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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & General Editor
Volume 9, Number 3, September 2015


Deborah P. Kolodji
Temple City, California, USA

Wild Parrots

For the last decade, I’ve lived near a major roost site of wild parrots, a noisy, messy squawking gang of birds which would move through the neighborhood, disturb the quiet, fly over bedrooms at 4:00 a.m. and christen parked cars with a hundred white bird droppings.

One early autumn morning, I remember walking down a neighboring street, bright red with liquidambar, with a flock of parrots in almost every tree, and crows on almost every lawn. As I walked past the first tree, the parrots shifted to another, flying low over my head, squawking by my shoulders. The crows on that lawn shifted to another lawn, caw, caw, cawing as they moved. The parrots in that tree squawked and flew to another tree, and as I walked down the street, the only human apparently awake, I was surrounded by a cacophony of parrots and crows, and a riot of color–the reds of the liquidambar, the greens of the parrots, the black of the crows, and the orange of my sweater.

The last couple of years have been much more silent. Used to the parrots as background noise, I just assumed I was filtering them out, but then I read an e-mail from the local Audubon Society which claimed they had all moved to South Pasadena. Suddenly, I was aware of their absence. No 4:00 am wake-up squawks, no lines of green birds on the telephone wires, no bee-bee gun pops from neighbors trying to scare them away from their cars.

a green feather among
fallen bracts



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