Monk Parakeet

Myiopsitta monachus
Range Map

Monk Parakeets are Native to South America, but were used extensively in the pet trade. Escaped or released birds have adapted to life in urban USA. They are the only parrot to build communal stick nests, which allows them to survive cold climates as far north as New York. By crowding their nest space into compact areas and close to each other, we believe they can trap heat and stay warm even in cold winters.

Today, science recognises four subspecies of Monk Parakeet:

  • M. m. monachus lives in southeast Brazil, Uruguay and northeast Argentina
  • M. m. calita lives in northwestern and central Argentina
  • M. m. cotorra lives in southeastern Bolivia, Paraguay, southwestern Brazil and northwestern Argentina
  • M. m. luchsi lives in Andean valleys of west-central Bolivia

I met these birds in the spring of 2020 as I was leaving Corpus Christi (Texas) and headed for Brownsville. I watched them gather sticks for building their nest.

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