Last Updated on August 29, 2022 by Ali Shahid
If you see bright green parakeets in Austin, they might seem out of place, and you’re right. These parakeets love to nest along light fixtures and utility poles. They were imported into Texas in the mid-1970s as pets.
But many of them escaped or were intentionally released. These social animals have developed self-sustaining populations. You can spot them in Texas, Florida, and the eastern United States.
Despite their reputation as agricultural pests, Monk Parakeets are mostly tolerated in cities.
How did monk parakeets get to Austin?
The monk parakeet is the most common in the United States. They have bright green plumage. You will always hear them screeching. The Texas Invasive Species Institute reports that Austin is a popular place for monk parakeets in the U.S.
They usually build their nests on power lines. Each year, Austin Wildlife Rescue takes in a large number of orphaned and injured monk parakeets. Birds that are orphaned can’t go back into the wild, so they’re adopted instead.
One of the most affordable parakeets, these little guys pack a lot of personalities. In the 1950s and 1960s, tens of thousands of monk parakeets were imported as exotic pets from South America. Some of these birds eventually became wild and bred.
Three states support all 25 known parrot species, including Texas, California, and Florida. Among them are the yellow-crowned amazon, the red-crowned amazon, budgerigars, and green parakeets.
Rio Grande Valley neighborhoods have also been reported to have hundreds of green parakeets. A study indicates that all of the parrots in this country were once kept as caged pets.
Some exceptions may include red-crowned amazons and green parakeets in South Texas. Most escaped pets were released because their owners couldn’t train them.
Nevertheless, many of these species have established populations here.
Why is the Population of Monk Parakeet decreasing in Austin?
Monk parakeets, with their distinctive look, have lived in the city ever since the 1980s. Despite this, there are concerns about the parakeet population as a result of harsh winter storms.
As a business owner in central Austin, Mieka Davenport often gets visits from birds. After not seeing them for several weeks, she became worried. However, the parakeets have returned since then.
Austin Wildlife Rescue’s Hayley Hudnall expressed concern that some of the birds may have died during the winter storm. According to her, the organization received as many as 50 baby birds in the spring in previous years.
However, according to Hudnall, only eight or nine babies were born this season. According to Hudnall, sightings persist despite fears of some might succumb to the cold.
These birds have survived in Austin and other American cities due to their ability to adapt to heat and cold. University of Texas renovations removed the lights from intramural fields, dislocating parakeets.
Light renovations result in mass displacement equivalent to a storm wiping out a home for monk parakeets. The birds are forced to acclimate to an entirely new environment in a few days. Taking the colonies back to their former size will take years.
In 2017, Austin Energy used poles to knock down and strike monk parakeet nests. This issue coupled with disregarding their egg-laying season, made the company adjust its practices. Nevertheless, the company will keep removing hazardous nests.
Steps for the survival of Monk Parakeets in Austin
Travis Audubon expressed concern about Austin Energy’s inhumane removal of parakeets. Furthermore, Austin Wildlife Rescue rehabilitates injured parakeets and releases them into the wild.
Monk parakeet colonies are under threat, and both groups accept volunteer applications. Students should be involved in these organizations to influence companies and institutions that overlook monk parakeet colonies.
Austin wildlife is hard to observe on UT’s urban campus, which is why sunbathing turtles and squirrels are such delights. A monk parakeet can offer us an opportunity to experience the tropics in our backyard.
Where can I find monk parakeets in Austin?
If you want to see Monk Parakeets, head to Lady Bird Lake. Parakeets also nest on light poles at Zilker Park’s north shore baseball fields.
Martin Middle and Jr High School also have parakeet nests on their athletic field lights.
Are Quaker parrots illegal in Texas?
The Quaker parrot (Monk parakeet) is legal in Austin, Texas and there are no restrictions on its ownership.
Buhrman-Deever, Susannah C., Amy R. Rappaport, and Jack W. Bradbury. “Geographic variation in contact calls of feral North American populations of the Monk Parakeet.” The Condor 109.2 (2007): 389-398.
Ali Shahid is a veterinarian by profession and an animal lover. He loves to give expert opinions about different animals. He has worked in top organization of birds like Bigbird Feed and Poultry Research institute. He loves birds, especially parrots and has great experience in different parrot farms.