Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Wild Parrots of Seattle

A Pair of Mitred Conures in Golden Gardens Park, Photographed January 10, 2010

We have lived in the Ballard neighborhood of North Seattle since 1999. We knew about the wild parrots in Seward Park (see below), but after moving to Ballard we starting hearing that there was a flock of wild parrots in this neighborhood. Unfortunately the only locations we could ever get were really vague, and not very useful as a starting point in trying to locate the parrots. After about ten years of hearing about these parrots we were starting to think they were just an urban myth.

But recently, our local neighborhood newspaper,
The Ballard News-Tribune, published a photo of the parrots, taken January 10, 2010, at Golden Gardens Park:

The parrots look to be Mitred conures, same as the conures of Seward Park across the city on Lake Washington. We would guess that the Sunset Hill parrots are an independent flock because of the distance to Seward Park on Lake Washington, but we suppose it wouldn't be impossible for the parrots to forage that distance.

After the photo was published in the Ballard newspaper, we started hearing from people who live in the vicinity of Golden Gardens who have seen the parrots, and who were able to provide an actual location to see the parrots. According to this information, the best location to see the parrots is the top of the gully above Golden Gardens Park, west of 29th Avenue NW near NW 85th Street:

From the aerial map, it looks like Edgewest Drive NW may be the best access to the area. But at least it gives us a place to start looking.

This is earlier information from May of 2009 posted about the wild parrots of Seward Park:

Columbia Citizens neighborhood blog has recently posted updates on the wild conures of Seattle's Seward Park, in the neighborhood of 49th Avenue and Hudson Street. Photos of the parrots taken May 19 and May 20 can be seen on the blog post by going to the following link:

According to one local resident: In years past, maybe ten or twelve years ago, we counted fourteen parrots at one time. More recently the numbers seem to be dwindling…these days we see three or four maybe in our neck of the woods—43rd Avenue and Ferdinand Street. I was told they've been around for a long time and originated with a bird (or two) flying out of someone's open window.


Lauren Marshall said...

My daughter and I saw a wild budgie flying with a flock of red-winged blackbirds, a couple weeks ago, at Dr. MAze's Farm in Redmond.
It had a legband. It appeared to have joined the flock. It was flyign and foragign with them. Has anyoen ever seen anythign like this, in which an escaped parrot joins a flock of a differnet species?

Michael Ostrogorsky said...

That is wild. Was this recently? Parrots are flock animals and would instinctively seek a flock to join for sheer survival. I have seen an occasional (presumably escaped) canary around my Seattle neighborhood, but nothing like this. Count yourself lucky to have witnessed this.

Michael Ostrogorsky said...

Sorry Lauren, I missed the part where you said it was a couple of weeks ago. Where in the Redmond area is Dr. Maze's Farm?