Monk Parakeets or Quakers make wonderful pets. The main problem appears to be their noise volume, but if you can accept that, their personalities will win you over completely.
These birds are also very resourceful and have managed to survive and even thrive in the wild when they have escaped (or been turned loose). It is for this reason that several states in America have banned ownership of the Monk Parakeet.
One such state is Connecticut where a large flock of these green and grey parakeets have taken up residence. Their favourite nesting spot appears to be at the top of utility poles. They don't build little nests – they build enormous nests and from reports it seems that these nests sometimes cause power outages by touching the wires.
These two photos of the large Monk Parakeet nest on top of a utility pole are shown here with the permission of Steve Baldwin Brooklyn Parrots.
Since people are dependent on consistent power, and since power outages probably costs hundred – if not thousands of dollars to fix quickly, this situation must be dealt with.
The state of Connecticut has decided that the best way to deal with this situation is to kill all the Monk Parakeets and to remove the nests. They feel that once the utility poles are empty of nests, the birds that currently have their nests in trees will immediately move to the utility poles, so they are not limiting their killing spree to the ones who are on the poles.
At the other end of the thought train are the people who want to capture the birds and keep them as pets. I do not believe that captured wild parrots would ever be happy kept in a cage and since the state of Connecticut does not allow these birds to be kept as pets, this would not be a proper solution either.
There must be a middle ground somewhere. Could something be put over the utility poles that would discourage the birds from nesting there. Could nesting platforms be put up to encourage nest building in other locations?
Quakers have formed colonies in other states. Has the State of Connecticut talked to the officials in other states to see how the birds are handled in those locations?
I wrote to the state officials in Connecticut to ask these questions, but still have not received a reply several days later.
According to one report, it appears as if there has been a temporary halt to the killings – but since it may only be temporary, there is still much to do.
Click here to read and possibly to sign a petition to stop the killing of Connecticut's Monk Parakeets.
For more information on wild Monk Parakeets or Quakers, please see Brooklyn Parrots about a flock of these birds in New York.