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Monk Parakeet

ID Info
Silhouette ParrotsParrots
Monk ParakeetMyiopsitta monachus
  • ORDER: Psittaciformes
  • FAMILY: Psittacidae

Basic Description

It may come as a surprise to see noisy, green-and-gray parrots racing through cities in the U.S. But Monk Parakeets, native to South America but long popular in the pet trade, established wild populations here in the 1960s. They are the only parakeets to nest communally; dozens live together year-round in large, multifamily stick nests built in trees and on power poles. These large group nests may be one aid to surviving the cold winters in adopted cities as far north as Chicago and New York.

More ID Info
image of range map for Monk Parakeet
Range map provided by Birds of the World
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Find This Bird

Monk Parakeets are native to South American grasslands—but if you're looking for them in North America, look in cities such as New York, Chicago, Portland (Oregon), San Diego, Houston, Dallas, New Orleans, or Miami, where escapees or releases of this popular cage bird have started feral populations. Look for these fast-flying, long-tailed parakeets and their huge stick nests on utility poles and other raised structures. Be aware that other parrot species often occur in cities, though Monk remains the most abundant naturalized parrot in the U.S.

Other Names

  • Cotorra Argentina (Spanish)
  • Perriche veuve (French)
  • Cool Facts