Parrot found shot in neck with BB gun: Ocean Beach residents worried someone is targeting parrots

SAN DIEGO - Concerned residents in Ocean Beach contacted 10News, worried that someone is maliciously targeting parrots.

The high-pitched sound of dozens of parrots is something many OB residents wake up to quite often. They have even affectionately named the parrots in their neighborhood the "squak squad." But the birds are not welcomed by everyone.

"I'm sure folks take a shot at or try to get them out of their neighborhood," said Amanda Plante, who is with the group Socal Parrots.

Volunteers think that was the case with a red-crowned amazon parrot. Someone found the bird in a bush near Sacred Heart Church, located at Sunset Cliffs Boulevard and Saratoga Avenue, covered in cooking oil and fighting for its life after being shot with a BB gun.

An x-ray shows the bullet lodged into the bird's neck. It will never be able to fly again.

"It's pretty sad to know that people find the parrots as a nuisance," Plante said.

The parrot is recovering but the volunteer group is especially upset because the parrot is part of an endangered species, so losing one is a big hit to the population.

Red-crowned parrots have decreased significantly. There were 100,000 in their native habit in Mexico back in the 1950s but today there are only 5,000 worldwide.

10News found several videos online with comments from local residents annoyed by parrots.

One person writes: "Learn to love them or leave because they arrive in February and stay until late September."

Someone else commented, "They're not cute at 5:30 a.m."

10News asked around to see what Ocean Beach residents thought.

"They're definitely noticeable but I wouldn't say hurting them is necessary," said Katie Engle.

Bennett Reeber added, "I think they're awesome. They're wild parrots, so they're definitely a treat. They're really fun to see and watch."

Socal Parrots is now educating the public about the birds so something like this does not happen again.

"There probably have been more cases that we're not aware of," Plante said.

According to the Department of Fish and Wildlife, shooting a parrot is a misdemeanor animal cruelty charge. The penalty is up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine.

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