Last Updated on June 24, 2022 by Ali Shahid
Residents in Florida are aware that parakeets exist regardless of whether they witness them or learn about them from others. As a result, the question arose concerning whether parakeets originated from Florida. Well, parakeets in Florida mainly begin to increase in population after they were brought from Australia.
The Parakeet was exported from Australia to Florida, just like other parts of the world. Florida once had a species of parrot that has since gone extinct. They were Carolina parakeets. This species is classified as an Amazon Parrot.
Carolina parakeets belong to a small group of only two native bird species in the United States of America. This species of bird can be found as far as Colorado in the west and as far east as New York on the east coast.
The Carolina Parakeet population steadily declined along with the expansion of European settlements on the American continent. Despite Florida’s native parakeets disappearing, aren’t we still able to see flocks of up to fifty birds hovering over all the beach towns?
Those are wild parakeets, but they are not native to the United States. Parrots were popular as pets in the 1960s and 1970s, and Florida was a popular place to import them.
Florida’s wild parakeets today are largely descendants of parakeets that escaped during the time when it was legal to import large numbers of parrots. In Florida today, a certain percentage of wild parrots are escapees from pet shops or storefronts.
Here is a list of the Parakeets that can be seen in Florida.
1. Monk Parakeets
Monk parakeets have a gray chest, face, and throat that are easily distinguishable from other parakeets. In addition to the pale green feathers on their heads, their wings do have a little bit of blue on them.
The monk parakeet does not nest in cavities, which is a surprising fact. The birds prefer to build their nests from sticks and they live in colonies. In some cases, these colonies can grow pretty quickly by adding new members each year.
They are considered the most abundant species of parrot in Florida. This species of bird is commonly referred to as a Quaker parrot. The two most important foods they consume are fruits and nuts. If you live in Florida, you can easily find monk parakeets.
2. Nanday Parakeets
Its reddish legs, blue breasts, and blue outswings help it stand out from other parakeets. Nandays are also known as black-hooded parakeets and their name comes from a term used in their indigenous homeland.
Nanday’s has a distinctive voice and a striking personality both in the wild and at the zoo. Nanday’s can learn roughly 20 new words and have the capability of remembering quite a bit of information.
In the Tampa Bay Area, specifically St. Petersburg, and along the southeast coast, including Miami, it is estimated there are over 1000 Nandy Parakeets.
This parakeet’s color is entirely green, as you might have guessed from the name. The only all-green parakeets you will find in Florida, or anywhere else in the United States.
It also is possible for these birds to exhibit a small amount of red speckling around their necks, as well as exhibiting a long, pointed tail. There are a lot of seeds and fruits that these parakeets love to eat.
With a pale green color and a red beak and eye-ring, these parrots are striking birds. It is very common to have a blue and pink neck collar on males and a colorful head-on on females.
In addition to their long, slender tails, which lend them a slender appearance, they are also very attractive birds. Even though this bird is native to Africa and India, it has made a name for itself around the world due to its adaptability.
Wild flocks of these birds are in Naples and Fort Myers, Florida, with an estimated population of 200 birds.
5. Yellow Chevroned Parakeets
It is believed that the yellow chevroned parakeet may have some resemblance to the white-winged parakeet, with the exception that this bird lacks the white patches on the wings.
Instead, their wings have striking yellow patches which are mesmerizing to the eye. The rest of the body is a very pale olive-green color.
In addition to eating fruit and seeds, these parakeets may also feed on nectar, and often can be found visiting backyard feeders in search of nectar.
6. Red-Masked Parakeets
The bright red masks they wear give them the appearance of being superheroes. They are highly unnoticeable, and their red outline is only visible on the inner side of their inner thighs and upper wings.
They are often found in mixed flocks with Mitred Parakeets (a very close relative) and are found near exotic plants in suburban areas and parks, rather than in wild habitats.
Red-masked Parakeets nest only in cavities in palm and oak trees, unlike the Mitred Parakeet. In the Miami area, approximately 200 Red-masked Parakeets are known to be present.
7. Mitred Parakeets
In contrast with similar, Red-masked Parakeets, this species comes with a pretty unique appearance. They have more spots than the Red-masked Parakeet. Similarly, one can also say the same thing about the red outline along the upper wing.
Because of the similarities between these two and the fact that they flock together, it is difficult to identify them correctly when they are present together.
Typically, these birds are found living amongst exotic plants on the edges of suburban areas and parks in Florida’s southeastern region.
They are not only known for using cavities in buildings and chimneys for their nests but this type of bird is also known to use holes in trees for their nests.
The white rings around their eyes make these birds easy to recognize. The rest of their bodies are green and they have a blue patch on the top of their heads.
These birds have red inner tail feathers only visible when they are flying. Vegetables, fruit, nuts, berries, and grains are among the foods that blue-crowned parakeets enjoy.
They can be seen in the area of Miami and the Tampa Bay area of Florida.
One more bird in the same family as the Mitred and the Red-masked. White-eyed parakeets are even less likely to show any redness on their heads or faces compared to other parakeet species. There may be a little redness on the bends of the wings.
The white eye rings on this bird give this species its name, but these features are not very useful when identifying it from other species with white eye rings, such as Mitred and Red-masked birds.
The best way to determine if a Parakeet is White-eyed is to look at the amount of red on its head and its yellow underwing.
It is common in Miami to see white-eyed parakeets in the southern counties of Florida. They nest in cavities beneath eaves and in damaged buildings.
This species of parakeet is characterized by its small size and its white and yellow patches on its wings which distinguish it from other parakeet species.
The yellow patches on the wings of these parakeets also enable them to be called canary-winged parakeets. As is the case with all parrot species, they are fond of eating fruits, nuts, and seeds.
Problems Posed by Exotic Parakeets Species
There are fears that the remaining agricultural areas and natural ecological communities may be adversely affected by these species. Several of the species are considered agricultural pests in their countries of origin.
According to some reports, the rose-ringed parakeet is considered to be one of the most destructive pests to agricultural production in South Asia.
Argentinean monk parakeets have caused serious damage to power lines with the weight of their huge colonial nests and have been identified as serious agricultural pests. I do not know why there haven’t been more problems reported in fruit groves in South Florida.
Parrot populations could become a problem if they become larger though, as they could potentially harm Florida’s crops. In South Florida, invasive non-native species pose a threat to the natural ecological communities.
The presence of exotic species of parakeets and parrots may hamper the survival of indigenous species in terms of food as well as space.
One of the characteristics of successful non-native invaders is their aggressiveness, especially when compared to their native counterparts. Parrots and parakeets are among the birds who nest in the cavities of dead trees, as well as cages of fallen trees.
These cavities are few and far between in suburban areas. It is likely that the increase in Psittacidae populations will result in native bird species being pushed out of nesting holes to make way for non-native species.
How to Attract Wild Parrots in Florida
While they can adapt to many environments and have a high level of resilience, they still require some assistance to make a successful transition into non-native environments. Which food should they eat, and how?
Let’s begin with how we can do this. To provide food to your unique visitors you have a few options to choose from. These are the trusted ways you can attract any parrot species in Florida.
- Purchase a parrot feeder
Some of your smaller seed feeders may not fit parrots and parakeets because they are bigger than most backyard birds. A parrot feeder can be purchased at pet stores or a large bird feeder can be hung on a tree.
- Provide a shallow dish
It has been observed that these birds prefer food sources that are easy to reach when in the wild. It is recommended that you place shallow, clean dishes of food around the yard in a safe area, to satisfy this preference.
Please make sure that you elevate the dishes if you have cats and dogs nearby. Another option is to use a tray feeder, which provides the same benefits but in a much more convenient way.
- Hang treats from trees or balconies
Many varieties of fresh foods are available to these vibrant birds. Hang fruit and other fresh treats in your yard with natural twine in order to attract them to your yard.
- Install a watering system
Parrots and parakeets, just as other birds, require food and water to survive. You should place a bird bath or waterer in your yard near the feeders so that the birds will be able to stop by for refreshment whenever they need to.
Wild parrot and parakeet food recommendations
The next step is to select the food you will be offering at your feeding stations after you have chosen the type. If parakeets and parrots are around your area, try these great foods to attract them to your yard:
Nuts, such as almonds and peanuts, are the most popular food among parrots and parakeets, especially if they are intact and unopened.
These birds love fresh fruits and vegetables. Apples, bananas, berries, nectarines, nectarines, figs, and berries are among their favorite fruits. Ensure that any seeds or pits are removed before serving.
There are some types of parrots and parrotlets that prefer fresh food, but they can also be fed seed blends. It makes sense to provide them with the same seed blends that you give your other wild birds.
As well as these mixes, there are others specifically designed to feed wild parrots, which often contain a combination of seeds, dried fruits, and nuts.
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.