California's Colorful Survivors from South America

Belmont Shore, Calif.--Ocean Blvd. winds from 2nd Street at Livingston to downtown Long Beach and is filled with many surprises along the way-immaculate houses, verdant parks, and tantalizing views of the Pacific Ocean, Port & Queen Mary are among them. As you make a five mile drive that includes over 15 stoplights, you begin to look around and absorb the sites and sounds surrounding each stoplight-including bright green parrots that sometimes perch in the palm trees near 39th Place and the Belmont Pool. If they are around, you will usually hear their tale-tale signs- loud, sharp, screeching chatter.

These South American natives have been spotted as early as the mid-1980's, according to a surf & sports store owner near the Belmont Memorial Pier. Escaping a pet store in Pasadena that caught on fire several decades ago, they flew throughout Southern California looking for places where they could survive. Requiring a special diet of tropical flowers and vegetation found in their native land, the Half Moon conure species of parrot could have easily vanished, but instead, the hearty colony was spotted by scientists on Cal State University Long Beach campus, eating flowers that apparently contained ingredients the birds require, allowing them to flourish in a foreign land nearly 3,000 miles from home.

Subscribe to our newsletter!

More Info