San Diego Parrots Are Back — Here's Why That's Good -

San Diego Parrots Are Back — Here’s Why That’s Good

You may be seeing an uptick in the number of San Diego parrots. Have questions about the colorful birds? We have answers.

The San Diego parrots in question are actually red-crowned Amazons, which have been seen in coastal areas like La Jolla. They generally hang around areas like Point Loma and Ocean Beach during the spring and summer months before migrating for the winter.

They are not native to the San Diego area, and instead hail from northeastern Mexico. However, there appears to be a permanent naturalized population of the birds that return to San Diego’s beachside communities each year.

The red-crowned Amazons are not new to the area. In fact, reports of the wild birds around San Diego stretch back to the 1940s. As of 2019, it’s estimated that there were 1,100 of various parrots around San Diego County — including the aforementioned red-crowned Amazons and the related lilac-crowned Amazons.

As far as how they ended up in San Diego, no one quite knows, FOX 5 News reports. It’s likely, however, that the San Diego parrots can trace their roots back to booms in the exotic pet trade.

Although the species isn’t native to the San Diego region, they’re not actually invasive — and may be beneficial to local plants and wildlife.

According to The San Diego Audubon Society, the red-crowned Amazons fit into a “unique ecological niche” in our region. They mostly eat ornamental trees and non-native plant species, and may even encourage native plants to flourish by propagating some types of seeds.

Urban populations of red-crowned Amazons may even be beneficial on a broader scale, since the species is actually endangered. Populations like those in San Diego can help conserve the number of wild parrots that are out in the ecosystem.

The only downside is the noise they make, but the Audubon Society notes that they’re mostly active in the early morning after sunrise and afternoon. By the time late afternoon arrives, they opt for naps before heading to bed at sunset.

Media credit: Image licensed from Adobe