Okay, I haven't seen them for about 6 months so today was a total treat! I'm just bummed I didn't have my phone or camera!
But they are soooo spectacular and indeed different from the wild flying birds we generally enjoy and usually take for granted in the Conejo Valley communities of Westlake Village, Agoura Hills, Oak Park, Thousand Oaks & Newbury Park - just 20 minutes from Malibu and the best place on the earth to live. (my observation only)...
So, history: several years ago we noticed these spectacular birds, so MAJESTIC and so cool, flying in flocks around the Village. Sometimes they sing. Other times they SCREECH! LOL! They are blackhooded parakeets. They may have migrated from places turned not-friendly to their gentle ways. They may have been released by individuals during the earthquake in the mid Nineties. Who knows?
Despite the fact that they’re not native to the area, an expert quoted that the largely vegetarian tropical birds have little effect on the ecosystem. “They’re pretty restricted to residential areas where nonnative plants grow,” he said. “A lot of their diet is from various kinds of trees and shrubs that we have planted here."
“They fly where the food is. They don’t have seasonal, long-distance movements. They do daily commutes.” (kind of like REALTORS, right??)
Many residents of the San Fernando Valley attribute the parrots in their area to the former Busch Gardens theme park in Van Nuys. The theme park operated from 1966 to 1977. The bird sanctuary, with more than 1,500 birds of some 180 different species, became popular with families. When the United States government seized a flock of 250 Amazon parrots smuggled from Mexico, the sanctuary was deemed a perfect new home for the birds. (According to an internet source: BIRDS in the CONEJO)
However, over time the popularity of the birds dwindled. Anheuser- Busch eventually decided to end the bird sanctuary’s stint at the park and use the land to expand the brewing operation. (some might like this - more BEER - some may not- LESS WILDLIFE!)
So the birds had to travel all over the San Fernando Valley, including the Los Angeles basin and out here to my wonderful Conejo Valley. Thirty years later Amazon parrots are seen and heard - though they remain elusive. "Once in a while you'll get a good picture of the flock traveling to and fro." a local photographer stated. "Mostly, you'll just be kicking back and enjoy them flying by!"
“They live anywhere from 60 to 100 years,” a local expert said. “They’re not a species that was native, but I guess they’re native birds now.”
All we know is: there are wild parrots in the Conejo Valley. They are beautiful. They apparently pose no threat to the native wildlife here.
SO - ENJOY the birds! (If you can sleep in the morning! Lol!)
For Conejo Valley Real Estate EXPERTISE - Contact Kathy Smiley- your Conejo Valley EXPERT!