The Parrots of Pasadena


Parrots In Pasadena?

The Parrots of Pasadena or should I say South Pasadena. Here’s my story:

SoCalRunning.com member Eric told me there were parrots in Pasadena. I said, “You mean the green ones? Are you crazy? Don’t parrots come from places like the Mexican jungle. He said, “Yes but no” and told me a story about a Pasadena pet store that caught fire when a good samaritan ran into the store and started opening cages of the animals. He said, some parrots were freed and now we have over 1000. It sounded too goo to be true so I went home and looked it up on the internet and here’s what I learned.

Urban legend or not?

The parrots are mentioned on the official City of Pasadena web site and here’s what it says. “Naturalized parrots are frequently seen and heard around Pasadena. According to local legend, many were released during a 1959 fire which destroyed Simpson’s Gardenland and Bird Farm in Pasadena. Some of the parrots were probably pets that escaped or were set free. Some may have been released by smugglers attempting to avoid arrest. One common breed is the Red-crowned parrot.”

I am writing this to say, it is so cool to be running and riding around South Pasadena while seeing and hearing these green birds. They can be noisy and I know they really bug some people yet I love being around these odd birds. They fly in packs or flocks and hang out in lots of local trees. They just add a special spirit, color and noise to my runs. Maybe one day they’ll ask me how my run is going and I’ll respond, Polly want a cracker.”

Train Focused, Steve Mackel USA Triathlon Coach

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4 Responses to “The Parrots of Pasadena”

  1. Bernice on January 16th, 2008

    Wow! This is amazing! I’m just excited to go trail running in Pasadena again, now that we can run with some of the guys from our Thursday yoga class.

  2. Gary on January 16th, 2008

    It’s confirmed. Steve, you really are a birdbrain.

  3. Jackass on January 17th, 2008

    Are those the birds of paradise for you?

  4. Billy Proulx on February 8th, 2012

    When I was in college back in the 70′s, I used to delieve junk mail for extra money during the summer and during vacations. One time I was working in Pasadena just north of the 210 fwy. I was working a block that had a big church with a school on campus. I could hear the sounds of children playing. I could hear the swings squeaking, whisles blowing, laughter etc. But it was Easter Break; no children anywhere. I thought I was going crazy for a minute. As I got closer I realized the sound was coming from above me and now they sounded a little phoney. I looked up and there they were dozens maybe hundreds of Parrots. They were green with yellow highlights and some had a little red spot on their wings or heads. It was a strange experience.flannh

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