Photos: The parrots of… the Richmond District?

Photo by Tom Freeman

San Francisco is well known for its parrots of Telegraph Hill. They’re a regular stop for tourists visiting the city.

But the flock has gotten larger over the years – and let’s face it, savvier. They cover a lot of territory across the city, and it’s not unusual to hear a screeching pack fly overhead in a myriad of neighborhoods.

Reader (and Richmond District historian) John Freeman was delighted to encounter some of the parrots on the 600 block of 11th Avenue last week.

“I was shocked to see them in our neighborhood. There is a bush in front of a neighbor’s house that attracted them. We came home to see the bush covered with about 12 green parrots, plucking berries off the branches,” John told us. “I’ve lived over 70 years in the Richmond District and this is the FIRST time I have ever seen parrots on our turf.”

John’s grandson was able to snap a couple of pictures before they all flew on to their next feeding spot.

We had another parrot flock spotting at Balboa and 27th a couple of years ago. Do you run into the parrots in the Richmond? Leave a comment to let us know.

Sarah B.

Photo by Tom Freeman


  1. I’ve yet to see them in the Richmond District but I’m not surprised, as they appear to have been spreading westward for some time. There’s been a flock in the vicinity of Corona Heights Park for a few years now. A colorful alternative to the corvids that have adopted the western neighborhoods.

  2. I’ve been hearing them from my bedroom window, so they’re in someone’s yard nearby and I’m on 7th Ave near Clement. And just about a week ago, I caught a glimpse of a few in the Presidio near the Presidio Social Club. Looks they’re making moves!

  3. I hear them while running through the Presidio, but have yet to see them in our ‘hood!

  4. I started hearing them a couple
    months back around 5th Ave

  5. Yup, I’ve heard them flying overhead near 5th ave. as they make their way towards whatever yummy treats they’ve found.

    I’ve also been hearing flocks of geese honking as they fly over the neighborhood.

  6. A flock of the parrots regularly fly over Moscone Field in the Marina. So, they are spreading beyond Telegraph Hill.

  7. I work at USF and see them almost daily, up above Fulton near Parker. They make a large racket so they’re easy to spot. One day my colleague saw a hawk just take one out in the middle of the sky!

  8. I see several pairs returning from somewhere in the Richmond, every Sunday morning except unstable weather.

  9. They move relative to available food, have fairly long tails so they can fly pretty far and there’s a sizable, growing population. I would expect to see more of them in the future, a lot more of them. However, they have some predatory pressure as mentioned in previous posts so their expansion will continue to be gradual. They pretty much need “urban woodland” so it will be interesting to find out how far south they go.

  10. If seen and heard them as far West as 25th Ave., but haven’t had any sightings in the Outer Richmond, but I remain optimistic. Nonetheless, we have our ravens by the hundreds, of which there are very few (if any) on Telegraph Hill.

  11. If seen many falcons around Central Richmond. These parrots with their nice bright colors will stand out nicely to the falcons!

  12. They use to fly over my old place on 18th and Church all the time. Now I live near Precita Park and I still see them every so often. I get the feeling that they’re pretty much everywhere now

  13. I hear and sometimes see them almost daily around 10am as they squawk over 25th and Fulton. Perhaps we can name our flock The Conures of the West.

  14. Daily parrot flock sounds passing through overhead up here at Pacific and Fillmore, also lots of noise from growing presence of crows/ravens–shades of The Birds –all a first this summer.

  15. I don’t live in The Richmond – I live in Excelsior/Crocker Amazon. We’ve seen them down here too (small flock of 3 to 5 birds). They used to fly by on a daily basis heading for San Bruno Mtn. I haven’t seen them in a while, so maybe they’ve found another area they prefer, or have decided to stay up on San Bruno Mtn.?

  16. I’ve heard them in the palm trees in front of the de Young Museum, so I’m not surprised that they’re out in the neighborhood, too.

  17. I’ve heard them frequently near the Officers Club in the Presidio for a few years. Also have heard their distinct squawking near the deYoung once or twice. Haven’t heard any (yet!) in the mid-Avenues where I live. For 6 or 7 years I’ve watched, from my friend’s apartment deck on Potrero Hill, a flock of about 15 or 20 flying out near General Hospital.

  18. As a lifelong Richmond District resident and hoofer, I’ve been hearing (and occasionally seeing) the parrots pretty regularly for at least the last couple of years on my jaunts around the district.

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