Sunday, 25 April 2010

Those flocks of little green parrots

Are parrots a flock? It seems like a group of them should be called a “gaggle” or a “snaggle” or something ending with “aggle”.
It’s a strange city phenomenon over here in Europe. I first noticed them 4 years ago when I lived in Barcelona. I had just arrived in the city and was having a blissful all alone day pottering around and discovering, when a little ghost arose somewhere in my mind and began it’s lonely whimpering. I felt sorry for myself, I missed my friends and then out of no where, right above my head I heard a very animated conversation between about 20 little green parrots who had just landed in the trees above my head. I laughed out loud in a way that only a woman traveling alone can. I was missing my friends and out of the sky came this waggle of tiny parrot friends to gossip and sort me out. They were my welcome to Barcelona and I later learned rumour had it that a couple of parrots had escaped from the zoo and had become a fraggle of parrots over the years. It was a beautiful story and I believed it readily.
A couple of years ago I moved to Rome and several time since arriving here, I’ve seen a green parrot gang playing cards and drinking scotch in the palm trees. I’ve also seen them in Brazil, which is a bit more expected but very surpisingly I recently spotted them in Greenwich, London. So, what is going on? Either I am being followed because my parrot friends think I can’t be trusted to take care of myself and therefore they need to check on me periodically. Or there is a steadily growing parrot population in major european cities. Why have they chosen us? Where did they come from? What do they eat? What do they talk about so passionately and animatedly? I feel sure their discussion topics include the the Catholic church, who makes the best seeded batch loaf and post post-modern films – call it a hunch.  Nevertheless, my heart sings to see them and if you are traveling to Europe this summer, keep your ears open – you’ll hear them before you see them.


  1. The 'Green Parrot Gang', also inhabits the trees on the banks of the River Thames adjacent to Hampton Court Palace, and, yes, you can hear them chattering animatedly long before they are spotted.
    They are supposedly escapees from zoos, pet shops
    etc. and some liberated by irresponsible owners, who have then adapted to their new envirenment.
    I can never quite make out what the topic of conversation is, but the word'screeeeeeech',comes up a lot!.
    Enjoy your day,
    caio for now.

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  3. Oh, this story is so amazing. Who knows if they have something like blogs to talk about us!...
    And so, I just wrote my first comment in this nice place. It's a way to tell you that I like it and that I will come back to read you again..
    Enjoy your day,
    but above all
    enjoy your daily parrot :-)