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Old 09-16-2012, 08:24 PM   #1
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Default Connecticut's Monk Parakeets

These birds are probably not what people think of when they imagine birding in the Northeast.
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Old 09-16-2012, 08:33 PM   #2
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Are these escapees that are now established in the wild? We used to have Carolina parakeets to fill this niche on the east coast, so it is not a stretch of the imagination to believe that other parakeet species could thrive here.
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Old 09-17-2012, 09:52 AM   #3
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They're not escapees.... they've been released by folk who didn't want them as pets anymore... just like people dump goldfish they're tired of in ponds and lakes. We've got them in Illinois too. So far.... we're still "researching" these feral birds. Maybe Connecticut has moved out of the endless "research" phase and onto actual control but... who knows... seems as if we like to fund endless research these days which gives ferals the time to get an even greater foothold in the environment.
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Old 09-17-2012, 09:57 AM   #4
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LOL I remember seeing large flocks of them when I was working in Stamford CT they made huge communal nests in the lights for the baseball fields. The story goes as it was told to me a semi carrying exotic pets crashed on I-95 and they escaped that way sometime back in the 70's or early 80's. I've also seen Macaws and cockatoos flying around down there but i think those were just escaped pets.
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Old 09-17-2012, 01:29 PM   #5
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There is a large communal nest of Monk Parakeets on ball field lighting in Cape Coral too, but I would never have thought they could handle the northern winters!

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Old 09-18-2012, 06:04 AM   #6
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My first thought was that they might fill the niche left by the Carolina parakeet. Here's a paragraph from the Oregon Department of Agriculture (probably not the best source, but it's one that turned up quickly):
Although serious bird conservationists oppose the introduction of non-native
birds as a potential threat to the existing biota, some bird enthusiasts eagerly
observe the colorful Monk parakeets at their feeders and in the wild. There has
been some interest in the potential for Monk parakeets to fill the vacant niche of
North America’s only native parrot, the Carolina parakeet, which became extinct
in the early 1900’s (Garber 1993). The Carolina parakeet was similar to the
Monk parakeet both in appearance and habits, in that it built large communal
stick nests, had a generalist diet, and could feed upon cultivated crops. It was
hunted to extinction by sportsmen and agriculturists.
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Old 09-18-2012, 12:19 PM   #7
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Thanks, Rebek. I had that thought, too. It would be hard to proove, however.
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Old 09-19-2012, 05:38 AM   #8
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The Carolina parakeet is the species I've most regretted not seeing, for some reason.
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Old 09-21-2012, 06:10 PM   #9
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Something to consider, Invasion Biology Introduced Species Summary Project - Columbia University, "Threat(s): In South America, the parakeet is considered a major agriculture pest, where flocks devour cereal grain and citrus fruits. In the United States, the bird is not yet an agricultural threat and an ongoing debate exists as to whether or not it even has the potential of becoming a pest. It does have other impacts, however, although they are not very widespread. Monk parakeets have damaged power lines and caused short circuits in urban areas. It is thought that they might compete with urban species of birds and maybe even natives, for food and nesting sites, but this claim has not been thoroughly studied and is based on a few instances where monk parakeets have been spotted fighting with blue jays, robins and house sparrows. However, ecological principles indicate that if monk parakeets continue multiplying, which is currently the case, they will become a threat, or at least a serious competitor, to urban exotics, like pigeons and house sparrows, which have become synonymous with cities. They also might become a threat to the few natives, like the robin and blue jay, that still struggle to survive in cities."
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