Introduced Birds in L. A.

By Jean Brandt

Published Western Tanager, July-August 1976

To count or not to count, that is the question. One of the first species out-of-town birders ask to see in Los Angeles is the Ringed Turtle Dove, and now that the American Birding Association has "sanctified" the Yellow-headed Parrot, everyone is looking for it as well. So here goes: a list of introduced and established species in and around Los Angeles:

1. Ringed Turtle Dove. A few are found in the Los Angeles Civic Center, around Olvera Street, Pershing Square, and at MacArthur Park—near Wilshire and Alvarado.

2. Spotted Dove. This species has adapted very well, breeding throughout Southern California, from the Central Valley and Santa Barbara to San Diego and Palm Springs. A few are always in the gardens at Audubon House.

3. Red-whiskered Bulbul. A few are still found on the grounds of the Huntington Library in San Marino.

4. Canary-winged Parrot. A dozen or more roost at Point Fermin Park in San Pedro. They are best seen in the early morning or late afternoon.

5. Yellow-headed Parrot. Small flocks are reported in both Westwood and in Pasadena, but they move around a lot. Early morning is the best time to look and listen for them (they are very noisy). Try the Veteran's Hospital at Sawtelle and Wilshire in West L.A., or the L.A. County Arboretum in Arcadia.

6. Lilac-crowned Parrot. A few may still be found with the Yellow-headed Parrots at the Arboretum.

7. Rose-ringed Parakeet. Reported occasionally at the Arboretum.

8. Red-crowned Parrot. Reported occasionally at the Arboretum, and also with the flock of Yellow-headed Parrots in Westwood.

9. Mealy Parrot. Reported occasionally at the Arboretum.

10. Cardinal. Introduced at Whittier Narrows Nature Center in El Monte. The birds have since spread along the Rio Hondo and the San Gabriel riverbeds.

For further information, read Feral Exotic Birds in Southern California, by William Hardy, in the Wilson Bulletin, Vol. 85, No. 4, December, 1973. Good birding!

Originally published in Western Tanager, Vol. 42 No. 10, July-August 1976

Transcribed for the Los Angeles Audubon Society (LAAS) Western Tanager "Articles from the Archives" July 2012 by SMC.