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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The local Monk Parakeets aren't pets anymore

Monk Parakeet
Monk Parakeet nest
If you see one of these Monk Parakeets, you're not seeing an escaped pet. You are, however, seeing the descendant of an escaped pet. In Denton,  several colonies of them live mainly in the northeast quadrant of the city.

Monk Parakeets are native to South America (Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia and parts of other countries) and were brought to this country years ago (nobody's sure when) via the pet trade. Inevitably, some escaped. They adapted to the local environments and have established ongoing colonies in many areas.
Monk Parakeets
 It's the only species that builds a large, communal nest - possibly 2 ft. across and 2 ft. high. Often the nests are built in man-made structures, especially in colder climates. The wild bird (just under a foot long) has become the most widespread parakeet in the country. Actually, the only two parrot species native to the U.S. are both extinct.

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