Feral parrots

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Feral ring-necked parakeet, Psittacula krameri on a bird feeder in Wimbledon, London, England

A feral parrot is a parrot that has adapted to life in an ecosystem to which it is not native. Many are descended from pets that have escaped or been deliberately released.

Parrots living in non-native environments[edit]

Rainbow lorikeet[edit]

Feral colonies of rainbow lorikeets (Trichoglossus haematodus) have been established in Perth, Western Australia[1] and in Auckland, New Zealand.

Eastern rosella[edit]

The eastern rosella (Platycercus eximius) has become naturalized in the North Island of New Zealand.[2]

The population of red-masked parakeets that have gone feral in San Francisco have become famous through a book and film that have been made about them.

Rose-ringed parakeet[edit]

A sizeable population of naturalized rose-ringed parakeets (Psittacula krameri) exists in and around cities in England, the Netherlands, Belgium and western and southern Germany. The largest UK roost of these is thought to be in Esher, Surrey, numbering several thousand. Feral rose-ringed parakeets also occur in the United States, South Africa, Egypt (resident, breeding all over Giza territory in June), Israel (with many seasonally present in Yarkon Park in North Tel Aviv), Lebanon, UAE and Oman. There are also several populations in Istanbul, Turkey, both on the European side where they can be seen in Gülhane Park, Yıldız Park and Eyüp, and on the Anatolian side.


Also found in the United States are various naturalized Brotogeris species (mainly B. versicolurus (canary-winged parakeet a.k.a. white-winged parrot) and/or B. chiriri (yellow-chevroned parakeet/parrot).

Brooklyn (in New York City); Chicago, Illinois; Austin, Texas; and Miami, Florida are home to populations of Myiopsitta monachus (monk a.k.a. quaker parakeet/parrot).[3]

A population of naturalized rose-collared (a.k.a. peach-faced lovebirds) (Agapornis roseicollis) is found in Tucson, Arizona.

Several species, including red-lored parrots (Amazona autumnalis), lilac-crowned parrots (Amazona finschi) and yellow-chevroned parakeets (Brotogeris chiriri), have become well established in Southern California and a population of mainly red-masked or cherry-headed parakeets/conures, a female mitred parakeet/conure and thus several inter-specific hybrids live in the area of Telegraph Hill in San Francisco, as depicted in the documentary The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill. In the greater San Francisco Bay Area, there are several populations of red-masked parakeets, including in Palo Alto and Sunnyvale.

The Belmont Heights District in Long Beach, California is also known to have many different species of feral parrots which have become local icons to the citizens of the area. They are known for their loud and unique noises as well as their large communities. These parrots can be found roosting mostly on Ocean Boulevard between Livingston Drive and Redondo Avenue in palm trees.

The San Gabriel Valley in California has a large, non-indigenous population of naturalized parrots. According to the Parrot Project of Los Angeles,[4] the parrots are of at least five species.[5] Residents have come to enjoy the birds as part of their city's culture,[6][7] and like other Southern California residents they have become "local icons" to the citizens there.[8] Many theories surround the mystery of how the parrots landed in Pasadena and claimed the area as their own.[9] A widely accepted story is that they were part of the stock that were set free for their survival from the large pet emporium at Simpson's Garden Town on East Colorado Boulevard, which burned down in 1959.[5][10]

Malibu, California has populations of black hooded or nanday parakeets (Nandayus nenday), lilac crowned amazon parrots (Amazona finschi), red-crowned amazon parrots (Amazona viridigenalis), and mitred parakeets (Aratinga mitrata).

Lists of feral parrot species by continent[edit]

[citation needed]

North America[edit]

Feral peach-faced lovebirds eating seeds from a garden feeder in Arizona, US.

South America[edit]

Note: Species found as introduced to the State of Rio de Janeiro, outside their historical ranges;[11] further research can detect other species in other regions.



Middle East[edit]

New Zealand[edit]



Feral parrot flocks can be formed after mass escapes of newly imported, wild-caught parrots from airports or quarantine facilities. Large groups of escapees have the protection of a flock and possess the skills to survive and breed in the wild. Some feral parakeets may have descended from escaped zoo birds.

Escaped or released pets rarely contribute to establishing feral populations. Escapes typically involve only one or a few birds at a time, so the birds do not have the protection of a flock and often do not have a mate. Most captive-born birds do not possess the necessary survival skills to find food or avoid predators and often do not survive long without human caretakers. However, in areas where there are existing feral parrot populations, escaped pets may sometimes successfully join these flocks.

The most common era or years that feral parrots were released to non-native environments was from the 1890s to the 1940s, during the wild-caught parrot era.

In the psittacosis "parrot fever" panic of 1930, "One city health commissioner urged everyone who owned a parrot to wring its neck. People abandoned their pet parrots on the streets."[13]


  1. ^ Chapman, Tamra. (2006). "The status, impact and management of the feral Rainbow Lorikeet (Trichoglossus haematodus moluccanus) in south-west Western Australia". Eclectus 16-17: 17-18.
  2. ^ Falla, R. A.; Sibson, R. B.; Turbot, E. G. (1966). A Field Guide to the Birds of New Zealand. London: Collins. ISBN 0-00-212022-4.
  3. ^ Baldwin, Steve (March 20, 2005). "What are Wild Parrots Doing in Brooklyn?". BrooklynParrots.com. 
  4. ^ Mabb, Karen T. (Jan–Feb 2001). "Researching Parrots in the Wilds of California’s Suburban Jungles". AFA Watchbird. 
  5. ^ a b "Pasadena Facts". City of Pasadena. Retrieved 17 March 2013.
  6. ^ "Sunday Spectrum: Pasadena’s Parrots". Pasadena Views. 21 March 2010. 
  7. ^ "The Parrots of Pasadena". SoCalRunning.com. 18 January 2008. 
  8. ^ "Pasadena Parrots". Weird California. 15 November 2006. 
  9. ^ "Parrots? Wild in Pasadena? ...Yep!". Scott's L.A. Retrieved 17 March 2013. 
  10. ^ "Wild Parrots Crowd Other Birds in L.A.". ABC News. 20 November 2011. 
  11. ^ Pereira, José Felipe Monteiro (2008). Aves e Pássaros comuns do Rio de Janeiro. Rio de Janeiro: Editora Tachnical Books. pp. 63, 66, 68. ISBN 978-8-561-36800-5. 
  12. ^ a b c d http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/interactive/17144/distribution-of-sulphur-crested-cockatoos-galahs-and-eastern-rosellas
  13. ^ Lepore, Jill (1 June 2009). "It's Spreading". The New Yorker (New York): 27–29. Retrieved 13 September 2011. 

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