A flock of vibrant green parrots are known to roam the skies of Burbank, settling down in any tree large enough to hold the entire flock while filling the morning air with a chorus of squawks that make residents wish they could wake up to songbirds chirping for once. T.T. doesn’t know exactly where they came from but has heard different stories. All say that the birds were smuggled in as illegal pets but escaped to inhabit the wild concrete jungle. Some say it was just a few birds who escaped from the singular smuggler, and then proceeded to breed . into the flock that exists today. Others claim the smuggler brought a bunch of birds and was able to sell them, to spread them out and then a bunch of those birds individually escaped. Either way the current size of the group (tens upon tens of “loud hecking birds”) suggests that the birds have been around and reproducing for some time.
The parrots stand out to people who live in Burbank for being so obviously foreign. Burbank is a suburb with sparrows and squirrels. The most exotic animal sightings are usually coyotes up in the mountains. In that environment bright green parrots stand out, and they don’t even try to hide. Their flock conspicuously chases off more outnumbered ravens and whatnot that people are more used to seeing around Burbank, and again they are very loud. If they hang out in your neighbor’s tree that morning, you’ll know. The fascination with the parrots speaks to a deeper cultural fascination with exotic, outside things. For all its social liberalism, Burbank is still a very white, sizably old population so the interest in exotic birds being imported by plane (the city has its own busy airport) probably ties into an unspoken interest, possibly an anxiety, surrounding the different people from all over the world constantly arriving by plane. Of course Burbank doesn’t exist in a vacuum so this local legend also exists in personalized forms for other places in Southern California such as Pasadena, which can be found here: https://laist.com/2018/07/10/pasadenas_parrots_are_annoying_af_but_may_save_their_species_from_extinction.php