Wild Parrot People Take Over South Pasadena Public Library

"The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill" brought a full house to the South Pasadena Library Community Room.

By day South Pasadena City Librarian, Steve Fjeldsted is a mild-mannered librarian. But by night, he is wild parrot person covered in tie-dye. 

Fjeldsted was just another bird in the flock of library patrons that filled the  on Thursday evening for a screening of the 2005 documentary, The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill. The event also featured a Q & A session with the documentary’s subject and author of The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill: A Love Story with Wings, . 

The colorful event, which brought a full house to the library, was a celebration of South Pasadena’s own parrots.

“We have our own South Pasadena parrots,” said Fjeldsted. “They’re colorful, they’re outspoken and they’re thriving in South Pasadena. It seems only natural to show the film and have Mark here.”

Bittner, referred to as the St. Francis of Telegraph Hill in the documentary, had the opportunity to see South Pasadena’s famous parrots outside of the on Thursday afternoon.

After spotting the vivid and vivacious birds, Bittner informed the crowd that the local flock is made up of Amazon parrots, a group of medium-sized green parrots that originate from Mexico, South America and the Caribbean. 

The parrots, often spotted outside the or , have become local legend in the city.

“So many people here have told me their parrot stories and what they think of the parrots,” said Fjeldsted. “There’s not much written about the South Pasadena parrots, there’s just a lot of local legend and word of mouth about them.”

South Pasadena resident, Victoria Gast, attended the screening because she wanted to learn more about Bittner and hear his thoughts on the city’s own parrots.

“The parrots here just fascinate me,” Gast said. “There are so many parrots in town. It started with a little group and now there are flocks of them.”

Before the screening, attendees were able to listen to a sneak peak of Bittner’s upcoming book, Street Song. The new novel details Bittner’s life before parrots entered his colorful world.

 “I come to these events because Steve gets such great people to come to our library,” said South Pasadena resident, Barbara Klein. “We have so many parrots here in our neighborhood so I knew this would be a great event to come to. Right here in little South Pasadena, we have a big flock of bright parrots.” 

Editor's Note: This story has been revised. An earlier version stated incorrectly the name of Mark Bittner's upcoming novel. It is called "Street Song." 

For more on Mark Bittner and the Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill, click

Laurie Allee March 12, 2011 at 01:23 AM
FYI: The title of Mark Bittman's upcoming book is Street Song, not Street Songs.
Jennifer Smith March 12, 2011 at 02:20 AM
Thanks Laurie!
Janet Hoyman May 30, 2011 at 04:49 AM
The South Pasadena Parrots are an absolute delight to us and have signaled the start and close of practically each and every day of the past six years (at the time of this writing) that the Hoyman Family has owned and operated the Bissell House Bed and Breakfast. They are charming, beautiful creatures full of personality and their daily visits bring a smile to our faces.
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