Residents in a southwest neighborhood are puzzled by a sudden infestation of wild parrots, which fill the palm trees at the old Vons shopping center on Wible Road at dusk, and then leave again at dawn.
The bird experts at "For The Birds... And More" on Rosedale Highway said the wild rose-ringed parrots are actually the result of a dust storm in 1977.
"Over on Ming Avenue, an aviary blew over in a storm, and two pair escaped," said Sherry Parker, the store owner. "So everything has kind of originated from that two pair over the years."
Parker said the southwest bunch is just one of the five flocks in town.
"Out here in Rosedale there's a big flock, and actually some other parrots have joined that flock. So there's Amazons in with it, and a couple of cockatoos, so it's just kind of a growing thing," she said. "And then there's a big flock down in the Oleander area. And they originally started nesting in the palm trees down at the Bakersfield Inn. So they kind of hung around in that area. And then there's one down on the river, lots of them down on the river. And one up on the east side. And now I guess there's one out on Wible too."
Parrots are known for their personality, and the wild ones are no different.
"They all have their own personality," Parker said. "They love to play, they're very playful birds. They're good talkers, they're just fun birds."
The parrots have also helped Bakersfield earn some more fame.
"We have probably the largest population in the United States of these that are wild now," Parker said.
Thanks to the Bakersfield heat, the parrots have stuck around, apparently thinking they're in the tropics.
"So it just goes to show you that Bakersfield is very condusive to breeding exotic birds," Parker said.
While some think they're a nuisance, others told 23ABC they're a unique part of Bakersfield's history.
"Let them be," Parker said. "They're doing no harm, other than eating people's nut trees, and plum trees!"
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