Posts Tagged ‘Baby Parrot’

Staying in Contact with Mother

August 22, 2014
Baby Parrot

Baby Cherry-headed Conure

I still get called in every now and then to deal with the parrots. This morning someone telephoned to say that he had a parrot in a bush outside his front door, that it had been there for several hours without moving. He lived just up the street, so I put aside work on the book and headed over with a towel and a small travel cage that I use for emergencies. I was expecting to find a sick adult, or maybe a bird that had crashed into a window. To my surprise, it was a brand new baby. I’d never seen one out of the nest earlier than August 31st, and usually I didn’t start seeing them until early September. So this one was at least nine days ahead of schedule. Parrots rarely go so low to the ground, so he had to have been in some kind of trouble. When I walked toward him, he bolted away to a nearby bush. I heard parrots in some trees call out and he responded. The parents! The baby then flew up to a tall poplar where they were waiting for him. He looked a little weak and sloppy, but he made it. He’s in safe hands now. My hunch is that he fledged a little too soon, or else he’d been trying to keep up with his parents before he was ready to. At first after fledging (taking their first flight) the babies take only short flights and stay in a tree for most of the day waiting for the parents to come back and feed them. I always love seeing the babies. They look so fresh and innocent looking with their big baby eyes.

On another nature note, I belong to something called the South End Rowing Club, which Judy got me into. It’s not what its name might make it seem. It’s at the north end of the city and caters mostly to swimmers, but does have rowers and handball players, too. It’s a blue collar club—not a fancy white collar one. The building is real old and located right on the beach of a cove in San Francisco called Aquatic Park. Most people stick to the cove for their swims, but there are some intrepid swimmers who venture out into the bay itself, swimming Alcatraz and beyond. Judy’s one of those. After sticking to the safety of the cove for thirteen years, I’m about to do my first out-of-cove swim. I’ll be doing a 1.2 mile swim out in the bay along the shoreline from something called Coghlan Beach back to the cove. I’ll be doing it on a flood tide, so it should be relatively easy—like a log being washed along by the tide. I’ve been training for several weeks, and it’s done a lot to take my mind off my book frustrations. (Things are getting better in that department, by the way.) The swim is Sunday morning. Wish me luck.

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A Wild Parrot Update

October 23, 2013

I recently got a phone call from Jamie Gilardi, the executive director of the World Parrot Trust. He was calling because he’d been in San Francisco several times in the last month or so and had not seen any parrots out and about—not even one—which is unusual. He’d even gone to their roost spot and hadn’t found any there either. So Jamie called me to find out if I knew what was going on. As we talked I realized that I hadn’t been seeing any parrots either. I’ve been out of town a lot, but even when I’ve been home I haven’t been seeing any. But I’ve been too busy with my book to notice. I figured that if there had been a massive die-off or something, I would have heard about it. But it was worrisome, so I started asking around and got word that the flock has changed the location of their roost spot. That was a relief. Then, just two days ago we got a visit here at the house from two parents and a baby. (The babies usually fledge around the beginning of September. This is the first one I’ve seen this year.)

Two parents and a baby

Two parents and a baby

Later in the day I saw a large group flying in the distance. So the parrots are fine. And I think I know  the reason they’ve been making themselves scarce in this part of town. When I came home yesterday our two birds were nowhere to be found. I looked all over the house and found them cowering in a darkened hallway. That always means one thing: a nasty hawk. I looked out the window of the bird room and, sure enough, there he was.

Nasty Hawk

A Nasty Hawk

I’ve been seeing a lot of hawks around lately. Different species, too. Cooper’s, Red-Tail, Red-Shouldered. There’s even an imprint, that is, the outline of a hawk, on the window of the bird room. Some raptor flew into the window at full speed coming after our guys and left his mark. It’s too light to photograph, but it’s a bizarre sight. It must have terrified the little darlings.

To sum up, the flock is doing fine, but they’re having to play dodge ’em with the hawks, as they usually do this time of year when the hawks migrate across the Golden Gate and into the city on their way south.