The Wild Parrots of Southern California Galleries Articles FAQ About Us Contact Us Home Report Sightings



Mike Bowles & Loretta Erickson have contributed to the following publications in the manner of photographs, stories and/or interviews:

Birds of Hawaii (Author: Jim Denny), 2010
Molt in North American Birds (Author: Steve     N. G. Howell), 2010

Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum News
    (Official Publication of the Arizona-Sonora
    Desert Museum), June 2011
Bird Talk Magazine, August 2007
Bird Talk Magazine, January 2012
Birding (Official Publication of the American
    Birding Association), September 2011
Defenders (Official Publication of
     Defenders of Wildlife)
Psittascene Magazine (Official Publication
    of The World Parrot Trust), August 2005
Psittascene Magazine (Official Publication
    of The World Parrot Trust), February 2007
Western Tanager, Los Angeles Audubon
Zoo View (Official Publication of the Los     Angeles Zoo), Winter 2007

Pomona Valley News
The Orange County Register, June 2006
The Orange County Register

2008, USDA, Animal & Plant Health
    Inspection Service
2009, USDA, Animal & Plant Health
    Inspection Service
2010, USDA, Animal & Plant Health
    Inspection Service
2011, USDA, Animal & Plant Health
    Inspection Service


Santa Ana Zoo, Parrot Exhibit, Informational
    Display, 2010-2012






















This website is dedicated to the parrot -- from the smallest to the largest, from the wilds to the home, the parrot has continually decorated our world with magnificent colors, amazing antics and incredible intelligence. Most of us think of the parrot as a household pet -- a beautiful bird that talks and sits dutifully perched in our homes. In the reality of their natural world, the parrot is an undomesticated wild animal full of spirit, curiosity and ingenuity. A social butterfly with friends, family, acquaintances -- a job to do and a life to live. They are clever, calculating, caring and courageous. They are an aeronautic amazement in their ability to manuever through just about anything with the speed and grace of the wind that lifts their wings. They are a wonder to behold.

With the creation of we hope to capture the beauty, intelligence and personality of these amazing birds. Through our photographs we hope to enlighten, enhance and entertain...but most of all, to bring your attention to a world rarely seen -- to move your eyes toward the sky and to give your heart wings.



About Mike Bowles & Loretta Erickson



Mike's interest in birds has spanned decades beginning at the age of 10, when he began feeding a pair of pigeons in his backyard. As pigeons will do, they made Mike's home theirs and in an effort to provide them with shelter, Mike and his dad built a pigeon coop where he could house and raise them. Over the years, Mike entertained and amazed his friends with his pigeons' antics -- including taking a pigeon great distances from home, releasing him and then watching the pigeon return. Eventually, Mike's flock grew to over 50 birds.

Some years later, Mike became interested in photography as a means to capture subjects for his paintings. With his love for birds, it seemed only natural to focus his lens toward the sky where he had spent countless hours enjoying the freedom of his own flock.

Loretta acquired her love of nature at a very early age. As niece of award winning wildlife and Disney Photographers (True-Life Adventure Series) -- Alfred and Elma Milotte, her young years were filled with tales, photographs and film footage from the wilds of Africa, Alaska, Australia and the American wilderness. By the time she was old enough to explore the hill-top forrest Alfred and Elma called home, her feet hit the ground running. For a little girl born and raised in the city, her visits to the hidden paradise became ones of intrigue and adventure. Thus began a life of love and appreciation for nature and wildlife.

Mike and Loretta's initial interest in the wild parrots began when they became housemates with a domestically bred, hand-raised Yellow-headed Parrot by the name of Sydney. Loretta's close relationship with Sydney stirred her interest in what Sydney's life would be like, were he not captive. Later, their companion parrot-human family grew with the adoption of a Blue-fronted Parrot by the name of Keyta.

Having heard stories of the wild parrots for years, Mike and Loretta set out in search of the Wild Parrots of Southern California. At first sight, they were in awe and began keeping track of the parrots' whereabouts. In 2001 they began photographing, researching and documenting their local flock. In the midst of their parrot tracking efforts, they became fascinated by the lives of the other birds around them and their interests began to expand. While bird photography in general, became Mike's focus, Loretta's primary interest remained with the wild parrots of Southern California.

Dedicated to the welfare of these struggling species, Mike and Loretta continue to photograph and observe the lives of the wild parrots and spend countless hours traveling with the flocks.

In addition to their in-depth ongoing research, they are presently photographically documenting the individual lives of more than 50 members of their local wild parrot flocks and hope to continue to do so through the bird's lives. Each of these parrots Mike and Loretta can identify by sight.

  In early 2004, Mike and Loretta joined the California Parrot Project. Established in 1994, the mission of The California Parrot Project is to determine the geographical distribution of parrots in California; determine the ecological parameters associated with successful colonization; identify species present and determine their population sizes; establish the extent of interbreeding between closely related congeners; educate the public about naturalized parrots and encourage public participation in the process of the scientific study of urban parrots.




All material contained in this website is protected by copyright. No portion, in
whole or in part, may be used in any fashion without the express written consent of the artist.