Learning from the Parrot Project

My new neighborhood has parrots. We used to have parrots–I believe parakeets–when we lived in WeHo. I never observed any parrots in DTLA–I think they like to be in groups, and I think they like free flight.

At our new home, we have I think two distinct groups of parrots. I went to the California Parrot Project Page to identify them. I think our green birds are the Mitred parakeet. They have little red faces, they are about the right size, and they numerous.

But we also have grey parrots–I’m pretty sure–and they are not listed on the parrot pages anywhere. I’m assume they are naturalized African Greys, but perhaps I am wrong. They are hard to see well, but they are bigger than the green ones, and there are fewer in the flock that swoop around. They are also chatterboxes, yammering at each other even they are at rest.

I filled out a parrot report–let’s see if they get back in touch. I’m going to try to catch a picture of them, but I usually see them when I am pottering around in the garden.

Have any of the rest of you seen grey parrots in SoCal?

Here is a picture of the parakeet I’m pretty sure of, from the Parrot Project website:

Voila Capture150


In response to my post the other day about my favorite bat, one of my wonderful students emailed me to say that she didn’t realize that I had a favorite bat. She, too, it seems, is a bat enthusiast.

Among my other enthusiasm is grass. Yes, grass (no, not that kind of grass. You People). I’m a sucker for ornamental grasses in any landscape. So it was nice to read an op-ed in the New York TImes Olivia Judson, quickly becoming my favorite writer in their stable, on grasses:

Evolution by the Grassroots – Opinionator Blog – NYTimes.com

I’ve always rather felt a bit guilty about my fondness for grasses, as trying to maintain a Kentucky Bluegrass yard is a pretty big environmental bad in arid southern California. But there are plenty of grasses that don’t need the water, and many of them are beautiful, as well, and as Judson points out, useful as corridors for wildlife.

Edward Caswell’s New York

HT to Orange Crate Art.

Edward Caswell’s illustration of a willow tree, shown above, served as illustration for one of my favorite books about the city: Here is New York (1949). Caswell’s sketches of New York appeared in numerous periodicals throughout the 1940s and 1950s before he passed away in 1963. This tree was still standing in 2002.

As Professor Leddy notes, there are a few Edward Caswell illustrations available for sale at Deep Archives.