MONK PARAKEET

Monk Parakeet (Myiopsitta monachus)

The Monk Parakeet is a relatively small parrot, at around 27 cm (10 in.) long. It is lime green on top and light grey under, with darker horizontal edges. The forehead also is grey. The bill is orange-pinkish and the feet are grey. The wing outer feathers are blue.

The Latin name ‘Myiopsitta’ means ‘fly’, and ‘parrot’, while ‘monachus’ has the same meaning as ‘Monk’ (solitary). However this parrot does not quite look like a monk, and the bird nests in colonies rather than being solitary, and it can be seen foraging in flocks.

The native breeding range of the monk parakeet is in South America, particularly Argentina. However due to its remarkable adaptability, it has extended its range in many other areas, not just on its own but also thanks to the pet trade. There are now established populations in several countries of Europe, the United States, Mexico and South America.

However authorities in many of these recently populated areas consider the bird as an invasive species, and measures have been taken to control it in various ways, including even killing them (UK).

Monk parakeets forage on the ground in open areas, and they build their nests with sticks. The structures can become quite large.

They are considered as highly intelligent and less expensive than the African Grey Parrot, for example, so this makes it attractive for the pet trade.

OTHER: Monk parakeets are established in Stratford, CT, USA, as per a personal communication from a resident. He told me that green parrots would have escaped from a shipment a few years ago, and have now adapted to life in the area. The parrots were actually heard and seen in mature trees around the old Shakespeare Theatre in that town, but it was in the evening and unfortunately too dark to take photos of them. There are also known established colonies of that species in nearby Milford, CT.

REFERENCES: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monk_parakeet ;
https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Monk_Parakeet/overview ;
http://www.arkive.org/monk-parakeet/myiopsitta-monachus/ ;
http://www.audubon.org/field-guide/bird/monk-parakeet .

Group of monk parrots - Torremolinos, Spain - Sept. 2017 - © Daniel St-Laurent
Group of monk parrots – Torremolinos, Spain – Sept. 2017 – © Daniel St-Laurent
Monk parrots in Torremolinos, Spain - Sept. 2017 - © Daniel St-Laurent
Monk parrots in Torremolinos, Spain – Sept. 2017 – © Daniel St-Laurent
Monk Parakeet close up - Europe - May 13, 2014 - photo by Roberta Palmer
Monk Parakeet close up – Europe – May 13, 2014 – Roberta Palmer
Monk parrot eating seeds from grass - Torremolinos, Spain - Sept. 2017 - © Daniel St-Laurent
Monk parrot eating seeds from grass – Torremolinos, Spain – Sept. 2017 – © Daniel St-Laurent
Monk Parakeet nests - Zagoza, Spain - Mar. 15, 2009 - Fernando
Monk Parakeet nests – Zagoza, Spain – Mar. 15, 2009 – Fernando
Monk Parrots - Torremolinos, Spain - Sept. 2017 - © Daniel St-Laurent
Monk Parrots – Torremolinos, Spain – Sept. 2017 – © Daniel St-Laurent
Monk Parakeet - Europe - May 13, 2014 - photo by Roberta Palmer
Monk Parakeet – Europe – May 13, 2014 – Roberta Palmer

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