phoebes, and the always-beautiful Great White Egrets.

 

Birdwatching in Bonelli Regional Park

O the joy of birdwatching at Bonelli Regional Park! On the very first morning that I woke up in La Verne, which was the day after the solar eclipse, I saw a black-crowned night heron (very special), muscovy ducks, and Indian runner ducks (three first-time IDs for me) as well as several American coots, Canadian geese, mallard ducks, killdeer, starlings, brown-headed cowbirds, swallows, and a snowy egret that came gliding across the lake through the mist like an angel from another world. Beautiful!

0 Birdwatching-BonelliRegionalPark

with my friend, Gemma de Luna,
visiting from Chicago

“The Hummingbird and the Pine Tree” by Kira Jane Buxton

The Hummingbird and the Pine Tree

New York Times
April 14, 2017

by Kira Jane Buxton

well-family-hummingbird-master768

Image by Giselle Potter

UNCAGED by Jane Beal

THE POETRY PLACE

My new collection of poems
about birding and the spiritual life:

BEAL-Uncaged-BkCvr

UNCAGED
hard-copy * read online

WHAT NEVER FAILS

We went to the water
to see the Pelican –

the one, they say, who stabs her breast
and feeds her young with blood (like Christ),

but there was no bird like that
on the little islands by the pier.

There were Western Gulls instead,
crying out like Alcyone for Ceys,

flying over us like the ragged mists
of dreams we dream at dawn

and, waking, find
have told us the truth.

We were standing close together, just above
the water, like the Light Princess and her Prince,

when I noticed the cliff swallows
darting over the waves, under the pier

where they have hidden their nests
and are feeding the future

with a constant love
that never fails.

jb

View original post

Hooded Orioles

Today I was walking on the Biola University campus when I heard a racket in a nearby palm tree. I looked up, and lo and behold!, four aggravated hooded orioles were swooping around an errant squirrel who had made his way too close (I suspect) to a nest. In the midst of the racket, a surprised hummingbird came darting out from the palm branches, hovered in mid-air a few feet away from the tree, and then vanished!

According to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, All About Birds, “Hooded Orioles in California earned the nickname ‘palm-leaf oriole’ because of their tendency to build nests in palm trees. When the nest is suspended from palm leaves, the female pokes holes in the leaf from below and pushes the fibers through, effectively sewing the nest to the leaf.” It’s a beautiful, delicate thing, and I can see why the orioles wouldn’t want a squirrel to come near their artwork — not to mention their little ones.

p.s. See two flirting orioles!

Screen Shot 2017-06-24 at 2.27.58 PM