As my life in California drifts farther behind me, I’m given to fits of sentimentality … especially for the wildlife and wilderness we left behind. Among my emotional favorites are the wild parrots of San Francisco — actually, Red-masked Parakeets or Cherry-headed Conures. These are the celebrity birds featured in Mark Bittner’s The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill.
I always loved the parrots. But I grew genuinely attached to them after intercepting some would-be parrot thieves … knuckleheads who were probably too inept to catch a bird but who were harassing them, nonetheless. After that incident, Hugh and I joined the Parrot Patrol, a local group of parrot patrons who regularly check up on any reported incidents involving San Francisco’s wild conures.
I found a few images I never processed or posted, either for lack of time or perspective. As my RAW files devour my external drives, I’m going through archives, culling and converting the surviving images to DNG. I’ve made it back to 2009 … where I came upon this set of parrot photos. I make no secret of my love for urban wildlife images. The parrots are particularly entertaining to watch and photograph, because of their acrobatics. It’s tough not to fall in love with a parrot, hoisting himself by the beak, into a red light or walk signal.
Related parrot posts: Admiring — But Not Feeding — San Francisco’s Parrots | Parrot City
Are they trying to nest or play, or looking for food, do you think? The third photo down cracks me up – they look like they’re dinging their beaks against the metal to test it’s tonality (and who knows, maybe they are! Sometimes I wonder if that’s what blue tits do when they tap on the window – tuning the glass!)
Val, to the best of my understanding, they’re simply playing when it comes to the urban structures. But perhaps there’s something to be had for the taking in terms of food. The parrots fly into this location almost every evening, and they stay for a couple of hours. In my observations, they socialize, and I’ve seen them feed on discarded apple cores and a few tree fruits I couldn’t identify. Take a look at this parrot pic at my Flickr site. This bird repeated the behavior a few times, climbing to the top, then sliding down the pole.
That’s great. If I think of experiencing things as a bird (which I often do, how sad is that!) I’d be feeling the slight wind against my feathers and a curious sensation in my feet. And maybe a slight sound of foot against pole… (Am I crazy or am I crazy?)
Not sad, not crazy in the least. I wish more people would put themselves in the paws and claws of others. We could certainly use more empathy of this nature, don’t you think?