Monk Parakeet (Quaker Parakeet)
Monk parakeets are medium-sized parrots native to South America. They are abundant and highly gregarious, forming large flocks and building large colonial nests. They are found in a range of habitats but are most abundant in agricultural and urban areas. Recent population increases appear to be the result of the species’ ability to thrive in human-altered habitats. In parts of their native range they are regarded as agricultural pests, doing substantial damage to corn and seed crops such as sunflowers. Monk parakeets accidentally introduced into the wild have established self-sustaining populations in many parts of the world.
Monk parakeets are very popular pets. They are intelligent, interactive, and can learn to mimic human speech. Importation of monk parakeets into the United States is banned under the Wild Bird Conservation Act of 1992, but these birds are widely bred in captivity. Captive birds live for 15 to 20 years and so require a long- term care commitment.