Quaker parrots or monk parakeets are not allowed in California. When you see how they nest, you’ll understand why. These clever little builders are the only community nesting parrots in the world. And if there aren’t forests full of trees to use for their nests, they make do.
The Brooklyn community of Quaker parrots has their own web page. http://brooklynparrots.com/ There are regular “safaris” to view the funny, busy birds in their daily workings. And here’s info on their nests. http://brooklynparrots.com/who-are-they/how-do-they-build-those-crazy-nests/
Sometime after Hurricane Katrina, monk parakeets showed up in New Orleans. http://www.nola.com/pets/index.ssf/2012/03/wild_parrots_make_homes_on_the.html
The States do not have sole claim to feral parrots. London has a major issue with Indian Ringneck Parakeets. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kingston_parakeets
How do these birds get into these non-parrot-typical lands and thrive? Well, usually they escape some home or shipping crate, and they are very adaptable and resourceful. Leave it to Wiki to have a list of all the feral birds found around the world: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feral_parrots
Lovebirds have founded colonies in Texas and Arizona. Guess it’s not that much different from Africa in those areas. http://www.birdchannel.com/bird-magazines/bird-talk/2009-february/peach-faced-lovebirds.aspx And according to this forum poster, Double Yellow Headed Amazons are colonizing South Texas! Amazing! http://parrot-lovers.livejournal.com/4582062.html
In Indonesia, smugglers travel through known routes with their contraband. This one was caught, but could some have been scared enough to dump the birds before being apprehended by authorities? http://www.wcs.org/news-and-features-main/bird-smuggler-busted-in-sumatra.aspx
Looks like parrots will do their level best to find a good place to live in a wild environment. The list on which parrots can be found where is interesting. So let’s imagine you live in one of the areas known for wild parrots. What can you do to help the birds out?
One very basic, very important thing you can do is provide a source of clean, fresh water. A bird bath, a fountain, a couple of dishes that you change out daily. One of my favorite restaurants has a nice garden patio in front, with a huge stone that is the middle of the fountain. So far I haven’t seen any parrots there, but crows, sparrows, and starlings love to stop there for a drink.
Food is something the birds should be able to find for themselves, but you can put out some fruit and nuts if you like. Just remember, you are not obligated to continue feeding these birds forever. I can’t believe how many times I’ve heard people say that once you start, you can’t ever stop. Think about it. In the wild, even the urban wilds, flowers bloom at a certain time of the year. Fruit and nut trees bring out crops only for a few months of the year. Birds know there is a rhythm to these things, and they can adapt. The only caution is to keep things going in the spring and early summer, at least. If birds think there is a good supply of food and raise a family, they need that source to continue until the chicks hatch and fledge.
We’ve introduced many types of parrots to different places around the world, and for the most part they are accepted there with pleasure and appreciation. If only we could have saved our one native North America parrot, the Carolina Parakeet. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=80duIWG0co4
Have a good week, I’ll be back on Thursday.