Parrots in paradise

Four species of parrots come to roost each evening in Oliveira Park in Brownsville, Texas. Groups of 30-40 birds fly in, perch on bare branches or wires, calling continuously, and flitting from place to place before settling down.  Bird watchers and photographers congregate to admire the spectacle, and it is impressive!

Parrots in Brownsville, Texas

They time their fly-in so the light is just fading after sunset, making photography doubly challenging.

Parrots in Brownsville, Texas

Noisy chattering from a line-up of parrots on power lines…

Parrots in Brownsville, Texas

A lot of jostling for position among bare branches of mesquite trees…these are the red-crowned parrots, probably the most common species in this assemblage.

Red-lored parrot, Brownsville, Texas

A Red-lored parrot, with a red and yellow face, the next most common species in the large group.

Yellow-headed parrot, Brownsville, Texas

Yellow-headed parrots were far less common than the other two.  This shot looks like it was taken in mid-day, but the lightened exposure was actually taken at 6:30, long after sunset, with a little illumination from the lights over the soccer field.

White-fronted Amazon parrots also made an appearance, though it was too dark for me to photograph them.  Lilac-crowned Amazon parrots have also been seen in this mixed flock.

Why are so many parrots fond of this park in Brownsville, Texas?  Perhaps because there is a lot of fruit and produce grown here in the fertile Rio Grande valley, and the park trees make excellent cover for an overnight stay.  Some birds may be wild birds from points south in Mexico, but others are probably escaped pets that have since gone feral.

We finally gave up our observations when the sky looked like this….

Full moon


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