By Lois Lane
If you shot a parrot with a BB gun, the Ocean Beach Town Council would not be the place to defend your action. Up at 5:30 am with the parrots? This is an endangered species we are talking about, believe it or not.
Amanda Plante of SoCal Parrot Society filled us in on the facts. Contrary to popular belief, these Red Crown Amazons are not the descendants of a pair which escaped from an OB apartment. They are an endangered species of Mexican parrot, previously imported by pet owners, and now on the endangered list as a result of the destruction of their native habitat.
Southern California currently has more and larger flocks than those that still exist in their original homes in Mexico. Some did start with escaped pets, but many were released when US tourists about to cross the border with one into the US realized that perhaps this idea had a criminal component, and released the parrots to fend for themselves. They fly straight to San Diego instead of heading back to Mexico, as here we have an abundance of everything that parrots eat. Parrots are cavity nesters, and OB seems to have plenty of small niches that particularly suit them.
The OB Town Council meeting presentation focused on the parrot shooting on June 8, at the corner of Saratoga and Sunset Cliffs. The victim is partly healed, with an x-ray slide displayed showing a BB pellet still embedded. This parrot is still alive and now part of the Foster Flock supported by the Society.
Individual flocks in Mexico were estimated at about 100,000 birds fifty years ago; these flocks now have a maximum size of 200.
The bulk of the remaining population is in Southern California. Saving the best for last: a thank you from a Red Crown and a Purple Crown, two very well behaved and respectful parrots, bowing to thunderous applause from the audience.
Public Comment: Move Surf Schools to Dog Beach
Earlier in the meeting, OB public comments did what they do best – point out areas that the government officials need to take a closer look at – in this case, surfing schools that set up full time business in the surfing area around the pier.The recommendation: move these schools to Dog Beach.
The same complaint was made regarding commercial exercise classes of various sorts which are conducted on public property. This property was meant for the public. Our business-friendly city is sometimes a little too friendly where public property is concerned. This is according to the surfers and OB residents who addressed this issue.
The OB Town Council website lists the numerous upcoming events – the Pancake Breakfast on September 20, and updates on other events throughout the community: www.obtowncouncil.org. You don’t have to be a member to attend the meetings.
Candidates for positions on the Town Council Board introduced themselves:
- Nate Bazydlo,
- Jill Chorak,
- Kevin Harrington,
- Gio Ingolia,
- Trudy Levenson,
- Rebecca (Becca) Taylor,
- Zachariah Rowland,
- Melanie Williams, and
- Shallyn Wyatt.
If you are a member of the Town Council, plan to vote in the election coming up soon, with 10 candidates for 7 positions.
The amount of community information provided is a real benefit to everyone. And the Masonic building on Sunset Cliffs Blvd is within walking distance for everyone. See you in September!