Saturday 20 March 2010

An Unlikely Sight

When you live in South Germany and it is only March, with the trees still bare and only some of the most daring spring flowers out in the gardens, you certainly do not expect to come across parrots - and yet, that is exactly what I saw today.

Yes, you have heard right, parrots.
Three of them sitting cosily in the tree on the corner of the street where I live.
Very obviously feeling very much at home (I observed them for quite a while), not as if they had escaped from somewhere, but like natives.

They reminded me of the Alexander-Sittiche (sorry, don't know the English name), a kind of parrot, who are thriving in Wiesbaden. About 5 years ago, I had to go to Wiesbaden for several weeks into a rehab clinic (for my back, in case you were wondering), and one of the first things I noticed were the green parrots everywhere in the trees.
One of the doctors in the clinic explained their history to me; from a few escaped birds, in the span of only a few decades, the parrots grew in numbers and formed colonies (as they do in their natural habitat), and have developed enough resistence to survive German winters; some even consider them a new kind and not exactly the same species anymore as the one they originally started out as.

Today, when I walked home from the gym, I noticed these three. My neighbours noticed them, too, and one of them said that apparently there is a small colony in Stuttgart. Stuttgart is only 14 km away from here, so I suppose the three birds in our tree have either been on a day trip to my home town or are the first foreboders of more to come.

We'll see!

In the meantime, here is my photographic evidence, in case you think that maybe there was something not quite right with my coffee this afternoon:


  1. How wonderful!
    You must see if you can rent a movie, filmed in California, titled 'The Parrots of Telegraph Hill'
    you would enjoy it, I think.

  2. Thank you, Julie, I will ask a friend of mine who is originally from California - he has quite an impressive DVD library, and maybe I am lucky and he owns that movie.