Amazon parrots returned back into the wild in USA

December 28th, 2015 | by LubosTomiska
Amazon parrots returned back into the wild in USA
Conservation projects

More than 20 parrots were released back into the wild in El Cajon, USA on December 22 by nonprofit organization SoCal Parrot. The San Diego Union-Tribune informed about that on the official website. In total, 25 Lilac-crowned Amazons (Amazona finshi) and Green-cheeked Amazons (Amazona viridigenalis) were returned back into the wild.

The group of twelve volunteers who performed the release have been managed by founder, director and president of organization SoCal Parrot Brooke Durham. A similar event took place at the same place in the last year.

SoCal Parrot is a nonprofit association of volunteers who care for orphaned and injured parrots. It was established in 2011 and has branches in San Diego County, Santa Barbara, Ventura, Riverside, Los Angeles a Orange counties.


The organization is supported also by San Diego Department of Animal Services and Project Wildlife. SoCal Parrot doesn’t accept domestic parrots, only injured wild individuals.

“If they’re angry birds, they’re probably wild,” Durham said for The San Diego Union-Tribune. “They have a clear way of vocalizing, a clear indication that they don’t care for humans even looking at them. A typical parrot that is domestic is not going to be upset with a human looking at it.”


Brooke Durham, founder and director of SoCal Parrot, a wild parrot rescue group based in Jamul, waits for just the right time on Sunday to have volunteers release more than two dozen healthy birds into the skies above the El Cajon Courthouse.

(c) Karen Pearlman, Union-Tribune.


In San Diego Country we can find thousands of wild parrots comming from all over the world. There are species from Asia, Central or South America. Durham believes that most of them are survivors of a black market pet trade because San Diego is found near to the border.

“That’s where smugglers release poached wild birds before getting caught with the evidence of a federal crime,” Durham said. “Our urban landscaping tends to utilize lots of flowering and fruiting plants and trees from the same habitats that the parrots originate from. That’s probably a welcome sight to a bird that has just escaped the poachers at the border.”

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Title photo: (c) Tom Fowlks.


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  1. I am just curious what are the laws with the fish and wildlife service for releasing non native ( invasive species) in the state of California , USA.

    • Great question – and one that I asked many years ago, long before I had even considered founding SoCal Parrot. CAFW and USFW biologists and legal departments were all consulted before we released our first group of rescued wild parrots in 2014. They have come to the conclusion that these parrots are non-native but also NOT invasive, therefore they have issued as statement allowing us to release the birds back into the urban wilds of Southern California. We have been asked not to release Quaker/Monk Parakeets, due to their potential to be considered invasive to our ecosystems. These parrots have existed in our local urban wilds for over 50 years, that alone demonstrates that the potential for invasiveness is non-existent, most likely because they cannot expand into our native habitats. (Southern California’s native coastal sage scrub foliage doesn’t have the caloric capacity to support flocks of Amazon parrots.)

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