U.S. Department of Agriculture: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

 

Date of this Version

11-2016

Document Type

Article

Citation

Avery, M.L. and J.R. Lindsay. 2016. Monk Parakeets. Wildlife Damage Management Technical Series. USDA, APHIS, WS National Wildlife Research Center. Ft. Collins, Colorado. 11p.

Abstract

Since their introduction to the United States in the 1960s, monk parakeets (Myiopsitta monachus) have thrived (Figure 1). Until recently, annual Christmas Bird Count data have shown the population to be increasing exponentially. In the U.S., monk parakeets are an urban and suburban species with few natural predators, diseases or other factors limiting their population growth. They exploit backyard bird feeders and non-native ornamental plants for food. Monk parakeets often construct nests on man-made structures, such as electric utility facilities and cell phone towers. Because the birds build and maintain nests throughout the year, management of parakeet populations has become an important issue for utility companies in several States. Currently, nest removal and trapping are the primary methods for managing parakeet damage, Reproductive control through contraception shows promise for long-term, nonlethal population management.