A tropical bird spotted in the heart of Oakland is sparking curiosity and joy on social media.
People are stretching their necks to catch a glimpse of a yellow parrot that has been seen hanging with a group of crows. Bird experts said it is likely the parrot was someone’s pet who either escaped or was recklessly released.
An NBC Bay Area news crew tried to search for the elusive bird on Thursday and came up empty, but did find a witness.
“All of a sudden I saw something that wasn’t a crow. It was just a parrot with a yellow head and green body,” said David Robinson, a birdwatcher in Oakland.
Robinson spotted the yellow-headed Amazon parrot in his neighborhood three weeks ago.
“The crows were kind of harassing it,” he said.
Robinson said despite the bullying, the parrot kept following the crows and over time, the bird watcher thinks, the crows have accepted the colorful parrot as one of their own.
Another Oakland bird watcher, Ingrid Taylar, spotted the parrot last week roosting with a murder of crows in Oakland’s Uptown neighborhood.
“It did sound in my friend’s video that it’s making crow-like noises,” Robinson said. “And parrots are mimics.”
Those who live by Lake Merritt are now keeping their eyes peeled for the parrot.
“It’s a local celebrity now!” Robinson said.
A bird expert with the Golden Gate Audobon Society said the parrot is a popular cagebird species and is likely a pet who either escaped or was irresponsibly let go.
The bird expert said, while it’s likely the parrot can tolerate the overnight cold, it’s defenseless against predators like owls, cats and certain hawks.
“I think it should be taken somewhere it can actually live more of a free life,” Robinson said.
Those looking for a break from their screens or the onslaught of bad news now have another reason to go outside.
“Clearly this gives me hope for the world,” Oakland resident Elias Ramer said. “If crows and parrots can recognize each other…and hang out, that gives me a little bit of hope for humanity.”
Source: NBC Bay Area