Friday, July 15, 2016

Why Are Monk Parakeets In Connecticut?

I recently came across some Monk Parakeets in Old Saybrook. I first saw a Monk Parakeet in my parent's backyard when I was a teen. I assumed that it was someone's pet that had escaped. Many years later I saw them nesting along the Connecticut shoreline and was shocked that a whole colony of parakeets would be nesting in Connecticut. They are the only member of the parrot family that build their nests using sticks and live there year round in colonies.
 They birds are native to Argentina and surrounding areas. Monk parakeets are intelligent birds with a life span that can exceed 15 years. As pets, they have an excellent ability to mimic verbal phrases. 

They may have started out in Connecticut as pets that escaped or were intentionally released. I've also read stories of them escaping from zoos and overturned trucks. In some areas they are considered to be a nuisance and there have been attempts in the past to destroy their nests or eradicate them altogether in some areas. Many birders see them as a novelty bird that are fun to see and add make a nice addition to a year list.


Linda said...

Such a lovely bird. It seems to me that it had an owner at some point.

Anonymous said...

Get out, Larry!!! I see parakeets in Aruba, but Connecticut?!?!?!?!...:)JP

Larry said...

Actually, there was a group of six I saw in Old Saybrook so this one probably wasn't a pet.

Richard said...

Is there any case of habitat reduction or man-made pollution there? .. Extinction of species has now become a great concern for the birder! ... A nice write up and wonderful captures!