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Old 05-24-2013, 08:19 AM   #11
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I know a little bit about this since I was living in Chicago at the time they 1st found them. The Mayor at the time was Harold Washington. While ecologists and biologists were calling for the removal of them before they could get a foothold….. our Mayor allegedly instituted some sort of an unwritten “hands-off” policy. I found 1 article that in part supports what I remember, http://www.hydepark.org/parks/birds/monkparakeets.htm. I remember some of the Universities started getting big $$$ for Monk Parrot research back then and it looks like they’re still making $$$ off this invasive species, “Researchers believe the original feral parakeets in Hyde Park were pets that had escaped their owners. In the wilds of this South Side Chicago neighborhood, they formed colonies, and by the 100s their population had expanded to an estimated 400 birds….Now they are expanding again--only this time geographically. During the past eight years, "their numbers in Hyde Park have declined, whereas in surrounding communities their numbers have skyrocketed," Pruett-Jones said. "This work will help us better understand the biology of this interesting species and the reasons for its moving out of the city as well as nest site preferences," he said….After an initial study, Pruett-Jones concluded that the parakeets were moving away from the city vial corridors along train lines and utility structures. They also have switched their dwelling from oak and elm trees to conifers and utility poles, which prove hazardous because "when the nexts get wet during rain and snow storms they can cause electrical shorts, power outages and electrical fires." Those hazards are no shock to Hyde Park residents who watched workers from the electrical power supplier ComEd remove a 10-foot wide nest from a utility pole in 1997. A debate erupted between the alien species' advocates and residents who feared for their safety and property values. "Understanding the present distribution of nests and how corridors of open space facilitate a change in that distribution may help minimize this danger," Pruett-Jones said. People who spot the feral green-and-gray creatures and know locations of active nests should send a description of the nest's exact locations and any other information regarding the parakeets to the researchers at…...” IMO… they’re not protected by the migratory bird treaty act so it’d be better shooting monk parrots with an air gun or a BB gun when they come to feeders while reporting the location of their nests to ComEd (they’ve got nice big bucket trucks that can reach the nests) as opposed to reporting nest locations to the University of Chicago’s researchers. FWIW….the birds do like cheap bird seed and they’re dependent on that seed during winter when neighbors wouldn't exactly be hanging out in their backyards barbecuing. As far as their population “decline” in Hyde Park…. I’m thinking there are some fed up folk who just flat out don’t want the birds and their feces…. or their nests on their properties….who are going out at night and dealing with the birds under the cloak of darkness and out of the public eye…. we all know it's got to be happening…. just like some folk practice SSS (shoot shovel and shut up) with feral cats there’s got to be folk doing the same thing with the monk parrots. These are VERY noisy birds….. their feces aren’t exactly “black gold” like bat guano is and…. their nests can cause fires and power outages. To me…. any research $$$ on Monk Parakeets that isn’t focused on how to RID US OF THEM is a waste of our precious resources. I’m just not into endless research of “interesting”…. er uh…. invasive species especially when none of the research incorporates control, management, and eradication. Ongoing research… in part… probably continues because, http://magazine.uchicago.edu/9810/html/invest2.htm, “Although such discoveries may not apply directly to humans, Pruett-Jones notes, "they help us learn about ourselves. We're all connected to animals" and well…. they’ve been allowed to “fly” into the hearts of some misguided Chicagoans and now the politicians are afraid of the PR backlash that would occur if they started funding eradication efforts as opposed to never ending “research”. Similar thing happened with feral cats in Chicago…. there was all the endless “research” produced by scientists in the Alley Cat camp… then a year or so ago…. the entire City of Chicago determined there would be no more humane destruction of feral cats…. they’re now turned over to the TNR crowd along with $30 per feral… From that respect…. it was cheaper humanely destroying them. Anywhooo…. they’re not destroyed anymore and some of Chicago’s colonies are at capacity so there’s been a steady stream of feral cat lovers transporting them out of the city of Chicago to the burbs… where they’re set loose on the properties of fellow feral cat lovers and end up becoming somebody else's problem. FWIW…. our odds of changing the legal status of the monk parrots or cats is like next to nil…. our politicians don’t want the pet trade suffering any economic disruptions.... they'll just let tax payers absorb all the costs of their existence.
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Bulu> “That's just incredible. The site owner is obviously a fan of the parrots and so doesn't discuss the possible ramifications of a non-native population.” Hardly anyone acknowledges the trade offs of leaving em be…. it’s just not pc discussing the threats they pose to public health or to property.
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Old 05-24-2013, 10:50 AM   #12
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Well, Equil, I think it's becoming more possible to talk about such things these days. It's much like I say to some of my rabidly green friends, the ones who want to shut down all industry and sterilize most of humanity, there is a lot of progress being made but there's still a lot of progress left to go.

The internet and sites such as WG are a big factor in this growing awareness. We're no longer dependent on 3 networks, a few papers and a handful of magazines for all of our information. We can go to the source and hear from people who a few decades ago would never have been heard from. Then we can, as a population, debate and deconstruct what we've heard and make truly informed decisions. I feel like I've seen the results of this in many more moderate and civilized conversations about controversial subjects.

Of course, there are still plenty of rabid extremists out there, but we're making headway, I believe.
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Old 05-24-2013, 11:07 AM   #13
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"rabidly green friends, the ones who want to shut down all industry and sterilize most of humanity" Ummm.... I've got some relatives and a few friends who fit that bill who worship the Rockefeller and Gates types. They're blind followers... we're talking hook line and sinker.... of everything UN.... for the greater good ya know. Sunshine and Agenda 21 for all of mankind so Mother Earth can be saved. Whatever.
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Old 05-24-2013, 11:16 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Equilibrium View Post
"rabidly green friends, the ones who want to shut down all industry and sterilize most of humanity" Ummm.... I've got some relatives and a few friends who fit that bill who worship the Rockefeller and Gates types. They're blind followers... we're talking hook line and sinker.... of everything UN.... for the greater good ya know. Sunshine and Agenda 21 for all of mankind so Mother Earth can be saved. Whatever.
To be honest, I don't have too many rabid friends of any ilk simply because I don't get along too well with extremists. And the ignorance in my family tends towards the Fox News variety rather than the other. I've at least taught them to tone it down when I'm around, mainly by simply walking away when they get themselves going.
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Old 05-24-2013, 11:38 AM   #15
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Don't feel bad.... I've got some of the Fox News variety worshiping Monsanto and Dow and Bayer and all their "technology" and even 1 or 2 tea party varieties too. Makes for an interesting mix when we have family gatherings. I was usually the only 1 with balls enough to ask if anyone could think for themselves but... I'm not alone anymore so that's made our get-togethers even more interesting. Fortunately.... we all get along and genuinely like each other otherwise we're talking every get together would be like a 4th of July fireworks display.
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Old 05-27-2013, 06:56 PM   #16
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There are 'wild' parrots in San Fran, too.

The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill (2003) - IMDb
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Old 05-27-2013, 08:05 PM   #17
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Now that I think about it, I seem to remember seeing wild parakeets in a friend's back yard when I lived in Cincinnati. I don't know why I didn't remember that until now.
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