A healthy parrot greeted the congregation of All Souls' in Point Loma on April 3.
On April 3, SoCal Parrot set up a booth at All Souls' Episcopal Church on Catalina Boulevard after being invited to do so by reverend Joseph Dirbas. Dirbas extended the invitation after learning of the dead parrots found at his church on Easter Sunday.
While there, an elderly gentleman with a hint of an Irish brogue approached Durham.
"He said that sometime last year as workers were repaving the church's parking lot, they were shot at with biodegradable pellets," said Durham. "He said the workers refused to go back to work until someone from the church spoke with someone at the house where the shots were coming from. He said that someone at that house said it was an accident and that it wouldn't happen again."
Duke Harris, the owner of Allied Asphalt, confirmed the incident that was reported to Durham.
"The incident was in 2014,” Harris said on April 6. “I remember the kid who lived or lives on the east side of the church shooting at my workers so I stopped the project and someone from the church talked to the family and we started back up."
On April 3, Project Wildlife informed Durham that another conure was found dead on Catalina Boulevard with injuries consistent with a projectile or collision.
According to Durham, this brings the death toll to 11 wild parrots that have been found in Point Loma or Ocean Beach since February 19 (plus one in Lakeside on January 5). Four near-threatened conures and one endangered lilac-crowned Amazon have been confirmed victims of a projectile. Two of the 11 have undetermined causes due to the degradation of their corpses. The pair of conures found on Easter Sunday have a determined cause of death; however, the county’s Department of Animal Services has not disclosed the cause in that case.
Durham said a member of the public alerted her to another bird suspected of being shot on March 31. On April 6, someone who works at Avian & Exotics on Morena Boulevard confirmed that a parrot shot on March 31 "is still being treated."
Durham has not learned of the exact location where the parrot was found.
Dan DeSousa of the Department of Animal Services confirmed the March 31 shooting: ”We don't have any confirmed suspects, nor is there confirmation that the suspect is a minor." DeSousa stated that there are no air-gun complaints that could pertain this case nor other reported animals shot by an air-gun in the area.
Durham said, "The dead birds are piling up in Point Loma. There has to be some way to stop this rogue group of bad-boy wannabes that more than one Point Loma mother has told me about. There are a lot of Point Loma residents that have seen and heard young boys in the area firing pellet guns between the last six months to a year. Though no one has reported seeing any minors aiming at birds, it's hard to fathom the increase in air gun sightings aren't related to the increase of dead parrots killed by air guns."
I asked both departments (sheriff and police) about laws regarding air-guns and minors. San Diego police officer Travis Easter referred me to California penal code 20170, which states that openly displayed air-guns are not allowed in public spaces. This includes one's own front yard or automobile. Violation of this is punishable by a fine of $100-$300. After a third offense, it's a misdemeanor.
The April 6 Yorba Linda victim will be euthanized
On April 6, Durham said another parrot was confirmed shot with a projectile in Yorba Linda. The endangered red-crowned Amazon was recovering under the care of Todd Cecil at Pet Emergency and Specialty Center in La Mesa but the decision has been made to euthanize the parrot due to a wing that cannot be surgically repaired.
San Diego County Department of Animal Services has set up a hotline for info about the recent shootings/killings of parrots. 619-767-2766