Parrot photos led to coyote help attempt
Thursday, August 8, 2013 at 8:02
City Parrots in Amazona albifrons - White-fronted Amazon, Amazona finschi - Lilac crowned Amazon, Rescue, Urban parrots

East Hemet parrot. Image by Kevin SnowKevin Snow, an avid photographer, fired up readers in a few ways when he snapped pictures of three parrots that  he saw devouring almonds as he worked at his East Hemet rental house.

Not only did Snow’s photos inspire readers to share parrot  images of their own, his pictures led to the start of the ongoing effort to remove a dangling chain that somehow was attached around the neck of a coyote frequently seen on Hemet’s rural east side.

I posted his photos online and they appeared in the Press-Enterprise.

Readers responded by letting me know about parrots they saw in Yucaipa, Redlands, Riverside, Irvine, Yorba Linda and Coronado. They told me they often are seen in East Hemet, an area with an abundance of fruit and nut trees.

Backyard parrot in Riverside. Image by Mary Ann Powers, owner of Wild Birds Unlimited store in Riverside.

I learned about the fascinating California Parrot Project affiliated with the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County and in cooperation with the Pasadena Audubon Society. The project documents parrots that likely descended from pet escapees that thrived. Click this California Parrot Project link for information.

“Yup. Saw the same three flying over my backyard,” wrote Mark Gonzales, who lives  near Lake Street and Mayberry Avenue in Valle Vista, not far from  the neighborhood where Snow photographed the parrots. ”I heard them screeching, caught my attention, looked up and there they were.”

Del and Edyie Schmidt of Mentone  have seen wild parrots for 30 years. They enjoy watching them feast in a neighbor’s walnut and pecan trees. “I worked at Kimberly Elementary School on the south side of Redlands, and the parrots would sit in trees near a classroom and talk and squawk so loud the teachers would to close their doors,” Edyie Schmidt wrote.

Joe Sullivan  of Hemet noted that he has seen massive flocks of parrots while traveling freeways between Rancho Cucamonga and Glendale.

Clare Horler-Duckworth used to see five parrots fly in the area by her home near Hemet High School. Now she sees three almost daily. ”They are very vocal and visit a pepper tree filled with bees quite often,” she wrote.

Kathi Marak sent me beautiful pictures of parrots she recently photographed at her Columbia Street home in East Hemet. “These guys were part of a noisy clan of six that briefly stopped by my house,” she wrote. “I’ve never seen a group of stray parrots in Hemet before. They were only here for a few moments, then flew west.  Reminded me of the famous flock of wild parrots in San Francisco, on a much smaller scale of course.”

Parrots in an East Hemet tree at the Columbia Street home of Paul and Kathi Marak. Image by Kathi Marak

Frank Zintzun enjoys seeing resident parrots flying in his Valle Vista neighborhood. He also likes keeping parrots as pets.

“We rescued one about three years ago and named him CoCo and my coworker recently game me hers rescued from Yucaipa named JoJo,” Zintzun wrote. “What a coincidence in names. They love to talk and are a joy to have, but you better have your hands over your ears when they squawk. Not so pleasant.”

Salvatore Angius saw Snow’s excellent parrot photos and traveled from  Long Beach to the San Jacinto Valley in hope of video taping the birds. Angius is the wild parrot advocate behind the amazing and beautiful Facebook page, Californiaflocks. 

He displays his remarkable photos of wild parrots to document their existence in California and posts and credits great pictures taken by others. He uses the term naturalized parrots and would prefer to see them fly free rather than captured to become pets. He disapproves of catching wild parrots to sell.

When Angius and his wife, Julissa Angius, came to East Hemet, they happened to spot and photograph the coyote with a chain hanging from its neck. I posted their picture.

Animal control and state Fish and Wildlife personnel are looking into the sad situation. The same people who successfully rescued a reclusive pitbull from a Hemet field with their Save our Roadie Facebook campaign are trying to capture the coyote, remove the chain and release it.

If they are successful, the coyote could thank the wild parrots that drew Angius and his camera to Hemet.

Coyote with chain on Hemet’s east side. Image by Salvatore Angius

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