I have a new book out about the wild parrots (cherry-headed conures a.k.a. red-masked parakeets) here in San Francisco. If you're curious, you can explore the book's web site: http://www.wildparrotsbook.com

Mark Bittner
I have a new book out about the wild parrots (cherry-headed conures a.k.a. red-masked parakeets) here in San Francisco. If you're curious, you can explore the book's web site: http://www.wildparrotsbook.com Mark Bittner

Mark, I have to wonder... where did they come from? Are these birds lost by careless owners who thought they could walk around outside with them, or 'accidentally' set free? (as my mom did with a few parakeets over the years... set the cage outside, went to fill the seed cups and left the cage door open). 130 seems quite a sizeable flock of birds so they must be thriving. Still, the one and only time I was in San Francisco it was COLD. Doesn't seem conducive to parrots.
Jill
I have a new book out about the wild parrots ... you can explore the book's web site: http://www.wildparrotsbook.com Mark Bittner

Mark, I have to wonder... where did they come from? Are these birds lost by careless owners who thought they ... thriving. Still, the one and only time I was in San Francisco it was COLD. Doesn't seem conducive to parrots.

They are provided with down coats for the winter.

Chicago has two colonys of Quakers living in the wild. (hyde park and schaumburg)
They're wild-caught birds (the founding members had quarantine bands) that either escaped or were deliberately released by frustrated owners. Temperature is not an issue. They can take the cold. There's a wild flock in Chicago. As long as there's enough food available, they'll make it.

Mark Bittner
Mark, I have to wonder... where did they come from? ... San Francisco it was COLD. Doesn't seem conducive to parrots.

They are provided with down coats for the winter.

ROFL!! Okay, point taken Emotion: smile
Chicago has two colonys of Quakers living in the wild. (hyde park and schaumburg)

But where do they come from?! Parrots are not native to the U.S.. do people just let these wonderful birds go?
Jill
But where do they come from?! Parrots are not native to the U.S.. do people just let these wonderful birds go? Jill

Jill, in south florida some were released by people, others scaped, natural disasters such as hurricanes tore down aviaries anf released some of these birds... and the rest are babies. Emotion: smile
I'm still waiting for a grant to spend the next 2 years watching these little guys in my area. lol... I guess the state is doing away will ALL australian pines that live on state's land. They consider them, well, a pest, too invasive. They're chopping them down or poisoning them. Sad... 'cuz the flocks we've seen feed on the fruit/cones of these pines.

~Marco~
"Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day.
Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life." Terry Pratchett, Jingo
Probably escapes. I don't know the exact story behind it. It could be an escape at the pet store or distributor level, when a whole flock is let loose. Or destruction of a breeder or store.
Given the highly social flock nature of the birds, it is likely a bunch got loose at the same time.
There was a story (NYT?) recently about south florida, and how the definition of "native" is changing. There is evidence that the constrictors are reproducing in the wild. (and a picture of huge snake losing to gator)
But yes, there are a handful of people who will just return non-native animals to the wild. Remember the snakehead issue last year or so out east?
But where do they come from?! Parrots are not native to the U.S.. do people just let these wonderful birds go?

http://www.holisticbirds.com/Hbn02/spring02/pages/quaker1.htm

From that article, mass escapes from air handling facilities. Very good info on wild populations.