A study of former pet parrots living and breeding in the wild (called “naturalized” parrots) was recently published in the Journal of Ornithology.
The findings show that our escaped pet birds are living, and in many cases thriving, in nearly all US states, including those with cold climates.
56 species of naturalized parrots have been sighted living in the wild in 43 states between the years 2002-2016. 25 of these parrot species are known to be breeding in at least 23 states.
The most common pet parrot species living in the wild in the US are the Monk Parakeet, the Red-crowned Amazon, and the Nanday Parakeet.
Most naturalized parrots live in three states with relatively warm climates: California, Florida, and Texas.
A story on this parrot study in National Geographic notes that escaped parrots can live in colder states, thanks to their nightly nesting habits and people putting out bird seed in the winter months.
Parrots live in all types of environments, from urban to rural, with many choosing to nest in man-made structures.
Here in San Diego, researchers report that we have as many as 13 parrot species living in the wild. Locals can keep up with the latest parrot news and report sightings via the San Diego Parrot Project!
Five years ago, Mufasa was a kitten, living with his owners in Yuma Arizona. He went missing and his owners never gave up hope that they would find him again.
Fast-forward five years to the San Diego Humane Society. Mufasa was surrendered to SDHS by his current “owners.” Standard procedure at the shelter is to scan all pets for microchips. Mufasa’s microchip revealed that he actually belonged to someone else!
Mufasa’s original owners now live in Oklahoma City, and were overjoyed to hear that Mufasa had been found. They immediately flew to San Diego to retrieve Mufasa, who seems to have remembered his first human family!
You can watch a local CBS News video of this amazing story HERE.
Many pet cats fled their homes during the devastating wildfires that swept through Sonoma County. Quite a few of these cats remain missing.
A woman named Jennifer Petruska has made it her mission to track these cats down every night since the fires. So far, she and her team have found more than 70 cats, but they believe dozens more remain lost.
This volunteer group calls itself Pet Rescue & Reunification. They set up night vision cameras and traps with food in places the lost cats are thought to be hiding. The traps are checked every hour until morning.
Many people who lost their homes and all their possessions in the fires are still heartsick over the loss of their cats. Animal experts say that cats flee danger by instinct and can survive in hiding for weeks. This gives rescuers and owners hope that the cats are still alive.