The globally very common Monk Parakeet, also known as the Quaker Parrot has been sighted once again in Saginaw, Texas. Most sightings have occurred in front of the Saginaw Rec Center and behind the Saginaw Police department next door.
They are a self-sustaining feral bird species originating from the temperate to subtropical areas of Argentina but occur in many places, mainly in North America and Europe. For more info on the species visit The Monk Parakeets of the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex on Facebook.
The Monk Parakeet is the only parrot that builds a stick nest, in a tree or on a man-made structure, rather than using a hole in a tree. This gregarious species often breeds colonially, building a single large nest with separate entrances for each pair. In the wild, the colonies can become quite large, with pairs occupying separate “apartments” in nests that can reach the size of a small automobile. These nests can attract many other tenants including birds of prey such as the Spot-winged Falconet (Spiziapteryx circumcincta), ducks such as the Speckled Teal (Anas flavirostris), and even mammals. Their 5-12 white eggs hatch in about 24 days.
Considerable numbers of Monk Parakeet were imported to the United States in the late 1960s as a pet. Many escaped or were intentionally released, and populations were allowed to proliferate. By the early 1970s, M. monachus was established in seven states, and by 1995 it had spread to eight more. There are now thought to be approximately 100,000 in Florida alone.
As one of the few temperate-zone parrots, the Monk Parakeet is more able than most to survive cold climates, and colonies exist as far north as New York City, Chicago, Cincinnati, Louisville, northern New Jersey, coastal Rhode Island and Connecticut, and southwestern Washington. This hardiness makes this species second only to the Rose-ringed Parakeet amongst parrots as a successful introduced species.
If you have seen the Monk Parakeets of Saginaw, we would love to see and share your pictures. Please submit them here or leave a commit below.