Yoshinori Mizutani photographed some extraordinary wildlife activity right in the heart of urban Tokyo. He was able to capture the city’s parrot infestation, a result of the birds being originally brought from the tropics to Japan as pets in the 1970′s. As can be seen, these birds have appropriated some of Tokyo’s high tension wires and have also blended themselves into the trees.
Their bright yellow-green colors magnify the city foliage beautifully, while creating a stark, vivid contrast against the deep bluish sky. Mizutani was pleasantly surprised with the volume of brightly colored parrots in the city when he moved there to study.
“When I first saw them I was afraid – I thought I was going to be attacked, like in Hitchcock’s The Birds.” The parrots were taken to Tokyo as pets from tropical regions like India and Sri Lanka, and the city’s trees are now home to these birds. Mizutani photographed them not only in the daytime, but during the evening as well, when they would gather in gingko trees.
Mizutani says, “I wanted people to know another side of Tokyo by photographing a surprising scene beautifully.” Whether day or night, the parrots are an unusually lovely sight. The birds are a refreshingly natural element that complements the plant life of Tokyo.
The greatest variety of parrots can be found in South America and Australasia, and Japan is a most unlikely location to spot them. Distinguishing physical features of parrots are a sturdy, curved bill, an upright posture, tough legs, and clawed zygodactyl feet.
The majority of parrots are vividly colored, like the yellow green ones captured by Mizutani, but some can be multi-colored. Parrots are among the most intelligent birds, and the capacity of some species to replicate human voices adds to their desirability as pets. This why the phrase ‘to parrot’ somebody or something means to imitate with uncanny accuracy.
See the hordes of parrots as photographed by Mizutani in Tokyo here.