Bird of the Month, August 2020: Red-crowned Parrot

Red-crowned parrot in tree
Photo: Tom Benson/Flickr (CC BY NC ND 2.0)

Red-crowned Parrot 

Amazona viridigenalis

If you are new to Pasadena or Northeast LA, chances are you may have been quite surprised the first time you saw a large flock of bright green parrots flying around! If you've been in the area for a while, you may be all too familiar with the loud squawking of these flamboyant birds, which often takes place quite early in the morning! Whether you love them or hate them, red-crowned parrots have certainly made themselves at home here. Although there are a few different types of wild parrots that can be seen in Los Angeles, the red-crowned parrot is one of the most prevalent. 

They are beautiful green birds with a bright red patch on their head, a pale colored beak, and an additional red patch on the back of each wing, which can be spotted when they are in flight. Native to northeastern Mexico, red-crowned parrots were introduced to California through the pet trade. The wild population that exists in Los Angeles today actually grew from parrots that escaped captivity and adapted to the urban environment. They adapted so well that in 2001, red-crowned parrots were added to the Official List of California Birds as an introduced species. Unfortunately, due to the pet trade and habitat degredation, the native population in Mexico has decreased significantly in recent years and the species could soon be considred threatened. 

Fun fact: A flock of parrots is aptly called a pandemonium!

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